WEST LAFAYETTE - Purdue University has signed a master agreement with Dynetics Inc., an Alabama-based aerospace and defense contractor, to design, produce and test hypersonic vehicle technology.

Purdue says the initial focus of the research agreement will be hypersonic systems with military applications.

Hypersonic speeds are more than five times the speed of sound. A vehicle designed to fly at hypersonic speed must be able to withstand extreme caused by friction and shock waves.

"This work dovetails with Purdue's prominence in hypersonic vehicle research," said Daniel DeLaurentis, professor of aeronautics and astronautics and director of Purdue's Institute for Global Security and Defense Innovation.  "As our research partnership proceeds, we expect to also explore joint projects in areas such as systems engineering, microfabrication, propulsion, materials science, and machine learning and artificial intelligence."

Dynetics Technical Solutions, a subsidiary of Dynetics, received in August a $351 million contract to produce Common-Hypersonic Glide Body prototypes. Purdue says the technology will be used as a part of a hypersonic weapon system by the U.S. military.

“The research agreement will broaden our partnership, and with our newest program, the Common-Hypersonic Glide Body prototypes, it will offer more opportunities for Purdue students to join our growing company,” said Jimmy Allen, director of advanced materials and nanosystems research at Dynetics.

Allen says his company has a long-standing relationship with Purdue. Dynetics currently employs 45 people with Purdue degrees.

Located in Purdue's Discovery Park, the Institute for Global Security and Defense Innovation was created in 2017 by Purdue to help deliver solutions to global security and defense challenges.