Vaya Space Awarded SBIR Phase I Hybrid Rocket Ejector-Ramjet Airbreathing Hypersonic Missile Study

Defense technology expected to dramatically increase range, performance, and survivability

Vaya Space Airbreathing Hypersonic Phase I SBIR

Vaya Space, a space and defense company, announces it has been selected by AFWERX for a SBIR Phase I contract focused on strengthening A2/AD penetration with hybrid rocket ejector-ramjet (HRER) hypersonic propulsion to address the most pressing challenges in the Department of the Air Force (DAF).

The Air Force Research Laboratory and AFWERX have partnered to streamline the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) process by accelerating the small business experience through faster proposal to award timelines, changing the pool of potential applicants by expanding opportunities to small business and eliminating bureaucratic overhead by continually implementing process improvement changes in contract execution. The DAF began offering the Open Topic SBIR/STTR program in 2018 which expanded the range of innovations the DAF funded and now on May 15th, 2024, Vaya Space will start its journey to create and provide innovative capabilities that will strengthen the national defense of the United States of America.

Vaya Space CEO, Kevin Lowdermilk, stated “We believe that hybrid engine technology can play a critical role in hypersonic missile development, and we are excited to begin Phase 1 of this journey with the Air Force.”

“Airbreathing hybrids are a natural progression of our unique technology. Current solid ramjets, like hybrids, experience the same challenges related to reliability, consistency, and predictability we have set out to solve. Our physics-based combustion modeling techniques used in tandem with our extensive use of additive manufacturing and composites enables us to produce a whole new category of long range and high speed propulsion technologies,” stated Lead Propulsion Engineer, Kineo Wallace. 

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Air Force, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

About Vaya Space 

Vaya Space is a privately owned company based on the Space Coast and leveraging patented Vortex Hybrid engine technology to disrupt the Space and Defense Markets. For media inquiries, please contact

About Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL)

The Air Force Research Laboratory is the primary scientific research and development center for the Department of the Air Force. AFRL plays an integral role in leading the discovery, development, and integration of affordable warfighting technologies for our air, space and cyberspace force. With a workforce of more than 12,500 across nine technology areas and 40 other operations across the globe, AFRL provides a diverse portfolio of science and technology ranging from fundamental to advanced research and technology development. For more information, visit


As the innovation arm of the DAF and a directorate within the Air Force Research Laboratory, AFWERX brings cutting-edge American ingenuity from small businesses and start-ups to address the most pressing challenges of the DAF. AFWERX employs approximately 325 military, civilian and contractor personnel at six hubs and sites executing an annual $1.4 billion budget. Since 2019, AFWERX has executed 4,697 contracts worth more than $2.6 billion to strengthen the U.S. defense industrial base and drive faster technology transition to operational capability. For more information, visit:

Company Press Contact: 

Mary Baldino
Director of Sales and Marketing

Source: Vaya Space