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Aerojet Rocketdyne’s Innovative Solid Rocket Motor Technology Advances DARPA’s OpFires Hypersonics Program

Written by: Space Foundation Editorial Team

HUNTSVILLE, Ala., June 21, 2021 – Aerojet Rocketdyne has successfully tested a full-scale advanced solid rocket motor as part of an ongoing test series in support of Phase 2 of the Operational Fires (OpFires) program, a U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) effort to develop a ground-launched tactical hypersonic weapon.

“This successful test demonstrates Aerojet Rocketdyne’s advanced technological capabilities to ensure our warfighters maintain the advantage,” said Eileen P. Drake, Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and president.

During the static test last month at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, the company demonstrated the variable-range technology that will enable OpFires to provide the military with intermediate-range missile capability. The solid rocket motor performed as expected through the duration of the static test, which was performed at sea level.

The static test follows earlier tests of booster test articles and a series of subscale propulsion system tests to support the program.

The OpFires program is intended to use a highly mobile missile launcher to deliver a hypersonic boost-glide weapon capable of engaging high-value targets from standoff range through heavily defended airspace.

Aerojet Rocketdyne, a leader in advanced hypersonic propulsion technology, provides scramjets and warheads in addition to solid rocket motor boosters. The company is making hypersonic propulsion more affordable and preparing for production capacity through investments that include a new Advanced Manufacturing Facility in Huntsville, Alabama, a new Engineering, Manufacturing and Development facility in Camden, Arkansas, and growing capabilities at the company’s 3DMT facility in Daytona Beach, Florida.

About Aerojet Rocketdyne: Aerojet Rocketdyne, a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:AJRD), is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader that provides propulsion systems and energetics to the space, missile defense and strategic systems, and tactical systems areas, in support of domestic and international customers. For more information, visit and Follow Aerojet Rocketdyne and CEO Eileen Drake on Twitter at @AerojetRdyne and @DrakeEileen.

DARPA Distribution Statement “A” (Approved for Public Release, Distribution Unlimited)


Media Contact:
Eileen Lainez, Aerojet Rocketdyne
[email protected]