Raytheon Missiles and Defense, Tucson, Arizona, has been awarded a $985,348,124 cost-plus-fixed-fee, with performance incentives, task order for the Hypersonic Attack Cruise Missile (HACM). The task order provides for the HACM weapon system design, development and initial delivery through the performance of model-based critical design review, qualification, integration, manufacturing and testing. Work will be performed in Tucson, Arizona, and is expected to be completed by March 2027. This award is the result of a limited sources competition with three sources. Fiscal 2022 research and development funds in the amount of $100,000,000 are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Armament Directorate, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, is the contracting activity.
“HACM is a powerful example of developing and integrating combat capabilities alongside our partners from the beginning,” said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr. “HACM will provide our commanders with tactical flexibility to employ fighters to hold high-value, time-sensitive targets at risk while maintaining bombers for other strategic targets.”
“We have over a decade of cooperation with our Australian allies in the advancement of hypersonic technologies, and now we will bring that shared knowledge to bear to address urgent national defense requirements,” said Andrew Hunter, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology and logistics.
In 2020, the U.S. Air Force engaged in a multi-year, bilateral project arrangement with Australia known as the Southern Cross Integrated Flight Research Experiment (SCIFiRE) to develop air-breathing hypersonic cruise missile prototypes. The Air Force awarded three 15-month SCIFiRE contracts in June 2021 to Boeing Co., Lockheed Martin Corp., and Raytheon Technologies Corp. to complete preliminary designs of a hypersonic cruise missile. The HACM program will now operationalize the Raytheon SCIFiRE prototype design for fighter aircraft integration and deliver two leave-behind assets with operational utility. Through the SCIFiRE agreement, the U.S. and Australia will continue collaborating on HACM design and development, including using Australian test infrastructure for the initial all-up-round flight tests.
The SCIFiRE effort aims to cooperatively advance air-breathing hypersonic technologies into full-size prototypes that are affordable and provide a flexible, long range capability, culminating in flight demonstrations in operationally relevant conditions. The effort will also pursue potential co-production opportunities between the two countries, and leverages U.S. and Australian collaborative hypersonic activities over the last 15 years, namely the Hypersonic International Flight Research Experimentation (HIFiRE) program. SCIFiRE continues collaborative research efforts involving the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, the Royal Australian Air Force Headquarters, and the Australian Defence Science and Technology Group. SCIFiRE is the second effort announced under the Allied Prototyping Initiative, which was launched in 2019 by the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering through its Advanced Capabilities directorate.