The US Navy has contracted Kratos Defense & Security Solutions’ Defense & Rocket Support Services (DRSS) Division to develop hypersonic experimental test vehicle.

The contract was awarded by the Navy Surface Warfare Center Port Hueneme (NSWC PHD) Division, White Sands Detachment.

The vehicle will be used to conduct flight tests and demonstration opportunities in appropriate environments and support high-speed flight technology maturation.

This capability will enable rapid maturation of lower Technology Readiness Level (TRL) components for introduction into future missile programmes.

Kratos Defense & Security Solutions president and CEO Eric DeMarco said: “This flight vehicle will be a game-changer for critical DoD programmes to manoeuvre key hypersonic technologies through the ‘Valley of Death’ between technology development and commercialisation.

“This pivotal programme is yet another demonstration of Kratos’ commitment to helping our customers achieve mission success for critical national security programmes with our leading-edge, affordable solutions.”

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The company will carry out work under the contract at its facility in Glen Burnie, as well as other vendor locations.

Kratos DRSS has expertise and experience in delivering support solutions for several military programme systems, such as hypersonic, directed energy and laser ballistic missile targets and more.

The unit will leverage lessons learned from these programmes and work along with NSWC PHD, New Mexico State University, Physical Sciences Laboratory, and others to build the vehicle.

Kratos DRSS president Dave Carter said: “Our Hypersonic Flight Experiment Test Vehicle is a next generation solution based on proven sounding rocket technology that will allow for the conduct of rapidly fielded flight experiments for hypersonic technologies, such as propulsion, thermal protection systems, seeker windows, control systems, and more.”