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Orbital ATK to help U.S. military develop hypersonic propulsion for aircraft and missiles

ARLINGTON, Va. – Aviation propulsion experts at Orbital ATK Inc. in Elkton, Md., are helping U.S. government researchers develop a full-scale reusable propulsion system for future hypersonic aircraft and missiles that can fly at least five times the speed of sound.

Officials of the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in Arlington, Va., have announced a $21.4 million contract to ATK for the Advanced Full Range Engine (AFRE) program.

This project seeks to develop and ground-demonstrate a full-scale, reusable turbine-based combined-cycle (TBCC) propulsion system for future hypersonic aircraft. TBCC combines a turbine engine for low-speed operations with a ramjet/scramjet for high-speed operations via a common inlet and nozzle.

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