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Marotta Controls is to develop an innovative control activation system (CAS) for the US Navy’s Supersonic Propulsion Enabled Advanced Ramjet (SPEAR) programme, the company announced on 25 January.

A SPEAR demonstrator is being co-developed by the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division and Boeing. Marotta’s CAS will be used on the weapon for the technology demonstration scheduled for late 2022.

The company is re-purposing two previously-developed technologies to deal with the harsh environment created by supersonic speeds and the thermal management and system weight requirements. The resulting hybrid solution – consisting of high power-density electronics and electromechanical actuators – minimises technical risk and maximises hardware re-use. The CAS will generate a minimum 8,000W and have bandwidth in excess of 18Hz.

Marotta aims to accomplish testing in less than half the typical time by leveraging its newly-acquired in-house test capabilities, which now include state-of-the-art vibration testing systems capable of supporting the required pre-flight qualification analysis.

We truly do thrive on interesting, complex technology challenges at Marotta,” commented Adit Girdhari, Business Development Director, Aerospace & Tactical Systems. “We’re designed for it. We have the best end-to-end engineering talent under one roof. We also have the necessary resources and tools to move quickly and efficiently without sacrificing quality. Not to mention direct experience in control actuation system development, which certainly helps us move faster [and we] are deeply invested in helping SPEAR succeed.”

The SPEAR very high speed ramjet missile is scheduled to begin flight demonstrations next year. (Photo: Boeing)

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