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Author Topic: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower  (Read 77153 times)

Offline Triton

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"Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower"
By Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.   on January 20, 2014 at 9:22 PM

Source:
http://breakingdefense.com/2014/01/navy-seeks-rail-guns-lasers-cruise-missiles-to-improve-pacific-firepower/

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CRYSTAL CITY: “I’ve never wanted to enter any tactical scenario where all I had is a defensive capability. It’s a losing proposition,” said the chief of Pacific Command, Adm. Samuel Locklear. “You will defend yourself until you’re dead.”

That was the PACOM commander’s blunt and public response when I asked him about the chronic imbalance between the offensive and defensive capabilities of the Navy’s surface warships: its cruisers, destroyers, frigates, and controversial new Littoral Combat Ships. Other admirals had angsted over the issue at last week’s annual conference of the Surface Navy Association here, but it’s no coincidence the man who’d have to command any war with China was the bluntest.

The Navy’s has a three-step plan to boost firepower:

    In the short term, revive the long-range skip-killing capability it lost when it phased out the 600 -mile-range Tomahawk Anti-Ship Missile (TASM) years ago.
    In the mid term, free up missile launchers for offensive use by replacing defensive missiles — each of which can be used against incoming enemy aircraft or missiles just once — with lasers that can keep firing as long as the ship’s generators turn.
    In the long term, equip ships with electromagnetic rail guns that can launch solid metal slugs at targets over the horizon at seven times the speed of sound.

“With respect to lasers, we’re talking more about defense,” said Rear Adm. Thomas Rowden, director of surface warfare for the Chief of Naval Operations (staff section N96), when I pulled him aside at the conference. “On the offensive side of the house, we have the electromagnetic rail gun.” Both will be able to fire far more times than any set of missile launchers; the laser will, in theory, hit incoming missiles at literally the speed of light; and the rail gun can fire projectiles at the enemy at velocities no missile can match.

“If you’re getting Mach 7,” Rowden told me, “speed is a difficult thing to defend against.”

That said, rail guns will complement long-range missiles, not replace them: While the rail gun shot would be harder to dodge, the missile can go much farther.

“We’ll have to see what kind of range we’re going to get out of the railgun,” Rowden said. So, I asked, would it ever be comparable to a Tomahawk cruise missile? The admiral laughed out loud. “No! I think it’d be Mach 40 or something like that to get the kind of range.” Rail gun tests to date have suggested they could hit targets up to 125 miles away.

All these weapons, of course, are in the near future. The triple-threat solution is still very much a work in progress, with all three prongs of the Navy’s new trident still in development:

    The Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM), though a derivative of a proven Air Force weapon, is still in testing, with contractor Lockheed Martin putting up $30 million of its own money to bridge a funding gap. “Our lack of urgency on development of the next generation of surface-launched, over-the-horizon cruise missiles is troubling,” Locklear told the conference.
    The first prototype defense laser will deploy this summer to the Persian Gulf for tests in real conditions. But this baby-steps ray gun is only strong enough to shoot down relatively slow-moving drones, not supersonic anti-ship missiles. Even future high-powered lasers will remain relatively short-ranged defensive weapons, unable to fire at targets over the horizon and out of line of sight.
    Finally, the Navy’s rail gun has managed some dramatic tests on land, but the weapon’s raw power wears out components — especially the barrel — at an impractical rate. Even when (or if) the Navy gets a rail gun it can fit on ships, only three vessels currently in service or on contract can generate enough electricity to fire one, specifically the three DDG-1000 Zumwalt-class destroyers.

Meanwhile potential adversaries have invested in ever more weapons designed to sink our ships, the most recent example being China’s test of a prototype “hypersonic” missile. (Hypersonic means at least five times the speed of sound).

“That particular test doesn’t bother me,” Locklear told the conference. “[But] this isn’t just about China…..A lot of nations are pursuing hypersonics,” he said, and whoever develops it, “it’s going to get sold.”

