Satnews Daily
December 20th, 2018

Sierra Nevada Corporation Gets the Go Sign with Advanced Propulsion Contract from DARPA

Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) has been awarded a contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) to develop innovative propulsion systems for the initial phase of Operational Fires, or OpFires, program.

Thomas Crabb, vice president of propulsion and environmental systems, a division of SNC’s Space Systems business area based in Madison, Wisconsin said that SNC is very excited to have the opportunity to apply its expertise and unique engine technologies to the OpFires program and support the national interests.  They see a great opportunity to field more capable and flexible systems in a few short years, not only for OpFires, but for other applications as well. 

This phase of the program aims to develop propulsion systems that can support a wide operational range envelope, and be suitable for integration and delivery of a variety of payloads.

OpFires is also intended to address challenges in penetrating modern air defenses, as well as providing the capability to engage critical time-sensitive threats.

SNC has developed a variety of liquid and hybrid propulsion systems over the past several decades for a wide range of applications, including VORTEX® engine technology that drives performance and simplicity. The OpFires propulsion system will build on that heritage, while advancing state-of-the-art technology.