The US Air Force has demanded $384m to develop a hypersonic cruise missile, the HACM, which would surpass Russian and Chinese counterparts in launch range
We wrote that the US Air Force has requested $911m to develop a nuclear cruise missile. The service also wants $384 million next year to develop an airborne hypersonic missile.
Here's What We Know
You might have thought we were talking about the U.S. Air Force tests first full-fledged prototype hypersonic missile AGM-1483A ARRW - a strategic bomber B-52H Stratofortress was used for the launch project, which tested the AGM-1833 late last year, but no. The US Air Force is working on a hypersonic cruise missile.
The programme is called Hypersonic Attack Cruise Missile (HACM). It will largely be based on the Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC) project. In the winter, Lockheed Martin tested the HAWC missile using a B-52 Stratofortress nuclear-powered bomber. Prior to that, an F/A-18 Hornet fighter jet participated in the test.
The test, which took place less than two months ago, ended successfully. The hypersonic missile covered 483 km. In flight, it managed to reach a speed of 5174 km/h (M=5). It is planned that the maximum speed of the final version will be 12,348 km/h (M=10).
In 2021, the Ministry of Defence signed contracts with Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Raytheon. The latter will build prototypes of the hypersonic HACM missile. It received almost $1bn for this in 2022.
The promising munition is expected to be fielded in 2027, and its carrier will be the fifth-generation F-35 Lightning II fighter. There is no information on the missile, but it is planned that the HACM could surpass the hypersonic counterparts China and Russia are working on in terms of launch range.