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Building on its pioneering work in hypersonics, Aerojet Rocketdyne is supporting a Lockheed Martin effort to develop a hypersonic conventional missile for the US Air Force (USAF) under a subcontract valued at $81.5 million (€73.3 million).

Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor on USAF’s Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon (HCSW), an air-launched, stand-off weapon capable of traveling at over Mach 5. The HCSW development programme is in its early phases and will progress through design, flight testing and initial production and deployment. Lockheed Martin’s contract ceiling through initial operational capability is $928 million.

“Aerojet Rocketdyne is a world leader in hypersonic technology, which has been singled out by the US Department of Defense as a top technical priority,” said Eileen Drake, Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and President. “We look forward to leveraging and expanding those capabilities as an integral part of Lockheed Martin’s HCSW team.”

HCSW further expands Aerojet Rocketdyne’s world-class hypersonic technology portfolio, which includes solid-fueled and air-breathing ramjet and scramjet capabilities. The company’s scramjet engine powered the Boeing X-51A WAVERIDER when it made history by completing the longest air-breathing hypersonic flight ever. The company has continued to evolve the technology, recently demonstrating a ramjet/scramjet engine.

An artist’s concept of a hypersonic strike weapon. (Image via USAF)

- Mönch Publications - Latest Issues -

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