Future Trends

AFRL Seeks X-Bow Systems Additive Manufacturing Support for Rocket Motor Program

Solid rocket propellant

production

AFRL Seeks X-Bow Systems Additive Manufacturing Support for Rocket Motor Program

New Mexico-based startup X-Bow Systems has secured a three-year, $17.8 million Air Force Research Laboratory contract to provide additive manufacturing support to the Rapid Energetics & Advanced Rocket Manufacturing program.

Through RE-ARM, AFRL supports the development of affordable solid rocket motor production equipment to reduce propellant production costs, SpaceNews reported.

The U.S. Air Force’s satellite launchers and air-to-air, air-to-ground and intercontinental ballistic missiles are powered by solid rocket engines.

X-Bow CEO Jason Hundley said his company will use additive techniques to accelerate the production of solid rocket motors for such projectiles. He explained that he plans to cut the time needed to establish a solid propellant production line from six years to within a year at a reduced cost.

Hundley added that X-Bow can more easily accommodate different rocket motor sizes than traditional methods.

According to Hundley, the AFRL contract will contribute to the maturation of his company’s technology and processes. The award is part of a larger $60 million strategic funding increase X-Bow secured in April.

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Tags: additive manufacturing Air Force Research Laboratory Future Trends Rapid Energetics & Advanced Rocket Manufacturing solid rocket motor SpaceNews X-Bow Systems