Even with current technology, US Navy warships are “out-sticked” by their Chinese counterparts: Their anti-ship missiles have longer range (diagram attached), so they can hit us at distances where we can’t hit back.

Modern warfare is about much more than ships (or tanks, or planes) trading shots with their equal and opposite counterparts on the other side, of course. Today’s weapons range from torpedoes to computer viruses, and they can be launched by platforms ranging from airplanes to the NSA headquarters at Fort Meade, Maryland. Even if you specifically want to sink an enemy ship with an anti-ship missile, you don’t need your own ship to do it: You can use submarines, aircraft, or launchers ashore. Most Iranian and Chinese anti-ship missile launchers live on dry land.

That said, surface ships can sail far from their homeland to threaten targets a shore-based weapon cannot reach, and they can carry far more missiles than an aircraft or even a submarine. So sinking enemy ships is something the US Navy still needs to be able to do. The problem is that its main tool to do so, in the absence of a long-range cruise missile, is the disco-vintage Harpoon, a missile that entered service in 1977 and whose maximum range is roughly 75 miles.

“People pooh-pooh that Harpoon weapon system,” Rear Adm. Rowden told me. “I think that is a gross underestimation of that weapon.” That said, he went on, the Navy’s working hard “to ensure that we have those long range missiles [to fight for] sea control.”

The Harpoon can be fired from either the Navy’s mainstay F-18 fighter-bombers or from shipboard launchers, but the Navy has removed Harpoon systems from its frigates and never even installed them on its newer destroyers. In fact, the mainstay of the surface navy, the DDG-51 Arleigh Burke, was designed from the beginning not to attack the enemy but to defend the rest of the fleet, especially the aircraft carriers, with a radar and missile system called “Aegis,” after the goddess Athena’s shield. In recent years, Aegis has taken on a new defensive role in ballistic missile defense of cities and bases ashore.

That’s all useful, even essential, but we can no longer assume that no other navy will challenge us with its ships. “We need to think about what is surface warfare’s role in other than defensive operations,” Locklear said, “[and] pay more particular attention to the ability to show up on the scene and be lethal and be dominant.”

“This has been an issue for my entire career,” said Vice Adm. Thomas Copeman, commander of naval surface forces, speaking at the same conference. “We need to improve the offensive lethality of the entire surface force,” he said, “[and] free up more space in the missile launchers for offensive weapons.”

Offline Moose

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2014, 04:41:42 pm »
Oh the luddites are going to be sore when the sea testing starts. But its going to be fun to watch.

Offline TomS

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Have they solved the rail erosion issue yet?  I imagine a series of graduated armatures, each slightly larger than the last, as in the Paris Guns.  But that would be impractical to say the least.

Online fredymac

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Have they solved the rail erosion issue yet?  I imagine a series of graduated armatures, each slightly larger than the last, as in the Paris Guns.  But that would be impractical to say the least.

They are in fact addressing this specific issue.  At 1:00 mark the spokesman talks about barrel erosion.




Offline Moose

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Have they solved the rail erosion issue yet? 
No one has found a magic bullet, pardon the pun, for the issue but word out of the program has been that the rail life is increasing at an acceptable rate as they iterate. Their goal is a rail life around 3000 rounds for the first generation operational weapon.

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Offline TomS

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Have they solved the rail erosion issue yet? 
No one has found a magic bullet, pardon the pun, for the issue but word out of the program has been that the rail life is increasing at an acceptable rate as they iterate. Their goal is a rail life around 3000 rounds for the first generation operational weapon.

I supposed 3,000 rounds would be reasonable -- about the same as the effective full-charge life of the old 5-inch Mark 42 gun (and about half that of the Mk 45).  I wonder if a rail change on a gun like this would be similar in scope to a liner change on a conventional gun.

