US Military Technology


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Dec 4, 2017
2019 Missile Defense Review 2019 MDR_Executive Summary.pdf

As rogue state missile arsenals develop, the space-basing of interceptors may provide the opportunity to engage offensive missiles in their most vulnerable initial boost phase of flight, before they can deploy various countermeasures. Space-basing may increase the overall likelihood of successfully intercepting offensive missiles, reduce the number of U.S. defensive interceptors required to do so, and potentially destroy offensive missiles over the attacker’s territory rather than the targeted state. DoD will undertake a new and near-term examination of the concepts and technology for space-based defenses to assess the technological and operational potential of space-basing in the evolving security environment.

The space-basing of interceptors also may provide significant advantages, particularly for boost-phase defense. As directed by Congress, DoD will identify the most promising technologies, and estimated schedule, cost, and personnel requirements for a possible spacebased defensive layer that achieves an early operational capability for boost-phase defense.

The cornerstone of our security and diplomacy in the Indo-Pacificregion is our strong bilateral alliances with Japan, South Korea, and Australia, and emerging security relationships with others such as India.

A number of states in South Asia are developing an advanced and diverse range of ballistic and cruise missile capabilities. Within this context, the United States has discussed potential missile defense cooperation with India. This is a natural outgrowth of India’s status as a Major Defense Partner and key element of our Indo-Pacific Strategy.
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Dec 4, 2017
Here's All You Need To Know About The New Missile Defense Review That Was Just Released



After more than a year of delays, the U.S. military has finally released its long-awaited Missile Defense Review. The report outlines plans to improve and expand the United States' existing missile defense shield, as well as add additional layers with space-based sensors and interceptors, technology to track and defeat hypersonic weapons, unmanned aircraft with lasers to shoot down threats, and missile-hunting F-35 stealth fighters, among others.

The Pentagon officially released the unclassified version of the review at a rollout event led by President Donald Trump, who has become a major advocate for missile defense, a well as Vice President Mike Pence, National Security Adviser John Bolton, Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan, and other senior officials, on Jan. 17, 2019. The U.S. military had originally expected this report to be ready before the end of 2017.






"Missile defenses are a key element of our strategy given this proliferation of offensive ballistic and cruise missiles and emerging hypersonic weapons technologies that markedly raise threats to regional balances and to our major allies and partners," Acting Secretary of Defense Shanahan wrote in a preface to the review. "Our missile defense systems constitute a cornerstone of our efforts to deter a missile attack by a rogue state on the U.S. and make a clear contribution to our alliances."

Given how long it's taken for the Pentagon to release the final review, the bulk of the content has already emerged in budget documents and other public forums. Still, the report further cements the U.S. governments intention to pursue these policies and technologies and we've broken down the key points below:

Policy priorities
  • U.S. Missile Defense Shield remains focused primarily on countering threats from smaller potential opponents, such as North Korea and Iran.
  • Traditional nuclear deterrence remains the primary means of responding to existing and future strategic threats from larger potential adversaries such as Russia and China.
  • The U.S. government has no plans to limit developments of missile defense technologies to focus purely on smaller actors.
  • The Missile Defense Shield is a component of an over-arching deterrent posture in that it helps ensure the ability of the United States to respond to a massive attack on the homeland.
  • There is also a call for continued and expanded regional focuses, as well, including greater cooperation and coordination with allies and partners, especially in the face of the growing proliferation of ballistic missiles.
  • The MDR has requirements for various components of the U.S. military to complete a number of studies within the next six months to better formalize and streamline command and control and identify services or other agencies within the Department of Defense to lead efforts to respond to particular threats.
  • The new MDR adds an entirely new emphasis on potential non-ballistic threats posed to the homeland and to U.S. forces deployed abroad, with particular attention on cruise missiles.
    • The 2010 MDR focused almost exclusively on ballistic threats.


An infographic from the MDR showing existing and future missile defense threats around the world.

Near-term technical developments
  • Expanding the SM-3 Block II interceptor's capabilities to allow it to engage intercontinental ballistic missiles, or ICBMs, as well as intermediate- and medium-range ballistic missiles, or IRBMs and MRBMs.
    • At present, the SM-3 Block IIA is primarily focused on engaging IRBM and MRBM type threats, though the Missile Defense Agency has long indicated its hope that it would also be able to conduct mid-course intercepts against higher and faster-flying targets.
  • Add 20 more Ground-Based Interceptors (GBI) to the overall Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) portion of the U.S. Missile Defense Shield, which is situated in Alaska, for a total of 64.
  • Continue development of the Redesigned Kill Vehicle, or RKV, to replace the existing Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle, or EKV, on top of the GBI.
    • Previous reports have indicated that the U.S. military will begin deploying RKV-equipped interceptors in 2020.
    • The RKV, like the EKV, is a kinetic weapon designed to destroy an incoming ballistic missile by smashing into it.
    • The EKV has struggled in testing since the late 1990s and only intercepted a target representative of an intercontinental ballistic missile for the first time in May 2017.
  • Installation of Lockheed Martin's advanced Long Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR) in Alaska to support the GMD system. This radar is set to be operational by 2021.
  • Improving existing land-based radars and adding additional sites in Hawaii and elsewhere in the Pacific by 2023.
    • These new radars will have improved capability to spot and track ballistic missiles during the mid-course portion of their flight trajectory when they have "gone cold" in the vacuum of space and are harder to monitor.
  • New space-based sensors to track ballistic missiles during mid-course flight, as well as additional satellites, positioned closer to the United States, or its territories or other interests abroad, to monitor those weapons in the latter stages of their trajectory.
    • Both systems, the first of which could be ready by 2023, will be able to cue surface-based interceptors or other weapons to engage those threats.
    • The latter satellites will also provide a critical "kill assessment capability" to determine whether an intercept is successful and whether personnel on the ground need to re-engage.
  • The deployment of additional and improved Patriot, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) ships, and Aegis Ashore land-based missile defense sites around the world to respond to more localized ballistic and cruise missile threats, such as those from Iran and North Korea.
    • To support this the U.S. Army will submit a report within six months outlining the total number of THAAD units required to satisfy those requirements and the resources necessary to meet that goal. The U.S. Navy will similarly provide a review of the timeline and required resources to make all of its Arleigh Burke-class destroyers Aegis BMD capable.
    • The Navy will also prepare a plan for how to activate the Aegis Ashore test facility in Hawaii as an operational site in an emergency situation.
  • Further fielding of more mobile and readily relocatable missile defense systems and the further integration of those capabilities with conventional maneuver forces to protect them ballistic and cruise missile threats during both offensive and defensive operations.
  • Improving interoperability of U.S. missile defense systems with those of allies and partners.


