Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control has selected Aerojet Rocketdyne to support the US Agency for Advanced Research Projects (DARPA) Operational Fire Program (OpFires).
Under the contract, Aerojet Rocketdyne will build an advanced solid-state rocket booster for DARPA’s Phase II hypersonic weapon system.
Aerojet Rocketdyne has already developed and tested a full-scale advanced rocket engine for DARPA in support of the Phase II of the OpFires program.
The company also conducted a series of tests to demonstrate the ability of the solid-fuel rocket engine to stop thrust on command.
Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and President Eileen Drake said: “We continue to expand our range of hypersonic propulsion technologies, whether by developing a high-performance solid-state rocket engine that can be switched off on command, such as OpFires, or by incorporating additive manufacturing into our breathable air jet engines to improve accessibility. “
DARPA’s Operation Fires program aims to develop a ground-based missile system that can allow hypersonic booster sliding weapons to pass through enemy air defenses.
OpFires is also expected to enable hypersonic weapons to hit critical time-sensitive targets with precision from a remote launch platform.
After the second phase, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control will guide integration efforts under Phase III of the program.
The Lockheed Martin-led OpFires team, which includes Dynetics, Northrop Grumman and Electronic Concepts & Engineering, is now being joined by Aerojet Rocketdyne.
The third phase will include the development of a launcher, the design and maturation of missiles and the integration of the vehicle.