Rolls-Royce, Reaction Engines, BAE Systems to develop hypersonic propulsion systems

The two-year program is in collaboration with the U.K.’s Ministry of Defense.


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The Defence Equipment and Support branch of the U.K.’s Ministry of Defence (MOD) has announced a two-year program for design studies, research, development, analysis and experimentation of hypersonic (high-Mach) advanced aircraft propulsion systems. The single-sourced contract has been awarded for Rolls Royce plc (Derby, U.K.) and its technology partners BAE Systems (Farnborough, U.K.) and Reaction Engines (Abingdon, U.K.).

“Going forward, this collaboration will allow us to focus on enabling innovative technologies for increased aircraft performance and capability,” says Alex Zino, director of business development and future programs at Rolls-Royce.

According to Reaction Engines, interest in hypersonic air systems is growing worldwide for defense and security applications. The extra speed (more than Mach 4) is said to decrease time to target, improve penetration in contested environments and enable access to previously unreachable areas. Reaction Engines says this program develop a variety of technological options and solutions.