Pentagon Contract Announcement
(Source: U.S. Department of Defense; issued Aug. 13, 2018)
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, Orlando, Florida, has been awarded a not-to-exceed $480,000,000 undefinitized contract for air-launched rapid response weapon critical design review and test and production readiness support.
Work will be performed in Orlando, Florida, and is expected to be completed by Nov. 30, 2021. This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition.
Fiscal 2018 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $5,000,000 are being obligated at the time of award.
Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, is the contracting activity (FA8681-18-C-0021).
U.S. Air Force Awards Hypersonic Weapon Contract as Pentagon Continues Broader Development Efforts
(Source: Forecast International; issued Aug 14, 2018)
WASHINGTON -- Lockheed Martin was awarded a contract worth up to $480 million for the Air Force's Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW, pronounced "Arrow"), one of the service's ongoing hypersonic weapon development efforts. The contract is for critical design review and test and production readiness support. Work on the contract will be performed in Orlando, Florida, and is expected to be completed by November 30, 2021.
ARRW is leveraging work from a separate Air Force/DARPA hypersonic effort called Tactical Boost Glide. Boost glide vehicles use a rocket to accelerate to hypersonic speeds, then separate from the rocket and glide unpowered to their target. Early work on ARRW was actually made possible through the original TBG contract, and in this regard, ongoing work on TBG will serve as risk reduction for ARRW. The ARRW weapon has been referred to as the AGM-183A.
The program "integrates Air Force and [Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)] enabled system technologies into a prototype that will demonstrate the viability of this concept to be fielded as a long-range prompt strike capability," according to a description in the FY19 budget. "ARRW will design, develop, manufacture, and test, a number of prototype vehicles to inform decisions concerning ARRW acquisition and production." The Air Force requested $168.7 million for this work in FY19.
ARRW is one of two new prototyping efforts the Air Force is pursuing in order to accelerate fielding a hypersonic weapon in response Chinese and Russian advancements in this arena. The second program is the Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon (HCSW - or "Hacksaw"), for which the Air Forced requested $83.9 million in FY19. HCSW will be a hypersonic, conventional, air-launched, stand-off weapon. Lockheed Martin was awarded a contract in April 2018 worth up to $928 million to develop this high-speed cruise missile. HCSW will have a different flight profile and payload capacity as ARRW, and the Air Force describes the two weapons as offering complimentary capabilities.
Both ARRW and HCSW are part of the Hypersonics Prototyping project within the Pentagon's broad Technology Transition Program. In its markup of the FY19 defense spending bill, the Senate Appropriations Committee recommended include separate lines in the Air Force's budget for these hypersonic efforts in order to increase transparency and oversight.
Another one of the projects in the Technology Transition Program is the Advanced Full Range Engine (AFRE), which aims to demonstrate a hybrid propulsion system that would utilize a traditional turbine engine and transition to a Dual Mode Ramjet (DMRJ) for hypersonic travel. Ground tests are planned for 2019 or 2020. This is a joint effort between DARPA and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
The Air Force has another hypersonic engine development effort called the High-Speed Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC), which aims to demonstrate the use of a scramjet engine on a hypersonic missile, and follows work done on the X-51.
The Army and Navy are also working on developing hypersonic capabilities. The Army is working with DARPA on studying a ground-launched capability for hypersonic boost glide weapons through the Operational Fires project. This effort was funded at $6 million in FY18 and $50 million in the FY19 request. Operational Fires will also leverage work done on the Air Force TBG program. The Army was previously conducting work on the Advanced Hypersonic Weapon. A successful flight test was conducted in November 2011, but an August 2014 flight test failed due to a problem with the booster rocket used to launch the glide vehicle.
The Navy was tasked with a follow-on test using a downsized hypersonic vehicle. Downsizing provides the Navy with the ability to analyze possible future ship-launched capabilities. The Navy's Strategic Systems Programs office conducted this test in October 2017, dubbed Flight Experiment-1. A rocket carrying the glide vehicle was launched from Hawaii, after which the glide vehicle flew more than 2,000 miles in about 30 minutes. Other details of the test were classified.
The FY19 budget includes another $278.4 million for hypersonic glide experiments and concepts demonstration support as part of the Prompt Global Strike Capability program. This program is funded primarily through the Office of the Secretary of Defense in FY19, but will be transitioning to the Navy beginning in FY20 as part of the service's Precision Strike Weapons Development program.
Air Force Awards Hypersonic Weapon Contract
(Source: US Air Force; issued Aug 13, 2018)
ARLINGTON, Va. --- Today the Air Force has awarded a contract not to exceed $480,000,000 to Lockheed Martin Missiles & Fire Control to begin designing a second hypersonic weapon prototype.
This contract will provide the critical design review, test and production readiness support for the Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW).
"We are going to go fast and leverage the best technology available to get hypersonic capability to the warfighter as soon as possible," said Secretary of the Air Force Heather A. Wilson.
The ARRW effort is one of two hypersonic weapon prototyping efforts being pursued by the Air Force to accelerate hypersonic research and development. The Air Force is using rapid prototyping authorized by Section 804 of the FY16 National Defense Authorization Act to explore the art-of-the-possible and to advance these technologies to a capability in 2021.
Leaders from the Department of Defense, Missile Defense Agency, Air Force, Navy and Army signed a memorandum of agreement June 28 to work cooperatively on hypersonic boost glide technology development.
"The Joint Team requires the right mix of agile capabilities to compete, deter and win across the spectrum of competition and conflict," said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein. "We must push the boundaries of technology and own the high ground in this era of great power competition and beyond."
This undefinitized contract action allows the government to meet urgent needs by authorizing the contractor to begin work before reaching a final settlement on contract terms and conditions, to include a final negotiated price. The contract is expected to be definitized within 180 days of award.
The Air Force's other hypersonic weapon rapid prototyping effort is called the Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon (HCSW). The ARRW and HCSW efforts are developing unique capabilities for the warfighter and each has different technical approaches. The ARRW effort is "pushing the art-of-the-possible" by leveraging the technical base established by the Air Force/DARPA partnership. The HCSW effort is using mature technologies that have not been integrated for an air-launched delivery system.
The Armament Directorate of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center is providing program management of these prototyping efforts.