Lockheed Martin, CoAspire Unveil Mako Multi-Mission Hypersonic Missile at Sea Air Space 2024

This marks the first public unveiling of the hypersonic missile since its development began over seven years ago.
  • Defensemirror.com bureau
  • 06:57 AM, April 10, 2024
  • 3000
Lockheed Martin, CoAspire Unveil Mako Multi-Mission Hypersonic Missile at Sea Air Space 2024
Mako Hypersonic Missile @Naval News

Lockheed Martin and CoAspire unveiled the new Mako Multi-Mission Hypersonic Missile at the Sea Air Space 2024 event this week.

“For the U.S. Navy, this is a multi-mission, highly capable system, highly survivable, affordable, so you’re going to hold many targets at risk with one weapons system that’s ready now,” Rick Loy, Senior Program Manager at the company’s Missile and Fire Control division was quoted as saying by Naval News.

The Mako missile is named after the Mako shark for its speed and agility. This marks the first public unveiling of the hypersonic missile since its development began over seven years ago.

Lockheed Martin officials showcased a visual presentation at the CoAspire booth depicting a scenario where a U.S. Air Force F-35A aircraft launches six Mako hypersonic missiles in rapid succession from external and internal mounts.

Although Mako was not designed for the U.S. Navy's Hypersonic Air Launched Offensive (HALO) Anti-Surface program, which focuses on enhancing Super Hornets' anti-ship capabilities, it was initially proposed by Lockheed Martin for the U.S. Air Force's Stand In Attack Weapon (SiAW) program. This program aims to provide aircraft with the capability to strike critical assets within enemy anti-access/area denial networks.

Lockheed Martin secured multiple contracts through the SiAW program over the years, including an $18 million contract awarded last February. However, Northrop Grumman emerged as the ultimate winner of the program with a substantial $705 million contract awarded last year. Northrop Grumman's successful submission is said to leverage their experience with the Navy's Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile – Extended Range (AARGM-ER) program. With this foundation, the SiAW program is anticipated to achieve a range of at least 300-350 kilometers.

Details regarding Mako's guidance were limited to "multiple guidance methods" and "electronic packages." However, it was revealed that the system would achieve speeds of at least Mach 5. The concept missile showcased at SAS 2024 was confirmed to be the same one used for fit checks on aircraft. Loy confirmed that Mako underwent fit-checks, initially electronically and then with physical models, on various fighter jets and maritime patrol aircraft. According to Loy, Mako is designed to be "compatible with any aircraft that has 30-inch lugs," with the widely utilized BRU-32 heavy-duty ejector rack cited as an example.

Lockheed Martin confirmed Mako's compatibility with various aircraft, including F-35, F-22, F-16, F-15, F-18, and a Navy P-8, with potential for internal deployment in the F-35.

Loy mentioned that Mako's capabilities extend beyond aircraft, with potential for surface, ground, or sub-surface launches in the future. Lockheed Martin expressed readiness to provide this capability internationally, reflecting global interest in hypersonic technology.

Details of the partnership with CoAspire were not disclosed, but CoAspire's hypersonic missile solution has attracted interest from the U.S. Navy for potential future funding.

The unveiling at SAS 2024 aimed to generate interest and expedite Mako's development and production for deployment, scalable for mass production.

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