that exploit speed and responsiveness in both near and far-term applications.
“We envision air-breathing powered hypersonic cruise missiles in the near-term, which are able to deliver prompt, precision strike of time critical targets from safe, standoff distances,” said Air Force program manager Douglas Dolvin, who is with Air Force Research Laboratory’s Air Vehicles Directorate at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. “In the far-term, these air-breathing hypersonic vehicles may enable operationally responsive space access.”
Both countries see hypersonic flight as a revolutionary advancement that will work to transform both air and space defense operations.
Senator Sandy Macdonald, Australian Parliamentary Secretary for Defence, said hypersonic flight promises to have a significant impact on defence as well as on international transport and future access to space.
“The Australian Defence Force is developing a high-technology, network-enabled force and its reliance on space is increasing for intelligence gathering, communications and a range of support operations,” Macdonald said. “Hypersonics offers low cost methods of transporting payloads into space, using reusable air breathing propulsion systems.”
According to Dolvin, scientists from Air Force Research Laboratory and the Australian Defence Science and Technology Organisation will conduct computational and ground test research at numerous government facilities.
Each research task will culminate with a rocket-boosted flight experiment, to be conducted at the Woomera Prohibited Test Range in South Australia. The test range is the largest land weapons test and evaluation facility in the world, covering 127,000 square kilometers.