Offline pathology_doc

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The issue with the lasers is going to be engagement time and range. It doesn't matter that your laser can keep firing indefinitely if it can't destroy its targets fast enough to scythe them all down before the last one hits; you're better off having a gun-based CIWS with a significantly enlarged magazine. Where the laser will gain time is in not having to allow for lead or drift, and in the effectively zero dead time between pulling the trigger and the energy starting to arrive on target. The big question is whether it will LOSE more time dumping sufficient wattage into the target to destroy it. Start putting ablative armour geared against lasers on the larger, faster missiles (especially if you know what the wavelength and energy delivery pattern are) and you risk a situation where the laser can't pump enough energy into enough missiles quickly enough to destroy them all, yet a 30mm DU round or small calibre railgun shot might punch straight through that ablative armour and wreck something critical, or produce sufficient airframe contour distortion that the missile's own speed does the rest.


In short, I think there's going to be an opening for ballistic defences for some significant time into the future.


The US Navy's air-defence ships have hitherto been able to concentrate on a defensive load-out because the air groups of the carriers were the offensive arm. This meant that the surface-to-surface capability of the Western navies was allowed to atrophy. The Soviets (and consequently their clients, and others as they became more sophisticated) did not until recently have - or decided they could never afford - significant carrier forces of their own (India is probably the only exception over the years, having operated the Vikrant since forever and more recently the Viraat), while the Soviets knew they could probably not always rely on their naval aviation component, and that was probably the spur to develop bigger, better and faster SSMs.

Offline bobbymike

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Offline Triton

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2015, 01:55:36 pm »
My best guess for a topic to post this article, but your mileage may vary. I will defer to a Moderator if you consider it to be in the wrong place.  :)

"Navy Considering Railgun for Third Zumwalt Destroyer"
By: Sam LaGrone
February 5, 2015 4:13 PM

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Engineering studies to include an electromagnetic railgun on a Zumwalt-class destroyer (DDG-1000) have started at Naval Sea Systems Command, NAVSEA’s head said Thursday.

The work will do the math to determine if the Zumwalt-class will have the space, power and cooling to field a railgun – likely replacing one of the two 155mm BAE Advanced Gun Systems (AGS) ahead of the ship’s deck house, Vice Adm. William Hilarides told USNI News following remarks at the Office of Naval Research Naval Future Force Science and Technology Expo.

“We have begun real studies – as opposed to just a bunch of guys sitting around – real engineering studies are being done to make sure it’s possible,” Vice Adm. William Hilarides said following remarks at

The likely candidate for the weapon would be the third planned Zumwalt, Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG-1002) currently under construction at General Dynamics Bath Iron Works (BIW) with an expected delivery date of 2018.

He said the first two ships – Zumwalt (DDG-1000) and Michael Monsoor (DDG-1001) – would be less likely to field the capability initially due to the schedule of testing with the new class.

“The team is working diligently now but it would not happen until after delivery of the ships – probably the third ship is where we’d have it,” Hilarides said.
“That would certainly be my recommendation.”

The Navy is in early stages of testing and fielding a railgun – which forgoes the gunpowder in the shells of conventional naval guns and instead uses high powered electromagnetic pulses along a set of rails to shoot a projectile at super sonic speeds.

The Navy plans to test a BAE Systems prototype railgun onboard the Joint High Speed Vessel USNS Millinocket (JHSV- 3) next year.

Last year, then Navy director of surface warfare now commander of U.S. Surface Forces Command, Vice Adm. Thomas Rowden told USNI News the Zumwalts would be likely used as test beds for emerging technologies like railguns and directed energy weapons the Navy wants for its next large surface combatant due to the ship’s size an ability to generate power.

The integrated power system (IPS) on the 16,000-ton ships– powered by two massive Rolls Royce MT-30 gas turbines and two smaller Rolls-Royce RR450– allow the ships to route and generate 80 mega-watt power – much more electrical power than the current crop of U.S. destroyers and cruisers.

On Wednesday, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert said a Zumwalt would likely be the first ship to get the capability.

The inclusion of the railgun does mean a capabilities trade for the ship.

"We’ll go do the studies and I suspect they’ll say ‘yes,’ but it’s going to come at a cost of some of the capabilities on this ship – of course,” Hilarides said.

