The US Air Force Research Laboratory and Aerojet Rocketdyne have completed the design verification test of a next-generation large solid rocket motor.
The eSR-19 motor was tested at Edwards Air Force Base in California, with personnel from the base supporting the test through motor logistics and data collection.
eSR-19’s design verification test follows the successful evaluation of a separate rocket motor, the eSR-73, in 2021.
The test last year was groundbreaking for producing and handling large solid rocket motors at the company’s latest and revamped facilities in Huntsville, Alabama, and Camden, Arkansas.
Moreover, the company has now validated both sites’ production maturity, as eSR-19 was designed and fabricated in Huntsville, while the motor was cast and cured in Camden.
“Our teams building our next generation large solid rocket motors are incorporating innovative materials and applying efficient manufacturing processes,” Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and President Eileen Drake said.
“We continue to invest in the future – in modern facilities and a highly skilled workforce – to design and produce the advanced technology needed to power defense across multiple domains.”
eSR-19 Large Solid Rocket Motor
The company launched the eSR-19 program to modernize the legacy SR-19 motors originally used for the silo-based, intercontinental-range LGM-30 Minuteman II ballistic missile.
eSR-19 is built with an affordable advanced nozzle, a graphite composite case, and a high-energy, life-long solid propellant that “improves cost and performance,” according to Aerojet Rocketdyne.
The solid rocket weighs nearly 15,000 pounds (6,800 kilograms) and measures 52 inches (1.3 meters) in diameter.