DARPA selects Boeing to develop counter-hypersonic capabilities, evaluate Glide Breaker program

As part of a four-year effort under DARPA’s Glide Breaker program, Boeing will develop and test technologies for a hypersonic interceptor prototype.

“Hypersonic vehicles are among the most dangerous and rapidly evolving threats facing national security,” said Gil Griffin, executive director of Boeing Phantom Works Advanced Weapons. “We’re focusing on the technological understanding needed to further develop our nation’s counter-hypersonic capabilities and defend from future threats.”

These interceptors could conceivably destroy threats traveling at least five times the speed of sound in the upper atmosphere. Boeing will guide the foundations of such glide phase interceptors, providing the basis for future defensive capabilities against evolving hypersonic threats. For this, Boeing will undertake computational fluid dynamics analysis, wind tunnel testing and evaluating aerodynamic jet interaction effects during flight tests.

That means factors like hypersonic airflow and the firing of jet thrusts to guide the vehicle could affect system performance at high speed and altitudes will be on the table for examination.

Chris Galford

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