The US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and Aerojet Rocketdyne have successfully carried out a design verification test for the next-generation large solid rocket motor.

Funded by Aerojet Rocketdyne, the test was conducted at the AFRL’s test facility at Edwards Air Force Base (AFB) in California, US.

It was supported by US AFRL personnel, who managed the motor logistics and data collection work.

The design verification test of solid rocket motor, also called eSR-19, comes after the successful evaluation of the eSR-73 demonstration motor in 2021.

The company said that the last year’s test acted as a pathfinder to manage and manufacture large solid rocket motors at its upgraded facilities in Camden in Arkansas and Huntsville in Alabama, US.

In addition, Aerojet was able to validate the production maturity of the two new facilities during the latest test, as the new eSR-19 motor was designed and fabricated in Huntsville, while it was casted and cured in Camden.

Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and president Eileen Drake said: “Our teams building our next-generation large solid rocket motors are incorporating innovative materials and applying efficient manufacturing processes.

“We continue to invest in future – in modern facilities and a highly skilled workforce – to design and produce advanced technology needed to power defence across multiple domains.”

The eSR-19 motor incorporates a graphite composite case, high-energy, long-life solid propellant and an affordable advanced nozzle, which offers improved performance at a reduced cost.

This advanced motor weighs around 15,000lb and measures 52-inch in diameter.

The eSR-19 motor programme aims to upgrade the traditional SR-19 motors, which are originally used in the Minuteman II intercontinental ballistic missile.