Hypersonix Launch Systems will build an 8643.6km/h aircraft to test US hypersonic weapons
The United States Department of Defense has announced the signing of a contract with Hypersonix Launch Systems to develop a high-speed test aircraft. The aircraft will be used to test hypersonic technology, including weapons. The amount of the contract is not specified.
Here's What We Know
The Australian company's development will be used by the Defense Innovation Unit or simply DIU (owned by the Pentagon) as part of the Hypersonic and High-Cadence Airborne Testabilities (HyCAT) program.
The military services have some 70 programmes focused on developing aircraft and weapons that can travel at hypersonic speeds (over Mach 5 / 6174 km/h). Because of the poor infrastructure, the Pentagon may conduct several tests a year, but plans to do at least one test every week.
The development by Hypersonix Launch Systems is called DART AE. It became known about it several years ago. The platform is 2.8 metres long and has a range of 500 km. The aircraft is equipped with a hydrogen hypersonic direct-flow SPARTAN engine. The propulsion system is based on a joint US-Australian project to study hypersonic flight, HiFiRe.
The SPARTAN has no moving parts. The engine is made from a lightweight, heat-resistant composite with a ceramic matrix. The company claims it was 3D printed and can be reused several times. DART AE will be able to reach a speed of Mach 7 (8643.6 km/h). The first flight is scheduled for 2024. Trials under the HyCAT programme will begin 12-18 months after that.
Source: Defence News