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Aerojet Rocketdyne successfully completed two hot-fire tests of a rocket motor designed to boost an air-launched tactical glide hypersonic vehicle during its initial phase of flight.
The tests, which were done under simulated extreme cold and hot conditions, took place on an undisclosed “recent” date at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) at Edwards AFB in California, Aerojet Rocketdyne said.
The motors were tested at extreme temperatures to verify they would perform as expected across the full range of anticipated operational conditions, the company says.
The USAF’s other hypersonic programme is an air-breathing, ram-jet-powered cruise missile called the Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon (HCSW) and is also being developed by Lockheed Martin. According to USAF specifications, the hypersonic cruise missile must be capable of being carried on fighter and bomber aircraft and have precision strike capability against high-value, time-critical fixed and relocatable surface targets in a single or multi-theater challenged environment.
“All of the fundamental research in hypersonic aerodynamics is United States (work),” Griffin told reporters last week at the Space & Missile Defense Symposium in Huntsville, Ala. “We did not choose to weaponize the results of that research. Our adversaries have chosen to weaponize it. That’s the challenge. We will respond.”