Hypersonix and Kratos sign agreement to develop and fly DART AE hypersonic drone


Hypersonix Launch Systems Ltd. and Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. have signed an agreement to launch the DART AE multi-mission hypersonic drone technology demonstrator. In the Hypersonix Kratos Team’s submission to the Australian Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources Modern Manufacturing Initiative (MMI) Grants Program 2, the Team is planning for a launch and initial demonstration flight of the DART AE Hypersonic Drone System in 2023.

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Hypersonix and Kratos sign agreement to develop and Fly DART AE hypersonic drone 01

Hypersonix’s SPARTAN is capable of accelerating from Mach 5 to Mach 12; or five to twelve times the speed of sound. The Delta-Velos vehicle that features the SPARTAN engine will fly over 2500 km without emitting CO2 or other noxious gases before landing like a conventional aircraft on a runway and in a condition to do it all again (Picture source: Hypersonix)


The Hypersonix DART AE, a multi-mission, hypersonic drone, will be fully 3D-printed out of exquisite high-temperature materials and powered by a single, fifth-generation SPARTAN, zero emission, clean hydrogen scramjet engine with a publicly disclosable range of 500km.

Kratos brings to the team and proposed effort its extensive digital engineering capabilities and sounding rocket booster integration and launch experience. The Kratos booster system will accelerate the DART AE drone to a speed greater than Mach 5 and release the vehicle, ignition of the Drone scramjet engine will occur, and autonomous flight of DART AE will proceed along a programmed flight path to a predetermined landing location.


Hypersonix and Kratos sign agreement to develop and Fly DART AE hypersonic drone 02

Kratos’ extensive involvement in past hypersonic experimental flight test programs demonstrates their ability to launch a variety of hypersonic vehicles and makes them a unique and highly qualified partner and teammate for Hypersonix, as the launch provider for the first DART AE flight in 2023 (Picture source: Hypersonix)


Hypersonix Launch Systems is an Australian Aerospace Engineering company, specialising in the design and build of scramjet engines and hypersonic vehicles. Their SPARTAN scramjet engine is hydrogen fueled and designed to operate between Mach 5 and 12 in support of multiple missions.

Kratos is a leading provider of innovative products and solutions supporting ballistic missile targets, hypersonic systems, sub-orbital research, sounding rockets, unmanned drone systems, turbine technologies, directed energy and laser program systems. Kratos has significant experience in launching Australian hypersonic “experiments”, having been involved with multiple hypersonic launches in collaboration with the Defence and Science Technology Group, investigating the fundamental science of hypersonic technology and its potential for next generation aeronautical propulsion systems for technical, commercial and security purposes.

Kratos’ extensive involvement in past hypersonic experimental flight test programs demonstrates their ability to launch a variety of hypersonic vehicles and makes them a unique and highly qualified partner and teammate for Hypersonix, as the launch provider for the first DART AE flight in 2023.

“Kratos is excited to team up with Hypersonix on this innovative project and we look forward to supporting their development and the integration and flight of this truly disruptive and enabling Australian technology. DART AE is an ideal opportunity for Kratos to further showcase our extensive hypersonic launch system capability” said David Carter, President of Kratos’ Defense Rocket & Support Services Division.

David Waterhouse, Hypersonix Managing Director and Co-Founder adds: “Kratos is an experienced launch provider who has a proven track record of launching payloads around the world. They understand hypersonic technology and flight and are ready to support us with the first launch of our transformative technology that will be faster, more sustainable, and more efficient than current technology. It is incredibly exciting to work with the Kratos team on this project and we are thrilled to share this news today with the public. “


Hypersonix and Kratos sign agreement to develop and Fly DART AE hypersonic drone 03 Ground test of SPARTAN scramjet (Picture source: Hypersonix)


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