Boeing has received a contract worth $30m from the US Navy for the joint development of Supersonic Propulsion Enabled Advanced Ramjet (SPEAR) flight demonstrator with its Air Warfare Center Weapons Division.
This is expected to showcase the advanced missile technologies that will increase the lethality of the carrier air wing strike fighters against threats.
This contract comes following the US Department of Defense’s request for information from the industry to aid the navy in determining the technical needs of carrier-based land and sea strike weapons systems of the future.
Boeing SPEAR programme manager Steve Mercer said: “The SPEAR flight demonstrator will provide the F/A-18 Super Hornet and carrier strike group with significant improvements in range and survivability against advanced threat defensive systems.
“We have a talented team of engineers to meet the challenging technical demands and schedule timeline that the SPEAR program requires. We look forward to working with navy experts to advance technologies for the navy’s future capabilities.”
Navy Air Warfare Center Weapons Division and Boeing expect to fly the SPEAR demonstrator in 2022.
In August this year, Boeing introduced its 20th F / A-18 Super Hornet into the Service Life Modification (SLM) to meet the US Navy’s mission-capable aircraft readiness requirements.
The SLM will initially increase the life of the aircraft to 7,500 flight hours from 6,000. After this, it will be increased to 10,000 hours after the future modification plans in 2022.
In May, Boeing secured contracts from the US Navy for Harpoon and Standoff Land Attack Missile Expanded Response (SLAM ER) weapon systems in support of Foreign Military Sales (FMS).