Aerial Warfare

Aerojet Rocketdyne Awarded US DoD Contract to Demonstrate “Powder-in Engine-out” Hypersonic Propulsion Manufacturing

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Aerojet Rocketdyne Awarded US DoD Contract to Demonstrate “Powder-in Engine-out” Hypersonic Propulsion Manufacturing

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Aerojet Rocketdyne Awarded US DoD Contract to Demonstrate “Powder-in Engine-out” Hypersonic Propulsion Manufacturing
Aerojet Rocketdyne Awarded US DoD Contract to Demonstrate “Powder-in Engine-out” Hypersonic Propulsion Manufacturing

Aerojet Rocketdyne, an L3Harris Technologies company, has been awarded a $22 million Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) contract from the Department of Defense (DoD) Manufacturing Technology Program, through Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane, to develop a prototype solution for the Growing Additive Manufacturing Maturity for Airbreathing Hypersonics (GAMMA-H) challenge. The GAMMA-H program is part of the DoD’s ongoing efforts to expand current processes to manufacture hypersonic weapons components.

According to the DoD, GAMMA-H will contribute toward advancing additive manufacturing processes that can affordably meet the propulsion performance and environmental requirements that modern hypersonic airbreathing systems demand. More than a decade after making hypersonic history with the X-51 Waverider, Aerojet Rocketdyne has continued to evolve advanced hypersonic propulsion through numerous successful test flights supporting the nation’s need for faster, more maneuverable missile systems.

The X-51A WaverRder made its first hypersonic flight May 26, 2010 off the southern California Coast. (Photo by U.S. Air Force)
The X-51A WaverRder made its first hypersonic flight May 26, 2010 off the southern California Coast. (Photo by U.S. Air Force)

“Aerojet Rocketdyne will consolidate several essential steps of the end-to-end scramjet manufacturing process under the GAMMA-H contract, which will provide schedule and cost efficiencies associated with a less fragmented supply chain,” said Aerojet Rocketdyne president Ross Niebergall. “Optimizing processes will increase part yields and reduce the number of processing steps, resulting in higher production velocity and lower cost.”

Aerojet Rocketdyne is a subsidiary of American defense company L3Harris Technologies that manufactures rocket, hypersonic, and electric propulsive systems for space, defense, civil and commercial applications. Aerojet Rocketdyne was formed in 2013 when Aerojet (then owned by GenCorp) and Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne were merged, following the latter’s acquisition by GenCorp from Pratt & Whitney. On April 27, 2015, the name of the holding company, GenCorp Inc., was changed to Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings was acquired by L3Harris in July 2023 for $4.7 billion.

A B-52H carrying an X-51A WaveRider awaits takeoff at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. May 26. The X-51A is an unmanned scramjet engine powered hypersonic flight demonstrator.
A B-52H carrying an X-51A WaveRider awaits takeoff at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. May 26. The X-51A is an unmanned scramjet engine powered hypersonic flight demonstrator. (Photo by U.S. Air Force)

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