The Highgate program framework is in the U.S. search for hypersonics
There are currently 70 projects in the development of weapons and aircraft capable of moving and maneuvering at hypersonic speeds (beyond Mach 5).He is supported by the US Department of Defense (DoD).. The testing infrastructure required to validate these projects is limited in number and in high demand, which slows down the testing rate and impacts the progress of various projects. However, in the field of hypersonics, the US currently lags behind two competing powers, China and Russia, both of which have mastered it.
To address this issue, the US Department of Defense has launched the HyCAT (Hypersonic and High-Cadence Airborne Testing Capabilities) program, which aims to support the DoD’s desire to accelerate research into hypersonic technology. Many companies. They make it possible to respond to far fewer infrastructure problems compared to America’s ambitions, all at low cost. So, in March 2023, the US Department of Defense selected Australian aerospace company Hypersonics Launch Systems to develop a hypersonic drone demonstrator.
The demonstrator’s flight was announced the following summer
Lt. Col. Nicolas Estep, HyCAT project manager, said in comments reported by C4ISRNET news agency: “We’re actually going to confirm this over the next couple of months. [le programme Dart AE] will be like”. This phase will allow those involved in the Hypersonics project to understand how the work should unfold from flight stages to completion, to launch to the vendor and test location. If the DART AE is already flying, it will perform its first fully autonomous flight on this occasion.
The Dart AE is powered by a hydrogen engine up to Mach 7
Hypersonix Launch Systems is an Australian aerospace engineering company specializing in the design and manufacture of supersonic combustion ramjets (scramjets) and hypersonic vehicles. The company has notably developed the SPARTAN scramjet engine, which is powered by hydrogen and designed to operate between Mach 5 and 12.
The DART AE, for its part, is a multi-mission hypersonic drone that is fully 3D printed, made of high-temperature composite and measures three meters in length. It will be powered by a SPARTAN scramjet engine and has a range of 1000 km. The project will allow DIUs and the Australian company to test the functionality and reliability of components, sensors and communication and control systems at high speeds. According to Hypersonix, the DART AE and its SPARTAN scramjet will go up to Mach 7.
American company Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, known for its experimental XQ-58 Valkyrie stealth unmanned combat drone, has been heavily involved in the development of the Dart AE alongside Hypersonics. This dynamic bodes well for the United States, which is trying at all costs to make up for its technological lag in the field of hypersonics, while tensions with China and Russia continue to grow.
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