“It’s physics. Without taking something off, you’re not putting on a many ton system, so a gun would be a logical thing to take off and put the railgun in its place.”

The three ship Zumwalt-class were – in part – originally designed to address a gap in naval surface fire support with the AGS firing the Long-Range Land Attack Projectile (LRLAP) at a range of up to 75 nautical miles.

Each ship is designed to field two AGS.

Zumwalt is expected to deliver to the service next year.

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Offline bobbymike

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2015, 02:17:30 pm »
http://video.lauraingraham.com/US-Navy-railgun-makes-public-debut-28510059

Video of weapon not new although I haven't seen the footage of the projectile going through several steel plates before, some new commentary, however.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2015, 06:04:58 pm by bobbymike »
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Offline bobbymike

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Offline bobbymike

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Offline jsport

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Request for Information (RFI) for development of Fire Control Sensor for use with Navy Railgun

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The RFI focuses on recommended options for sensors or sensor upgrades through technology advancements, new sensor and single sensor architectures, or an overall mixed sensor architecture with the performance capabilities of interests that can also be delivered as a prototype ready for use no later than 3rd quarter fiscal year 2018. The Navy requests industry inputs related to architectural constructs and approaches that might be incorporated into a future railgun weapon system. Inputs should relate to one or more of the following.

1. Ability to track Low RCS targets at extended ranges. Details to be provided at Industry day.

2. Electronically scanned coverage (FOV) of greater than 90 degrees in azimuth and elevation.

3. Endo atmospheric tracking and engagement of ballistic missile targets.

4. Environmental clutter rejection (weather, surface, biological).

5. Support raid handling for ballistic missile, Anti-Air Warfare and Surface engagements.

6. Simultaneous tracking of inbound targets and outbound supersonic projectiles.

7. Enhanced battle damage assessment.

8. Improved resistance to technical and tactical countermeasures.

9. Rapid fire control loop closure times.

10. High data rate tracking and data collection.

11. Maturity sufficient to deliver operational prototype in the 2018 timeframe. (TRL 6).

12. Maturity sufficient to deliver operational capability in the 2020 to 2025 timeframe.
Appears to be defensive direct fire system not an indirect fire bombarbment system.. great.

Offline TomS

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Yes, this RFI relates to railguns as defensive weapons.  Railguns for naval surface fire support would fit much more easily into the existing Naval Fires Control System and future developments.  There's a lot of work on fire support coordination for time-critical targets; a shore bombardment railgun would just be another weapon input into such a system.

Offline jsport

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Yes, this RFI relates to railguns as defensive weapons.  Railguns for naval surface fire support would fit much more easily into the existing Naval Fires Control System and future developments.  There's a lot of work on fire support coordination for time-critical targets; a shore bombardment railgun would just be another weapon input into such a system.
minus nukes every hull-still stick-in to chemicals over capacitors as the best solution for indirect fire.
Those HV rounds sound great.

Offline bobbymike

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Offline bobbymike

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Offline bobbymike

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Offline bobbymike

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #22 on: December 01, 2015, 10:56:55 pm »
http://news.usni.org/2015/12/01/navy-finding-offensive-uses-for-defensive-systems-to-support-distributed-lethality

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One recent example of this is taking a proven defensive system – the Standard Missile 6 air defense missile – and giving it offensive capabilities as well.

“There are systems that we’re using that we’re moving from defensive capability into a very aggressive offensive capability,” Program Executive Officer for Integrated Warfare Systems (PEO IWS) Rear Adm. Jon Hill said during the panel discussion, referring to the SM-6.

Surface Ship Weapons Office Program Manager Capt. Michael Ladner told USNI News in November that he was pursuing software-only upgrades to the missile that would allow it to take on other missions, which he said he could not discuss. But he said the new missions “focus on distributed lethality and shifting to an offensive capability to counter our adversaries’ [anti-access/area-denial] capabilities.”

Hill said the Navy was looking for additional over-the-horizon missiles, and “we’re going to start with what we can pull out of industry today and we’re going to extend that in the future.”

