US Air Force Issues RFI for Hypersonic Multi-Mission Air-Breathing Demonstrator Program Written 14 August 2020


Artist's concept of X-51A during flight | US Air Force;  Wikipedia; Public Domain

FlightGlobal reports that the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) posted a request for information notice Wednesday regarding the Expendable Hypersonic Multi-Mission Air-Breathing Demonstrator program, also known as Mayhem. Mayhem “would be a competition to design, fabricate and integrate a large cruise missile, says AFRL.” The AFRL said, “The Mayhem System Demonstrator will need to be capable of carrying larger payloads over distances further than current hypersonic capabilities allow. ... The payload bay will be modular and capable of carrying or delivering at least three distinct payloads in order to execute multiple government-defined mission sets.” The AFRL “wants the Mayhem System Demonstrator to first take flight within a five-year timeframe, it says.” The Air Force and DARPA “are working on an air-breathing hypersonic cruise missile already”: the Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC), which the Air Force has said it plans to flight test in fiscal year 2020.
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