Orbital ATK said on 23 January it entered into a contract with the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to study potential integration of turbine and hypersonic engine technologies into a new aircraft propulsion system under DARPA’s Advanced Full Range Engine (AFRE) programme, according to a company statement.
The AFRE programme seeks to develop a new aircraft propulsion system that could operate over the full range of speeds from conventional runway low-speed take-off, through hypersonic flight, and then back to a conventional landing. Systems that operate at hypersonic speeds potentially extend range and shorten response times, offering enhanced effectiveness compared with current military systems.
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