August 16th, 2011
05:29 PM ET

Military unit behind hypersonic test flight probed

BY CNN's Adam Levine and Jennifer Rizzo

The military research wing that last week launched a hypersonic aircraft test is being investigated after questions were raised about potential conflicts of interest in awarding lucrative contracts.

The audit by the Department of Defense's inspector general will look at the "adequacy" of the handling by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, known as DARPA, of "selection, award, and administration of contracts and grants" in fiscal years 2010 and 2011, according to a memo the inspector general sent to government watchdog group Project on Government Oversight.

The investigation is a "partial response" to the oversight group, which had written to the Pentagon about concerns regarding ties between DARPA personnel, both leaders and researchers, and a company that has received money from the research unit, according to a separate letter from the inspector general informing DARPA of the initiation of the audit.

The inspector general will also examine "the effectiveness of avoiding or preventing conflicts-of-interest," according to the letter to the oversight group.

The announcement of the audit was first reported by Wired's Danger Room blog.

Project on Government Oversight had expressed concerns about DARPA to the inspector general after it was revealed by Wired that the director, Regina Dugan, had financial and familial relations with contractor RedXDefense, a company that she co-founded and that is run by her father. Dugan's uncle is also on the company's board.

"If there's anything wrong with the RedXDefense contracts specifically and with DARPA contracting generally, we hope these two reviews find it. There's enough smoke to make us wonder if there's fire," said the oversight group's director of investigations, Nick Schwellenbach.

DARPA maintains that it complies with Pentagon policies on financial and personal conflicts of interest, arguing that Dugan's past association with the company is transparent.

"Upon assuming her position, the director recused herself, in accordance with federal ethics laws and regulations, from any dealings between the agency and RedXDefense," said DARPA spokesman Eric Mazzacone. "Since becoming director, Dr. Dugan has not participated in any dealings between the agency and RedXDefense."

DARPA had dealings with RedXDefense before Dugan became the agency's director, previously awarding it approximately $4.3 million in funding, according to Mazzacone. Since Dugan became the director in July 2009, RedXDefense has submitted five proposals worth approximately $6.6 million, and $1.8 million has been awarded for one of those proposals.

RedXDefense's focus is in explosion detection and protection, according to its website. The company owes Dugan a quarter of a million dollars, according to financial disclosure documents published by the Project on Government Oversight. She also has between $151,000 and $305,000 in assets and income from RedXDefense, it said.

RedXDefense said it has no comment on the investigation, its contracts from DARPA or its relationship with Dugan.

DARPA was in the news Thursday with a test of the Falcon Hypersonic Test Vehicle, billed as the fastest aircraft ever launched. It is believed to have crashed into the Pacific Ocean after researchers lost control of it. The vehicle was launched by a Minotaur IV rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California before separating and re-entering the atmosphere over the Pacific.

The triangular wedge is capable of reaching Mach 20, approximately 13,000 miles per hour, according to DARPA.

soundoff (257 Responses)
  1. storno brzinol

    There are some interesting points in time in this article however I don’t know if I see all of them heart to heart. There's some validity however I will take maintain opinion until I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we would like extra! Added to FeedBurner as properly

    http://www.stornobrzinol.com/

    May 16, 2021 at 11:47 pm | Reply
  2. dapoxetine

    dapoxetine 10 mg dapoxetine tablets price

    May 6, 2021 at 2:48 am | Reply
  3. aralen where to buy

    used to treat malaria chloro https://chloroquineorigin.com/ chloroquinolone

    May 6, 2021 at 12:59 am | Reply
  4. canadian generic pills

    canadian pills online https://canadapillstorex.com/ canadian generic pills

    May 2, 2021 at 5:41 am | Reply
  5. erectile dysfunction treatment

    what erectile dysfunction drug works best https://canadaerectiledysfunctionpills.com/ 10 best erectile

    April 29, 2021 at 2:10 am | Reply
  6. avanafil

    avana drug buy avana online

    April 29, 2021 at 12:21 am | Reply
  7. sildenafil medicine

    sildenafil over the counter us https://eunicesildenafilcitrate.com/ price of sildenafil 50mg

