The defence prime has appointed three subcontractors to support its development of a novel ground-launched system on behalf of DARPA.
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Lockheed Martin has selected Northrop Grumman, Dynetics, and Electronic Concepts & Engineering (ECE) as subcontractors to support the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) Operational Fires (OpFires) Phase Three Weapon System Integration program.
The program seeks to develop and demonstrate a novel ground-launched system, which enables hypersonic boost glide weapons to penetrate modern enemy air defences and engage critical time sensitive targets.
- Northrop Grumman has been tasked with developing the stage one solid rocket motor;
- Dynetics has been tasked with developing the cannister, all up round and fins, and support integration and test; and
- ECE has been tasked with providing the booster power pyro module.
“The engineering innovation required to deliver this manoeuvrable and rapid-response solution demands a best-of-industry team,” Steven Botwinik, Lockheed’s director of tactical and strike missiles advanced programs, said.
“OpFires and its unique throttleable booster make it a versatile platform to launch a variety of payloads over varied ranges and for this reason, OpFires is well-suited to address the Army’s Medium Range Strategic Fires needs.”
Lockheed Martin has worked to develop and demonstrate hypersonic technologies capability for more than 30 years.
Lockheed Martin stated that it expects to complete its first live fire in 2021.