The U.S. Department of Defense says it will establish its Joint Hypersonics Transition Office Systems Engineering Field Activity at Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division in southern Indiana. The facility will be used to accelerate research and development and testing of hypersonic technologies.
The Indiana Economic Development Corp. says the facility will allow the DoD to “develop and improve technologies and capabilities in hypersonics by utilizing NSWC Crane’s strategic assets and growing network of government, industry and academic partners.”
The facility will employ 30 engineers and program managers on site at NSWC Crane.
“NSWC Crane has become a critical hub in the hypersonics development ecosystem,” said Rick Davidoff, acting director of the JHTO Systems Engineering Field Activity. “This exciting announcement is the culmination of the hard work and dedication of many people. The JHTO Field Activity at Crane will allow OSD to leverage earlier and ongoing investments at Crane to help all three Services improve their hypersonic weapons with more rapid, adaptable and modular upgrades. Indiana and the larger Midwest will have a long-term, critical role in this important national security mission.”
Hypersonics systems can travel at Mach 5, which is five times the speed of sound, or higher. The IEDC says the programs that take place at the Indiana facility will be coordinated by the JHTO at its main location at the Pentagon.
“The JHTO and its Systems Engineering Field Activity present a signature opportunity for the Department,” said Dr. Mark Lewis, director of the JHTO. “Leveraging the capabilities at NSWC Crane, we can not only develop effective hypersonic technologies, but we can also develop them affordably at the speed of relevance to our warfighters. Proactive engineering for affordable upgrades is critical to the long-term sustainability of these systems.”
The IEDC touts Indiana’s already strong hypersonics assets, including testing infrastructure at NSWC Crane and research capabilities at Purdue University and the University of Notre Dame.