Hypersonics

Part
01
of three
Part
01

Hypersonics - China

Due to China's secretiveness regarding its hypersonic programs, we have little visibility into the key players in their market. There are only two verifiable players and one possible entrant with visibility in the Western media and intelligence sources, which we have detailed below with as much hard data as we could find in the public domain.

China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC)


China Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics (CAAA)


Aviation Industry Corporation of China, Ltd. (AVIC)


Part
02
of three
Part
02

Hypersonics - Russia

At present, there are only two Russian hypersonic weapons programs that have been announced to the public, both very recently and both being developed by the same contractor, NPO Mashinostroyenia Corporation. A search of the websites of other top Russian defense contractors like Almaz-Antey and JSC Tactical Missiles Corporation and their smaller competitors does not find any which are likewise developing hypersonic technology for military purposes (as opposed to space exploration, for example).

Given the Russian government's penchant for not detailing its projects until they are almost combat-ready, we cannot rule out the possibility that other projects are under development; however, only a single company's projects have been announced to the public thus far.

NPO Mashinostroyenia Corporation

  • Website link
  • According to Jane's, NPO Mashinostroya Corporation is the developer of the Avangard, one of two hypersonic vehicles in Russia currently under development (at least publicly).
    • The Avangard was formerly known as the Yu-70 and then the Yu-71.
    • As noted in one report on the current hypersonic arms race, "little is known about the Yu-71" apart from the fact that the program has been pursued off-and-on since the 1990s.
    • The Avangard will launch from UR-100N UTTKh intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).
  • According to the MDAA, NPO Mashinostroya is also the developer of the 3M22 Tsirkon hypersonic missile.
    • The development of the ship-base 3M22 Tsirkon hypersonic missile was not confirmed by Russian officials until February 2019 though US Intelligence had been aware of testing since 2015.
    • Reportedly, the Tsirkon "is capable of developing a speed of Mach 9 and its striking range capability can exceed 1,000 km."
    • India may be working with Russia to build its own BrahMos II system based on the Tsirkon.
Part
03
of three
Part
03

Hypersonics - US

According to a CNBC report from last year, "J.P. Morgan took a closer look Wednesday at hypersonics, a new missile technology, and named nearly all the defense contractors as key players in the sector, with Lockheed Martin out to an early lead." However, Defense News names Raytheon and Northrop Grumman alongside Lockheed as the top players even though Boeing is larger than either, and so our list focuses on the programs of these three as the key players in the US market. However, Boeing is, very famously, in development of a hypersonic passenger plane, so we have included them as well.

Lockheed Martin


Raytheon

  • Website link
  • Current projects:
    • Raytheon has not publicly published the details of its program apart from a brief overview of hypersonics and the statement, "Raytheon engineers are ... using state-of-the-art expertise, our decades of experience and company resources to accelerate development of hypersonic weapons by investing in new infrastructure, people and technology."
    • According to Defense News, "The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency awarded Raytheon a contract in February [2019] to work on ground-launched hypersonic boost-glide weapons." With development being so new, it is unsurprising that little hard information is available.
    • Raytheon is also working on a laser defense system to destroy hypersonic missiles in-flight.
  • Raytheon was named a key player by Defense News.

Northrop Grumman


Boeing

  • Website link
  • Current projects:
  • While Boeing does not appear to have any military applications for hypersonic technology online currently, its size and forward-thinking in developing civilian applications make it a key player intellectually, if not yet production-wise.
Sources
Sources

From Part 02
Quotes
  • "A Study Prepared on the Recommendation of the Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters"