DARPA's hypersonic OpFires program reaches milestoneNews
December 04, 2019
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. Aerojet Rocketdyne has finished a series of subscale propulsion-system test firings as part of a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) effort to develop a ground-launched hypersonic missile for tactical use.
DARPA announced completion of the preliminary design review for its Operational Fires (OpFires) program, which is developing a two-stage missile capable of engaging high-value, time-sensitive targets from standoff range in contested environments.
According to DARPA, the effort to date has advanced the technology for an upper stage featuring a tunable propulsion system.
DARPA last year awarded Aerojet Rocketdyne a $4.6 million Phase 1 contract to design propulsion concepts and technologies for OpFires. The contract included an $8.8 million option for Phase 2 of the program, which is expected to culminate in late 2020 with multiple test firings.