Ibadan, 3 August 2023. – Innovative Rocket Technologies Inc. (iRocket) has signed a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) with The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) West. As a result, It will develop engines and stage technology for the laboratory’s next-generation fully reusable Shockwave launch vehicle. Members from AFRL’s Rocket Propulsion Division at Edwards AFB, California, and iRocket, a privately-owned corporation, agreed on the collaborative effort in June 2023.
In addition, the Air Force is also providing Subject Matter Expert (SME) support, test setup components, and site facility support. iRocket is currently supporting the United States Space Force on a TACFI contract to support its rapid, responsive launch capabilities. The Company announced the TACFI contract award from the U.S. Space Force Space Systems Command (SSC) on June 28, 2023.
“Collaborating with iRocket via a Cooperative Research & Development Agreement includes use of a key facility, equipment, and AFRL expertise to enable both sides to develop, build, test, and transition U.S. rocket engines at a fast pace,” said Dr. Shawn Phillips, Chief of the Rocket Propulsion Division at AFRL. ” As a result, iRocket will have the opportunity to advance further and demonstrate their high thrust technology.”
Likewise, iRocket CEO, Asad Malik said, “We are happy to work with AFRL Rocket Lab. The High Thrust Research Facility at site 1-56 will be home to iRocket’s testing team to test our next-gen reusable engines and evaluation of grasshopper testing for our Shockwave vehicle.”
The test site at Edwards Air Force Base will host the full-duration static fire test under the SSC contract, which includes a 120-180 second demonstration of 37,000 lbs. of sea level thrust.