Hypersonic Attack Cruise Missile (HACM)
TypeHypersonic air-launched cruise missile
Place of originUnited States
Service history
In serviceIn development
Used byUnited States Air Force
Production history
DesignerRTX Corporation
Northrop Grumman

1,000 nmi (1,900 km)[1][2]
Maximum speed Mach 8 (9,800 km/h; 6,100 mph)[2][3][4]
F-15E Strike Eagle[5]

The Hypersonic Attack Cruise Missile (HACM) is a scramjet-powered hypersonic air-launched cruise missile project, the successor of the Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC) and the SCIFiRE hypersonic programs.[6]

Technology developed for the HAWC demonstrator was used to influence the design of the HACM, a U.S. Air Force Program of Record to create a scramjet-powered hypersonic missile it could deploy as an operational weapon.[7]

In December 2021, Raytheon Technologies was awarded a $985 million contract to continue its HACM development.[8]

The contract to develop HACM further was awarded to Raytheon in September 2022.[9] HACM will use a Northrop Grumman scramjet.[10][11] It is designed to be smaller than the AGM-183 ARRW and able to fly along “vastly different trajectories” than the boost-glide ARRW. [12]

The system will give the US military "tactical flexibility to employ fighters to hold high-value, time-sensitive targets at risk, while maintaining bombers for other strategic targets."[5][13][14][15] Following the U.S. Air Force's decision to not pursue procurement of ARRW in March 2023, the HACM became the service's only hypersonic weapon program.[16] Though the USAF confirmed that they would not be purchasing any hypersonic weapons in FY 2024, the budget request for the upcoming fiscal year includes $380 million for R&D on the HACM,[8] followed by a proposed $517 million in FY 2025.[12]

See also


  1. ^ Trevithick, Joseph. "B52 needs new pylons to carry max load of hypersonic missiles". The Warzone.
  2. ^ a b Tegler, Eric. "Is DOD's approach to buying hypersonic weapons too expensive?". Forbes.
  3. ^ "U.S. Hypersonic Weapons and Alternatives" (PDF). Congressional Budget Office.
  4. ^ "Hypersonic missile integration with aircraft". August 14, 2023.
  5. ^ a b Bugos, Shannon. "First U.S. Hypersonic Deployment on Track for 2023". ArmsControl.org.
  6. ^ "Air Force announces hypersonic missile contract award". Eglin Air Force Base.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "Successful HAWC Test Doesn't End DARPA's Hypersonic Scramjet Efforts". Air Force Magazine. July 22, 2022.
  8. ^ a b Leone, Dario (March 22, 2023). "The USAF Won't Purchase Hypersonic Missiles in 2024". The Aviation Geek Club. Retrieved April 2, 2024.
  9. ^ "US Air Force selects Raytheon Missiles & Defense, Northrop Grumman to deliver first hypersonic air-breathing missile". RTX.com. September 22, 2022.
  10. ^ "Raytheon/Northrop Grumman team selected for HACM hypersonic weapon". Janes Information Services. September 26, 2022. Archived from the original on September 26, 2022.
  11. ^ "US Air Force Selects Raytheon Missiles & Defense, Northrop Grumman to Deliver First Hypersonic Air-Breathing Missile". Northrop Grumman Newsroom.
  12. ^ a b Losey, Stephen (March 19, 2024). "US Air Force conducts final test of Lockheed's hypersonic missile". Defense News. Retrieved April 2, 2024.
  13. ^ "First U.S. Hypersonic Deployment on Track for 2023 | Arms Control Association". www.armscontrol.org. Retrieved April 2, 2024.
  14. ^ Losey, Stephen (March 28, 2023). "ARRW hypersonic missile test failed, US Air Force admits". C4ISRNet. Retrieved April 2, 2024.
  15. ^ Audrey Decker (28 Mar 2023) Failed Hypersonic Test Dims Air Force View of Lockheed Missile Air Force R&D funding for ARRW and HACM tests is $150 million and $380 million, respectively. "ARRW and HACM are just two of the U.S. military's hypersonic efforts; in all, the Pentagon is requesting $11 billion for hypersonic R&D in 2024"
  16. ^ Air Force Pulls Plug On Much-Hyped Hypersonic Missile. The Drive/The War Zone. 30 March 2023.