Stratolaunch’s Roc air-launch vehicle prepares for its first captive carry flight with the Talon-A separation test vehicle, TA-0, on Oct. 28, 2022. (Image courtesy Bryan Weathers)

November 29, 2022

MOJAVE, Calif.— Successful development of hypersonic weapon systems depends on early, affordable, and regular hypersonic flight testing. That’s the idea behind the Multiservice Advanced Capability Test Bed (MACH-TB) project.

The MACH-TB project recently added the services of aerospace vehicle manufacturer Stratolaunch, LLC, which will partner with Dynetics to advance the development of hypersonic systems. The project was awarded by the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC), Crane Division through the Strategic and Spectrum Missions Advanced Resilient Trusted Systems (S²MARTS) Other Transaction Agreement (OTA), according to a release from Stratolaunch.

A key innovation of the NSWC Crane MACH-TB initiative focuses on supporting hypersonic programs with opportunities to flight test technologies using robust, agile, and modular approaches. The Dynetics-led team will demonstrate ways to affordably prototype a testbed that leverages commercial launch vehicles, including Stratolaunch’s Talon-A vehicle, for flight testing hypersonic payloads. The data collected will provide insight to the U.S. DoD on technology improvement and capability validation, Stratolaunch said in the release.

Stratolaunch’s Talon-A, a reusable autonomous hypersonic testbed, will operate as a high-cadence, high-speed testbed to advance the MACH-TB program development. Stratolaunch’s hypersonic flight test service is reported to directly complement the goals of MACH-TB.

“We’re excited for the opportunity for Talon-A flights to be integrated into the MACH-TB program as part of the Dynetics team, said Zachary Krevor, Ph.D., and chief executive officer for Stratolaunch, in the release. “We look forward to providing flight test opportunities needed to advance hypersonics systems development for the services. This partnership will accelerate the frequency of testing that is imperative to reducing the risk of hypersonic system technology development.”

Dynetics, a Huntsville, Alabama-based, wholly owned subsidiary of Leidos, provides engineering, scientific, and IT services to national security, cybersecurity, space, and critical infrastructure sectors. The company’s portfolio includes highly specialized technical services and a range of software and hardware products, including components, subsystems, and complex end-to-end systems.

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