Director of Surface Warfare (OPNAV N96) Rear Adm. Peter Fanta said during the panel discussion that he is similarly looking at new uses for the Tomahawk land attack cruise missile.

“We still have a requirement for a Tomahawk cruise missile to attack surface ships sitting on the books – in fact, it’s been reiterated for the past 15 years that we still have that requirement,” he said.
“It’s amazing what you do when you dust off an old requirement and say I’m going to do this again. Let me put it this way: we know what the Tomahawk is capable of – the reason we got rid of it was because our sensors were not long-range enough to keep up with the range of the Tomahawk. Our sensors have evolved to the position now where we can track and target things out to the range of a Tomahawk, so now we have a need for something Tomahawk-esque to go out and reach out that far.”

Speaking to how this reuse of the Tomahawk missile would fit into the distributed lethality concept, Fanta said, “so imagine what happens when I’m carrying 3,000 Tomahawks at sea at any one time and they become dual-mission or multi-mission weapons. I don’t care which adversary you are on the face of the earth, 3,000 missiles coming at you at the same time is a really bad day. That’s the idea behind, can we make this thing do more than one [mission]. That’s what we’re talking about, evolving the capabilities that we have. I’ve got a great truck, it’s a big missile sitting inside my [vertical launching system] cells right now. What else can we do with it? How else can we make it work? What other things could we put on it or make it do?”
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Online sferrin

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #23 on: December 02, 2015, 05:08:28 am »
They won't even have as many as they want for air defense.  Seems like a  waste to use them plinking speedboats.
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Offline TomS

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #24 on: December 02, 2015, 06:54:55 am »
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They won't even have as many as they want for air defense.  Seems like a  waste to use them plinking speedboats.

That's probably not what he was talking about.  More likely they're referring to things like this CSBA study:

http://www.navytimes.com/story/military/2014/11/17/csba-report-commanding-seas-surface-fleet-on-offense/19183273/
http://breakingdefense.com/2014/11/47-seconds-from-hell-a-challenge-to-navy-doctrine/

So they're talking about using long-range missiles like SM-6 to kill standoff missile platforms before launch and to engage time-sensitive shore targets like ASCM batteries.  I'm not sure this should really be considered "offensive" since it's just a case of "kill the archer not the arrow" but that seems to be the language they're using.

Offline bobbymike

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #25 on: December 02, 2015, 10:23:02 am »
Quote
They won't even have as many as they want for air defense.  Seems like a  waste to use them plinking speedboats.

That's probably not what he was talking about.  More likely they're referring to things like this CSBA study:

http://www.navytimes.com/story/military/2014/11/17/csba-report-commanding-seas-surface-fleet-on-offense/19183273/
http://breakingdefense.com/2014/11/47-seconds-from-hell-a-challenge-to-navy-doctrine/

So they're talking about using long-range missiles like SM-6 to kill standoff missile platforms before launch and to engage time-sensitive shore targets like ASCM batteries.  I'm not sure this should really be considered "offensive" since it's just a case of "kill the archer not the arrow" but that seems to be the language they're using.

Not to be pedantic but killing the archer not the arrow should be defined as offensive no?
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Offline TomS

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #26 on: December 02, 2015, 10:48:44 am »
You could argue it that way, for sure.

My sense  is that killing a bomber that is headed toward a task force well after takeoff but before it launches missiles could be interpreted as either extended defense or as offense.  Ultimately, the terminology doesn't matter that much.  The real issue is how this kind of doctrine interacts with Rules of Engagement.

If "kill the archer" is defensive, it's something you do only if you're sure the archer is coming to shoot you right now and is done under fairly restrictive ROE.  If it's offensive, it's something you do whenever you see him, regardless of whether you think he's coming at you right now or not and requires a more expansive ROE. 

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #27 on: December 02, 2015, 11:24:48 am »
Quote
They won't even have as many as they want for air defense.  Seems like a  waste to use them plinking speedboats.

