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Lockheed’s Atherton Carty on Advancement in Hypersonics Development

Lockheed's Atherton Carty on Advancement in Hypersonics Development - top government contractors - best government contracting event

​​Atherton Carty, vice president of strategy and customer requirements at Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works business, considers the recent flight test of an air-breathing hypersonic rocket by the Department of Defense and industry partners as the beginning of a more speedy weapons development process.

In an interview with Defense One, Carty said demonstrating the Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept and considering the recent developments in hypersonics, “faster progress from here on” is expected.

He believes that addressing big scientific challenges, such as conducting advanced maneuvers at Mach 5 speed, will make solving smaller development problems “a lot easier.”

“There are a few sets of hard problems around hypersonics… All of those physics things that you can read about, to some extent, those are common across various regimes in hypersonics. Everything that we learn and apply can be reapplied and adapted in other spaces,” he said.

Lockheed, Aerojet Rocketdyne, Air Force Research Laboratory and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency recently tested HAWC and showcased its speeds over Mach 5 at altitudes higher than 65,000 feet. The industry and defense team incorporated digital approaches to designing, evaluating and manufacturing the hypersonic system.

“The progress we’ve seen here, just in this recent chapter, is one of the biggest steps we’ve seen in making true on that dream of a practical realization of hypersonics,” said Carty.

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Written by Christine Thropp

oversees day-to-day content production for ExecutiveBiz, a publication under Executive Mosaic's media group covering government contracting industry news. She also writes about executive movements and commentaries, M&A activities, contract awards and technology and service offerings of medium-sized businesses and other GovCon companies. Prior to assuming her current responsibilities with EBiz, Thropp produced daily competitive intelligence briefings for the company's GovCon customers.

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