Vaya Space Signs Agreement With Army DEVCOM Aviation and Missile Center to Explore Vortex Hybrid Rocket Engine for Defense Missile Use

July 09, 2024


Vaya Space, a space and defense company, today announced that it has signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation and Missile Center (DEVCOM AvMC) to investigate the use of Vaya Space’s vortex hybrid propulsion technology in a representative size for a surface-to-surface missile. The agreement will also allow Vaya to further prove out the engine’s capabilities for use in an operational environment, either as a replacement engine for existing missile systems or as the propulsion system for a new long-range surface-to-surface missile.

The CRADA is a follow-on action to Vaya Space’s demonstration of successful deep throttling, shutdown, and restart of an 8 kN test engine based on the design specifications of a Hellfire tactical missile. Vaya began designing the demonstration engine just after initial discussions with Army Futures Command in April of 2023. Vaya designed and built the test engine by that September at their own expense, with an initial test fire in October 2023. In January 2024, Vaya demonstrated the engine’s ability to throttle from 8 kN to 4 kN and back up to 8 kN, and the ability to shut down the engine while firing, pause for a period of time, and then restart the engine to senior representatives of Army Futures Command, DEVCOM AvMC, and several defense primes. This demonstration of the rapidly designed and built engine with operationally relevant capabilities was the impetus for the CRADA.

Robert Fabian, Vaya Space COO, said, “With our recent tests proving that Vaya’s proprietary technologies can provide a flexibility and control not normally seen in tactical missiles, it’s time to move the concept forward. This CRADA will start the design work, in cooperation with the Army’s missile experts, for a larger test missile, as well as begin to flesh out the operational and logistical requirements to potentially field it. Taking a new rocket engine from a clean sheet to first fire in less than six months is unheard of. We are planning to keep that pace going as we further explore defense applications for our unique vortex hybrid rocket engines.”

Utilizing its patented vortex hybrid rocket technology, Vaya Space is set to advance its engine testing to match the rigorous operational conditions of missile systems. Having conducted over 120 successful hot-fire tests across various sizes and configurations, Vaya is confident in its ability to perform future tests that meet the requirements and stringent standards of surface-to-surface missile systems.

Vaya Space envisions broader applications for its vortex hybrid propulsion technology in various missile systems used by the U.S. Army, Air Force, and Navy, including as propulsion for hypersonic weapons. The engine's capability to be custom-tailored to specific form factors and thrust profiles, along with its in-flight throttling, is also enabling for missile defense targets. This adaptability allows targets to mimic adversary capabilities, providing more realistic training and testing scenarios for missile defense systems.

Source : Vaya Space

Vaya Space Signs Agreement With Army DEVCOM Aviation and Missile Center to Explore Vortex Hybrid Rocket Engine for Defense Missile Use