That's probably not what he was talking about.  More likely they're referring to things like this CSBA study:

http://www.navytimes.com/story/military/2014/11/17/csba-report-commanding-seas-surface-fleet-on-offense/19183273/
http://breakingdefense.com/2014/11/47-seconds-from-hell-a-challenge-to-navy-doctrine/

So they're talking about using long-range missiles like SM-6 to kill standoff missile platforms before launch and to engage time-sensitive shore targets like ASCM batteries.  I'm not sure this should really be considered "offensive" since it's just a case of "kill the archer not the arrow" but that seems to be the language they're using.

Sounds like what they already do (or did) with the F-14 Tomcats filling the role of killing the "archers", in this case, Bears and Backfires.  Didn't think SM-6 would out range things like AS-4. 
"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #28 on: December 02, 2015, 12:16:57 pm »
SM-6 has a ridiculously long range that doesn't seem to officially be public (Jane's says 230 nm!).  That compares pretty closely to the book value range for AS-4 (250 nm).  Remember that you would position the AEGIS ship well up-threat of the high-value target if at all possible, and the shooter won't want to launch at absolute maximum range since that would let the target turn away and run the inbounds out of fuel. So the geometry may work out most of the time.  And AS-4 is a pretty stressing threat -- most threat missiles (even Brahmos) are shorter-legged than that. 

Online marauder2048

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #29 on: December 02, 2015, 12:58:37 pm »
SM-6 has a ridiculously long range that doesn't seem to officially be public (Jane's says 230 nm!).  That compares pretty closely to the book value range for AS-4 (250 nm).  Remember that you would position the AEGIS ship well up-threat of the high-value target if at all possible, and the shooter won't want to launch at absolute maximum range since that would let the target turn away and run the inbounds out of fuel. So the geometry may work out most of the time.  And AS-4 is a pretty stressing threat -- most threat missiles (even Brahmos) are shorter-legged than that.

One of the concerns in the CSBA study was that the surface fleet won't have (for various reasons) the carrier's AWACs and other assets to facilitate the use of SM-6 at max range.  It was for this reason that I was hoping
the Brits would go for the helicopter mounted AESA pods but they were nostalgic for the 80's and went with something else. There are other options of course...

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #30 on: December 02, 2015, 01:35:48 pm »
What system was the DARPA program Arclight going to use? Cause the range of that system was 2000km IIRK.
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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #31 on: December 02, 2015, 01:42:05 pm »
What system was the DARPA program Arclight going to use? Cause the range of that system was 2000km IIRK.

SM-3 Block IIA if I recall correctly.  Plus that was a boost glider. 
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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #32 on: December 02, 2015, 03:58:02 pm »
SM-6 has a ridiculously long range that doesn't seem to officially be public (Jane's says 230 nm!).  That compares pretty closely to the book value range for AS-4 (250 nm).  Remember that you would position the AEGIS ship well up-threat of the high-value target if at all possible, and the shooter won't want to launch at absolute maximum range since that would let the target turn away and run the inbounds out of fuel. So the geometry may work out most of the time.  And AS-4 is a pretty stressing threat -- most threat missiles (even Brahmos) are shorter-legged than that.

Just to give a feel for SM-6's possible performance, there was an early SM-3 test wherein they had an inert 3rd stage.  First stage fired, 2nd stage fired, then they separated and let the 3rd stage tumble ballistically.  On the way up it went from 310,000 feet to 350,000 feet in 14 seconds (that's an average vertical velocity component of about 2000 mph),so it would have continued on well past that in altitude.  It appeared in the video to be at about 45 degrees when they separated so the actual velocity would have been much higher.  It was airborne for over 5 minutes.  Don't know how much drag or weight difference there would be between a tumbling SM-3 upper stage and an SM-6.  Yes the SM-6 would weigh more than the SM-3 upper stage but at that point, after 2nd stage motor burnout, it's moot.  Don't know if the timing or the orientation in the video is accurate.  Just taking it at face value.