A very general overview of the existing U.S. Missile Defense Shield as it exists today.

Novel missile defenses
  • In line with the annual National Defense Authorization Act for the 2019 Fiscal Year, the MDR calls for exploration of space-based anti-missile weapons, potentially including physical interceptors or directed energy weapons, a concept you can read about in more detail here.
    • Congress has already demanded that the U.S. military place such a system into operation "at the earliest practicable date," though this does not guarantee any such system will ever be feasible.
    • "We’re going to study it and we’ll see whether or not it’s feasible," an unnamed U.S. defense official told reporters at pre-briefing on the MDR on Jan. 16, 2019.
    • That study will be due within six months, according to the MDR.
  • A laser-armed unmanned aerial vehicle that would be able to engage ballistic missiles during their initial boost-phase right after launch, a concept you can read about more here and here.
    • During this phase of flight, ballistic missiles are particularly vulnerable since they are moving relatively slowly and are generating a large thermal signature making them easier to track and engage.
  • Further exploration of potentially using the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter as a boost-phase ballistic missile defense platform.
    • The MDR asks the Air Force to produce a report within six months detailing how it would go about integrating a missile defense capability into the F-35.
    • This is a concept that has been around for some time, but gained renewed traction at the height of tensions with North Korea in 2017.
    • Though likely feasible at its most basic level, we at The War Zone have previously explained in detail why this concept will be extremely expensive and applicable only in a very narrow set of circumstances, calling into question whether it would ever be a worthwhile expenditure of resources.
  • The development of systems to track and potentially defeat hypersonic weapons, which are only becoming an increasing threat.
    • The MDR requires the Missile Defense Agency to outline the resources required for a program to meet those goals within six months.
    • This plan would leverage existing work the Air Force and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) have already done and would likely act as a follow-on or otherwise related effort to DARPA's present Glide Breaker program.
  • The MDR calls on U.S. Strategic Command to produce a sperate study within nine months assessing the present state and future requirements for early warning and engagement regarding hypersonics, as well as more traditional ballistic and cruise missile threats.
  • A timeline in the MDR says the goal is to be able to demonstrate advanced space-based systems, laser-armed unmanned aircraft, and hypersonic defense options by 2030.


A very general timeline of certain planned U.S. Missile Shield developments through to 2030.

All told, this review has been in the works for so long that little inside is outright new. The biggest single takeaway is the expanding definition of missile defense to more cohesively include non-ballistic threats, including cruise missiles and hypersonic weapons. Concerns about the threat of cruise missiles, especially to the homeland, have waxed and waned over the years, but advanced developments among America's near-peer competitors have surely contributed to the resurgence of interest in countering those weapons.

There renewed emphasis on new space-based systems, especially potential space-based weapons, is also significant. If the U.S. military goes ahead with plans to put weapons of any kind into orbit, it seems almost certain to prompt controversy and pushback. At the same time, without any existing arms control agreements regarding the deployment of conventional weapons in space, and with potential opponents, such as Russia and China, developing more robust anti-satellite capabilities, it's easy to see how it could provoke an arms race.

Expanding and improving the U.S. missile defense shield will require significant time and resources, as well. At present, it's unclear whether or not the next defense budget will be smaller or larger than the last.

When the budget request for the 2020 Fiscal Year comes out later this month, we will likely get an even better picture of how fast the U.S. military expects to move in implementing the plans the MDR has outlined for the next decade or so.


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Dec 4, 2017

Pentagon prepares space-based MACH 20 ‘Glide Breaker’ HYPERSONIC missile interceptor THE Pentagon has unveiled plans to built a top-secret space missile interceptor with Mach 20 speeds.



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Dec 4, 2017
Pentagon: Missile Defense Test Succeeds in Shootdown

Pentagon: Missile Defense Test Succeeds in Shootdown


The 'lead' Ground-based Interceptor is launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., March 25, 2019, in the first-ever salvo engagement test of a threat-representative ICBM target. (Missile Defense Agency photo/Lisa Simunaci)

26 Mar 2019

The United States Missile Defense Agency fired interceptor missiles from Vandenberg Air Force Base on Monday in a successful first-of-its-kind test of the nation's missile defense program.

The test was meant to practice how well the U.S. military could respond in the event of a missile being shot from another country like North Korea or Iran.

Officials said the two interceptor missiles -- which were launched at around 10:30 a.m. -- hit their target. Shortly after the launch, twin contrails could be seen in the sky over the region.

The Department of Defense said an intercontinental ballistic missile was shot from the Reagan Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands about 4,000 miles away, which acted as a dummy target for the interceptors shot from Vandenberg Air Force Base. The missile was successfully intercepted, according to a DoD news release.

"This was the first GBI salvo intercept of a complex, threat-representative ICBM target, and it was a critical milestone," MDA Director Air Force Lt. Gen. Samuel A. Greaves said in a news release Monday afternoon. "The system worked exactly as it was designed to do, and the results of this test provide evidence of the practicable use of the salvo doctrine within missile defense."

"The Ground-based Midcourse Defense system is vitally important to the defense of our homeland, and this test demonstrates that we have a capable, credible deterrent against a very real threat," he added.

The sudden test came as a surprise to many people in the Central Coast area, since most missile launches out of the local Air Force base are scheduled and announced months in advance.

A Bloomberg report on Sunday revealed the Pentagon was planning a test for Monday that would fire two interceptors "tipped with Raytheon Co. warheads" to test the military's ability to defend against incoming missiles.

Cristina Chaplain, the space and missile defense systems director for the Government Accountability Office, told Bloomberg it "may be the most challenging test in the program's near 30-year history."
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Dec 4, 2017
US Air Force successfully shoots down multiple missiles with a laser

US Air Force successfully shoots down multiple missiles with a laser

Jon Fingas

EngadgetMay 6, 2019


US Air Force successfully shoots down multiple missiles with a laser

The US Air Force just edged closer to its goal of outfitting aircraft with laser weapons . Testers at the White Sands Missile Range have successfully shot down multiple air-launched missiles using the Self-Protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator (SHiELD), proving that it can hold up under intense situations. While SHiELD is currently a ground-based behemoth (see below), the finished technology should be portable and rugged enough to be used aboard aircraft.


