The companies are prototyping the scramjet-powered HAWC for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the U.S. Air Force, Raytheon said Monday.
HAWC, was carried and released by an aircraft, flew at supersonic speeds with the help of a solid rocket motor. Its scramjet engine then ignited to accelerate the missile and allow for hypersonic flight.
Scramjet engines work to compress incoming air before combustion to sustain speeds of Mach 5 and beyond. According to Raytheon, the said technology can allow HAWC to engage targets faster than normal missiles and potentially evade enemy systems.
The companies formalized a partnership in 2020 to combine Northrop’s scramjet engines with Raytheon’s hypersonic technology.