Lockheed Martin, prime contractor on the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Operational Fires (OpFires) program, has announced the company’s subcontractors on the program to advance hypersonic technologies, Lockheed Martin reported on Thursday.
“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,” said Steven Botwinik, director of Tactical and Strike Missiles Advanced Programs.
Northrop Grumman will develop the stage one solid rocket motor; Dynetics will deliver the cannister, all up round and fins, and support integration and test; and ECE will provide the booster power pyro module.
Lockheed Martin will develop an innovative ground-launched system to enable a hypersonic boost glide missile system to defeat modern enemy air defenses and rapidly engage time-sensitive targets.
Lockheed Martin currently leads Phase 3 of the OpFires initiative, which includes finalizing system architectures and vehicle integration as well as design, development and maturation of first-stage booster and launcher components.
The OpFires program may also cover full-scale static fire tests and subsystem assessments ahead of integrated flight tests, according to the agency. Lockheed secured the $31.9 million contract for the Phase 3 OpFires effort in Jan. 2020.
Lockheed Martin has made significant investments in key technology and capability development, including hypersonic strike capabilities and defense systems against emerging hypersonic threats. The company has also supported the military across multiple hypersonic programs.
The company expects to complete its first live fire in 2021.