3D Printing of Hypersonic Missile Swarms

Raytheon and Northrop Grumman are developing 3D printed engines for smaller hypersonic missiles that could be deployed in at lower cost in swarms. The air-breathing scramjet will use regular aviation fuel. Northrop Grumman has new materials and technology to 3-D print the entire engine (the combustor).

3D Printing will make construction faster and significantly less expensive manufacturing. The weapon has completed ground testing and will fly soon.

The vision is to make swarms of up to 30 hypersonic scramjets the size of cruise missiles, launched from air, land and sea. The missiles will share data with each other, correcting their flights, perhaps changing targets midcourse. And they can be manufactured relatively quickly and for much less cost than most of the hypersonic vehicles that have been built so far.

Northrop Grumman and Raytheon are working under a $200 million Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept, or HAWC, program contract to deliver an affordable, effective and producible cruise missile for DARPA and the U.S. Air Force.

13 thoughts on “3D Printing of Hypersonic Missile Swarms”

  1. if you think the number of likes on this fanboi page mean anything, there is nothing I can do for you

  2. Pinky: “Gee Brain, what are we gonna do tonight?” Brain: “The same thing we do every night, try to take over the world!”

  3. Alphabuterine perchlorate what???? HaHa
    more likely JP-5 anything else would have a combustion force that would tear apart a “3-D Printed” engine.

  4. I also jumped on that one line as the most interesting in the whole article.

    Though…. I guess there are scramjets and there are scramjets. A supersonic combustion ramjet where combustion occurs at mach 1.3 is going to get away with quite less stringent fuel requirements than one where combustion is happening at mach 4.

  5. I find the whole fuel question to be rather interesting. Somehow I think it’s disinformation that a hypersonic scramjet is just using standard aviation fuel. I can’t claim to know the combustion cycle and be like “yeah it’s definitely alphabuterine perchlorate”, but somehow I doubt this whole time we just needed to use standard jet fuel.

  6. The US has never really fallen behind Russia or China in hypersonics but after Putin’s lies and exaggerations about what Russia had the US has now gotten serious about hypersonic weapons and will soon perfect them and produce on industrial scale. Every F35, F15, F16, B52, B2, B21 and B1 will be carriers of these 3D printed deadly toys while Russia will have only individual hand made prototypes. Kinjhal is not even a SCRAM jet but nothing more than an old ballistic Iskander missile hanged from a plane. Russia has only 2 of them. Kinjhal can only be fitted to one old Soviet jet that is obsolete. One plane can carry only one such missile. Precision of Russian missiles is relatively low and that is not about to change. You get the picture… The real picture…

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