Hypersonix signs US agreement, could supply up to 20 DART AE platforms to Kratos


Brisbane-based hypersonic aircraft company Hypersonix Launch Systems and NASDAQ-listed Kratos Defense & Security Solutions have announced an “exclusive teaming agreement”, with Hypersonix to potentially supply up to 20 DART AE hypersonic systems within the US market, integrated with Kratos’s Zeus family of solid rocket motors. 

DART AE is a three-metre-long, single-use, hydrogen-fuelled hypersonic platform, which will be additively manufactured out of high-temperature alloys. The company has previously contracted Amiga Engineering in Melbourne to additively manufacture its fifth-generation SPARTAN scramjet engine.

Hypersonix is also developing high-temperature ceramic matrix composite versions of its airframes and engines, with the former awarded support through Round 12 of the CRC-P program last year.

Hypersonix said in a statement that it would incorporate Kratos’ Zeus propulsion systems, as well as other unspecified systems, with the pair aiming “to frequently and reliably deliver an affordable, high cadence, high availability, overall hypersonic capable system and vehicle” to customers.

Kratos recently announced a successful static test of its Zeus 1 rocket motor.

“To team with a  demonstrated, proven industry leader like Kratos, to provide this game-changing capability, is a  significant step forward for our company, our stakeholders and the successful execution of our strategy and business plan,” said David Waterhouse, Hypersonix CEO in a statement on Wednesday (Australian time.) 

“We are proud that DART AE will fill an important role, including as a hypersonic test system and platform, collecting critical flight data related to multiple mission applications at hypersonic speeds.” 

Hypersonix said that it intended to significantly expand its presence in the United States and promote the sale of DART AE within the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and potentially other national security markets in the country. 

The company was awarded its first major contract in March by the US’s Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) to test DART AE with a hydrogen-fuelled scramjet engine in a “representative environment”, maintaining Mach 5 or higher speeds. Flight tests under the program are planned for next year.

Under the teaming agreement, Kratos has agreed to initially purchase as many as 20 DART AE systems from Hypersonix, “once the combined flight system has been successfully completed and demonstrated.”

Picture: supplied

Further reading

Hypersonix grows portfolio with new US patent

High-temperature composite scramjet arrives at Hypersonix

Hypersonix places order with Amiga, says additive engineering will disrupt cost of scramjets

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