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Dec 4, 2017
Lockheed Martin adds SPICE to its Weapons - Defense Update:

Lockheed Martin adds SPICE to its Weapons

Tamir Eshel

May 16, 2019


Lockheed Martin and RAFAEL have signed a cooperation agreement to jointly develop, manufacture, market and support RAFAEL’s Smart, Precise Impact and Cost-Effective (SPICE) missile guidance kits to Lockheed Martin’s platforms. RAFAEL already subcontracts about 80 percent of SPICE subassemblies to US manufacturers in eight states. The agreement will enable Israel to buy SPICE kits from the USA, using US military support funds. The agreement follows a market assessment evaluation done by the two partners in the past year.

“Access to GPS is becoming increasingly limited in contested environments,” said Mr. Yuval Miller, executive vice president, and general manager of Rafael’s Air & C4ISR Division. “SPICE provides a solution to this challenge. Finalizing this exclusive agreement sets the scene for our two companies to provide unmatched mid-range guided air-to-surface weapon systems to enhance mission flexibility and success.

SPICE kits are compatible with Lockheed Martin F-16, and, following full integration, will also equip Israel’s Air and Space Forces F-35A. Once concluded, the SPICE will also be available to other F-35 operators. SPICE has also been integrated with the Saab Gripen E, and has already been selected to equip the new Brazilian Gripen NG fighters. RAFAEL also develops the SPICE 250 unitary guided munitions. The bigger SPICEs are designed as guidance kits added to standard bombs. The current agreement does not mention the SPICE 250.

SPICE is a family of stand-off, autonomous, air-to-surface weapon systems, capable of destroying targets with pinpoint accuracy and at high attack volumes in a GPS-denied environment. Combat-proven and in service with the Israeli Air Force and several international customers, SPICE employs a state-of-the-art electro-optical seeker with unique scene-matching algorithms, navigation guidance and homing techniques to achieve operational missions in adverse weather without GPS. The MOU covers the SPICE 1000 (453 kilogram / 1,000 pound weight class) and SPICE 2000 (907 kilogram / 2,000 pound weight class) precision-guided missile kit variants. The SPICE extends the aircraft strike range to 100 km, thus enabling attack from standoff range.

The cooperation agreement follows the partnership RAFAEL and Lockheed Martin established for the international marketing of The POPEYE EO guided missile back in the 1990s. Known as HAVE NAP (AGM-142) POPEYE was fielded by B-52 of the US Strategic Air Command, as well as F-4, and F-111 of the Australian, South Korean, Turkish and Indian Air Forces.

“SPICE is a leading air-to-surface weapon system offering U.S. and international air forces operating Lockheed Martin’s platforms, as well as strategic bomber aircraft, an important complement to their existing operational capabilities,” Miller added. “SPICE’s unique features greatly enhance the U.S.’ ability to operate in contested environments.”

“SPICE offers the U.S. Department of Defense and many allies a capability that no other weapon currently in inventory provides,” said John Varley, vice president of Close Combat Systems at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “By applying our expertise in aircraft integration, mission planning, and tailkit design, along with our experience in affordable, streamlined production, we will adapt SPICE to meet U.S. standards so bomber and fighter aircraft can benefit from the added mission flexibility that SPICE offers.” Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor providing the AGM-158 family of Joint Attack Air to Surface Missile (JASSM) cruise missiles, and the Paveway family of laser-homing weapon guidance kits, widely used by airforces worldwide. SPICE adds an alternative guidance technique, strike autonomy, and independence of GPS, extending the air forces’ operational flexibility in planning and performing strike missions with modern combat aircraft.

SPICE 2000 carried on an IAF F-16. The Viper can carry four SPICE 2000 guided weapons. Photo: RAFAEL


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Dec 4, 2017
NATO Fears Russia Jamming Its GPS Systems in a War. They Might Have a Solution.

NATO Fears Russia Jamming Its GPS Systems in a War. They Might Have a Solution.
The U.S. Army is moving fast to develop navigation systems that feature jam-resistant GPS, or require no GPS at all. “The service further is already evaluating proposals for an upgraded second-generation version that will include an Inertial Navigation System as a fallback for times when GPS is completely unreachable,” Breaking Defense reporter Sydney Freedberg, Jr. wrote.

by David Axe Follow @daxe on TwitterL

The U.S Army is planning to test jam-resistant GPS systems in Europe as a potential step toward countering Russian electronic warfare.

The Army’s 2nd Cavalry Regiment in Germany should get the new jam-resistant GPS by the end of 2019, Breaking Defense reported.

The moves come after several efforts by Russia to disrupt GPS in Europe.

The United States and the United Kingdom agree to suppress the slave trade.

“Scrambled GPS signals were first detected during NATO’s large-scale Trident Juncture exercises in Norway at the end of October [2018],” Defense News reported.

“Norway’s defense intelligence agency said it tracked the source of the signal-jamming to a Russian military base on the nearby, heavily fortified Kola Peninsula. Finland’s military intelligence said Norway’s analysis mirrors its own investigations and evaluations."

In late 2018 Finland and Norway both lodged complaints with Russia over the disruptions. “Defense and civil aviation chiefs in Finland and Norway warned that the GPS jamming posed a serious risk to both military and commercial aircraft using the affected airspace in the High North,” Defense News noted.

“Russia asked (us) to give proof. We gave them the proof,” Norwegian defense minister Frank Bakke-Jensen told Arctic Today. The proof consisted of measurements showing signals had been jammed.

“Russia said, ‘Thank you, we will come back when our experts review that,’” Bakke-Jensen said. “To have such an answer from Russia is a positive thing,” he said.

Bakke-Jensen implied the jamming was intentional. “They were exercising very close to the border and they knew this will affect areas on the other side,” Bakke-Jensen said of the Russians. “To be a neighbor of Russia you need to be patient.”

The U.S. Army is moving fast to develop navigation systems that feature jam-resistant GPS, or require no GPS at all. “The service further is already evaluating proposals for an upgraded second-generation version that will include an Inertial Navigation System as a fallback for times when GPS is completely unreachable,” Breaking Defense reporter Sydney Freedberg, Jr. wrote.

GPS-jamming isn’t NATO’s only problem in Europe.

