BAE Systems, an international defence and aeronautics company, has bought a 20% stake in Reaction Engines – a firm which plans to launch an automated hypersonic space plane.
According to a report by Business Insider, the plane will be called the Sabre, and will use a new aerospace engine class that combines both jet and rocket technologies.
The aerospace engine is designed to allow the aircraft to operate from standstill on the runway to speeds of over five times the speed of sound in the atmosphere.
The Sabre can then transition to a rocket mode, allowing it to fly in space up to 25 times the speed of sound (30,870km/h).
According to a press release from Reaction Engines, BAE has invested $31.79 million (R441 million) to get the project off the ground.
Reaction Engines also expects additional funding from government grants.
A video explaining the Sabre’s technology is embedded below.