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Immediate Release

DoD Announces New Contract to Increase Hypersonic Flight Testing Tempo

The Department of Defense announced today the award of a new contract to augment the Department’s capacity to conduct regular hypersonic flight tests more regularly. Dynetics and a team of over 20 industry partners have been awarded a Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC), Crane Division Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) through the National Security Technology Accelerator. This agreement for a new Hypersonics Test Bed will increase domestic capacity for hypersonic flight testing and leverage multiple commercially-available launch vehicles for ride-along hypersonic payloads. 
“In order to meet our objectives in hypersonics, we need to be able to launch flight tests much more regularly,” said Mike White, Principal Director for Hypersonics. “That’s how we accelerate learning throughout our portfolio of development and demonstration programs.” 
Data collected from tests will enable technology improvements and capability validation as part of the development, fielding, and use of hypersonic weapon systems across the DoD. This hypersonic flight test bed will offer the Department a national hypersonic testing capability that can be leveraged by a broad range of U.S. military hypersonics programs, DoD research programs, industry partners, and academia stakeholders. This program will be managed by the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s Test Resources Management Center (TRMC) and executed by NSWC Crane.  
“This program expands an important part of the Department’s hypersonic test efforts,” said George Rumford, Director of TRMC. “In order for us to build the science and technology pipeline needed to develop next generation, leap-ahead capabilities, we must have an affordable test bed that can accommodate continuous flight testing.”
“With this OTA, new and innovative technologies for hypersonics will be able to be matured in flight to validate performance, prior to being incorporated into existing weapon systems,” Rumford added.
Delivering hypersonic weapons is a priority for the Department of Defense. Capable of flying at speeds greater than five times the speed of sound (Mach 5), hypersonic weapons are highly maneuverable and can operate at varying altitudes. The DoD is working in collaboration with industry, government, national laboratories, academia, and allies and partners to field hypersonic warfighting capability in the early-to mid-2020s.