Lockheed Martin presents new hypersonic missile for the F-35

New missile could be the F-35's first hypersonic weapon. Image: Lockheed Martin via Naval News.

Lockheed Martin and CoAspire presented a new hypersonic weapon this week during the Sea Air Space 2024 fair. It is the Mako, a new missile capable of reaching five times the speed of sound and which has already been tested in the F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter.

Rick Loy, senior program manager in Lockheed's missile division, spoke to the portal Naval News This is the first time the company has presented the missile publicly since it began development seven years ago. The name of the weapon is inspired by the mako shark, considered the fastest species of animal.

"To the United States Navy, this is a multi-mission, highly capable, survivable and affordable system, so you will keep many targets at risk with a weapons system that is ready now,” the Lockheed official said. 

During the exhibition, Lockheed presented computer-generated images of an F-35A fighter – a conventional landing version of the stealth jet – carrying six Mako missiles, four under the wings and two more in the internal bays. If it gets off the ground, the Mako will be the first hypersonic missile to equip the United States' main stealth aircraft.

Loy said that Lockheed has already tested models of the hypersonic missile with the F-35, stating that the tests were carried out electronically and physically on the stealth jet. In addition to the F-35, the Mako could be “compatible with any aircraft that has 30-inch handles”, such as the BRU-32 heavy hanger, the F-22 Raptor, F/A-18 Super Hornet and F-16 Fighting Falcon fighters, the B-52 Stratofortress bomber and the P-8 Poseidon patrol jet. 

The weaponry is still under development and, to date, there is no contract from the US Armed Forces to purchase Mako hypersonic missiles. Loy also gave few details about the weapon, limiting himself to saying that it will have a speed of at least Mach 5 and that it will be guided by “multiple guidance methods” and “electronic packages.”


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Gabriel Centeno

Author Gabriel Centeno

Journalism student at UFRGS, spotter and military aviation enthusiast.

Categories: Military, News, News

Tags: F-35, hypersonic missile