The 2nd ACR’s 300 Strykers represent the only mechanized American forces permanently in Europe. The Army's 173rd Airborne Brigade also is based in Europe. The service temporarily deploys one armored brigade at a time to the continent, each on a nine-month rotation. A typical armored brigade has around 90 M-1 tanks and 130 M-2 fighting vehicles plus around 18 M-109 self-propelled howitzers.

“Giving 2nd Cavalry a crack at the new equipment not only fills an urgent operational need ... it also gives the program rapid feedback on what works and what doesn’t,” Freedberg noted.

The regiment faces a powerful foe. Russia keeps around 760 tanks in units within quick striking distance of NATO's Baltic members. NATO countries together keep around 130 tanks in the same region -- and around 90 of those are American M-1s on their temporary rotation.

In 2016 RAND war-gamed a Russian invasion of the Baltics. In RAND's scenario, the Russian forces quickly overrun lightly-armed NATO forces. The Western alliance quickly deploys helicopters and air-mobile troops to confront the Russian advance. But NATO tanks are too slow to arrive.

"What cannot get there in time are the kinds of armored forces required to engage their Russian counterparts on equal terms, delay their advance, expose them to more-frequent and more-effective attacks from air- and land-based fires and subject them to spoiling counterattacks," RAND explained.


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Dec 4, 2017
DARPA Hints At Future Platform For Army’s Mobile Hypersonic Launcher

The 10-wheel-drive Logistics Vehicle System Replacement has emerged as a new candidate for the Army’s mobile launcher for hypersonic weapons....​
In the near term, the Army plans to deploy the LRHW with a booster and glide vehicle derived from the CPS Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator (HTD). The glide vehicle is a derivative of the Advanced Hypersonic Weapon (AHW) demonstrated by the Army in 2011; the Navy demonstrated an adaptation in 2017. Another version of the AHW glider, which is itself derived from the Sandia Winged Energetic Reentry Vehicle, forms the basis for the Air Force’s HCSW. Meanwhile, the Army and Navy intend to use a common booster for the hypersonic glider, but it is classified. The Navy plans to begin testing the new HTD in the latter half of the year.​
“This HTD will further mature the hypersonic technology and provide upgrades to key components to make the system more survivable and effective,” a spokesman for Army headquarters tells Aviation Week.​
The 10-wheel-drive Logistics Vehicle System Replacement has emerged as a new candidate for the Army’s mobile launcher for hypersonic weapons. Credit: Cpl. Paul Peterson/U.S. Marine Corps​
Underscoring the Army’s urgency to field the follow-on LRHW, management for the HTD has transitioned from the research-oriented Space and Missile Defense Command to the Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office, a high-ranking officer says.​
Whereas the LRHW will be deployed with proven technologies, the goal of OpFires is to push the boundaries of rocket propulsion, using liquid and hybrid prop.ellants, variable-thrust nozzles, pulse motors and reignitable propellants to vary the thrust and range of the booster.​
A member of the Dynetics-led-team tells Aviation Week that it has tested a subscale, throttleable rocket motor designed by California-based Exquadrum, whose CEO Kevin Mahaffy, notes: “We can throttle our solid rocket motor (SRM) and turn it off when we reach the right weapon-release conditions. From ignition on, we can throttle the SRM or completely turn it off.”​



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Dec 4, 2017
SDB I (GBU-39) to also get EO and laser guidance.

Air Force tests technology that could enable smart munition to see the way to its target | Military & Aerospace Electronics

Air Force tests technology that could enable smart munition to see the way to its target
EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla., 14 Jan. 2016. U.S. Air Force weapons experts are moving forward with a project to enable a smart munition to navigate its way visually to targets the way a commuter makes his way to work after having learned the route.

AuthorJohn Keller

Jan 14th, 2016


Air Force tests technology that could enable smart munition to see the way to its targetEGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla., 14 Jan. 2016. U.S. Air Force weapons experts are moving forward with a project to enable a smart munition to navigate its way visually to targets the way a commuter makes his way to work after having learned the route.
Officials of the Rapid Acquisition Cell of the Air Force Lifecycle Management Center at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., announced an $11.6 million contract Wednesday to Scientific Systems Co. In. in Woburn, Mass., to demonstrate the company's ImageNav technology on the Small-Diameter Bomb (SDB).

Scientific Systems's ImageNav is a vision-based navigation and precision targeting system for cruise missiles and manned and unmanned aircraft. ImageNav compares a terrain database with the host platform's sensor to determine if it's on the correct course.

The GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb is a 250-pound precision-guided glide designed to be carried in large numbers. Most Air Force aircraft can carry a pack of four SDBs in place of one 2,000-pound bomb. Existing SDBs use inertial and GPS guidance, and some advanced models use a tri-mode seeker that adds radar, infrared homing, and semi-active laser guidance capabilities.

Related: Air Force to enable smart weapons to track and kill sources of electronic warfare (EW) jamming

Scientific Systems's ImageNav technology has demonstrated target geo-location and navigation precision of better than three meters in high-fidelity tests on real flight data gathered by Boeing, company officials say.

Scientific Systems is adapting ImageNav to several kinds of cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), including the Small Diameter Bomb.

Scientific Systems experts will flight-test, demonstrate, and evaluate the technology readiness of an ImageNav advanced navigation system on a Small Diameter bomb using the SDB Increment I, Air Force officials say.

On this contract Scientific Systems will do the work in Woburn, Mass., and should be finished by January 2018. For more information contact Scientific Systems online at, or the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at image on Twitter

On July 19, the Strategic Capabilities Office (SCO) successfully executed 1st demonstration of legacy GPS weapon independent of GPS guidance updates – using Small Diameter Bomb I (SDB I) weapon modified w #COTS technology over @WSMissileRange. #DoDInnovates
34:55 PM - Jul 25, 2018
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Dec 4, 2017

Currently in development, the X-60A will serve the hypersonic flight test and suborbital research communities with an affordable air-launched single-stage liquid booster.


X-60A is a small high-speed flight testbed for conducting research and development of future hypersonic systems. Hypersonics is the next great frontier of atmospheric flight, and GenOrbit’s experienced team of engineers and developers is helping the U.S. close the technology gap in this critical flight regime.

One of the most challenging technical problems in the aerospace industry remains the development of vehicles capable of sustained hypersonic flight above Mach 5. While advances in computational fluid dynamics methods and ground test facilities have helped to advance technologies like scramjet engines, precision sensors, lightweight high temperature composite structures, and autonomous flight controls; flight research and testing programs such X-15, X-43, and X-51 are still the nation’s key tools for transitioning these technologies to operational systems.

