Boeing to Lead Counter-Hypersonic Flight Test, Evaluation for DARPA’s Glide Breaker

The contract award includes digital analysis and flight testing of a prototype hypersonic interceptor. Results will inform future hypersonic interceptor capabilities vital for national defense

Missiles
An artist’s rendering of a hypersonic threat intercept. (Photo credit: DARPA Image)

ARLINGTON, Virginia. Boeing  will develop and test technologies for a hypersonic interceptor prototype for DARPA’s Glide Breaker program as part of a four-year effort. Boeing will perform computational fluid dynamics analysis, wind tunnel testing and evaluation of aerodynamic jet interaction effects during flight tests.

“Hypersonic vehicles are among the most dangerous and rapidly evolving threats facing national security,” said Gil Griffin, executive director of Boeing Phantom Works Advanced Weapons. “We’re focusing on the technological understanding needed to further develop our nation’s counter-hypersonic capabilities and defend from future threats.”

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Glide Breaker is intended to inform the design and development of future hypersonic interceptors, which could destroy a threat traveling at least five times the speed of sound in the upper atmosphere during what’s known as the “glide phase” of flight. The Boeing-led development and testing will provide the foundation for future operational glide-phase interceptors capable of defending against these sophisticated and evolving hypersonic threats.

“This phase of the Glide Breaker program will determine how factors like hypersonic airflow and firing jet thrusters to guide the vehicle affect system performance at extreme speed and altitude in a representative digital environment,” said Griffin. “We’re operating on the cutting edge of what’s possible in terms of intercepting an extremely fast object in an incredibly dynamic environment.”