HIFiRE team records another hypersonic flight test success

HIFiRE 5b rocket launches successfully at the Woomera Test Range in South Australia on May 18, 2016.
File image of a HIFiRE launch at Woomera. (Defence)

Minister for Defence Senator Marise Payne has congratulated the Defence Science and Technology Group (DST Group) and the US Air Force Research Laboratory on carrying out another successful experimental hypersonic flight at Woomera.

The flight was part of a joint research program conducted in partnership with BAE Systems, Boeing and the University of Queensland.

“There are key military applications of this technology, and by understanding hypersonic flight, the Australian Defence Force will be in a better position to respond to future threats,” said Minister Payne.

The Hypersonic International Flight Research Experimentation (HIFiRE) program team has achieved significant milestones including design, assembly and preflight testing of the hypersonic vehicles, and design of complex avionics and flight systems.

“While this is the last in the HIFiRE series, Australia remains at the leading edge of hypersonics research, test and evaluation, thanks to the work of this dedicated team of Defence scientists and their industry and academic partners,” said Minister Payne.

BAE Systems Australia stated that its involvement leveraged its expertise in developing guidance, navigation and control systems, which is the foundation of its weapon system and trusted autonomous system capability.

“We have an opportunity to utilise new technology to deliver increased capability, and to do so in a way that benefits the entire nation,” BAE Systems Australia chief executive Glynn Phillips said in a statement. “We look forward to continuing to work with DST Group on conducting world-leading collaborative research in new technologies.”

Australia and the US are developing plans for the next phase of flight experiments.