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Air Force Studying Rocket Cargo Transportation Capability

Reusable rocket

Air Force Studying Rocket Cargo Transportation Capability

The Air Force, together with the Space Force, is examining the viability of employing reusable rockets to quickly transport materiel to ports around the world.

The effort, dubbed Rocket Cargo Vanguard, is being led by the Air Force Research Laboratory and is aimed at adapting commercial rockets for the Department of Defense’s logistical missions.

AFRL will study factors critical to the program’s success, including the feasibility of safely landing a rocket near personnel and structures and the ability to airdrop cargo in areas where rockets cannot land, Aerospace Manufacturing Magazine reported Monday.

Chief of Space Operations Gen. John Raymond, a 2021 Wash100 winner and past Potomac Officers Club event speaker, said Rocket Cargo Vanguard has the potential to fundamentally alter the rapid logistics landscape and speed up the time it takes to deliver material to joint warfighters.

The new program will enable the U.S. government to save money on rocket technology development as it leverages available rockets from the commercial sector. The approach allows the government to make direct investments in quickly adapting the rockets for DOD’s global logistics needs.

Rocket Cargo is the fourth project under the Air Force’s Vanguard program, which fosters the development of new capabilities aimed at providing warfighters with a mission-critical advantage on the battlefield.

In February, AFRL Commander Brig. Gen. Heather Pringle set the goal of expanding the Vanguard program by adding at least three more projects to the current roster.

The Air Force is currently working on three Vanguards: Skyborg, Golden Horde and the Navigation Technology Satellite 3.

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Category: Speaker News