Army seeking hypersonic weapon testing support

By Ashley Tressel / December 23, 2019 at 7:00 AM

The Army has released a request for information on testing support for hypersonic weapons, specifically "the current, new, and evolving Hypersonic Test Engineering, Mission Planning and Systems (HyTEMPS) requirements."

"Relative to the HyTEMPS [performance work statement], the purpose of this RFI is to gain knowledge of the capabilities, capacity and expertise experience of potential vendors regarding approaches to accommodate flight testing of flight test vehicles, as well as recommended contractual approaches (currently, the federal government is considering executing a contract award no later than June 2020 with an acquisition approach of an overall four-year [two year base with a, two-year option] cost-type contact valued under $100M)," the notice says.

The RFI notes the Defense Department has "increased the priority level of hypersonic vehicles fielding" and therefore increased the hypersonic flight test "rhythm" to two events each year starting in fiscal year 2020. Additionally, the office of the under secretary of defense for research and engineering has directed a continued acceleration of up to 20 events per year.

The contractor would need to provide "capabilities, solutions, and services necessary to collect telemetry from flight vehicles; perform phenomenology measurements utilizing sensors; transport and display data during test events; integrate the numerous systems together via networks; develop and modify software to facilitate successful test objectives; facilitate flight termination system/range safety functions, cybersecurity, maintain test resources; fabricate prototype test resources as required; and other test functions as needed."

The hypersonic systems in question are "strategic assets" and require the support of multiple test ranges, the notice says. This effort includes hypersonics allocated to SMDC from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Army, Navy, Air Force, and Test Resource Management Center.

The service has not yet finalized an acquisition strategy but is "exploring the feasibility and appropriateness of utilizing the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command (USASMDC) Design, Development, Demonstration, and Integration (D3I) multiple award indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (MAIDIQ) contract vehicle (specifically Domain 1) or the Government Services Administration (GSA) One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services (OASIS) Unrestricted MAIDIQ contract vehicle," according to the notice.