INDIAN HEAD, Md. – Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Division (NSWC IHD) announced a new public-private partnership (P3) agreement with X-Bow Launch Systems Inc. (X-Bow), following a formal signing, March 24. Under this 20-year agreement, the two organizations will work together to develop, qualify and manufacture propulsion systems for current and future commercial and warfighter needs.
The focus will be to provide solid propellant rocket systems that meet strict performance requirements at affordable costs. The manufacturing activities will be performed at NSWC IHD’s existing industrial plant complexes and will help sustain key energetics manufacturing capabilities while strengthening the Department of Defense Industrial Base’s ability to meet solid propellant rocket motor propulsion needs.
X-Bow co-founder and Chief Revenue Officer Maureen Gannon stated, “This partnership will allow the company to rapidly expand its solid rocket motor production capabilities, especially in the areas of hypersonics, tactical motors for critical munitions, and commercial modular boost flight systems. The partnership with NSWC IHD will enable X-Bow to meet production demands today and access the Navy’s deep expertise to qualify and mature its commercial production technology.”
NSWC IHD received Center for Industrial and Technical Excellence designation in May 2014 for depot maintenance and military arsenal activities. This designation provides the legal authority for NSWC IHD to enter into P3 agreements for the developing, manufacturing, testing, maintenance, and storage of energetic materials and ordnance systems. To date, NSWC IHD has entered into seven P3 agreements with private industry and is in discussions with several companies interested in partnering.
“Such partnerships leverage existing capability, and the transfer of federally developed technology can have a positive impact on the scientific research community, the commercial sector, the economy, consumers and the public,” said NSWC IHD Technical Director Ashley Johnson.
NSWC IHD — a field activity of the Naval Sea Systems Command and part of the Navy’s Science and Engineering Establishment — is the leader in ordnance, energetics, and EOD solutions. The Division focuses on energetics research, development, testing, evaluation, in-service support, manufacturing and disposal; and provides warfighters solutions to detect, locate, access, identify, render safe, recover, exploit and dispose of explosive ordnance threats.