Kratos Space & Missile Defense Systems has completed the first live-fire test of the Zeus 1 32.5-inch diameter solid rocket motor (SRM).
The demonstration is part of an initiative to produce a new, affordable SRM option for launch vehicle stages in hypersonics, ballistic missile targets, and other vehicle programs with commercial and defense partners.
The family of Zeus SRMs is developed and manufactured by Aerojet Rocketdyne.
Before deploying for the static fire test, Zeus 1 was placed under the lowest planned temperature to assess its operability in the most stressful ignition conditions.
The SRM then performed throughout the initial hardware and data inspection as well as the live-firing scenario, confirming its motor design and application with multiple customer requirements.
The demonstration concluded with Zeus 1 being able to show “substantial improvement” over similar legacy and older SRM variants.
While there are no design changes needed, Kratos plans to employ additional capabilities to the SRM, such as the rapid integration of new technology and payloads, including several systems under development by Kratos.
Supporting US, Allied Defense
According to the company, the latest Zeus 1 advancements will allow customers to fly assets using fewer stages, enable mission availability of platforms, and optimize speed, range and cost-efficiency of flights.
“Kratos internally funded the development of the Zeus motors to enable rapid and affordable hypersonic testing and capabilities and to be ‘first to market’ with a highly relevant system, including as based on communications with the customer community,” Kratos Defense & Security Solutions CEO and President Eric DeMarco stated.
“At Kratos, affordability is a technology and better is the enemy of good enough, and we continue to innovate using proven, existing, leading technology, systems, and Kratos’ intellectual property to rapidly bring relevant products to market to address the United States and our Allies’ National Security.”