US Defense Research Agency awards $63Mln contract for hypersonic weapons

US Defense Research Agency awards $63Mln contract for hypersonic weapons

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), a unit within the US Department of Defense that specializes in futuristic inventions, has awarded a $63.3 million contract to help produce a hypersonic weapon, Raytheon announced.

"This latest contract adds to Raytheon's growing number of hypersonic weapons programs... to quickly field these advanced weapon systems and provide our nation's military with the tools they need to stay ahead of the escalating threat," Raytheon Advanced Missile Systems Vice President Thomas Bussing said in the release, UrduPoint reported.

For a tactical-range boost glide weapon to achieve hypersonic speeds - velocities greater than Mach 5 - a rocket accelerates its payload to high speeds, according to the DARPA website.

"The payload then separates from the rocket and glides unpowered to its destination," the website explains.

DARPA has a history of exotic inventions, including the internet and global positioning system, that eventually become part of everyday life.

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