Virginia-based technology, engineering and science solutions and services company Leidos has been awarded a US$334million contract to assist the US Air Force Research Laboratory in developing an air-breathing hypersonic system.
The Expendable Hypersonic Multi-mission ISR (intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance) and Strike programme, better known as Mayhem, will span a 51-month period of performance. The first phase of the contract will involve a digital-engineering-based system-requirements review and conceptual-design review.
‘To deliver the next generation of air-breathing hypersonic system, we’ll leverage our years of investment, knowledge and success in the hypersonic field,’ said Leidos’ Dynetics president Steve Cook.
The Mayhem system will use a scramjet engine to generate thrust, propelling the vehicle across long distances at speeds greater than Mach 5. Leidos has been tasked with designing and developing a large-class version that surpasses current air-breathing systems in range and payload capacity using digital engineering to ensure the design efforts help future development and transition.
Leidos has assembled a team of leaders from industry and academia, including Calspan, Draper and Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, to serve as the system design agent, which will forge partnerships between the government, industry and academia to deliver the cutting-edge research and development needed to design and prepare a production-ready technical-data package to produce prototypes. Leidos will also lead the model-based systems engineering and programming to help ensure that Mayhem can make the transition from idea to operational system.
‘The team assembled by Leidos marries exceptional experience with innovation,’ said Mayhem programme manager Ryan Leo. ‘We’re working with the nation’s top solution providers in hypersonic vehicle and propulsion technologies. We’re proud to contribute to this important national security mission.’