    April 28, 2021 at 12:38 pm | Reply
  8. viagra prices canada

    canada online viagra https://canadaviagrastore.com/ best viagra pills 25 mg canada pharmacy

    April 28, 2021 at 12:42 am | Reply
  9. how long do the effects of vardenafil last

    staxyn (vardenafil) https://vegavardenafil.com/ vardenafil generic

    April 21, 2021 at 1:27 pm | Reply
  10. alprostadil price in usa

    injectable ed medicine https://alprostadildrugs.com/ alprostadil injection where to buy

    April 21, 2021 at 9:53 am | Reply
  11. viagra cost canada

    viagra in canada for sale to united states https://canadaviagrastore.com/ anyone order viagra from canada

    April 15, 2021 at 4:35 am | Reply
  12. tadalafil tablets

    tadalafil gel https://elitadalafill.com/ tadalafil 40

    April 12, 2021 at 7:04 pm | Reply
  13. Roberto Julian

    An outstanding share! I've just forwarded this onto a colleague who has been doing a little homework on this. And he in fact bought me breakfast because I discovered it for him... lol. So let me reword this.... Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending time to talk about this matter here on your blog.

    https://extraproxies.com/tag/collected/

    March 31, 2021 at 9:51 am | Reply
  14. Crave Freebies

    I additionally believe that mesothelioma is a uncommon form of cancer that is often found in all those previously exposed to asbestos. Cancerous cellular material form inside the mesothelium, which is a shielding lining which covers the majority of the body's organs. These cells generally form inside the lining with the lungs, belly, or the sac which encircles the heart. Thanks for expressing your ideas.

    https://www.cravefreebies.com

    March 18, 2021 at 2:24 pm | Reply
  15. Garland Gibney

    With havin so much content and articles do you ever run into any problems of plagorism or copyright infringement? My blog has a lot of completely unique content I've either created myself or outsourced but it appears a lot of it is popping it up all over the web without my agreement. Do you know any techniques to help protect against content from being ripped off? I'd genuinely appreciate it.

    Proxyti.com/buy/100-private-proxies/

    March 2, 2021 at 12:42 pm | Reply
  16. ClarkClurn

    d5huo ycl6y wwrg

    March 1, 2021 at 12:00 pm | Reply
  17. Buy Facebook Services

    I think one of your ads triggered my browser to resize, you might want to put that on your blacklist.

    https://bonuslikes.com

    February 27, 2021 at 5:45 am | Reply
  18. Best Social Subscribers

    Today, I went to the beachfront with my kids. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said "You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear." She placed the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is entirely off topic but I had to tell someone!

    https://bonuslikes.com/buy/100000-youtube-views/

    February 25, 2021 at 10:25 pm | Reply
  19. pc repair

    I really like your writing style, fantastic info, appreciate it for posting :D. "Kennedy cooked the soup that Johnson had to eat." by Konrad Adenauer.

    https://cds-consultants.com

    February 21, 2021 at 5:41 am | Reply
  20. dr-goz-peter-ugyved.business.site

    But wanna comment on few general things, The website design and style is perfect, the content material is real excellent : D.

    https://dr-goz-peter-ugyved.business.site/

    February 9, 2021 at 4:07 am | Reply
  21. xemkqxs

    Excellent post. I was checking continuously this blog and I'm impressed! Very helpful info particularly the last part 🙂 I care for such info much. I was looking for this particular information for a very long time. Thank you and good luck.|

    https://xemkqxs.com

    February 6, 2021 at 3:28 am | Reply
  22. Boost Subscribers

    thank you for sharing with us, I believe this website genuinely stands out : D.

    https://bonuslikes.com/product-tag/10000-likes-for-instagram-video/

    February 3, 2021 at 2:42 am | Reply
  23. Shirlene

    Great site to read. Worth the time.. Many US College Students need help now with their College class assignments. Tell them Essays Unlimited can assist with this problem.

    https://essaysunlimited.com

    January 31, 2021 at 1:38 pm | Reply
1 2

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.