#Mach 5 missiles spur new arms race as US seeks to match China

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Top US defence contractors are competing for billions of dollars of work tied to the next big technology focus in national-security circles: hypersonic weapons.

The military’s renewed interest in ultra-high-speed missiles — spurred by concern the US is lagging Russia and —opens the door to lucrative contracts that could last decades. The industry is developing an array of the super-high speed armaments that can be launched from planes, submarines and trucks.

Lockheed Martin is leading in key programmes that aim to deliver prototypes the soonest — with flight tests on a new missile slated for the first half of next year. Raytheon Technologies and Northrop Grumman are also eyeing a toehold in the market for missiles that fly at more than five times the speed of sound.

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