The United States and United Kingdom are continuing to test ballistic missile re-entry materials.
Southern Research Institute, Birmingham, Alabama, was awarded a $9,679,480 contract to provide thermo-mechanical and aero-thermal ground testing of thermal protection system materials in ballistic re-entry and re-entry-like environments, and fabrication of flight hardware for submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) re-entry systems.
The effort is intended to test re-entry materials for the U.S. and U.K. and will provide support for the SLBM re-entry systems under the Strategic Systems Programs. Support includes preparation, instrumentation, testing and gathering thermo-mechanical data on advanced materials at extremely high temperatures and in high flux/shear environments.
The unique ability to test and collect data at maximum temperatures of 5,500 degrees Fahrenheit is required to properly test re-entry material in re-entry like environments. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of the contract to $33,444,862.
According to a release, this contract combines purchases for the Navy (70 percent); and the government of the United Kingdom (30 percent), under the Foreign Military Sales program.
“Work will be performed in Birmingham, Alabama, and is expected to be completed by June 2019. Fiscal 2018 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funding in the amount of $510,000 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.”