DARPA Selects Orbital ATK for Hypersonic Engine Research Project

DARPA’s new Advanced Full Range Engine (AFRE) program seeks to develop and demonstrate a new aircraft propulsion system that could operate at subsonic through hypersonic speeds and lay the framework for routine, reusable hypersonic flight. (Credit: DARPA)

DULLES, Virginia 23 January 2018 (Orbital ATK PR) – Orbital ATK (NYSE: OA), a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies, has entered into a contract with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to study potential integration of turbine and hypersonic engine technologies into a new aircraft propulsion system under DARPA’s Advanced Full Range Engine (AFRE) program.

The AFRE program seeks to develop a new aircraft propulsion system that could operate over the full range of speeds from conventional runway low-speed takeoff through hypersonic flight and then back to a conventional landing. Systems that operate at hypersonic speeds potentially extend range and shorten response times, offering enhanced effectiveness compared to current military systems. The program will explore the concept of a combined cycle engine technology whereby during the flight, a turbine engine would operate up to supersonic speeds and a dual-mode ramjet would transition to hypersonic speed.

Aside from the AFRE program, Orbital ATK is developing rocket pulse motors to operate at extremely cold temperatures that provide increased range and flexibility for both tactical and defense applications. The company also maintains a number of state-of-the-art hypersonic test facilities along the East Coast, as well as offers custom test products to organizations to advance these groundbreaking capabilities and meet the needs of tomorrow’s warfighter.

Orbital ATK’s Defense Systems Group is an industry leader in providing innovative and affordable precision and strike weapons, advanced propulsion and hypersonics, missile components across air-, sea- and land-based systems, ammunition and related energetic products.

About Orbital ATK

Orbital ATK is a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies.  The company designs, builds and delivers space, defense and aviation systems for customers around the world, both as a prime contractor and merchant supplier.  Its main products include launch vehicles and related propulsion systems; missile products, subsystems and defense electronics; precision weapons, armament systems and ammunition; satellites and associated space components and services; and advanced aerospace structures. Headquartered in Dulles, Virginia, Orbital ATK employs approximately 13,000 people across the U.S. and in several international locations.  For more information, visit www.orbitalatk.com.

  • redneck

    Triple mode engine for a wide range of speeds.
    Turbojet, check.
    Ramjet, check.
    Scamjet, uh oh.