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Raytheon Technologies has been awarded a $985 million contract to develop new hypersonic weapons for the United States Air Force. The Hypersonic Attack Cruise Missile (HACM) program is no longer in the prototype phase and is moving closer to becoming operational.
Development of the weapon and its initial delivery is expected to be completed by March 2027.
Bloomberg reported, “The HACM, which has been co-developed with the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, will use air-breathing propulsion to reach five times the speed of sound.”
The HACM will be the Air Force’s second hypersonic weapon project following Lockheed Martin’s development of the AGM-183A ARRW, an Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon, which is designed to be launched from a B-52 and reach its target traveling on an unpredictable route at high speeds.
Defense News explained, “Hypersonic weapons such as the HACM can fly multiple times the speed of sound and can maneuver mid-flight, making them hard for enemies to track and shoot down.”
The Congressional Research Service reported that the HACM could be deployed from jet fighters and long-range bombers.
The United States is falling behind Russia and China in developing hypersonics. Both the Russians and the Chinese have fielded hypersonic weapons while the US has not.