The Air Force and Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency (DARPA) reached a milestone in the development of the Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC) with the successful completion on Sept. 1 of captive-carry tests of two variants of the system. The project will be ready for its first free-flight test by year’s end, DARPA stated in a press release. In time, the Air Force and DARPA hope to produce a cost-effective version of the weapon, capable of being launched from aircraft. Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Technologies each conducted tests of their configurations of the system, which demonstrated the ability to cruise at hypersonic speeds at extended durations of time.
“These tests provide us a large measure of confidence that gives us faith the unique design path we embarked on will provide unmatched capability to U.S. forces,” said Andry “Tippy” Knoedler, program manager for HAWC at DARPA’s tactical technology office.