Hypersonic technologies become leading hiring sector after 22% jobs growth in 2021, says GlobalData

Jobs in hypersonic technologies have grown by 22% over the last year, alongside other cutting-edge sectors such as artificial intelligence with jobs growth of 56% and computer vision at 84%, according to GlobalData. The leading data and analytics company confirms that the current jobs growth in hypersonics has largely been seen in the US, where significantly more hypersonic programs are underway as the country strives to maintain its competitiveness with China and Russia.

Hypersonic refers to aircraft, missiles, rockets, and spacecraft that can reach atmospheric speeds in excess of Mach 5, which is almost 4,000 miles per hour. Hypersonic weapons are now a key theme in the defence industry and virtually very debate about the future capabilities of national defences references hypersonic capabilities.

William Davies, Associate Aerospace and Defense Analyst comments: “The potential for weapons to operate with extreme speed and precision would be a game-changer for the defense industry. Warning times for incoming missiles would be drastically reduced and undermine the effectiveness of existing missile warning systems, meaning upgrades would be needed.”

GlobalData’s report, ‘Hypersonic Technologies (Aerospace and Defense)’, reveals that hypersonic weapons and aircraft will epitomize warfare in the 21st-century transforming science fiction into science fact. Similar to unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), interest and the perceived viability of hypersonic weapons has waxed and waned over the years, but the resurgence of competition between the great powers of China, Russia, and the US has resulted in increased investment and renewed interest by all parties in this technology as they strive to avoid falling behind.

Davies continues: “The US is advancing a number of programs designed to get hypersonic weapons to an operational phase by the mid-2020s, with renewed industry focus on the sector as companies compete to secure government contracts. The US has allocated $3.8 billion for hypersonics in 2022 with funding for 70 different programs, fueling the growth that the sector is experiencing. China and Russia have conducted increasing numbers of tests in recent years, and claim to be able to field their hypersonic weapons successfully.”

There will also be increasing job opportunities in sub-contractors as the technology reaches the production phase, which for some programs including the Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon program (ARRW) – an advanced hypersonic weapon – is scheduled to be as early as 2023.

Davies adds: “Whilst the technology is in its nascent phase, the increasing attention from global superpowers means that when the technology reaches maturity there will be more industry opportunities, including in the capability of hypersonic flight for commercial aircraft.”

More Media