In the News

Spirit AeroSystems, NIAR partner on development of hypersonic weapons

Joe Baker | KWCH

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The Principal Director for Hypersonics for the U.S. Department of Defense was in Wichita on Friday discussing hypersonics. Hypersonics are weapons that travel in excess of five times the speed of sound.

Spirit AeroSystems and the National Institute on Aviation Research (NIAR) are partnering to develop hypersonics. In October, the National Defense Prototype Center (NDPC) opened to test high-temperature materials that can be used in hypersonic missiles.

On Friday, White said his department wants to make sure the weapon systems are delivered to U.S. troops in numbers that are significant.

“We are accelerating our program to develop the capabilities we need to effectively fight the battle and to address the target set that we need to address,” said White.

White and Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) also discussed how the development will impact war and Wichita.

“Going to bring more defense work to Kansas and more space work to Kansas, and Spirit would be, I would assume, one of those companies that would benefit. But this also would benefit the supply chain, the smaller contractors here in Wichita in so many ways,” said Moran.

White said the first hypersonic systems will be delivered in 2023. The plan is to continue to deliver air, land and sea systems throughout the decade.