Air Force Research Laboratory is bundling hypersonic research, engineering, and testing together into a cohesive new team at Arnold AFB, Tenn. AFRL’s new High Speed Experimentation Branch will open shop at Arnold Engineering Development Complex’ Von Karman test facility in October, according to a July 7 release. “The multi-disciplinary test facilities and teams at AEDC will give the Air Force a never-before-realized advantage of having everything the nation needs to move hypersonics to the warfighter co-located and moving in one direction,” said AEDC’s hypervelocity wind-tunnel manager Dan Marren. AFRL has partnered with AEDC on hypersonic research for several years. The formal partnership aims to “bring together the research talent of AFRL, the test and engineering expertise and facilities of AEDC, and the academic linkages … to form a national center of gravity in hypersonics,” added former AEDC Executive Director Douglas Blake.
The Air Force has picked Northrop Grumman over L3Harris and Lockheed Martin to develop and build the Stand-in Attack Weapon, meant to swiftly destroy enemy air defense sites and other high-value targets.