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Raytheon invests in hypersonic aircraft firm Hermeus

Hermeus is developing the remotely piloted Quarterhorse hypersonic aircraft. (Hermeus)

RTX Ventures, the new venture capital arm of US-based Raytheon Technologies, has made an investment in Atlanta, Georgia-based startup Hermeus Corporation, which is developing hypersonic aircraft for defence and commercial applications.

Raytheon said on 12 May that its funding will help Hermeus finish building its first aircraft and accelerate development of its second aircraft. The investment, the value of which was not disclosed, will supplement the USD100 million that Hermeus raised from investors in a recent financing round. Hermeus has also received funding from the US Air Force.

Hermeus' first aircraft, the remotely piloted Quarterhorse, is scheduled to begin flying in 2023. Its second aircraft, the uncrewed Darkhorse, will be “capable of sustained hypersonic flight” and will help Hermeus develop its commercial passenger aircraft Halcyon, according to the startup. Hermeus said in March that it has built a 110,000 sq ft (10,219 m 2 ) factory, designed and built a prototype of its first aircraft, and conducted more than 100 engine tests.

Raytheon unveiled RTX Ventures in March, saying the new organisation will invest in aerospace and defence startups, working in four areas: secure and connected ecosystems, autonomy and artificial intelligence, power and propulsion systems, and precision sensing and effects.

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