DARPA calls for integration of hypersonic weapons in OpFires Phase 3

ARLINGTON, Va. The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has issued a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for Phase 3 of the Operational Fires (OpFires) Integrated Weapon System program; Phase 3 seeks a contractor that can integrate ground-launched hypersonic weapon systems.

The OpFires effort is focused on an ongoing joint DARPA/U.S .Army development initiative aimed at developing a ground-based mobile system that can launch penetrative hypersonic boost glide platforms designed to defeat time-sensitive targets.

DARPA materials state that "the overarching goal of the OpFires program is to develop and demonstrate a novel ground-launched system enabling hypersonic boost-glide weapons to penetrate modern enemy air defenses and rapidly and precisely engage critical time-sensitive targets."

Phase one of the OpFires program covers initial development and demonstration activities, while phase two involves design maturation and static-fire testing (scheduled for late 2020); the third phase will cover flight testing, slated to conclude in 2022.