Recently, the US Air Force, in collaboration with Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and Lockheed Martin, announced the successful completion of its experimental hypersonic weapon’s second and final test flight.

Dubbed the Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC), the missile soared for more than 300 nautical miles (556 km) at altitudes exceeding 60,000 ft via Boeing B-52 bomber. Thus, achieving the set objective and had doubled up the initial data from the previous test flights of the scramjet-powered vehicle developed by Aerojet Rocketdyne.

“Affordability and reliability are essential as we work to develop operational hypersonic solutions,” said John Clark, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin Skunk Works. “Both of our HAWC flight tests launched from an operational aircraft and matched performance models and predictions to aid affordable, rapid development of future hypersonic weapons.”

While engineers continuously worked in the program to rapidly develop an efficient and reliable hypersonic weapon, Lockheed Markin said there are also prioritizing to use of as much as “low-cost advanced manufacturing technologies” as possible however, with “extreme durability” parts to cut the overall cost of the system effectively. With this, the company can produce affordable hypersonic systems “at the rates required to meet the urgent national need.”

What’s next? As reported, DARPA plans to further the program by advancing its technological components through DARPA’s maturation program called More Opportunities with HAWC (MOHAWC).