by Mike Stone
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Pentagon said Thursday it has awarded Raytheon Technologies (NYSE) a $985 million contract to develop prototypes for a hypersonic attack cruise missile, putting the company ahead of its competitors in the race to become the lead developer of the strategic project. . arms.
Raytheon (NYSE:) outperformed Boeing (NYSE: and Lockheed Martin (NYSE 🙂 to further develop the weapon. This award is a major advance in the development of hypersonic weapons for the United States, and puts Raytheon in the early lead for a series of related and high value contracts in the coming years.
Hypersonic weapons travel in the upper atmosphere at speeds of about 6,200 kilometers per hour (3,853 miles per hour), more than five times the speed of sound.
The Hypersonic Attack Cruise Missile (HACM) is an air-launched hypersonic weapon that is being developed in cooperation with the Australian Government.
“With the emergence of advanced threats around the world, the Hypersonic Attack Cruise will provide our warriors with much-needed capability,” said Wes Kramer, president of Raytheon Missiles & Defense.
The Air Force expects delivery in fiscal year 2027.
The United States and China are engaged in an arms race to develop more deadly hypersonic weapons, a senior Air Force official acknowledged late last year, while Beijing and Washington build and test more and more high-speed next-generation weapons.