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First Digitally Designed C50HP Rocket Motor Tested

The high-performance Common 50HP upper stage solid rocket motor completes a successful static fire test [© Northrop Grumman]

Northrop Grumman successfully tests first digitally designed Common 50 High Performance (C50HP) large solid rocket motor.


Press Release, Arnold Air Force Base, 22 May 2024: Northrop Grumman Corporation’s Common 50 High Performance (C50HP) solid rocket motor successfully completed a static fire test at the US Air Force Arnold Engineering Development Complex. The C50HP is a high-performance upper stage rocket motor that can be adapted to support various missions including flight in the region outside the Earth’s atmosphere or other final stages of propulsion.

  • C50HP is the company’s first large solid rocket motor system entirely designed and developed in a digital environment using model-based systems engineering.
  • This static test qualified the versatile motor for flight, validated digital modelling and simulations and demonstrated the design’s maturity and performance of the motor.
  • Full pressure and structural qualification testing was completed for C50HP, confirming the advanced design’s capability to withstand various loads and extreme environments.

Jim Kalberer, vice president, propulsion systems, Northrop Grumman: “Our implementation of digital solutions across our business is transforming how we design, test and manufacture next generation propulsion systems. C50HP increases productivity for our customers by allowing the team to more quickly design and test additional solid rocket motor capabilities.”

Details: The digital lifecycle will help improve technical performance by allowing engineers to quickly incorporate design and performance requirements into the physical product. Now complete through design, build and test, the high-performance C50HP upper stage motor expands the capabilities of Northrop Grumman’s existing and future rocket motor systems by offering increased capability for national defence and commercial applications.


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