In a statement the Pentagon said, it has chosen Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon to develop a missile defense system that can protect the United States against hypersonic weapons.
The three defense giants have been awarded separate contract agreements totaling to around $60 million to develop a glide phase interceptor that could be guided by a constellation of satellites and sensors to intercept a hypersonic missile in the earth’s atmosphere.
While the Missile Defense Agency 2022 budget has earmarked $136 million for research, development, testing and evaluation of the hypersonic interceptor system, ultimately the program will yield billions of dollars in revenues for the defense contractors.
While earlier there was a broad expectation that the Pentagon would select two companies to proceed, the inclusion of a third company underscores the Pentagon’s desire to incentivize industry to perform research and develop around this new class of weapon.
All three defense giants have touted their hypersonic weapons programs at the top of their quarterly earnings calls as an anticipated source of profits in the future.