Formerly known as the GOLauncher 1, the X-60A is an affordable air-dropped single-stage rocket powered test platform. The X-60A’s LOX/kerosene liquid propulsion system maximizes performance and mission flexibility compared to traditional solid booster solutions. A small delta wing increases the overall maneuverability of the platform. The X-60A is an expendable research platform with an onboard flight telemetry system for research data capture.

The X-60A vehicle will be capable of flying several flight profiles of interest to the high-speed flight test community. In dash mode, the X-60A will be capable of reaching speeds up to Mach 5 - 8 with a test payload attached. The vehicle will also be capable of flying alternate test profiles depending on research requirements. The program’s goal is to develop and operate a low-cost platform that provides regular access the hypersonic flight conditions. The X-60A is not a space launch platform and cannot deliver payloads to orbit.


The X-60A vehicle is being developed by Generation Orbit under contract to the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), Aerospace Systems Directorate, High Speed Systems Division. In addition, GO’s team is supported by key partnerships at NASA Armstrong, NASA Langley, FAA/AST, SpaceWorks Flight, Ursa Major Technologies, Cecil Spaceport, Quartus Engineering, and other leading flight research organizations across the United States. GO’s X-60A is the first Air Force Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program to receive an experimental “X” designation.
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Dec 4, 2017

Pentagon Ground Tests Fighter-Jet Launched Hypersonic Weapon
byWarrior Maven1 day-edited
Pentagon and industry developers are now testing a new series of hypersonic weapons prototypes

Raytheon image

By Kris Osborn - Warrior Maven

(Washington, D.C.) Traveling at 5-times the speed of sound, skipping off the boundary of the upper atmosphere and descending upon enemy targets with targeted force, emerging hypersonic weapons promise to massively reshape offensive combat tactics.

Recognizing this, Pentagon and industry developers are now testing a new series of hypersonic weapons prototypes as part of a large-scale effort to fast-track the weapons to service. The US acceleration of the weapons, which includes air flights, ground-firing, wind-tunnels, simulation and various kinds of prototyping, is widely discussed as much needed response to Russian and Chinese progress in the area of hypersonics.

“In the last year, China has tested more hypersonic weapons than we have in a decade. We’ve got to fix that,” said Michael Griffin, the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, according to an Air Force report from February of this year.

Flight tests, demonstrations, ground testing and advanced air-vehicle configuration prototyping are all providing data for an Air Force, DARPA and Raytheon hypersonic weapons program called Hypersonic Air-Breathing Weapons Concept, or HAWC. DARPA statements on the program, citing program manager Andrew Knoedler, identify key areas of developmental emphasis to include “hydrocarbon scramjet-powered propulsion to enable sustained hypersonic cruise.” DARPA information, mirrored by Raytheon weapons developers, explains that “sustaining” speeds at 5-times the speed of sound is a technical characteristic to hypersonic weapons...and the HAWC in particular.

“We are flying a HAWC system…ground tests have already happened. The whole point is to simulate what you would experience in flight, so you can create the correct thermal environment. You can model and measure the heat in the vehicle and you can measure the material properties,” Dr. Thomas Bussing, Vice President, Raytheon Missile Systems, told Warrior in an interview. “You can’t test range (with a ground test), but you can measure performance, lift of the vehicle and thrust, attributes from which you can infer range.”

Air-Breathing systems regularly use a scramjet engine to generate thrust -- and propel the air vehicle across long distances to a target. While engineered to reach previously unattainable levels of propulsion, scramjet engine technology aligns with the technical configuration of existing high-power engine systems. This includes taking in a high-speed air flow, compressing the air and then igniting it with gas or some kind of propellant to generate thrust.

“Air breathing systems can be air or ground launched and have a rocket motor to accelerate to a cruise speed,” Bussing said.

Alongside air-breathing hypersonic weapons, the Pentagon is also developing “boost glide” weapons which achieve speed and range by “skipping off the upper atmosphere,” Bussing said. They can be a winged glider or take on a canonical shape, making them maneuverable and high-speed with a high “lift over drag ratio.”

Boost-glide hypersonic weapons, Bussing explained, “propel a glide vehicle to a point in space where it has a certain altitude and a certain forward speed.” The speed of descent then propels the weapon toward its target. Achieving hypersonic weapons effectiveness is not without substantial challenges, according to Raytheon developers. A Raytheon essay cites “thermodynamics” or “heat”management as essential to the effort. Objects, such as weapons, traveling at hypersonic speeds naturally generate a massive amount of heat which must be properly managed for the weapon to function. Also, specific materials designed to withstand high temperatures need to be used as well, Raytheon data states. One of the greatest challenges is what the Raytheon paper refers to as the “effects chain” -- the command and control, networking and sensor technology sufficient to achieve the requisite guidance, targeting and precision flight.

Recent thinking from senior Air Force weapons developers had held that US hypersonic weapons might first be deployable by the mid 2020s. Hypersonic drones for attack or ISR missions, by extension, were thought to be on track to emerge in the 2030s and 2040s, senior service officials have told Warrior Maven.

Now, this aggressive new Air Force hypersonic weapons prototyping and demonstration effort is expected to change this time frame in a substantial way. In fact, an Air Force Magazine report citing senior service leaders said the Air Force should have operational hypersonic weapons in about 2 years.

Air Force hypersonic weapons acceleration hinges upon a deliberate service acquisition strategy intended to prototype, “bend metal” and test weapons earlier in the developmental process; the concept, as articulated by Air Force Acquisition Executive Dr. William Roper, is to circumvent some of the longer time-frame and at times bureaucratic elements of the traditional acquisition process - and field reliable, tested weapons and technology much sooner than would otherwise be the case. While emphasizing this strategy, Roper seemed to anticipate or lay the foundation for what is now a very fast-moving US hypersonic weapons testing and development process.

“I am working with the team on acceleration and I am very confident that a significant acceleration is possible,” Roper said last year.

In an essay from last year titled “Hypersonic Missiles: A New Proliferation Challenge,” Rand scholar Richard Speier further specifies the seriousness of hypersonic missile threats. “They are able to evade and conceal their precise targets from defenses until just seconds before impact. This leaves targeted states with almost no time to respond…..Hypersonic missiles require a reconsideration of traditional second-strike calculations, as they have the potential to decapitate a nation's leadership before it has the opportunity to launch a counter attack,” Speier writes.

