The US Department of Defense (DoD) has selected Texas A&M University’s Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) for its University Consortium for Applied Hypersonics (UCAH) initiative.

TEES will be responsible for the establishment and management of the DoD initiative over five years for $20m each year.

The initiative is expected to include many of the major research universities in the US.

Research and Engineering Acting Under Secretary of Defense Michael Kratsios said: “This first-of-its kind Consortium will be critical to advancing hypersonics research and innovation, a key priority of the Department of Defense.

“Importantly, through collaborative industry and academic partnerships, it will also accelerate technology transfer and strengthen workforce development to meet the nation’s future warfighting needs.”

All the universities involved will work together and with other government institutions such as the US Department of Energy and Nasa.

It will also work with research centres and industries that are centrally funded.

Work of the UCAH will range from basic research to capabilities in hypersonic flight systems.

Operations of the initiative are expected to commence at the end of next year.

UCAH will focus on the development of hypersonic technologies, investigation of efficiencies related to the industrial base, and to boost partnerships with small and large companies.

Texas A&M University aerospace engineering professor Dr Rodney Bowersox will oversee the UCAH.

The board of national experts from Texas A&M, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Minnesota, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign along with other universities provide guidance.

Joint Hypersonics Transition Office director Dr Gillian Bussey said: “Today’s announcement reflects the feedback of almost 70 schools across 48 states.

“This interest, leadership, and focus they provided will help ensure that the consortium will be effective and that our nation’s best minds and researchers will be participating.”

In March, the DoD completed the test launch of a common hypersonic glide body (C-HGB), which flew at hypersonic speed to a designated impact point.