Northrop Grumman Corporation received funding through the manufacturing and industrial technology division of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) for enhancements to its hypersonics manufacturing technology. The $8.8 million contract supports improvements that will help to shorten production times and drive affordability for hypersonic weapons in production.
“Increased manufacturing capacity is key to enabling our nation’s need for cost-effective hypersonic production at scale,” said Dan Olson, vice president and general manager, weapon systems, Northrop Grumman. “Through our partnership with AFRL and our internal investments in propulsion infrastructure and innovation, we are making hypersonics a cost-effective reality.”
The company combines traditional manufacturing techniques with innovative manufacturing approaches and digital engineering to reduce part counts, inspection and touch labor. This comprehensive approach ensures the successful transition of hypersonic weapons from research and development to production while enabling sustainable, predictable and affordable life-cycle costs.
Northrop Grumman is a leader in hypersonics propulsion development. The company recently marked the successful completion of the first and second flight test of a scramjet-powered hypersonic weapon concept, and was selected as a partner for the first-of-its-kind hypersonic attack cruise missile program. Northrop Grumman is also constructing a first-of-its-kind hypersonics capability center in Elkton, Md., designed to provide full lifecycle production, from design and development to production and integration for hypersonic weapons.