Boeing to test DARPA’s Glide Breaker Prototype
Boeing will conduct computational fluid dynamics analysis, wind tunnel tests, and evaluate the effects of aerodynamic jet interactions during flight testing. Work on the program’s second phase is expected to be completed in February 2027.
The Glide Breaker program uses a particular ‘killer’ vehicle that can be launched from an Aegis MK-41 vertical launch system. This capability allows the interceptor to engage hypersonic threats mid-flight during its glide phase. Other interceptor programs are designed to destroy missiles at the terminal phase before reaching their targets.
DARPA’s Glide Breaker program is designed to counter advanced hypersonic glide vehicle threats, including systems such as Russia’s Avangard and China’s Starry Sky.
The “Glide Breaker” initiative, in its initial stages, was primarily concerned with devising and presenting a “Divert and Attitude Control System” (DACS) that would facilitate the navigation of a potential kill vehicle. For this purpose, DARPA awarded Northrop Grumman $13 million, while Aerojet Rocketdyne received $12 million.
It is known that Russia has deployed the Khinzal missile hypersonic missiles in Ukraine, making them being deployed operationally.