Yet another indication of Air Force and Pentagon hypersonic weapons “urgency” is visible in a recently stood up “Department of Defense High Performance Computing Modernization Program’s Hypersonic Vehicle Simulation Institute.” The new entity is being lead by Dr. Russ Cummings, an Air Force Academy professor of aeronautics.

“Hypersonics create a high degree of asymmetry, which means it takes a tremendous amount of energy to counter them. They are highly maneuverable and highly survivable,” Bussing said.

Many Hypersonic weapons are engineered as “kinetic energy” strike weapons, meaning they will not use explosives but rather rely upon sheer speed and the force of impact to destroy targets, developers explain. A super high-speed drone or ISR platform would better enable air vehicles to rapidly enter and exit enemy territory and send back relevant imagery without being detected by enemy radar or shot down.

Although potential defensive uses for hypersonic weapons, interceptors or vehicles are by no means beyond the realm of consideration, the principle effort at the moment is to engineer offensive weapons able to quickly destroy enemy targets at great distances. Air Force Scientists explain that speed of sound can vary, depending upon the altitude; at the ground level it is roughly 1,100 feet per second. Accordingly, if a weapon is engineered with 2,000 seconds worth of fuel – it can travel up to 2,000 miles to a target, former Air Force Chief Scientist Gregory Zacharias told Warrior in a previous interview.

This Hypersonic weapons acceleration is taking place within a high-threat global environment. Both Russia and China have been visibly conducting Hypersonic weapons tests, leading some to raise the question as to whether the US could be behind key rivals in this area.

A Popular Mechanics report from earlier this year cites Chinese State Media as having announced a successful test of a new “wave-rider” Hypersonic vehicle. “The Hypersonic vehicle that detached from the booster rocket flew for 400 seconds, achieving a maximum speed of Mach 5.5 to 6 ( 4,200 to 4,600 miles an hour) and reaching an altitude of 100,000 feet,” the report says.

Boeing image

“We are not the only people who see value in hypersonics,” Roper said last year.

Also, a report in The Diplomat earlier this year outlines Chinese DF-17 Hypersonic missile tests in November of last year.

Regarding the Russians, Bussing referred to Putin’s claim that Russia has hypersonic weapons that are able to fly from a fighter jet. Some of Putin’s theatrics have included “live action test footage with computer graphics in a series of videos,” as described in an essay in The National Interest by William Giannetti.

The first video featured the hefty MiG-31 Foxhound, lofting a four-ton hypersonic Kinzhal (Dagger) from its underside into a U.S. Ticonderoga-class warship. Then came the Avangard (Vanguard) hypersonic glide vehicle—a curious weapon with potentially dangerous implications. The Avangard will likely be helped into the atmosphere by a giant rocket like the RS-28 Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM),” Giannetti writes.

The Pentagon's 2020 budget, released earlier this year, proposes a hypersonic weapons increase, citing the request this way - "Hypersonics weapons development to complicate adversaries’ detection and defense - $2.6 billion," DoD budget documents say.


Senior member
Dec 4, 2017

Gray Wolf: USAF Awards Lockheed Martin $110 Million for Networked, Affordable Cruise Missile

DALLAS, Dec. 27, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) received a $110 million, five-year Phase 1 contract from the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) to develop and demonstrate a new low-cost cruise missile called Gray Wolf.

The Gray Wolf program seeks to develop low-cost, subsonic cruise missiles that use open architectures and modular design to allow for rapid prototyping and spiral growth capabilities. The AFRL is developing the missiles to feature networked, collaborative behaviors (swarming) to address Integrated Air Defense (IAD) system threats around the world. The Gray Wolf missile design will allow for maximum mission flexibility.

"Lockheed Martin's concept for the Gray Wolf missile will be an affordable, counter-IAD missile that will operate efficiently in highly contested environments," said Hady Mourad, Advanced Missiles Program director for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "Using the capabilities envisioned for later spirals, our system is being designed to maximize modularity, allowing our customer to incorporate advanced technologies such as more lethal warheads or more fuel-efficient engines, when those systems become available."

The Gray Wolf program consists of four spiral-development phases that allow for rapid technology prototyping and multiple transition opportunities. This first phase, defined by an Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract, is anticipated to run until late 2019. Initial demonstrations will be from an F-16 aircraft. In addition to the F-16, the system will be designed for compatibility with F-35, F-15, F-18, B-1, B-2 and B-52 aircraft.

"Our AFRL customer will benefit from decades of Lockheed Martin experience in building high-quality, low-cost systems like GMLRS, while capitalizing on the experience of our team in developing and integrating advanced cruise missiles such as JASSM and LRASM on military aircraft," Mourad said.


L3 Technologies Inc., Communications Systems-West, Salt Lake City, Utah, has been awarded a $9,000,000
indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to explore technologies enabling cooperative engagement in degraded
communication environments for the next generation of munitions. Work will be performed in Salt Lake City, Utah,
and is expected to be complete by January 2025. This contract is the result of a competitive acquisition and two bids
were received. Fiscal 2017 research and development funds in the amount of $1,680,000 are being obligated at
the time of award. Air Force Research Laboratory, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, is the contracting activity (FA8651-18-D-0015).


Senior member
Dec 4, 2017
Defense Department Accelerates Hypersonic Weapons Development

SPECIAL REPORT: Defense Department Accelerates Hypersonic Weapons Development
By Yasmin Tadjdeh


Art: TurboSquid

This part 1 of a 2-part special report on hypersonic technologies.

A renewed sense of urgency spurred by rivals Russia and China has pushed the U.S. military to speed up the development of hypersonic technology. The Army, Navy and Air Force are all closely involved in the campaign with more test flights coming in 2020.

The systems are characterized by their maneuverability and ability to reach speeds of Mach 5 and greater.

Michael Griffin, undersecretary of defense for research and engineering, has been an outspoken advocate for hypersonic weapon research and development.

“Hypersonic capabilities remain a major department-wide modernization focus, and DoD is accelerating hypersonic systems development and demonstration,” he said in March during testimony before the House Armed Services Committee’s subcommittee on intelligence and emerging threats and capabilities.

The Defense Department requested $2.6 billion toward hypersonics in President Donald Trump’s fiscal year 2020 budget request and is nearly doubling its long-term investments from $6 billion to $11.2 billion over the next five years, Griffin noted.

“We have significantly increased flight testing, as we intend to conduct approximately 40 flight tests over the next few years, to accelerate the delivery of capability to our warfighters years earlier than previously planned,” he said in his prepared testimony.

