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As Lockheed Martin continues the work with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to advance the unique hypersonic technologies of its Operational Fires (OpFires) program, the company announced its initial round of key subcontractors on the program. OpFires seeks to develop and demonstrate an innovative ground-launched system to enable a hypersonic boost glide missile system to penetrate modern enemy air defenses and rapidly engage time-sensitive targets.
Joining prime contractor Lockheed Martin on the OpFires Phase Three Weapon System Integration program are Northrop Grumman, Dynetics, and Electronic Concepts & Engineering, Inc (ECE).
“The engineering innovation required to deliver this maneuverable and rapid-response solution demands a best-of-industry team,” said Steven Botwinik, director of Tactical and Strike Missiles Advanced Programs. “OpFires and its unique throttleable booster make it a versatile platform to launch a variety of payloads over varied ranges and for this reason, OpFires is well-suited to address the Army’s Medium Range Strategic Fires needs.”
Specifically, the new subcontractors on the program will support the technology development in the following ways:
- Northrop Grumman in Elkton, Md., will develop the stage one solid rocket motor;
- Dynetics in Huntsville, Ala., will deliver the cannister, all up round and fins, and support integration and test; and
- ECE, a small business based in Holland, Ohio, will provide the booster power pyro module.
Lockheed Martin has played a significant role in the research, development and demonstration of hypersonic technologies for more than 30 years. The corporation has made significant investments in key technology and capability development – including hypersonic strike capabilities and defense systems against emerging hypersonic threats and is supporting all branches of the U.S. military on these hypersonic programs.
The company expects to complete its first live fire in 2021.