Raytheon to Upgrade US Navy Warships for Hypersonic Missile Integration

Raytheon Missiles & Defense has been awarded an $11.2 million contract to upgrade computers and computer networking equipment aboard the US Navy’s Zumwalt-class destroyers to accommodate future hypersonic missiles.

Raytheon will upgrade computers on the USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000), USS Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001), and USS Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG 1002).

The contract is part of the Total Ship Computing Environment Infrastructure project aimed at modernizing the country’s most powerful surface warships.

The project would reportedly allow warships to launch attacks against high-value or fleeting targets anywhere in the world in less than an hour.

Raytheon will perform most of the work for the contract at its facility in New Hampshire. It is expected to be complete by November 2023.

Zumwalt-Class Destroyers

The US Navy’s Zumwalt-class destroyers are equipped with numerous advanced technology and survivability systems to combat current and future threats.

The ships have a state-of-the-art electric propulsion system, wave-piercing tumblehome hull, stealth design, and the latest warfighting technology and weaponry.

Each vessel carries two 155-millimeter guns capable of hitting targets at up to 63 nautical miles (116 kilometers).

The ships are fitted with cutting-edge sonar arrays to protect against enemy mines, submarines, and torpedoes.

A smaller crew can also operate the destroyers, reducing operational costs.

Investments in Hypersonic Missiles

The US has been ramping up its efforts to develop and field powerful missiles that can travel five times the speed of sound.

Earlier this year, the US Navy announced that it is looking to develop an air-launched, ship-killing missile with hypersonic speed.

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The missiles will reportedly have “superior anti-surface warfare capabilities” to address advanced threats.

The US also revealed that a new hypersonic missile test was conducted in April amid Russian and Chinese advances in strategic weapons development.

Lockheed Martin’s hypersonic Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon fired from a B-52 bomber. Photo: US Air Force