The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is currently developing a hyper sonic defense interceptor system that could launch hyper sonic missiles from the ground to blast hyper sonic missile threats out of the sky.
DARPA has issued a compelling $19.6 million contract to Aerojet Rocketdyne to build “enabling technologies” to complete the hyper sonic “Glide Breaker.” The new defense system will guard Earth’s upper atmosphere and be able to locate and target enemy aircraft and missiles traveling at hyper sonic speeds.
Aerojet Rocketdyne was the first company to supply solid-fueled and air-breathing propulsion systems for the joint Air Force-DARPA-NASA X-51A Wave Rider. This futuristic craft was the first hyper sonic hydrocarbon-fueled, hydrocarbon cooled scramjet-powered vehicle. The company has also been successful creating sub-scale propulsion system test firings for DARPA’s Operational Fires program. This program can launch hyper sonic missiles from the ground for tactical defense purposes.
“Advancing hyper sonic technology is a national security imperative,” says Eileen Drake, Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and president. “Our team is proud to apply our decades of experience developing hyper sonic and missile propulsion technologies to the Glide Breaker program.”
DARPA’s description of the technology is vague at the moment. The technology will be able to launch hyper sonic missiles from the ground to target hyper sonic vehicles mid flight. The technology will be able to match the speed of enemy aircraft traveling over five times the speed of sound and intercept their coordinates.
President Donald Trump has requested $15.4 billion to budget for the up and coming U.S. Space Force. The Department of Defense has already allocated the money for three large purposes. The DOD has earmarked $2.5 billion for space-based overhead infrared systems, $1.8 billion for Global Positioning System projects, and $1.6 billion for three national security launches.
The DOD is focusing intensely on homeland missile defense. In a press release, the DOD stated, “This budget focuses on NDS (national defense strategy) priorities of nuclear deterrence recapitalization and homeland missile defense, while refining our focus on the cyber and space war fighting domains and joint enablers for all operations in all domains: Air, land, sea, space and cyber.”
The investments will include advancements in the use of hyper sonic missile defense systems, microelectronics/5G and artificial intelligence. The requested $25.2 billion budget for NASA includes investments in aeronautics programs. Lockheed Martin is set to develop the experimental X-59 supersonic aircraft which will enable commercial travel at hyper sonic speeds with quieter sonic booms.
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