New hypersonic missiles will have 3-D printed engines
Two giants of the American defense industry have joined forces to improve a hypersonic weapons platform design.
Raytheon and Northrop Grumman have been working jointly to produce an air-breathing hypersonic weapon made entirely of 3-D printed parts.
Part of the Hypersonic Air-Breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC) program, the missile is reportedly ready for a test flight.
“We have a flight test planned for the near future where we will begin flying this particular class of weapon system,” Raytheon’s Tom Bussing said during a briefing at the Paris Air Show. “The combustor, everything that we do now is done by additive manufacturing, so its driving affordability into the hypersonic boost missile’s scramjet engine. We are also looking at ways to reduce the weight so we can have more fuel, more payload.”
The missile will be easily produced and capable of speeds over 5 times the speed of sound.
According to Defense News, the Raytheon-Northrop team is competing against F-35 manufacturer Lockheed Martin for the final HAWC contact
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