U.S. Air Force Selects Raytheon and Northrop Grumman to Deliver First HACM
Scramjet engines use high vehicle speed to compress incoming air before combustion, allowing hypersonic flight at Mach 5 or higher. By travelling at these speeds, hypersonic weapons like HACM can reach their targets more quickly than similar traditional missiles, potentially allowing them to evade defensive systems. Since 2019, Raytheon Technologies and Northrop Grumman have collaborated to develop, produce, and integrate Northrop Grumman's scramjet engines onto Raytheon's air-breathing hypersonic weapons. Their combined efforts enable both companies to have air-breathing hypersonic weapons, the next generation of tactical missile systems.
The Air Force Life Cycle Management Centre Armament Directorate awarded Raytheon Missiles & Defence a USD985 million contract on September 22, 2022, beating out competition from Boeing and Lockheed Martin.