The USAF launched a program of Future Hypersonics Program, which aims to develop an aircraft two-stage hypersonic missiles. As writes Flightglobal, currently, the military are going to choose the company which could participate in the project.
According to military requirements, the first acceleration stage of the rocket should be solid. It will accelerate the munition to the speed at which it will be possible to enable hypersonic air-breathing engine. The rocket will carry a conventional warhead.
New hypersonic missile to be developed under the program Future Hypersonics Program should be designed for launch from fighter or bomber. The onboard systems of the munition should be designed according to the principle of open architecture. Protection preliminary design of the rocket is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2021 financial year (fall 2021).
In addition to program Future Hypersonics Program, the U.S. air force carried out a tender for development of aircraft hypersonic missiles HAWC (Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept, the concept of hypersonic air-breathing weapons). It involves the development of hypersonic aircraft missiles that could be launched from several fighter types including the F-35 Lightning II.
Tests of prototypes of the munition is planned until the end of 2020. The tender HAWC while involving two American companies: Raytheon and Lockheed Martin.