Aerojet Rocketdyne Finishes Preliminary Tests Under DARPA Hypersonics Program; Eileen Drake Quoted

Aerojet Rocketdyne has concluded the initial firing tests of a hypersonic propulsion system for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

The company said Tuesday it completed the trials under DARPA’s Operational Fires program that aims to build a ground-launched, two-stage hypersonic missile. Aerojet Rocketdyne recently finished the program’s preliminary design review.

The missile will work to engage time-critical targets in busy battlefield environments. The OpFires effort has so far resulted in an upper stage technology with an adjustable propulsion unit.

Aerojet Rocketdyne has designed propulsion technologies on the program under a $4.6M contract and received an $8.8M modification for tests that will run through late 2020.

“We’re proud to be on the DARPA team, leveraging our experience in hypersonic and missile technologies for the OpFires program,” said Eileen Drake, CEO and president at Aerojet Rocketdyne.

DARPA and the U.S. Army are working with industry to develop a booster for hypersonic weapons under OpFires that they intend to be compatible with existing ground-based launch platforms.

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