Leidos Advances Air-Breathing Hypersonic System Mayhem with Successful Reviews

by Anna

Leidos, a prominent technology solutions provider, has achieved a significant milestone in the development of the Air Force Research Lab’s (AFRL) air-breathing hypersonic system, Mayhem, by successfully completing two pivotal reviews. The completion of the conceptual design review and system requirements review represents a noteworthy stride forward in the progression of next-generation air-breathing hypersonic technologies. These reviews, conducted within a digital engineering framework, unveiled the innovative designs and technologies envisioned for high-speed systems like Mayhem.

A crucial element contributing to this accomplishment was Leidos’ adoption of a system design agent (SDA) construct. Under this approach, Leidos assembled a national team of hypersonic experts, comprising 15 entities from industry and academia. Each member of this collaborative effort, including Calspan, Draper, and Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, played a vital role in the successful execution of task order one. By harnessing the SDA construct, Leidos and its SDA partners emphasized modular architectures and government data rights, fostering an environment conducive to leveraging cutting-edge technologies while nurturing a talent pipeline. This collaborative effort extended to partnerships with the University of Michigan’s Aerospace department and the U-M x88 Model-Based Systems Engineering lab, enriching the workforce and advancing technological capabilities. The amalgamation of the SDA business model and AFRL’s digital engineering vision laid the foundation for streamlining the acquisition life cycle.


Propelled by future capability requirements and guided by the expertise of top hypersonic specialists in the nation, the conceptual system design of Mayhem transcends current capabilities, positioning itself at the forefront of hypersonic weapon evolution. AFRL intends to capitalize on the SDA approach and Leidos’ expertise through the Expendable Hypersonic Multi-Mission Platform Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract to propel the maturation of hypersonic technology further.


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