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Hypersonic missile programme gears up for PDR

6th September 2021 - 17:15 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Australia and the US signed a collaborative agreement in late 2020 to develop and test hypersonic cruise missile prototypes under the Southern Cross Integrated Flight Research Experiment (SCIFiRE).

Australian-US SCIFiRE programme aims to result in a precision strike missile capable of travelling at Mach 5.

The USAF has awarded Raytheon a $27.99 million contract modification in connection with the Phase I Preliminary Design Review (PDR) in the Southern Cross Integrated Flight Research Experiment (SCIFiRE) long-range hypersonic missile programme.

In completing the PDR by 2 September 2022 at Tuscon, Arizona, Raytheon will ‘mature a solid rocket-boosted, air-breathing, hypersonic conventional cruise missile, air-launched from existing fighter/bomber aircraft’, the DoD noted on 3 September.

SCIFiRE is a collaborative effort between Australia and the US, with the two governments signing a deal in November 2020 to develop and test full-sized hypersonic cruise missile prototypes.

In particular, the R&D programme is intended to result in a precision strike missile capable of travelling at Mach 5.

At the time, Shephard noted that Australia and the US have been collaborating on R&D relating to hypersonic scramjets, rocket motors, sensors and advanced manufacturing materials for more than 15 years.

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