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Raytheon, Northrop Grumman test-fire hypersonic weapon

Raytheon Missiles & Defense and Northrop Grumman successfully test-fired a hypersonic weapon. Photo courtesy Raytheon.
Posted at 1:44 PM, Sep 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-27 16:44:35-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Raytheon Missiles & Defense and Northrop Grumman successfully test-fired a hypersonic weapon.

An aircraft carried the HAWC weapon under its wing before it was released. A solid rocket motor boosted the weapon hypersonic speeds greater than Mach 5 -- five times the speed of sound -- and a scramjet engine boosted the missile to hypersonic flight.

"This is a history-making moment, and this success paves the way for an affordable, long-range hypersonic system in the near term to strengthen national security," said Colin Whelan, vice president of Advanced Technology at Raytheon Missiles & Defense, in a statement. "This test proves we can deliver the first operational hypersonic scramjet, providing a significant increase in warfighting capabilities."

Hypersonic weapons can reach targets faster than traditional missiles. They are capable of evading defenses.

"We have reached a milestone in delivering a game-changing capability to the warfighter," said Dan Olson, vice president and general manager of Weapon Systems Division for Northrop Grumman, in a statement. "Decades of learning advanced manufacturing techniques and industry partnerships helped us define what is now possible."

Raytheon, which is based in Tucson, employs 30,000 people.

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