Starfighters Space Announces Two New Contracts to Help Provide Critical Research as the USA Ramps Up its Hypersonic Testing and Development Initiatives

Company to use its MACH 2 fleet to bring hypersonic testing to the skies, helping the advancement of research into what management believes will be a new era of hypersonic development.

 KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Florida, October 12, 2023 – Starfighters Space Inc. (“Starfighters” or the “Company”), operates the only commercial fleet of aircraft in the world with the capability to fly at sustained MACH 2 along with the capability to air-launch payloads at altitude, is pleased to announce it has been contracted to assist with two hypersonic research projects under the auspices of a nationally recognized aerospace manufacturer and affiliates. This announcement comes as Congress aims to bolster US hypersonic initiatives in the wake of advanced development from other countries.1*

The first contract was initiated by a development partner which is participating in the development of a new type of hypersonic platform. Under the terms of this engagement, engineers will work with Starfighters Space to conduct high cadence operational testing at Starfighters’ Kennedy Space Centre headquarters.

“We are seeing increasing interest in using Starfighter’s unique supersonic fleet and Kennedy Space Center location as a staging area for next generation hypersonic development”, said Starfighters Space Founder and CEO, Rick Svetkoff.  “We see hypersonic commercial and military flight as inevitable and believe our access and expertise will enable us to expand our relationships under contracts such as these.”

“Our team is primed to address many of the challenges of hypersonic research”, said Starfighters Space VP of Operations, Tim Franta. “We also see this research as a gateway to our space access initiatives as we expand our fleet and reach.”

The second contract with the aerospace manufacturer is focused on advancing Department of Defense (DoD) research and development on hypersonic defense programs. The program is driven by an initiative of the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) and its mission partners to prototype a suite of modern, low-cost, high-cadence, dual-use airborne testing platforms aimed at accelerating the evaluation of potential systems, concepts, technologies, and mission sets.

The program, known as HyCAT (hypersonic and high-cadence testing capabilities), has been developed as part of a paradigm shift in viewing the hypersonic realm as a place for aircraft, not just missiles and weapons. By initiating tests at high altitudes, the platform bypasses the most fuel-intensive phase of the launch process, reducing costs and offering increased flexibility in operating locations and schedule responsiveness.

Recent developments in Russia and China have put a new emphasis on Hypersonic research and lawmakers are pressuring the DoD to more rapidly advance their research. It has been estimated that the DOD 2024 budget for hypersonic research alone will be over $145 Billion.2* The national testing infrastructure is also getting old. According to Business News, a report released last year by the Government Accounting Office reported that 14 of 26 DoD, NASA and Department of Energy wind tunnels capable of supporting hypersonic research were built in the 1970s. New private-sector wind tunnel facilities are under construction at Purdue University and elsewhere, but they cost more and take several years to complete.3* Starfighters’ Svetkoff calls the Company’s test-ready fleet a “wind tunnel in the sky” and management believes their fleet can become a critical component of a Hypersonic test bed platform.

“Our selection for these proprietary agreements puts us in an exclusive club of partners and providers who are helping build a government / commercial bridge in next gen hypersonic development”, continued CEO Svetkoff. “Supporting these specific programs is just the start. We plan on working together with government and commercial partners to create a long-term test bed for the broader hypersonic research community at large.”


 Rick Svetkoff

 Rick Svetkoff
President, CEO and Founder

For more information:
Starfighters Space Relations
Tel: +1 321-261-0900

About Starfighters Space

Starfighters Space Inc. is the only commercial company in the world with the capability to fly at sustained MACH 2 with the capability to launch payloads to space. Starfighters Space is an established organization committed to participating in high-demand commercial space activities. Located at the NASA Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the Company operates a growing fleet of modified supersonic aircraft operationally configurable to act as the first stage lifting platform to carry payloads up to 45,000 feet for air launch to space. Additional activities include support research, pilot training, space flight training, and advanced scientific efforts including hypersonic testing as part of air launch partner development programs. Starfighters Space is market-ready with minimal R&D effort and is working to position its capability to become the most cost-effective launch provider in the sector. For more information visit: 

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