The company will develop near-net shape 3D weaving technology for hypersonic applications.

ROCHESTER, N.H.—Albany Engineered Composites (AEC), a subsidiary of  Albany International Corp., recently received a $4 million contract award from the U.S. Army in support of hypersonic development. Albany Engineered Composites will use its proprietary, fully industrialized near-net shape 3D weaving technology to further develop thermal protection systems for hypersonic applications, Albany International said in a release.

When compared to competing technologies, AEC’s near-net shape 3D weaving technology is reported to provide “unique performance advantages with superior affordability and scalability to meet the demanding requirements of hypersonic vehicles.”

“We are excited to play a critical role in advancing U.S. capabilities in hypersonics in support of our national defense initiatives,” said AEC President Greg Harwell, in a statement. “AEC is uniquely positioned with a superior proprietary composite manufacturing solution that offers a best value to the Department of Defense in support of its demanding hypersonic vehicle requirements.”

While developing its 3D composite technology, AEC has made investments over the last 20 years in its people, processes, equipment, software, and applications. More recently, AEC committed to strategic capital investments supporting the adaptation of the company’s 3D composites technology to hypersonic material applications. The company will use this funding to support its ongoing 3D weaving technology development for hypersonic applications, according to the release.

To support the growth in hypersonics, AEC plans to recruit new employees in Rochester, over a multi-year period, in the areas of engineering, fabrication, machining, and assembly. New Hampshire has cultivated a strong pool of aerospace and defense talent, and AEC provides unique benefits and growth opportunities to attract new workers while providing the training necessary to enhance the regional workforce, the release said.

“New Hampshire businesses play a critical role in bolstering our national defense capabilities,” said U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen, in a statement. “I’m thrilled to see this $4 million contract between the U.S. Army and Rochester’s Albany Engineered Composites, which will further enhance our state’s reputation as an innovator for emerging technologies. This contract is a testament to the advanced technologies developed by Granite State companies, and demonstrates the essential work of our businesses and workforce in support of U.S. national defense.”

Albany Engineered Composites (AEC) designs and manufactures advanced engineered composite components for engine and airframe applications in commercial and military aircraft, missiles and unmanned vehicles, and for renewable energy creation and distribution. The company’s specialty composites are said to enable current and next-generation aircraft to “perform better while being more fuel-efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally-friendly.”

Albany International is a developer and manufacturer of engineered components, using advanced materials processing and automation capabilities. The company has two core businesses: Machine Clothing, a producer of custom-designed, consumable belts essential for the manufacture of all grades of paper products; and Albany Engineered Composites.