DoD Launches Effort to Enhance Solid Rocket Motor Production Capacity

September 21, 2023

The DoD’s Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Base Policy, through its Manufacturing Capability Expansion and Investment Prioritization (MCEIP) office, awarded a $64 million contract to X-Bow Systems Inc (X-Bow) that will expand manufacturing capacity and reduce the production cost of Solid Rocket Motors (SRMs) used in hypersonic weapons.

Once completed, this effort will provide an additional SRM source for the Navy-designed hypersonic All-Up-Round used in its Conventional Prompt Strike (CPS) weapon system and the Army’s Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW) system.

This collaboration, funded by MCEIP’s Industrial Base Analysis and Sustainment program, will add a key capability to domestic sources for large diameter SRM production. X-Bow will utilize novel manufacturing processes to reduce cost and expand capacity for SRM production – a critical need within the defense industrial base. X-Bow applies state-of-the-art manufacturing technology to achieve these goals while continuing to meet weapon system requirements. These processes are proven to enable rapid prototyping and significant cost reduction.

Jason Hundley, X-Bow CEO and Founder said, “This breakthrough collaboration with DoD further accelerates X-Bow’s existing commitment to provide the nation’s new affordable hypersonic solution. X-Bow’s advanced manufacturing technology for solid rocket motors delivers revolutionary and urgently needed advances in SRM production by reducing cost and increasing industrial base capacity. X-Bow understands the critical nature of this effort and has made it our number one priority to support the Government, the Warfighter, and America’s taxpayers.”

“This effort is a key component of the DoD’s strategy to accelerate the development and fielding of hypersonic systems to deliver cutting-edge capabilities and options to our Armed Forces,” stated Dr. James Weber, DoD’s Principal Director for Hypersonics. “X-Bow will be a critical partner in building our enduring advantage in the national defense mission.”

The establishment of robust and resilient supply chains supporting hypersonic systems is a critical element of DoD’s hypersonic strategic approach and is a priority for the Department as outlined in Executive Order 14017, “America’s Supply Chains.” Investments such as these are essential to attract and encourage commercial market participation in defense-critical supply chains. Reliance on a single source supplier for defense-critical items hinders resilience and manufacturing redundancy, and limits competition in propulsion system technologies.

“This award represents another vital step by the Department to strengthen the domestic capabilities of the defense industrial base by continuing to pursue novel processes that will ensure the U.S. remains a leader in manufacturing technologies,” stated Dr. Laura Taylor-Kale, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Base Policy. “We look forward to working with our partners at X-Bow and delivering new capabilities to the CPS and LRHW programs.”

For additional information on this and other MCEIP projects, please visit our website, or e-mail us.

About the Department of Defense's Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Base Policy:

The Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Base Policy is the principal advisor to the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment (USD(A&S)) for developing Department of Defense policies for the maintenance of the United States defense industrial base (DIB), executing small business programs and policy, and conducting geo-economic analyses and assessments. The office also provides the USD(A&S) with recommendations on budget matters related to the DIB, anticipates and closes gaps in manufacturing capabilities for defense systems, and assesses impacts related to mergers, acquisition, and divestitures. IBP monitors and assesses the impact of foreign investments in the United States and executes authorities under sections 2501 and 2505 U.S.C. Title 10.