US hypersonic missile defence program hits important milestone

Raytheon Missiles & Defense, a Raytheon Technologies business, has completed the systems requirements review – prototype (SRR-P) for the Glide Phase Interceptor (GPI), marking an important milestone in the US hypersonic missile defence program.

The milestone comes after the US Missile Defence Agency awarded a contract to Northrop Grumman and Raytheon Missiles and Defense to continue developing prototypes of a GPI.

GPI is designed to intercept hypersonic weapons in the glide phase of flight, providing the US with a regional layer of defence against hypersonic missile threats.

The concept employs a low-risk solution that uses standard missile technology already deployed on Aegis ships. However, the system also incorporates critical technologies needed in the hypersonic environment, according to Tay Fitzgerald, president of Strategic Missile Defense at Raytheon Missiles & Defense.

“We have a firm understanding of the requirements, and we’re ready to continue GPI development. This is a major step toward delivering this capability to the warfighter,” Fitzgerald noted.

The company also emphasized that with SRR-P complete, it moves on to preliminary design.

To remind, two months ago, Raytheon delivered SPY-6 radar arrays to the future USS John F. Kennedy (CVN 79), the first aircraft carrier to receive the radar.

According to the company, the radar is to provide 360-degree coverage for the ship. In addition to the multi-mission capabilities across the SPY-6 family, SPY-6(V)3 has features to meet the needs of an aircraft carrier, including weather mapping and air traffic control functionality.

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Photo: Raytheon Missiles and Defense