WASHINGTON DC – Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman and Boeing have signed multi-million dollar contracts to counteract the technology Russia has at its disposal.
The largest US defense companies are earning billions of dollars for research and development of hypersonic weapons in the face of technological progress from Russia and China, reports The Washington Post.
Lockheed Martin is at the forefront of this lucrative business, being the world’s largest arms manufacturer, and according to the newspaper has received about $3.5 billion to develop weaponry of this type, which will be focused on the development of the hypersonic attack program.
With about $1.6 billion already received or ready to be received, another major candidate is Raytheon, probably the world’s largest producer of missile systems. Raytheon had previously announced progress on its hypersonic missile program in collaboration with the US Defense Advanced Design Agency (DARPA).
According to US media, Northrop Grumman is positioning itself as a leading supplier of hypersonic missile engines and has signed lucrative contracts with both Lockheed and Raytheon. The latter company is developing the HAWC hypersonic cruise missile, according to an announcement made in June.
Meanwhile, days ago Raytheon completed the design of a hypersonic glider block that can be equipped with various weapons. The flight speed may exceed Mach 5.
According to Raytheon’s press service, the company’s designers began glider technical planning. Development is being carried out accelerated.
Raytheon was awarded a contract with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to set up the hypersonic glider in March 2019. The terms of the contract presuppose the creation of a two-stage weapon system, which will include the launch and the hypersonic glider block. The ballistic missile will take the glider to the upper layers of the atmosphere and give it the momentum to reach hypersonic speed. After that, the device will move away from the launch vehicle and address the target.
The US military will use hypersonic weapons to attack at greater range, with less response time, and more effectively than current weapon systems.
Russia, China and France are also developing such systems . According to expert data, gliders of this type are capable of maneuvering, quickly attacking the enemy and overcoming anti-aircraft and missile defense systems.