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Lockheed Martin awarded $480M contract for hypersonic weapon

Posted by Dylan Malyasov on


Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, Orlando has received a $480 million contract for designing a second hypersonic weapon prototype, said in a statement by the U.S. Department of Defense on 13 August.

The contract, announced Monday by the Department of Defense, is worth more than $480 million, is for air-launched rapid response weapon critical design review and test and production readiness support.

This contract will provide the critical design review, test and production readiness support for the Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW).

“We are going to go fast and leverage the best technology available to get hypersonic capability to the warfighter as soon as possible,” said Secretary of the Air Force Heather A. Wilson.

The ARRW effort is one of two hypersonic weapon prototyping efforts being pursued by the Air Force to accelerate hypersonic research and development. The Air Force is using rapid prototyping authorized by Section 804 of the FY16 National Defense Authorization Act to explore the art-of-the-possible and to advance these technologies to a capability in 2021.

Work will be performed in Orlando, Florida, and is expected to be completed by Nov. 30, 2021.

Leaders from the Department of Defense, Missile Defense Agency, Air Force, Navy and Army signed a memorandum of agreement June 28 to work cooperatively on hypersonic boost glide technology development.

“The Joint Team requires the right mix of agile capabilities to compete, deter and win across the spectrum of competition and conflict,” said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein. “We must push the boundaries of technology and own the high ground in this era of great power competition and beyond.”

This undefinitized contract action allows the government to meet urgent needs by authorizing the contractor to begin work before reaching a final settlement on contract terms and conditions, to include a final negotiated price. The contract is expected to be definitized within 180 days of award.

The Air Force’s other hypersonic weapon rapid prototyping effort is called the Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon (HCSW). The ARRW and HCSW efforts are developing unique capabilities for the warfighter and each has different technical approaches. The ARRW effort is “pushing the art-of-the-possible” by leveraging the technical base established by the Air Force/DARPA partnership. The HCSW effort is using mature technologies that have not been integrated for an air-launched delivery system.

The Armament Directorate of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center is providing program management of these prototyping efforts.

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