Is the US Mako Missile ‘Hypersonic’ in Name Only?


from Sputnik News:

Lockheed Martin and CoAspire showcased their new rocket as a hypersonic wonder-weapon. But military observers doubt the missile will make a splash.
A new allegedly hypersonic American missile, named after the fast-swimming mako shark, was put on display at the Sea Air Space 2024 conference. The rocket was initially developed for the US Air Force’s Stand In Attack Weapon (SiAW) program by Lockheed Martin and CoAspire; a $705 million contract was ultimately awarded to Northrop Grumman last September.


What’s known about the weapon so far?

The solid-fuel rocket is claimed to be capable of reaching speeds of Mach 5.

Mako is 4 meters (13 feet) long, 33 cm (almost 13 inches) in diameter, weighs 600 kg (1,322 lbs), including a 59 kg (130 lb) warhead, and boasts a striking range of at least 300 km (186 miles).

It’s compatible with most US tactical aircraft including the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, EA-18G Growler, F-22 Raptor, and F-16 Fighting Falcon, and the F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter.

Commenting on the rocket’s specifications, US military observers have drawn attention to the fact that arming the F-35 with up to six Mako missiles will provide the stealth warplane with unique fighting capabilities.
“Should Mako be procured, an internally carried hypersonic weapon would greatly expand the capabilities of the F-35,” wrote Stefano D’Urso for TheAviationist.
The F-35 project has long been mired in scandals over cost overruns, and arming it with allegedly hypersonic missiles is seen as a good selling point by some American military observers.
However their Russian counterparts are skeptical, insisting there are many unknowns about the rocket, which is still undergoing testing.

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