Northrop Grumman Corporation received funding through the Manufacturing and Industrial Technology Division of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) for enhancements to its hypersonics manufacturing technology. The $8.8 million contract supports improvements that will help to shorten production times and drive affordability for hypersonic weapons in production. The company combines traditional manufacturing techniques with innovative manufacturing approaches and digital engineering to reduce part counts, inspection and touch labor. This comprehensive approach ensures the successful transition of hypersonic weapons from research and development to production while enabling sustainable, predictable and affordable life-cycle costs.
“Increased manufacturing capacity is key to enabling our nation’s need for cost-effective hypersonic production at scale,” said Dan Olson, vice president and general manager, weapon systems, Northrop Grumman. “Through our partnership with AFRL and our internal investments in propulsion infrastructure and innovation, we are making hypersonics a cost-effective reality.”
Northrop Grumman is a leader in hypersonics propulsion development. The company recently marked the successful completion of the first and second flight test of a scramjet-powered hypersonic weapon concept, and was selected as a partner for the first-of-its-kind Hypersonic Attack Cruise Missile program. Raytheon Missiles & Defense, a Raytheon Technologies business, in partnership with Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC), has been selected to develop the Hypersonic Attack Cruise Missile (HACM) for the U.S. Air Force (USAF). HACM is a first-of-its-kind weapon developed in conjunction with the Southern Cross Integrated Flight Research Experiment (SCIFiRE), a U.S. and Australia project arrangement.
Raytheon Technologies and Northrop Grumman have been working together since 2019 to develop, produce and integrate Northrop Grumman’s scramjet engines onto Raytheon’s air-breathing hypersonic weapons. Their combined efforts enable both companies to produce air-breathing hypersonic weapons, the next generation of tactical missile systems. Northrop Grumman is also constructing a first-of-its-kind hypersonics capability center in Elkton, Maryland, designed to provide full lifecycle production, from design and development to production and integration for hypersonic weapons. Northrop Grumman Corporation is an American multinational aerospace and defense technology company. With 90,000 employees and an annual revenue in excess of $30 billion, it is one of the world’s largest weapons manufacturers and military technology providers.