Future Trends

Leidos Completes Air Force Hypersonic System Tests, But Future Funding Uncertain

Mayhem testing

Leidos Completes Air Force Hypersonic System Tests, But Future Funding Uncertain

Leidos announced the completion of conceptual design and system requirement reviews for the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Mayhem air-breathing hypersonic system, on which the company is the main contractor. Tiffany Creamer, Leidos’ Mayhem program manager, described Mayhem as “a leap forward in hypersonic capabilities,” while conveying Leidos’ excitement about the reviews’ results.

A Congressional Research Service report issued in February, however, noted that the absence of defined hypersonic weapons missions “may make it challenging” for Congress to consider future funding for hypersonic programs. The Department of Defense’s fiscal year 2024 budget provided $190.6 million for hypersonic defense programs but the department declined to itemize the requested funding, the report noted.

Nonetheless, Creamer stressed that the company remains committed to supporting AFRL’s innovation initiatives for warfighters “despite temporary funding challenges,” Leidos said.

The Mayhem reviews were conducted through a system design agent approach within a digital engineering environment wherein Leidos worked with a team composed of Calspan, Draper and Kratos Defense & Security Solutions

Leidos also collaborated on the project with the University of Michigan’s aerospace department and the U-M x88 Model-Based Systems Engineering laboratory. The Mayhem task order was awarded to Leidos in December 2022 under a $334 million AFRL contract.

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Category: Future Trends