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Lockheed Martin $480 Million for Second Hypersonic Weapon Prototype

USAF Seeks Capability as Early as 2021

The US Air Force (USAF) has awarded a contract not to exceed $480,000,000 to Lockheed Martin Missiles & Fire Control to begin designing a second hypersonic weapon prototype. The contract provides critical design review, test and production readiness support for the Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW), which is one of two hypersonic weapon prototyping efforts being pursued by the Air Force to accelerate hypersonic R&D, with a view to advancing them to a capability stage by 2021.

We are going to go fast and leverage the best technology available to get hypersonic capability to the warfighter as soon as possible,” explained Secretary of the Air Force, Heather A. Wilson.

As yet not fully defined, the contract action currently taken allows the government to meet urgent needs by authorising the contractor to begin work before reaching a final settlement on contract terms and conditions, to include a final negotiated price. The contract is expected to be fully defined in this respect within 180 days of award.

The Joint Team requires the right mix of agile capabilities to compete, deter and win across the spectrum of competition and conflict,” commented USAF Chief of Staff, Gen. David L. Goldfein, referring to a memorandum of agreement signed on 28 June by leaders from DoD, the Missile Defense Agency and the individual armed services. “We must push the boundaries of technology and own the high ground in this era of great power competition and beyond.”

The Air Force’s other hypersonic weapon rapid prototyping effort is the Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon (HCSW). Both efforts are developing unique capabilities for the warfighter and each has different technical approaches. The ARRW effort is ‘pushing the art-of-the-possible’ by leveraging the technical base established by the USAF/DARPA partnership. The HCSW effort is using mature technologies that have not been integrated for an air-launched delivery system.

 

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Publish date

08/17/2018

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