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Orbital ATK picked for DARPA’s Advanced Full Range Engine program

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World Aviation Defense & Security News - United States
 
 
Orbital ATK picked for DARPA’s Advanced Full Range Engine program
 
Orbital ATK has entered into a contract with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to study potential integration of turbine and hypersonic engine technologies into a new aircraft propulsion system under DARPA’s Advanced Full Range Engine (AFRE) program, the company announced on January 23, 2018.
     
Orbital ATK picked for DARPA dvanced Full Range Engine program 640 001(Credit: DARPA)
     
The AFRE program seeks to develop a new aircraft propulsion system that could operate over the full range of speeds from conventional runway low-speed takeoff through hypersonic flight and then back to a conventional landing. Systems that operate at hypersonic speeds potentially extend range and shorten response times, offering enhanced effectiveness compared to current military systems.

The AFRE aims to explore a turbine-based combined cycle (TBCC) engine concept, which would use a turbine engine for low-speed operations and a dual-mode ramjet—which would work efficiently whether the air flowing through it is subsonic (as in a ramjet) or supersonic (as in a scramjet)—for high-speed operations. The two components of the hybrid engine would share a common forward-facing air intake and rear-facing exhaust nozzle to release thrust.

Aside from the AFRE program, Orbital ATK is developing rocket pulse motors to operate at extremely cold temperatures that provide increased range and flexibility for both tactical and defense applications. The company also maintains a number of state-of-the-art hypersonic test facilities along the East Coast, as well as offers custom test products to organizations to advance these groundbreaking capabilities and meet the needs of tomorrow’s warfighter.

Orbital ATK’s Defense Systems Group is an industry leader in providing innovative and affordable precision and strike weapons, advanced propulsion and hypersonics, missile components across air-, sea- and land-based systems, ammunition and related energetic products.