Albany Engineered Composites (AEC), a New Hampshire-based composite materials manufacturer, has secured a $4 million contract from the US Army to support hypersonic development. The company will use its proprietary and fully industrialized near-net shape 3D weaving technology to enhance thermal protection systems for hypersonic applications.
Hypersonic technology has become a critical focus for the US Army, with several hypersonic missiles under development as part of the military’s modernization efforts. Hypersonic missiles can travel at speeds of over 3,800 miles per hour, making them extremely difficult to intercept and providing a significant advantage in combat situations.
AEC has invested in its 3D composite technology for the past two decades, including strategic capital investments to adapt its technology to hypersonic material applications. The company’s 3D weaving technology enables the creation of complex composite shapes with minimal waste, offering significant cost savings and scalability advantages over traditional manufacturing methods.
AEC will also hire new employees at its Rochester base in the fields of engineering, fabrication, machining, and assembly over the next few years. AEC President Greg Harwell expressed enthusiasm for the company’s critical role in advancing US hypersonic capabilities to support national defense initiatives.
New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen praised the contract as a testament to Granite State companies’ advanced technologies and workforce in bolstering US national defense capabilities. The $4 million contract will further enhance New Hampshire’s reputation as an innovator for emerging technologies, Shaheen said.
The new contract represents AEC’s latest foray into the hypersonic technology field, building on the company’s longstanding expertise in composite materials and manufacturing. AEC’s innovative 3D weaving technology is poised to play a crucial role in developing and improving hypersonic systems’ thermal protection capabilities.