FAST FIVE: DARPA, Army Select These Three Companies For Hypersonic Missile Propulsion 

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A joint program by the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA)/ US Army Operational Fires (OpFires) has picked a total of three defense companies to develop and demonstrate a novel ground-launched system enabling hypersonic boost-glide weapons to penetrate the world's most advanced air defenses and quickly and accurately engage critical time-sensitive enemy targets.

Aerojet Rocketdyne, Exquadrum, and Sierra Nevada Corporation have each received contracts to immediately start work on design and development for the next generation of propulsion systems that will power America's hypersonic weapons, DARPA announced on Friday.

Phase I of the program will be a 12-month effort designed on early development and demonstration of booster rockets that provide thrust propulsion for hypersonic missiles.

Phase III will focus on weapon system integration, will then be followed by flight tests in 2022.

JP Morgan released a report back in September that outlined the hypersonic weapons industry, and identified all the defense companies as key players in the sector, with Lockheed Martin in the lead.

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