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Pentagon Picks Northrop, Lockheed, Raytheon to Develop Hypersonic Defense

WASHINGTON—The Pentagon on Friday said it selected Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, and Raytheon to research and develop a missile system that would be able to defend the United States against a hypersonic weapons attack. The three companies were awarded separate contracts totaling about $60 million to develop a glide phase interceptor that would be guided by a constellation of satellites and sensors to intercept a hypersonic missile inside Earth’s atmosphere as it glides toward its target. The Missile Defense Agency 2022 budget earmarked $136 million for research, development, testing, and evaluation for the interceptor, but the program will ultimately yield billions of dollars of revenue for defense contractors. The United States and its global rivals have intensified their drive to build hypersonic weapons—the next generation of arms that fly at high speeds. As a result, hypersonic arms require quicker defenses and new systems to defeat them. Often the Pentagon runs …

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