Raytheon has been awarded a $0.98 million contract by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for the development of an RDE Powered Long Range Strike Missile.
The contract was announced on the Federal contracting website, beta.sam.gov.
A rotating detonation engine (RDE) is a proposed engine using a form of pressure gain combustion, where one or more detonations continuously travel around an annular channel.
In detonative combustion, the results expand at supersonic speed. It is theoretically more efficient than conventional deflagrative combustion by as much as 25%. Such an efficiency gain would provide major fuel savings but disadvantages include instability and noise.
Although the RDE’s design is similar to the pulse detonation engine (PDE), the RDE is superior because the waves cycle around the chamber, while the PDE requires the chambers to be purged after each pulse.