Under the contract, Aerojet Rocketdyne will build an advanced solid rocket motor booster for the DARPA’s Phase II hypersonic weapon system.
Aerojet Rocketdyne has already developed and tested a full-scale advanced rocket motor for DARPA in support of Phase II of the OpFires programme.
The company has also conducted a series of tests to demonstrate the ability of solid rocket motor to terminate thrust on command.
Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and president Eileen Drake said: “We continue to push the envelope in our hypersonic propulsion technologies, whether by developing a high-performance solid rocket motor that can be turned off on command, like for OpFires, or by incorporating additive manufacturing into our air-breathing scramjet engines to improve affordability.”
DARPA’s Operation Fires programme aims to develop a ground-based missile system, which can allow the hypersonic boost glide weapons to pass through the enemy’s air defences.
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The OpFires programme is also expected to enable hypersonic weapons to hit critical time-sensitive targets with precision from a remote launch platform.
Following the second stage, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control will be leading the integration efforts under the Phase III of the programme.
The Lockheed Martin-led OpFires team, which includes Dynetics, Northrop Grumman and Electronic Concepts & Engineering, is now joined by Aerojet Rocketdyne.
The third phase will involve launcher development, missile design and maturation and vehicle integration.