For example, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Air Force are developing two hypersonic vehicle prototypes that are due to fly by the end of the year, said Steven Walker, DARPA’s director.

One vehicle is part of the hypersonic air-breathing weapon concept, or HAWC, program. The other is the tactical boost-glide, or TBG, effort, Walker told reporters during a meeting in Washington, D.C. in May.

“We’re on track for both to have flights … before the calendar year ends,” he said. However, that might be questionable because once “you actually get into the building of these things and qualifying the hardware, … things tend to slip.”

Walker said there is a chance the vehicles could fly in early 2020 instead, but was hopeful that would not be the case. DARPA has been working on both efforts alongside the Air Force since 2012, he noted.

These initiatives were focused on tactical theater-level operations, he said.

Tactical boost-glide is meant to develop an advanced system that can be launched from a rocket, he said. The vehicle reaches high speeds as it glides back toward Earth.
The air-breathing concept takes advantage of work DARPA has previously done in scramjet technology to create a system that can be self-powered after being launched from an aircraft such as a B-52.

According to the agency, the effort is focusing on three technology challenge areas including air-vehicle feasibility, effectiveness and affordability.

“Two very different concepts, but when you’re talking hypersonics it’s good to have what I consider intended redundancy,” Walker said. It’s difficult to manufacture “materials and propulsion systems that last in 3,000-degree Fahrenheit temperatures,” he added.

A number of hurdles could potentially delay the flights, he noted. Both systems are currently in the early stages of their assembly, integration and test phases.

“You have to qualify all the hardware components. Sometimes you run into issues with [qualification] tests,” he said. “You got to re-qualify things, put that all together and you test the whole system and you hope it all works and has been done correctly.”

Hypersonic vehicles have become increasingly important technology areas to the Defense Department writ large.

“It’s an area that I believe the U.S. really needs to make progress in and be a leader in,” Walker said. “From a technology standpoint, … we have led the way in hypersonics. I think some of our peer competitors, though, have taken that technology and turned it into capability faster than we have.” (See story page 30)

The advantage of hypersonic vehicles is not just time of flight, but also the range that would be achieved by the high-speed vehicle, he said.

“You also get a lot of potential maneuverability that we don’t have today,” he said. It’s “a combination of all those factors [that] make it an attractive technology, which is why our adversaries are working on them.”

Walker noted that DARPA is also engaged with the Army on hypersonic-related activities.

It is working with the service on a program that takes advantage of technology leveraged from the tactical boost-glide effort, he said. The system — known as Operational Fires, or OpFires — is a 50/50 cost share and will give the service a ground-launched capability to penetrate modern enemy air defenses.

“It’s a brand new booster,” he said. The system “would allow a lot more controllability, mobility for the Army and an ability to really use the system in the most effective way versus any other existing booster that’s out there.”

In June, the Air Force conducted the first flight test of its AGM-183A air-launched rapid response weapon — which was built by Lockheed Martin — on a B-52 Stratofortress at Edwards Air Force Base, California.

A sensor-only version of the prototype was carried externally by the aircraft during the test to gather environmental and aircraft handling data, the Air Force said in a press release. The test collected data on drag and vibration impacts on the weapon and on the external carriage equipment of the aircraft.

“We set out an aggressive schedule with ARRW,” said Will Roper, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology and logistics. “Getting to this flight test on time highlights the amazing work of our acquisition workforce and our partnership with Lockheed Martin and other industry partners.”

ARRW is set to reach early operational capability by fiscal year 2022, according to the service.

Meanwhile, the Navy is working on its own hypersonic weapon.

In February, the service’s strategic systems program office announced an $846 million contract to Lockheed Martin’s space division for its intermediate range conventional prompt strike weapon system. The contract includes the design, development, build and integration of rocket motors, flight systems and support equipment.

The strategic systems program’s office did not respond to a request for an interview.

During an April earnings call for the first quarter of fiscal year 2019, Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson noted that the Navy’s order followed three previous awards the corporation had received on hypersonic weapons including the tactical boost-glide contract, the hypersonic conventional strike weapon and the air-launched rapid response weapon.

These programs are being performed in three of Lockheed’s four business areas with a cumulative value exceeding $2.5 billion, she added.

“We’ve been investing in hypersonics for many, many years,” she said. “As a result of that, I think that’s why we’re leading in this front end of being able to bring capability forward.”

In January, the Navy released a “sources sought” notice on FedBizOpps in search of a company that can upgrade, redesign and operate the current launch text complex at its China Lake, California, weapons testing facility in the Mojave Desert.

The upgraded complex — which will now be known as the air-launch test complex — will provide air-launch testing and capability to support the conventional prompt strike program, the notice said.

Sources were also requested to provide a conceptual design for an underwater test complex, the notice said.

“The ALT and ULT complex will not only aide in the conceptual design of a new weapons system, through qualification of hardware, various components and systems, but will also provide risk mitigation for the testing of the new weapons system on a ship, submarine, aircraft and land to achieve the hypersonic capability as directed by the office of the secretary of defense,” the notice said.

A Navy spokesperson declined an interview for this article, noting that the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division does not at the moment have any official tasking for hypersonic weapons development or test efforts at China Lake.

“It would be inappropriate to speculate about future requirements,” she said.

However, Tom Dowd, director of Naval Air Systems Command’s ranges and air vehicle modification and instrumentation group, noted that between 2003 and 2013, hypersonic weapons testing occurred at the Point Mugu Sea Range in California.

“We are evaluating our capabilities to return to supporting any future testing requirements that may arise,” he said in an email. “Ensuring the ability to track, communicate with and gather data from anything moving that far [and] that fast will be critical for anyone conducting hypersonic testing efforts in the future.”

Meanwhile, the Army is also involved in a major development effort known as the long-range hypersonic weapon, which will deliver “residual combat capability” to soldiers at the battery level by 2023, which is an acceleration of the initial fielding by two years, said Lt. Gen. Neil Thurgood, director of hypersonics, directed energy, space and rapid acquisition for the Army.

The experimental prototyping effort could lead to a program of record down the line, he said in an email. It is being developed by the Army’s hypersonic project office and in close coordination with the Air Force and Navy.

The Army requested $228 million in fiscal year 2020 for the weapon in the president’s budget request and included an additional $130 million for hypersonics prototyping in the Army chief of staff’s unfunded priorities list for fiscal year 2020, according to budget documents.

