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Will Roper Eyes IOC for Air Force Hypersonics Program Within Three Years Through Prototyping

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Will Roper

Will Roper, assistant secretary for acquisition, technology and logistics at the U.S. Air Force, has said he sees hypersonics as another program that goes through prototyping and “embraces the potential for failure” upfront in order for the service to learn new insights about the technology before moving to the next phase, Defense News reported Monday.

“Hypersonics is a program where I would expect us to get out and learn a lot as we test,” Roper told the publication in a July 16 interview at Farnborough Airshow.

“So rather than taking time to ensure that your tests are checking the box of something you’re confident you can do, you compress the schedule to go out and make the test focused on learning something,” he added.

He said he expects the hypersonics program to reach “initial operational capability within three to four years.”

Roper, a 2018 Wash100 recipient, noted that the Air Force hopes to finish the source selection process for the T-X trainer program by the fall of 2018.

He also offered updates on the Advanced Battle Management System, light-attack experiment and prototyping work on the B-52 engine.

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