DARPA eyes critical design maturity for OpFires
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control has received another contract modification from DARPA for work on the Operational Fires (OpFires) Integrated Weapon System programme.
The company will conduct risk-reduction testing by September 2022 to achieve ‘system-level critical design maturity’, the DoD announced on 4 March.
DARPA awarded the original $31.9 million contract to Lockheed Martin in January 2020. The latest modification is worth $9.21 million.
OpFires Integrated Weapon System Phase 3 is intended to enable a mobile, ground-launched tactical weapon delivery system capable of carrying various payloads.
The overall goal of the OpFires programme is to develop and demonstrate a novel ground-launched system enabling hypersonic boost glide weapons to penetrate modern enemy air defences and ‘rapidly and precisely engage critical time-sensitive targets’, according to DARPA.
OpFires seeks to develop an advanced booster capable of delivering a variety of payloads at a variety of ranges. Additional considerations include the need for compatible mobile ground launch platforms to integrate existing ground forces and infrastructure, and specific system attributes required for rapid deployment and redeployment.
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