Bethesda’s Lockheed Martin and Aerojet Rocketdyne Announce Historic Progress on Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC)
Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) and Aerojet Rocketdyne (NYSE: AJRD) are still in partnership on several projects even after the acquisition of Aerojet by Lockheed Martin was thwarted by the U.S. Government Federal Trade Commision (FTC).
The two companies along with the Federal Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) announced today that their Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC) reached Mach 5 or nearly 4,000 miles per hour in a historic test. The altitude of HAWC was greater than 65,000 feet.
"Our work with DARPA and AFRL on the HAWC program demonstrates that air-breathing hypersonic systems are a cost-effective solution to address rapidly emerging threats in the global security arena," said John Clark, vice president and general manager Lockheed Martin Skunk Works®.
"The success of this flight test is evidence that a strong partnership between government and industry is key to solving our nation's most difficult challenges and enabling new capabilities to counter threats to U.S. and allied forces."
The FTC filed a lawsuit in January to block Montgomery County, Maryland-based Lockheed Martin’s proposed vertical acquisition of El Segundo, Ca-based Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings Inc, which it billed as America's last independent supplier of rocket propulsion systems. The FTC added the $4.4 billion aerospace purchase would “harm rival defense contractors” if it was allowed to go through. Lockheed Martin ultimately dropped the bid. The company’s stock price and market value haven’t let up though, reaching record levels to a $120 billion market capitalization.