Military Embedded Systems

U.S. DoD partners with Australia to advance hypersonic technologies

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November 30, 2020

Lisa Daigle

Assistant Managing Editor

Military Embedded Systems

U.S. Air Force graphic

ARLINGTON, Va. The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)  and the Australian defense department have announced a bilateral effort to advance the development of air-breathing hypersonic technologies.  

The accord -- called the Southern Cross Integrated Flight Research Experiment (SCIFiRE) -- according to a statement from the DoD, is aimed at cooperatively advancing air-breathing hypersonic technologies into affordable full-size prototypes that enable flexible long-range capability; the goal is for the partnership to culminate in flight demonstrations in operationally relevant conditions. The project will also look at potential co-production opportunities between the U.S. and Australia, possibly leveraging U.S. and Australian collaborative hypersonic activities over the last 15 years, namely the Hypersonic International Flight Research Experimentation (HIFiRE) program. SCIFiRE continues collaborative research efforts involving the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, the Royal Australian Air Force Headquarters, and the Australian Defense Science and Technology Group.

The cooperative effort operates as an Allied Prototyping Initiative (API) under the Directorate for Advanced Capabilities within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering; the U.S. Air Force, under the direction of the Weapons Program Executive Officer, is responsible for the execution of the program.

“SCIFiRE is a true testament to the enduring friendship and strong partnership between the United States and Australia,” said Michael Kratsios, Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. “This initiative will be essential to the future of hypersonic research and development, ensuring the U.S. and our allies lead the world in the advancement of this transformational warfighting capability.”             

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