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Hypersonic Kill Vehicle Range Extension Research




The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services, including export of sensitive technical data, or the Export Administration Regulation (EAR), 15 CFR Parts 730-774, which controls dual use items. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals (FNs), their country(ies) of origin, the type of visa or work permit possessed, and the statement of work (SOW) tasks intended for accomplishment by the FN(s) in accordance with the Announcement. Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws.


OBJECTIVE: Significantly enhance hypersonic vehicle range performance by using in-flight shape, configuration or control surface configuration changes that maximize and adapt to varying flight conditions that optimize the aerodynamics, control or propulsion properties of the vehicle.

Perform basic, first principles research into these concepts that extend the effective intercept range of a hypersonic kill vehicle in basic defensive mission engagements.


DESCRIPTION: Current defensive hypersonic interceptor approaches are limited in battle space range and combat effectiveness by basic factors such as propulsion capability, flight dynamics, lethality methods and concept of operations.   Hypersonic aerodynamics are a significant part of range limitations of a kill vehicle to achieve required end-game vehicle maneuverability.  Improving aerodynamic performance would permit improving a number of crucial hypersonic weapon system performance parameters simultaneously.


PHASE I: Develop and execute a first-principles research approach in optimal lift-to-drag methods and vehicle control geometries.  Also, identify materials for high temperatures and mechanical strain with long term abilities to tolerate hypersonic flight conditions.  Consider high bandwidth vehicle control mechanisms and flight control algorithms that optimize and increase flight ranges.  Leverage new state-of-the-art research in materials and aerodynamic sciences.  Use digital models to achieve insights into potential non-traditional hypersonic flight dynamics.  Adopt an innovative approach for evaluating feasibilities of proposed solutions.


PHASE II: Build on and evolve the physics-based and engineering solutions developed in Phase I involving typical hypersonic basics:  Lift, Lift-to-drag ratios leading to long range; high agility and maneuverability; high efficiency propulsion concepts and wide flight envelopes; materials tolerating temperature on leading edges and vehicle body.

Continue evaluations to assess the feasibility of proposed approaches.  Utilize and validate functional computational models.  Down-select technologies and provide concluding approaches for vehicle range extensions.


PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Dual-use applications could be offensive hypersonic weapons for both tactical and strategic use.  Materials sciences under considerations could be utilized in space flight and hypersonic civilian airliner development.



  1. Hypersonic Aerodynamics – VT -
  2. High-enthalpy hypersonic flows – Shang & Yan, 7 Aug 2020
  3. The physical characteristics of hypersonic flows, Urzay, July 2020


KEYWORDS: Hypersonic interceptor; Extend Interceptor Range; Aerodynamic Research; high temperature materials

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