(MENAFN) Raytheon, a major US weapons manufacturer, defeated Boeing and Lockheed Martin to obtain the Air Force's Hypersonic Attack Cruise Missile (HACM) contract for $985 million.
The military service declared the contract assignment on Saturday, noting that the next period of the program includes “HACM weapon system design, development and initial delivery through the performance of model-based critical design review, qualification, integration, manufacturing and testing.”
If HACM development proceeds, the weapon may become the Air Force's first scramjet-powered, air-launched hypersonic missile as early as 2027, according to an Air Force press release published in a report by the military news site Breaking Defense.
“HACM is a powerful example of developing and integrating combat capabilities alongside our partners from the beginning,” according to Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown as cited in the report. “HACM will provide our commanders with tactical flexibility to employ fighters to hold high-value, time-sensitive targets at risk while maintaining bombers for other strategic targets.”
The Royal Australian Air Force, according to the study, became engaged in the development of the missile in 2020 through the Southern Cross Integrated Flight Research Experiment (SCIFiRE) project, and might provide Australian test infrastructure for the initial all-around flight testing.
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