Military Embedded Systems

Reusable hypersonic testbed system in development for MDA


December 28, 2021

Emma Helfrich

Technology Editor

Military Embedded Systems

Stratolaunch photo.

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. Stratolaunch, company speacializing in hypersonic testing capabilities, has announced a feasibility study contract with the Missile Defense Agency (MDA). Officials claim that the company plans to examine and assess the applicability of a re-usable hypersonic testbed system for Missile Defense Systems (MDS) applications.

The Stratolaunch team is preparing to complete its next set of Roc carrier aircraft test flights. The team is also continuing to make strides in building its first two Talon-A test vehicles: TA-0 and TA-1.

The company claims that TA-1 will start its power-on testing by the end of year, keeping the company on track to begin hypersonic flight testing in 2022 and to deliver services to government and commercial customers in 2023.

Launched from Stratolaunch's Roc carrier aircraft, the Talon-A vehicles are rocket-powered, autonomous, reusable testbeds carrying customized payloads at speeds above Mach 5. This capability enables routine access to the hypersonic flight environment, which is critical for scientific research, technological development, and component demonstration.

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