New agreement brings hypersonic drone platform to US market

Hypersonix Launch Systems and Kratos Defense & Security Solutions have announced an exclusive teaming agreement to provide the Hypersonix DART AE Hypersonic platform to the US market, integrated with Kratos’ Zeus family of solid rocket motors.

The DART AE is a single-use, hydrogen-fuelled, scramjet and autonomous air-breathing hypersonic platform used to develop, demonstrate, test and evaluate hypersonic technologies.

With Kratos’ Zeus and other rocket propulsion systems, Kratos and Hypersonix aim to frequently and reliably deliver an affordable, high cadence, high availability, overall hypersonic-capable system and vehicle to US customers.

Hypersonix is an Australian aerospace engineering, design and manufacturing company, specialising in hypersonic technology and scramjet engines. Through the agreement, Hypersonix intends to significantly expand its presence in the US and promote the sale of the DART AE system within the US Department of Defense (DoD) and potential other US National Security markets. With the Teaming Agreement, Kratos has also agreed to initially procure up to 20 DART AE systems from Hypersonix, once the combined flight system has been successfully completed and demonstrated.

Kratos is a technology company and a leading provider of innovative systems, products, software and solutions, supporting space and satellite communications, space vehicles and systems, ballistic missile targets, hypersonic systems, sub-orbital research and sounding rockets, high performance, jet powered unmanned aerial drone systems, turbine technologies and propulsion systems, directed energy, laser and other high-power systems.

The company has made significant investments in launch vehicle and hypersonic technologies, including a focus on enabling affordable testing and other missions for National Security related customers, including Kratos’ Erinyes and Dark Fury hypersonic flyers, and Zeus Family of Solid Rocket Motors.

Kratos brings significant relevant experience to the partnership with Hypersonix, including having previously launched multiple Australian hypersonic missions in collaboration with the Defense and Science Technology Group (DSTG) and the University of Queensland (UQ), for the investigation of fundamental hypersonic sciences and technologies.

Both Hypersonix and Kratos view the Teaming Agreement as an important step towards rapid future hypersonic flights in the United States.

David Waterhouse, Hypersonix CEO, said: “We are excited to begin manufacturing and supplying DART AE vehicles to the US market as soon as possible. To team with a demonstrated, proven industry leader like Kratos, to provide this game-changing capability, is a significant step forward for our Company, our stakeholders and the successful execution of our strategy and business plan. We are proud that DART AE will fill an important role, including as a hypersonic test system and platform, collecting critical flight data related to multiple mission applications at hypersonic speeds.”

Dave Carter, president, Kratos Defense & Rocket Systems Division added: “This exclusive partnership and Kratos’ potential procurement of up to 20 DART AE systems, enables the Kratos/Hypersonix Team to be first-to-market with a relevant capability, in support of US and Australia hypersonic initiatives. With Kratos’ Zeus family of solid rocket launch systems, Kratos’ Erinyes and Dark Fury hypersonic flyers, and the DART AE hypersonic vehicle, we can rapidly provide incredible capability to the hypersonic community at an affordable cost.”

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