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Raytheon, Northrop Grumman complete second flight in joint hypersonic weapon project

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Posted at 8:56 AM, Jul 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-21 11:56:37-04

PHOENIX — Working together on a hypersonic weapon for the U.S. Department of Defense, Raytheon Missiles & Defense and Northrop Grumman said they’ve completed another successful flight.

The two companies — both major defense contractors in Arizona — have been working jointly since 2019 on the scramjet-powered Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept, or HAWC, for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the U.S. Air Force.

Tucson-based Raytheon (NYSE: RTX) has been in charge of the aircraft’s overall design, while Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC) has provided the scramjet engine. During the latest test flight in early July — which built on insights gained after the project’s first flight in September 2021 — the engine took the vehicle to speeds greater than Mach 5, or five times the speed of sound, for more than 300 nautical miles as it reached altitudes higher than 60,000 feet.

Raytheon said that the test flight engineers put the HAWC on a trajectory that was deliberately designed to put the vehicle under stress to test its limits and validate digital models used to predict and increase performance of the system.

Read more of this story from the Business Journal.