The long-range hypersonic weapon “will introduce a new class of ultrafast, maneuverable, long-range missiles that launch from ground platforms,” Thurgood said. “It will enable the Army to operate in the [anti-access/area denial] environment by penetrating and disrupting enemy air defense systems, anti-ship missiles and anti-satellite weapons.”

It is also developing the glide body for the Air Force and Navy, he added. Thurgood noted that the Army is working closely with the other services through a joint service memorandum of agreement on design, development, testing and production of hypersonic weapons. The Navy will provide the booster.

“This cooperation allows us to leverage one another’s technologies as much as possible, while tailoring them to meet specific air, land and sea requirements,” he said.

The long-range hypersonic weapon also includes an existing, refurbished truck and trailer to be modified as a new erector-launcher. It will use an existing Army command-and-control system, Thurgood said.

“As part of LRHW development, the Army will leverage operational feedback and a series of technology demonstrations and tests starting next year,” he said. “These assessments will focus on specific objectives, such as operating in a contested environment, temperature extremes and flight distance markers.”

The Army is also seeking funding for a complementary system known as the strategic-long range cannon.

The effort “matures and integrates long-range armament technologies for both weapons and munitions to demonstrate potential deep strike objective capabilities from future cannon artillery systems,” budget documents said.

The service is asking for $228 million in research, development, test and evaluation funding for the effort through fiscal year 2022, according to the documents.

Col. John Rafferty, director of the long-range precision fires cross functional team at Army Futures Command, said the system will be particularly useful for A2/AD situations.

“The target set for the anti-access and area denial complex that’s out there … [is] a mix of hardened infrastructure and strategic infrastructure type of targets,” he said during remarks at the National Defense Industrial Association’s annual Armament Systems Forum in June.

“If you look at the long-range hypersonic weapon, it’s delivering an exquisite munition,” he said. “You want to put that at the strategic infrastructure, to hardened fixed targets that make up one part of the complex and then use the strategic long-range cannon to deliver a volume of more affordable projectiles at some of the lighter skin” targets.

By using the two systems in concert, the Army would be able to penetrate and disintegrate an A2/AD environment to create “windows of opportunity” for the joint force to exploit, he said.

A technology demonstration for the cannon is scheduled for 2023, he noted.

Meanwhile, as the services invest in and develop new hypersonic weapons, Defense Department leadership is considering how it can bolster the industrial base to manufacture such systems.

“We are going to have to create a new industrial base for these systems,” Griffin said in December during a discussion hosted by NDIA. “Industry will get a very clear message from the department as to the paths we are pursuing in hypersonic offensive and defensive systems development, and we’re confident that you guys will respond.”

The department needs “multiplicity and redundancy” in the supply chain, he added.

Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan, who at the time was serving as deputy secretary of defense, noted that producing thousands of hypersonic weapons and other systems to defend against them has implications for the size of the industrial base, the number of needed suppliers and the amount of government investment required.

“As we’re looking at kind of setting up the industrial base or production system or development, we want to have two or three competitors,” he said. “So instead of a winner-take-all, it’s ‘How do we create that ecosystem that has sustained competition?’”


Senior member
Dec 4, 2017
Combined Raytheon And United Technologies Will Pursue Hypersonic Weapons Development - USNI News

Combined Raytheon And United Technologies Will Pursue Hypersonic Weapons Development
By: Ben Werner

July 26, 2019 10:49 AM


Raytheon and United Technologies executives spent this week pitching their proposed combined operations as a deal intended to create a defense industry research and development powerhouse.

Cash flows from the combined operations of both companies will fuel the development of directed energy weapons, hypersonic weapons and counter-hypersonic missile systems, the chief executives of both Raytheon and United Technologies said during separate conference calls with analysts this week.

The Department of Defense signaled to industry it’s ready to spend on developing new weapons technologies, said Tom Kennedy, chief executive of Raytheon. The leaders of a combined Raytheon and United Technologies – to be called Raytheon Technologies – want to tap into this potential revenue stream.

The deal, announced in June, will create a defense and aerospace industry juggernaut with estimated annual sales of $74 billion. In the U.S., only Boeing will be larger among defense and aerospace industry companies.

“Given the growth in the DoD research and development spending and the broad shift to new technologies to provide solutions to counter peer threats in 2018 and 2019, the growth rates for the R&D accounts were higher than the growth rates of the base budget and overall modernization accounts,” Kennedy said during a Thursday conference call with analysts. “This growth trend is expected to continue in 2020 and beyond to support the National Defense Strategy and plays to the strengths of the combined company that is well aligned to play to the NDS priorities.”

The Pentagon’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget request included $2.6 billion for all hypersonic-related research, with $157.4 million directed explicitly to hypersonic defense programs, according to a July Congressional Research Service report.


Artist’s concept of a hypersonic vehicle. DARPA Photo

Developing hypersonic missiles and the counter-hypersonics is a growth area, Kennedy said, adding, “we see it becoming a big part of our portfolio moving forward.”

However, the CRS report notes DoD has yet to establish any programs of record for hypersonic weapons. Requirements and long-term funding for the programs are still being considered.

The lack of programs of record presents the combined firm with multi-billion-dollar opportunities to create franchise programs that could run for decades, according to Kennedy and his counterpart, Greg Hayes, chief executive of United Technologies. The combined company, to be called Raytheon Technologies, will have the expertise and cash flows from operations to fund research and development even if the Pentagon’s long-term funding plans are not fully formed, they said.

“I think fundamentally what Raytheon gives us is the scale to compete anywhere, anytime, in any program that we choose to,” Hayes said on Tuesday during his company’s conference call with analysts. Hayes will be the chief executive of the combined Raytheon Technologies.

“I think it gives us the ability to capitalize on their technologies and for them to capitalize on our technologies. And with 60,000 engineers between the two companies, I’ve got to believe we are going to find some savings on some of these programs as we are able to capitalize on each other’s technology.”

Hypersonic and directed energy programs are examples of how both companies can combine their expertise, Kennedy said. Raytheon’s work with directed energy weapons can potentially benefit from United Technologies’ work with power sources. Raytheon’s development of hypersonic weapons can likely benefit from United Technologies’ experience building and developing airbreathing engines.

“We can start creating these revenue synergies immediately,” Kennedy said. “These are sizeable and in the multi-billions of dollars.”

The deal still needs approval from federal regulators, including DoD, and shareholders from both firms.