RTX to develop rotating detonation engine for DARPA
TUCSON, Ariz., Oct. 4, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Raytheon, an RTX (NYSE: RTX) business, has received a contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop Gambit, an air-breathing propulsion demonstration program that uses a novel rotating detonation engine. This type of engine is more compact, provides a higher efficiency propulsion source than conventional missile propulsion and offers the potential for lower costs.
Gambit is a first-of-its-kind engine development program that could support future weapons systems for multiple military services. The compact nature of the engine and its efficient combustion provide a boost in range and speed relative to current long-range weapons, allowing the ability to quickly respond to advanced threats.
"This is a revolutionary propulsion system," said Colin Whelan, president of Advanced Technology at Raytheon. "We're leveraging existing digital design tools and experience from across the entire RTX business to rapidly prototype this next-generation strike weapon and mature the technology."
Under the contract, RTX will rely heavily on iterative development of performance models which will be anchored by real-world data from incremental system tests. This proven method accelerates learning to provide more certain flight test outcomes, saving both time and cost. Future optional phases of the Gambit program will shift to building hardware to conduct a flight weight free-jet test.
With this contract, RTX becomes the first company to apply rotating detonation engine technology into an actual test system.
RTX is the world's largest aerospace and defense company. With more than 180,000 global employees, we push the limits of technology and science to redefine how we connect and protect our world. Through industry-leading businesses – Collins Aerospace, Pratt & Whitney, and Raytheon – we are advancing aviation, engineering integrated defense systems for operational success, and developing next-generation technology solutions and manufacturing to help global customers address their most critical challenges. The company, with 2022 sales of $67 billion, is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia.