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Defense Hypersonic Program in Development at DARPA

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The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is developing a hypersonic missile system for defensive purposes called Glide Breaker, Breaking Defense said in a report on Friday. 

Glide Breaker aims to intercept hypersonic weapons during their glide phase. The apparatus’ program manager Major Nathan Greiner explained that the system is similar to the standard missile 3 system, which dispenses a kill vehicle to achieve a hit-to-kill engagement. 

The defensive hypersonic program will be divided into two phases. The initial phase will revolve around the formation and demonstration of a divert and attitude control system. Aerojet Rocketdyne and Northrop Grumman have presented designs for the first phase and are now in the testing period.

Meanwhile, the second phase will focus on wind tunnel and flight testing to gather information on future kill vehicle designs from both control and design standpoints, Greiner attested.

In September 2021, Raytheon Technologies and Northrop Grumman jointly exhibited their scramjet engine-powered Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept for the U.S. Air Force and DARPA as part of a hypersonics program for offense

A Lockheed Martin-developed hypersonic missile system under a different DARPA program also completed an initial flight test in July in New Mexico.