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DARPA, Air Force Complete 2nd Flight Test of Raytheon’s Hypersonic Missile With Northrop Scramjet Engine

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The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the U.S. Air Force tested for the second time a Raytheon Technologies-built hypersonic missile powered by a scramjet engine from Northrop Grumman.

The Raytheon version of the Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept system flew for more than 300 nautical miles at altitudes higher than 60,000 feet and hypersonic speeds faster than Mach 5 after being released from an aircraft during the flight test conducted in early July, DARPA said Monday.

This most recent test allowed exploration of more of the flight and scramjet engine operating envelopes,” said Andrew “Tippy” Knoedler, HAWC program manager at DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office.

“The Navy and Air Force will have access to the data we’ve collected as they make development decisions for future high-speed weapons,” added Knoedler.

Raytheon said the test flight demonstrated tactical range capabilities, met all other main and secondary objectives and used all lessons learned and data from the initial flight test conducted in September 2021.

The scramjet-powered HAWC missile uses air for sustained propulsion, enabling the weapon to evade defense systems and quickly reach targets.

In April, DARPA announced the completion of a test flight of a Lockheed Martin-built configuration of the hypersonic air-breathing system that runs on an Aerojet Rocketdyne-made scramjet engine.