Air Warfare

SNC hypersonic engine passes next stage of OpFires programme

3rd April 2020 - 13:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) has progressed to the next phase of the Defence Advanced Research Project Agency’s (DARPA) Operational Fires (OpFires) programme with its Vortex hypersonic propulsion system.

The company is developing Vortex to use solid fuel with a liquid oxidiser that can be stored in the system both on Earth and in space.

This is intended to produce a system that is capable of advanced, deep throttling, restartable propulsion.

Tom Crabb, VP of Propulsion & Environmental Systems at SNC, said: ‘This programme opens up a new market for SNC for preplanned or on-demand propulsion control capabilities that are applicable to both military and beyond-Earth orbit propulsion capabilities.’

Alongside its work on Vortex, the SNC is expanding the propulsion system for its Dream Chaser spaceplane and the company is co-investing with the USAF for development of new engines to be used by the US military.

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