Hermeus receives $60 million in U.S. Air Force partnership

August , 2021

Hermeus, the aerospace company developing Mach 5 aircraft, announced today the signing of a $60 million U.S. Air Force partnership for flight testing its first aircraft, Quarterhorse.

Quarterhorse will validate the company’s proprietary turbine-based combined cycle (TBCC) engine, based around the GE J85 turbojet engine, and is the first in a line of autonomous high-speed aircraft. By the end of the flight test campaign, Quarterhorse will be the fastest reusable aircraft in the world and the first of its kind to fly a TBCC engine.

Hermeus’ Quarterhorse aircraft

The award was made under the AFWERX Strategic Funding Increase (STRATFI) program led by the Presidential and Executive Airlift Directorate (PE) as a follow-on to a Phase II SBIR contract. The collaboration also includes support from the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).

“Small business partnership is recognized by the U.S. Air Force as an important component to driving innovation. Reducing risk in high speed transport technologies, as we are doing with this contract, provides near-term and long-term benefits to both the U.S. Air Force and the defense industrial base.” said Lt. Col. Joshua Burger, the Vector Initiative program manager who is spearheading the effort. “We are very excited to see Hermeus translate their demonstrated successes in engine prototyping into flight systems.”

 

Some may argue that it is impossible to flight test a TBCC engine across the full flight envelope for less than $100 million.  However, Hermeus is taking a different approach than traditional high-speed flight test programs. Hermeus will be leveraging autonomous and reusable systems, ruthlessly focused requirements, and a hardware-rich program.  These three strategies allow the team to push the envelope, sometimes strategically to the point of failure in flight test, which accelerates learning while simultaneously improving the safety of flight test crew and the public.  Pushing more risk to flight allows Hermeus to move through the engineering lifecycle quickly, reducing programmatic costs.  When exploring beyond the speeds that airbreathing aircraft have flown before, learning must come through testing in the real world.

TBCC Engine Overview in Quarterhorse

The technology set Hermeus has chosen positions the company firmly in the dual-use space for hypersonic technology, i.e. technologies normally used for civilian purposes but which may have military applications. “While this partnership with the U.S. Air Force underscores U.S. Department of Defense interest in hypersonic aircraft, when paired with Hermeus’ partnership with NASA announced in February 2021, it is clear that there are both commercial and defense applications for what we’re building,” said Hermeus CEO and co-founder, AJ Piplica.

ABOUT HERMEUS

Hermeus is a venture-backed startup with the long-term vision of transforming the global human transportation network with Mach 5 aircraft. At Mach 5, travel is not just supersonic, it’s hypersonic. At these speeds – over 3,000 miles per hour – flight times from New York to London will be 90 minutes rather than seven hours. Mach 5 aircraft have the potential to create an additional four trillion dollars of global economic growth per year, unlocking significant resources that can be utilized to solve the world’s great problems.

Contact: info@hermeus.com

Adds to Existing $57.9M IDIQ Contract for Sustainment Activity across All FLIR Unmanned Ground Systems

ARLINGTON, Va., January 26, 2021 ― FLIR Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: FLIR) announced it has received an additional $30.1 million contract from the United States (U.S.) Army for sustainment efforts tied in part to the service’s Man Transportable Robotic System Increment II (MTRS Inc. II) and Common Robotic System-Heavy (CRS-H) ground robot programs. The award raises the maximum value on the company’s existing Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract to $88 million, covering maintenance, parts and overall sustainment support for the entire FLIR unmanned ground systems family of small, medium and large robots used by the Army.

“We’re proud to be supporting the U.S. Army on two vital programs of record designed to confront a new generation of threats on the battlefield,” said Tom Frost, VP for Unmanned Ground Systems in the Unmanned and Integrated Solutions business at FLIR. “From the Kobra™ and Centaur® platforms to our smaller PackBot® and FirstLook® robots, we are well positioned to provide high-quality, cost-effective sustainment efforts over these systems’ lifespan and deliver lifesaving robotic technology to America’s warfighters.”

In 2019, the Army selected the FLIR Kobra robot as its CRS-H platform. The five-year production contract is worth up to $109 million to build upwards of 350 unmanned ground vehicles. In November, the Army announced it had begun fielding CRS-H. Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) teams will use the system to perform a range of missions, such as disarming vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices and other heavy-duty jobs. Modular payloads can be added for chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) detection and other tasks.

In 2017, the Army selected the medium-sized Centaur robot as its MTRS Inc. II solution. FLIR is delivering systems under that multi-year program of record, valued at more than $150 million upon award, including options. Since then, other U.S. military branches have opted to deploy Centaur as well.

Over the last year, FLIR has announced multiple orders totaling nearly $100 million for more than 750 Centaur unmanned ground systems from the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps. In addition to its use for bomb disposal efforts, Centaur operators can quickly attach different sensors and payloads to the robot to address other missions, including CBRN threats.

For more on FLIR Unmanned Ground Systems platforms, visit www.flir.com/UIS/UGS.

About FLIR Systems, Inc.

Founded in 1978, FLIR Systems is a world-leading technology company focused on intelligent sensing solutions for defense and industrial applications. Our vision is to be “The World’s Sixth Sense,” creating and advancing technologies to help professionals make better, faster decisions that save lives and livelihoods. For more information, please visit www.flir.com and follow @flir.

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