DARPA Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC)
DARPA Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC)

US DARPA and Team Successfully Demonstrate HAWC Hypersonic Air-Breathing Weapon Concept

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Air Force Research Lab (AFRL), Lockheed Martin and Aerojet Rocketdyne team successfully flight tested the Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC). This historic flight reached speeds in excess of Mach 5, altitudes greater than 65,000 feet and furthers the understanding of operations in the high-speed flight regime. Lockheed Martin is proud to support multiple hypersonic systems development projects and is leveraging resources, talents, and lessons learned across the corporation to positively influence outcomes. Additionally, Lockheed Martin is weaving a digital thread throughout the design, test and manufacturing process to ensure it can produce hypersonic systems at the rates required to meet the warfighter’s need.

“Our work with DARPA and AFRL on the HAWC program demonstrates that air-breathing hypersonic systems are a cost-effective solution to address rapidly emerging threats in the global security arena,” said John Clark, vice president and general manager Lockheed Martin Skunk Works®. “The success of this flight test is evidence that a strong partnership between government and industry is key to solving our nation’s most difficult challenges and enabling new capabilities to counter threats to U.S. and allied forces.”

The Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC) program is a joint DARPA/U.S. Air Force (USAF) effort that seeks to develop and demonstrate critical technologies to enable an effective and affordable air-launched hypersonic cruise missile. The program intends to emphasize efficient, rapid and affordable flight tests to validate key technologies. HAWC plans to pursue flight demonstrations to address three critical technology challenge areas or program pillars—air vehicle feasibility, effectiveness, and affordability. Technologies of interest include: Advanced air vehicle configurations capable of efficient hypersonic flight, Hydrocarbon scramjet-powered propulsion to enable sustained hypersonic cruise, Approaches to managing the thermal stresses of high-temperature cruise and Affordable system designs and manufacturing approaches

Lockheed Martin is proud to support multiple hypersonic systems development projects and is leveraging resources, talents, and lessons learned across the corporation to positively influence outcomes. Additionally, Lockheed Martin is weaving a digital thread throughout the design, test and manufacturing process to ensure it can produce hypersonic systems at the rates required to meet the warfighter’s need. Lockheed Martin has played a significant role in the research, development and demonstration of hypersonic technologies for close to 60 years. The corporation has made significant investments in the development of critical hypersonic technologies needed to enable operational systems to help the US and its allies counter rapidly emerging threats.

Artist rendering of the Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC), the result of a partnership between the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Air Force Research Lab, Lockheed Martin and Aerojet Rocketdyne.