As the U.S. Air Force seeks to spend down its remaining fiscal 2022 funds before fiscal 2023 begins on Oct. 1, the service awarded future hypersonic power contracts this week to General Electric [GE] and Honeywell [HON] in response to white papers that the companies submitted.
On Sept. 29, the Air Force awarded GE a nearly $18.6 million contract for Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) work on compact power generation for long-duration hypersonic vehicles.
“This award is based off a white paper submitted in response to a BAA [Broad Agency Announcement],” the Air Force said in a business notice. “This is not a firm-fixed price contract due to the research nature of the effort. This effort will seek to evaluate various high TRL [technology readiness level] Compact Power Generation solutions to develop a prototype design for use in future hypersonic vehicles. More specifically, during the base effort, the offeror will develop several models and run optimization studies to maximize system performance. During the Option 1 effort, the offeror will assess the design of subsystem components. It will then fabricate all necessary components in-house. Finally, during the Option 2 effort, the offeror will provide test plans and ground test the prototype.”
In addition GE’s Edison Works in Cincinnati won a nearly $8.8 million Air Force contract on Sept. 28 for thermal protection of hypersonic vehicles–a contract that “provides for an aggressive research and development project that advances understanding and maturity of high temperature ceramic matrix composites (CMC) and ultra-high temperature CMC,” the Air Force said.
On Sept. 27, Honeywell won a nearly $15.3 million contract for AFRL work related to the BAA on the development and testing of a compact power generation system for long duration and reusable hypersonic vehicles.
Last week, Raytheon Technologies [RTX] beat Lockheed Martin [LMT] and Boeing [BA] to win a more than $985 million contract for the Hypersonic Attack Cruise Missile (HACM), and Northrop Grumman [NOC] said it will continue its partnership with Raytheon to build scramjet engines for HACM (Defense Daily, Sept. 22).
Northrop Grumman said it has been working with Raytheon since 2019 to build propulsion for Raytheon’s air-breathing hypersonic weapon designs. Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall has said that air-breathing hypersonic weapons have shown more promise than boost glide hypersonic weapons.