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Navy’s Hypersonic System Research Proposal Wins DOD-Hosted Annual Competition; JihFen Lei Quoted

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A hypersonics research proposal from the Naval Research Laboratory has been selected by the Department of Defense to receive a $45 million grant under the DOD”s Applied Research for Advancement of Science and Technology Priorities program.

DOD said Wednesday that the NRL-run Naval Center for Space Technology pitched its “Surface Morphing and Adaptive Structures for Hypersonics” project to the DOD S&T Executive Committee as part of the ARAP competition.

“We appreciate the initiative, originality and collaborative effort that each team displayed in developing a high-quality proposal, especially during the pandemic,” said JihFen Lei, chair of ExCom and acting director of research and engineering for research and technology at DOD.

NCST’s winning proposal, which beat 16 other submissions reviewed by the panel, will explore materials and approaches to boost the performance of hypersonic weapons.

The three-year effort will see NRL lead a group composed of Air Force and Army research laboratories, the Missile Defense Agency and 20 academic entities.

Eighty government scientists and engineers and at least 20 new graduate students will support the initiative to help the department build defensive and offensive hypersonic platforms, DOD noted.

The department holds the ARAP award competition among its components every year to address technology and capability gaps within the defense enterprise.