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
Specifications

EngineScramjet
Operational
range
1,000 nmi (1,900 km)[1][2]
Maximum speed Mach 8 (9,800 km/h; 6,100 mph)[2][3][4]
Launch
platform
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

References

  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.