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Defense and Intelligence

USAF Seeking $517M Budget for Hypersonic Cruise Missile Testing in FY25

Hypersonic weapon


USAF Seeking $517M Budget for Hypersonic Cruise Missile Testing in FY25

The U.S. Air Force’s fiscal year 2025 budget released on Monday shows a $517 million allocation to continue the service branch’s Hypersonic Attack Cruise Missile development, with flight testing planned to start in the first quarter.

Lt. Gen. Dale White, USAF military deputy for acquisition, told a House Armed Services Strategic Forces subcommittee on Tuesday that the service is moving the HACM to critical design and other development activities to facilitate the flight testing in FY25, Breaking Defense reported Thursday.

Approximately $2.4 billion in research and development spending has been allocated through fiscal 2029 for the project geared at developing scramjet-powered cruise missiles with speeds over Mach 5, Breaking Defense noted.

RTX subsidiary Raytheon won a $985.35 million contract in 2022 from the Department of the Air Force to develop and demonstrate HACM prototypes using a Northrop Grumman scramjet. In December 2023, Raytheon received a $407.6 million modification to the HACM task order that the company is anticipated to work on at its Tucson, Arizona facility until Dec. 31, 2028.

The HACM builds on the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept flight vehicles, a project wherein Raytheon and Northrop Grumman have been partners since 2019. 

The Air Force, which previously announced its goal to field the HACM by FY27, has a continuing partnership on the project with Australia’s weapon testing infrastructure. 

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