U.S. Air Force Selects Raytheon and Northrop Grumman to Deliver First HACM

U.S. Air Force Selects Raytheon and Northrop Grumman to Deliver First HACM
U.S. Air Force Selects Raytheon and Northrop Grumman to Deliver First HACM

US Air Force has selected Raytheon and Northrop Grumman Corporation to develop the Hypersonic Attack Cruise Missile (HACM). HACM is a first-of-its-kind weapon designed with the Southern Cross Integrated Flight Research Experiment (SCIFiRE), a U.S. and Australia project arrangement. Under this contract, the Raytheon Missiles & Defence and Northrop Grumman team will deliver operationally ready missiles to the USAF. The HACM is an air-breathing, scramjet-powered munition.


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.