Raytheon Missiles & Defense, a Raytheon Technologies (NYSE: RTX) business, has been selected by the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) as one of the companies to develop and test the first interceptor specifically designed to defeat hypersonic threats.
The weapon, called Glide Phase Interceptor (GPI), will defeat a new generation of hypersonic missiles – weapons that travel more than five times the speed of sound and maneuver rapidly in flight.
GPI will intercept hypersonic weapons in the glide phase of flight, which occurs once a missile has re-entered Earth’s atmosphere and is maneuvering toward its target. The initial development phase will focus on reducing technical risk, rapidly developing technology and demonstrating the ability to intercept a hypersonic threat.
Developed on behalf of the MDA, GPI will be integrated into the U.S. Navy’s Aegis Weapon System, a ship- and shore-based defense system.
Raytheon Technologies’ missile defense portfolio combines sensors, interceptors and command and control networks to track and defeat a wide range of threats. Today, the company is responsible for portions of nearly every air and missile defense system deployed by the U.S. and its allies. By evolving its missile interceptors, directed energy and cyber technologies, Raytheon Technologies is advancing counter-hypersonic solutions.
"Raytheon Technologies systems are the cornerstone of today's ballistic missile defenses. We're building on that knowledge to advance the missile defense system for future threats," said Tay Fitzgerald, vice president of Strategic Missile Defense. "GPI's speed, ability to withstand extreme heat, and maneuverability will make it the first missile designed to engage this advanced threat."