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July 19, 2022

DARPA completes second flight-test for HAWC missile

The test achieved all primary and secondary objectives, including a demonstration of tactical range capabilities.

The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has successfully completed the second flight test for the scramjet-powered Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC) missile.

It was conducted in collaboration with Raytheon Missiles & Defense and Northrop Grumman.

During the test, Raytheon’s HAWC design was released from the aircraft and was boosted to the expected ignition envelope using Northrop Grumman’s scramjet engine.

The cruiser was propelled to a speed of Mach 5 to reach altitudes exceeding 60,000ft for more than 300nm.

The test achieved all primary and secondary objectives, including a demonstration of tactical range capabilities.

The latest test used data from the first flight test, held in 2021, to mature an operationally relevant weapon concept design.

Raytheon Missiles & Defense Advanced Technology president Colin Whelan said: “The test demonstrated how we’ve rapidly matured affordable scramjet technology, which is the basis for air-breathing weapons.”

Separately, Raytheon Missiles & Defense and the US Air Force (USAF) have also executed the first guided launch of AIM-120D3 advanced medium-range air-to-air missile (AMRAAM) form, fit, function, refresh (F3R).

The first of five planned missile shots in an integrated test series was conducted from an F-15E Strike Eagle aircraft against a QF-16 full-scale aerial target at long range on 30 June.

The test aimed to validate sub-system integration to support all phases of guided flight.

Furthermore, the Norwegian Government is planning to procure Raytheon Missiles & Defense’s StormBreaker smart network-enabled weapon for the Royal Norwegian Air Force’s (RNoAF) F-35 fleet.

The company has started the preparations to integrate StormBreaker into the RNoAF capabilities.

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