And record profits could come with it.
Raytheon May Build Hypersonic Weapons to Keep America Ahead of Russia and China
The Pentagon is working on countering the growing technological prowess of Russia and China by investing in a host of new technologies. While many of the details are classified, Raytheon is one of the big winners of the Pentagon’s largesse.
“Countering pure nation threats with advanced technologies is a rapidly developing growth area for Raytheon, especially in our classified business,” Tom Kennedy, Raytheon’s chairman and chief executive officer told investors. “Peer nations are working to close the gap with U.S. capabilities, which is driving strong demand from our U.S. customers.”
The demand from the Pentagon for new technologies to counter advancing adversary capabilities is driving record profits at the company. “Demand that resulted and a new company record for classified sales in 2017,” Kennedy said. “Looking ahead, our next generation solutions and technologies, such as the Long Range Standoff, the Long-Range Precision Fires, high energy lasers and hypersonics will continue to fuel growth in this area as he U.S. looks to maintain its operational and technical dominance.”
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Raytheon is has been heavily involved in developing hypersonic technologies but all of the company’s work on such programs is highly classified. “First of all back on hypersonic. We’ve been on the hypersonic path here for many years,” Kennedy said. “It’s in our second pillar of our four-pillar strategy. We actually say that we’re heavily investing and working in the hypersonic area. We have already gotten multiple hypersonic contracts with the Department of Defense. So one of the larger ones is a program called Hawk, which is with DARPA and it is essentially it’s a sensory hypersonic missile and we are the prime.”
Raytheon is also involved in other hypersonic weapons development program, but Kennedy was not able to give specifics due to the classified nature of the programs. “There are several other, I would call, pursuit activities relative to hypersonic,” Kennedy said. “So we are engaged in those hypersonic missile pursuits and as a prime across the board. So we do believe that hypersonics is the next wave of technology related to advanced missile systems, and that's our significant opportunities out there and we've positioned ourselves year over multiple years to be ready to go capture those opportunities.”
For Raytheon, which focuses heavily on developing and building missiles, hypersonic weapons represent the next stage of their core business. Given that the company is the market leader in the development of new missiles, it should not come as a surprise that Raytheon is investing in future technologies.
Dave Majumdar is the defense editor for The National Interest. You can follow him on Twitter: @davemajumdar.