WASHINGTON (Sputnik) –The US armed forces have asked for innovative new ideas to accelerate their research and development of hypersonic air vehicles and platforms, the Department of Defense announced in a Federal Business Opportunity on Monday.
“The Defense Sciences Office (DSO) at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is soliciting innovative research proposals in the area of high performance leading edges for hypersonic air platforms,” the solicitation said.
The Materials Architectures and Characterization for Hypersonics (MACH) program seeks to develop new thermal based design and material solutions, or new coating sand high temperature materials for sharp, shape-stable leading edges for hypersonic vehicles, the solicitation explained.
In January French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly has revealed that Paris intends to reach the testing stage on a new hypersonic glider design in two years’ time.
According to the defence minister, the glider will be capable of reaching speeds above Mach 5 (over 6,000 kph), with the first test flight scheduled “for late 2021.”
On 26 December, the Kremlin reported that the Russian Defense Ministry had test-launched the Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle, which flies 27 times faster than the speed of sound and which can carry megaton-class nuclear weapons. It was launched from the southern Ural Mountains and successfully hit a practice target on Kamchatka, 6,000 kilometers (3,700 miles) away.