US-based aerospace company Stratolaunch has been chosen as one of the preferred industry partners for the US Navy’s multiservice advanced capability test bed (MACH-TB) project.
The company has now joined Leidos’ wholly owned subsidiary Dynetics and its team to work on this programme that aims to build a new hypersonic testbed to increase the nation’s capacity to support frequent hypersonic flight tests.
The associated contract was awarded to a Dynetics-led team of 20 other industry partners by Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC), Crane Division, in October.
The contract has been awarded under the Strategic and Spectrum Missions Advanced Resilient Trusted Systems (S²MARTS) Other Transaction Agreement.
Work requires the team to demonstrate different and cost-effective ways to prototype a testbed for flight testing various hypersonic payloads.
This new testbed should also be capable of supporting commercial launch vehicles such as Stratolaunch’s Talon-A vehicle.
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Talon-A is a reusable, autonomous, hypersonic testbed that can be operated as a high speed/cadence testbed to drive MACH-TB programme’s rapid development.
According to Stratolaunch, the test services delivered by its Talon-A testbed will ‘directly complement’ the objectives of the US Department of Defense’s (DoD) MACH-TB project.
Stratolaunch CEO Dr Zachary Krevor said: “We look forward to providing flight-test opportunities needed to advance hypersonic systems development for services.
“This partnership will accelerate frequency of testing that is imperative to reducing the risk of hypersonic system technology development.”
The DoD intends to use the data gathered by the hypersonic tests for providing insight in terms of technology improvement, simultaneously validating the performance and capability of the tests to promote developments of hypersonic weapon systems.