American multinational aircraft company Boeing will develop and test DARPA’s Glide Breaker program hypersonic interceptor prototype as part of a new four-year agreement.
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Boeing will undertake computational fluid dynamics analysis, wind tunnel testing, and evaluation of aerodynamic jet interaction effects during flight tests with the prototype, according to an announcement made on 11 September.
The Glide Breaker program intends to design and develop future hypersonic interceptors capable of destroying “glide phase” threats travelling at least five times the speed of sound in the upper atmosphere.
“Hypersonic vehicles are among the most dangerous and rapidly evolving threats facing national security,” said Gil Griffin, Boeing Phantom Works advanced weapons executive director.
“We’re focusing on the technological understanding needed to further develop our nation’s counter-hypersonic capabilities and defend from future threats.”
The Boeing-led development and testing will provide the foundation for future operational glide-phase interceptors capable of defending against these sophisticated and evolving hypersonic threats.
“This phase of the Glide Breaker program will determine how factors like hypersonic airflow and firing jet thrusters to guide the vehicle affect system performance at extreme speed and altitude in a representative digital environment,” said Griffin.
“We’re operating on the cutting edge of what’s possible in terms of intercepting an extremely fast object in an incredibly dynamic environment.”
Testing results are expected to inform future hypersonic interceptor capabilities vital for national defence.