U.S. military gives Boeing another chance to compete in race to develop and test hypersonic cruise missile

Dec. 1, 2020
Despite hypersonic missile-related awards to Lockheed Martin and Raytheon, Boeing has continued developing hypersonic weapons technology.

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) has revived Boeing’s hopes for a near-term win in the hypersonic weapons market by inserting the company into a competition to build a Mach 6 cruise missile and reviving a decade-old concept based on dual-combustion ramjet technology. Aviation Week reports. Continue reading original article

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

1 Dec. 2020 -- The Joint Hypersonic Transition Office, which was established by Congress this year, has funded a Boeing-led team to complete a preliminary design review (PDR) and ground testing for a dual-combustion ramjet in a project called HyFly 2.

Software, booster, and battery issues caused each of the three original HyFly flight test events to end in failure before the critical technology -- a dual-ramjet and -scramjet propulsion system designed by a team of Aerojet Rocketdyne and Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory -- could activate in flight.

In a dual-combustion system, the ramjet serves as a subsonic gas generator, feeding an accelerated exhaust of superheated gas downstream to a scramjet. The secondary supersonic combustion propels the vehicle as fast as Mach 6. The Navy originally hoped to apply the HyFly technology to a hypersonic cruise missile optimized for the carrier-based Boeing F/A-18E/F.

Related: Air Force asks industry for companies able to design an air-launched hypersonic cruise missile in 17 months

Related: Northrop Grumman to build 19 GQM-163A drones for training defenders to fight hypersonic cruise missiles

Related: Just in a nick of time: U.S. military researchers finally get serious about Mach 5 hypersonic weapons

John Keller, chief editor
Military & Aerospace Electronics

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