OpFires program charts another milestone in quest for ground-launched hypersonic missileNews
July 21, 2020
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. Aerojet Rocketdyne reports successful completion of its second series of propulsion-system tests in support of the Operational Fires (OpFires) program, a project spearheaded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop a ground-launched tactical hypersonic missile.
According to information from the company, the propulsion tests -- called "cold gas testing" -- performed as expected, with all components providing critical data to the operation of the OpFires propulsion system. The latest series of tests followed successful subscale propulsion test firings during 2019.
DARPA’s OpFires program is an effort to develop a two-stage missile capable of engaging high-value, time-sensitive targets from standoff range in contested environments. For its part, Aerojet Rocketdyne has supported the OpFires program under a Phase 1 contract as it designed propulsion concepts and technologies. Under the current Phase 2 of the program, multiple test firings will continue until late 2020.