Lockheed Martin to develop hypersonic weapons for the U.S. Air Force

Lockheed Martin, a U.S. based aerospace, defense, and advanced tech firm, has received a USD 928 million contract from the U.S. Air Force for manufacturing hypersonic arms to accurately target enemy locations. As per the terms & conditions provided in the contract deal, the firm will be accountable for formulating and manufacturing the weapons as well as providing logistical assistance.

Reportedly, Lockheed is one of the three firms that has received the contract from the U.S. defense forces. The firm is incidentally one of the leading weapon suppliers to the U.S.  defense sector.

For the uninitiated, a hypersonic weapon is a missile travelling at nearly Mach 5 speed or higher. Currently, Lockheed has chosen the missile production site as the North Alabama city of Huntsville, which was where the first U.S. rocket project was conceived. It has been speculated that Lockheed is trying to build SR-72, a hypersonic unmanned jet, which is likely to fly at the speed of nearly Mach 6 and is forecast to be launched in 2030.

Marillyn Hewson, the CEO of Lockheed Martin, has announced that the development of a hypersonic unmanned airplane will assist the U.S. Airforce personnel respond to threats & conflicts before the adversary. She further emphasized that the production of SR-72 aircraft, which is valued at nearly USD 1 billion, will make the country’s defense sector stronger by providing it with tactical & strategic advantages.

Last month, John Hyten, Commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, stated that the country does not possess any such weapon to counter the use of hypersonic weapons. He further asserted that countries such as China and Russia are also actively involved in manufacturing hypersonic weapons and testing their ability. Lockheed’s current initiative, say experts, is likely to benefit the growth of the U.S. defense sector and encourage other aerospace firms to follow suit.