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Raytheon Missiles & Defense Selected to Develop Hypersonic Missile Interceptor

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Raytheon Missiles & Defense Selected to Develop Hypersonic Missile Interceptor

The Missile Defense Agency has selected Raytheon Missiles & Defense as one of the companies to develop and test the first interceptor specifically designed to defeat hypersonic threats. The envisioned weapon, called Glide Phase Interceptor, will be produced to defeat a new generation of hypersonic missiles, weapons that travel more than five times the speed of sound and can maneuver rapidly in flight, Raytheon said Sunday.

Raytheon said its GPI will intercept hypersonic weapons in the glide phase of flight, which occurs once a missile has re-entered Earth’s atmosphere and is maneuvering toward its target. The initial development phase will focus on reducing technical risk, rapidly developing technology and demonstrating the ability to intercept a hypersonic threat.

GPI will be integrated into the U.S. Navy’s Aegis Weapon System, a ship- and shore-based defense system, the company said.

Raytheon said its missile defense portfolio combines sensors, interceptors and command and control networks to track and defeat a wide range of threats. By evolving its missile interceptors, directed energy and cyber technologies, Raytheon Technologies said it is advancing counter-hypersonic solutions.

Meanwhile, Space Force Gen. David Thompson, vice chief of space operations, said on Saturday that the U.S. has been left behind in a new arms race to build advanced hypersonic missiles. Of concern to the Pentagon is China’s demonstrated capability to deploy a hypersonic glide vehicle that can orbit the planet and reenter the atmosphere before it can be detected by U.S. missile-defense sensors.

Thompson urged decision-makers to hastily develop technologies to defend against the emerging threat.

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Category: Defense and Intelligence

Tags: Defense and Intelligence Glide Phase Interceptor hypersonic missiles hypersonic threats Missile Defense Agency Raytheon weapon