Raytheon’s $985 million hypersonic award puts them well ahead of the contract competition

The Pentagon is seen from the air in Washington, US, on March 3, 2022, more than a week after Russia invaded Ukraine. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

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WASHINGTON, Sept 22 (Reuters) – The Pentagon said on Thursday it awarded Raytheon Technologies ( RTX.N ) a $985 million contract to develop prototypes for a hypersonic attack cruise missile, putting the firm well ahead of rivals in the race to become the leader . developer of the strategic weapons.

Raytheon beat out Boeing ( BA.N ) and Lockheed Martin ( LMT.N ) to continue development of the weapon. The award is a significant advance in the development of hypersonic weapons for the United States, and puts Raytheon in an early lead for a number of related and valuable contract awards in the years ahead.

Hypersonic weapons travel in the upper atmosphere at speeds of around 6,200 km per hour (3,853 mph), more than five times the speed of sound.

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The Hypersonic Attack Cruise Missile (HACM) is an air-launched hypersonic weapon being developed in collaboration with the Australian government.

“With advanced threats emerging around the globe, the Hypersonic Attack Cruise Missile will give our warplanes a much-needed capability,” said Wes Kremer, president of Raytheon Missiles & Defense.

The Norwegian Air Force expects delivery in fiscal year 2027.

The United States and China are engaged in an arms race to develop the most lethal hypersonic weapons, a top Air Force official acknowledged late last year, as Beijing and Washington build and test more and more of the next generation of high-velocity weapons. read more

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Reporting by Mike Stone in Washington; Editing by Chris Reese and Richard Pullin

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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