The U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) has released Draft Request for Prototype Proposal (DRPP) and System Requirements Document (SRD) for the new Hypersonic Defense Regional Glide Phase Weapon System (RGPWS) program on Jan. 28.
“Missile Defense Agency (MDA) intends to carry out a Hypersonic Defense Regional Glide Phase Weapon System (RGPWS) Prototype Project under the authority of 10 U.S.C. §2371b; “Authority of the Department of Defense to Carry Out Certain Prototype Projects.” Competitive procedures will be used to enter into one or more agreements(s) leading to the design, development, and demonstration of a Prototype Weapon. This Other Transaction (OT) Agreement will be issued directly by MDA”, according to the release.
“MDA intends to issue a classified Technical Data Library containing items such as the System Requirements Document (SRD), threat data, trajectories and other technical data”, the release added.
The MDA has scheduled Industry Day one-on-one sessions from February 4-8 and the final Request for Prototype Proposal is expected to be released in early April.
The program is intended to complement another effort by MDA designated Hypersonic Defense Weapon System (HDWS) program. For this program, 21 proposals were selected for concept definition studies in September 2018, out of which five were down-selected in September 2019 for the next phase. The selected proposals are Lockheed Martin’s Valkyrie and Dart concepts, Boeing’s Hypervelocity Interceptor (HYVINT) and Raytheon’s SM-3 Hawk, along with a Raytheon proposal based on directed energy system.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is separately pursuing the Glide Breaker program which also seeks to develop an interceptor capable of defeating hypersonic vehicles.
Both China and Russia are currently developing advanced hypersonic glider technology and these hypersonic defense systems are being developed to counter this.
In 2017, China conducted a flight test of a new series of ballistic missiles, named DF-17, with a hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV). In August last year, China Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics (CAAA) has conducted a test launch of its Sky Star-2 waverider hypersonic flight vehicle at the northwest test range.
The Kinzhal missiles are carried by the MiG-31K supersonic interceptor aircraft, while the Avangard glide vehicle are carried as an MIRV (Multiple Independently-targetable Reentry Vehicle) payload by UR-100UTTKh (SS-19 Stiletto), RS-26 Rubezh (SS-X-31) and RS-28 Sarmat (SS-X-30) super-heavy intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) and can deliver both nuclear and conventional warheads.