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DIU Taps Private Industry to Speed Up Hypersonic Technology Development; Barry Kirkendall Quoted

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Barry Kirkendall, technical director for space at the Defense Innovation Unit, said the technology accelerator is tapping into the private industry to accelerate the testing and development of new military hypersonic technologies, Forbes reported.

Kirkendall envisions that private sector capabilities and capital can reduce pressure on the U.S. missile infrastructure that could not support rapid testing of new technologies.

“So we find ourselves leaning on wind tunnels and test ranges that have hardly any availability. We can’t afford to build new infrastructure and new ranges so we’re looking for another solution,” Kirkendall said.

DIU has a new program, dubbed Hypersonic and High-Cadence Airborne Testing Capabilities, that calls for the development of a hypersonic test aircraft for the military that can fly and maneuver at a speed greater than Mach 5.

The high-speed vehicle must have the capacity to enable long-endurance testing of hypersonic platforms and related components and collect near real-time data on the performance of in-flight vehicles.