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08:59 AM, January 29, 2019
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DARPA Seeks New Materials, Technology for Hypersonic Air Platforms
Russian missile system (image: TASS)

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has begun to solicit for new materials and technology to accelerate R&D of hypersonic air vehicles and platforms. 

“The Defense Sciences Office (DSO) at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is soliciting innovative research proposals in the area of high performance leading edges for hypersonic air platforms,” US Department of Defense said Monday.

The Materials, Architectures and Characterization for Hypersonics (MACH) program seeks to develop new thermal based design and material solutions, or new coating sand high temperature materials for sharp, shape-stable leading edges for hypersonic vehicles, DARPA solicitation explained.

French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly revealed in January that France intends to reach the testing stage on a new hypersonic glider design in two years' time.

The glider will be capable of reaching speeds above Mach 5 (over 6,000 kph), with the first test flight scheduled for late 2021, she added.

Russia test-launched the Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle, which can fly 27 times faster than the speed of sound in December capable of carrying megaton-class nuclear weapons. It was launched from the southern Ural Mountains and successfully hit a practice target on Kamchatka, 6,000 kilometers (3,700 miles) away.

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