Raytheon’s hypersonic missile travels faster than five times the speed of sound in a test flight

Raytheon’s Wes Kremer, president of Raytheon Missiles & Defense, a Raytheon Technologies division, said, “advancing our nation’s hypersonic capabilities is a critical national imperative, and this was an important step forward.” Having consecutively successful flight tests increases our faith in the technological sophistication of our HAWC operational prototype.”

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the U.S. Air Force collaborated on the HAWC program.

The HAWC missile uses the oxygen in its environment to propel itself. The scramjet’s combustion chamber and a section of the flow channel were designed by Northrop Grumman.

The system shows how Raytheon Technologies is working with other companies to improve hypersonic technology by combining cutting-edge breakthroughs in thermal management, propulsion, and sensing with tried-and-true technology.

Because of how fast and mobile they are, hypersonic weapons require new ways of thinking about how to make them work. The company built and tested the system quickly by using both ground testing and digital engineering, especially modeling and simulation.

Digital engineering, according to Kremer, “helps us find new materials, manufacturing processes, and aerodynamic shapes that can withstand extreme conditions while delivering required performance.”

“It’s a critical contribution to our flight test success,” he added.

Raytheon’s hypersonic missile travels faster than five times the speed of sound in a test flight

Hypersonic missile above clouds.

The most recent test comes after the first-ever flight test of a HAWC missile, conducted by the Raytheon Technologies/Northrop Grumman team in 2021. But many experiments have been conducted in the digital sphere, collecting useful information that is now used to predict performance in the real world.

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