Raytheon to receive $407M for ‘enhancements’ to Air Force hypersonic missile

The deal is an addition to the nearly $1 billion deal awarded to Raytheon in 2022 to develop the Hypersonic Attack Cruise Missile (HACM).
Concept art for the Hypersonic Attack Cruise Missile (HACM). (Image courtesy of Raytheon Technologies)

The Air Force has awarded Raytheon a $407.6 million contract modification to continue ​work on the Hypersonic Attack Cruise Missile (HACM) after its initial delivery in 2027, according to the service.

The Pentagon announced the award in late December but few details were provided at the time. The contracting action is an addition to the nearly $1 billion awarded to Raytheon in 2022 to develop the air-launched hypersonic weapon. The new funds will allow the company to conduct supplementary research, development, test and evaluation work for the HACM program through 2028, an Air Force spokesperson recently told DefenseScoop. 

“After the initial contract award, the [Department of the Air Force] decided to initiate concurrent RDT&E efforts that will enhance capabilities of the missile,” the spokesperson said in an email. “These enhancements required additional scope, resources, and time than were provided in the initial [middle tier of acquisition] contract.”

Both the Air Force and Raytheon declined to provide specific details on the capability enhancements covered by the funding. The contract notice stated that $27 million from fiscal 2023 funds had been allocated to Raytheon at the time of the award.


The company initially received a $985 million deal from the Air Force for development work on HACM — an air-breathing hypersonic cruise missile — in 2022 for design, development and initial delivery of the missile by March 2027. While the contract modification’s deadline extends past that until December 2028, the Air Force spokesperson said the HACM program is still on track.

“This contract award does not reflect any changes to the department’s commitment to deliver HACM operational utility within the statutorily-required 5 year timeline for the use of the Middle Tier of Acquisition authority,” they said.

Hypersonic weapons are a top priority for organizations across the Defense Department. The missiles are able to fly at speeds of Mach 5 or higher and can maneuver as they fly through the atmosphere, making them much harder to detect and intercept compared to traditional ballistic missiles.

HACM is one of two significant hypersonic efforts under development by the Air Force. The other — known as the Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW) — has experienced several hiccups during flight testing, which has prompted the service to focus its efforts more closely on HACM as ARRW wraps up tests in 2024.

Mikayla Easley

Written by Mikayla Easley

Mikayla Easley reports on the Pentagon’s acquisition and use of emerging technologies. Prior to joining DefenseScoop, she covered national security and the defense industry for National Defense Magazine. She received a BA in Russian language and literature from the University of Michigan and a MA in journalism from the University of Missouri. You can follow her on Twitter @MikaylaEasley

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