Start around 9:20:

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #33 on: December 02, 2015, 05:01:57 pm »
SM-6 has a ridiculously long range that doesn't seem to officially be public (Jane's says 230 nm!).  That compares pretty closely to the book value range for AS-4 (250 nm).  Remember that you would position the AEGIS ship well up-threat of the high-value target if at all possible, and the shooter won't want to launch at absolute maximum range since that would let the target turn away and run the inbounds out of fuel. So the geometry may work out most of the time.  And AS-4 is a pretty stressing threat -- most threat missiles (even Brahmos) are shorter-legged than that.

Just to give a feel for SM-6's possible performance, there was an early SM-3 test wherein they had an inert 3rd stage.  First stage fired, 2nd stage fired, then they separated and let the 3rd stage tumble ballistically.  On the way up it went from 310,000 feet to 350,000 feet in 14 seconds (that's an average vertical velocity component of about 2000 mph),so it would have continued on well past that in altitude.  It appeared in the video to be at about 45 degrees when they separated so the actual velocity would have been much higher.  It was airborne for over 5 minutes.  Don't know how much drag or weight difference there would be between a tumbling SM-3 upper stage and an SM-6.  Yes the SM-6 would weigh more than the SM-3 upper stage but at that point, after 2nd stage motor burnout, it's moot.  Don't know if the timing or the orientation in the video is accurate.  Just taking it at face value.

Start around 9:20:



Wouldn't this analysis tend to overestimate performance since the SM-3's 2nd stage is mostly burning in *much* lower atmospheric pressures than SM-6s?

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #34 on: December 02, 2015, 05:05:06 pm »
Wouldn't this analysis tend to overestimate performance since the SM-3's 2nd stage is mostly burning in *much* lower atmospheric pressures than SM-6s?

I think it's quite a stretch to call it an "analysis".   ;D  That said, if the SM-6 is in a lofting trajectory for maximum range, why wouldn't it be in a similar realm? 
« Last Edit: December 02, 2015, 05:16:22 pm by sferrin »
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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #35 on: December 02, 2015, 06:14:21 pm »
Wouldn't this analysis tend to overestimate performance since the SM-3's 2nd stage is mostly burning in *much* lower atmospheric pressures than SM-6s?

I think it's quite a stretch to call it an "analysis".   ;D  That said, if the SM-6 is in a lofting trajectory for maximum range, why wouldn't it be in a similar realm?

Like a min-energy ballistic trajectory? I wouldn't think that that trajectory would put the missile at good attitude for the terminal seeker.

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #36 on: December 02, 2015, 06:39:03 pm »
Wouldn't this analysis tend to overestimate performance since the SM-3's 2nd stage is mostly burning in *much* lower atmospheric pressures than SM-6s?

I think it's quite a stretch to call it an "analysis".   ;D  That said, if the SM-6 is in a lofting trajectory for maximum range, why wouldn't it be in a similar realm?

Like a min-energy ballistic trajectory? I wouldn't think that that trajectory would put the missile at good attitude for the terminal seeker.

By the time it was coming down it would be.  Midcourse guidance updates until it's headed down and then the active seeker starts up at the end.
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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #37 on: December 02, 2015, 07:16:15 pm »
Wouldn't this analysis tend to overestimate performance since the SM-3's 2nd stage is mostly burning in *much* lower atmospheric pressures than SM-6s?

I think it's quite a stretch to call it an "analysis".   ;D  That said, if the SM-6 is in a lofting trajectory for maximum range, why wouldn't it be in a similar realm?

Like a min-energy ballistic trajectory? I wouldn't think that that trajectory would put the missile at good attitude for the terminal seeker.

By the time it was coming down it would be.  Midcourse guidance updates until it's headed down and then the active seeker starts up at the end.

Ah. I was thinking the longer midcourse component would put it out of range of most of the uplinking platforms requiring the active seeker to start illuminating earlier.

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #38 on: December 02, 2015, 09:54:35 pm »
Wouldn't this analysis tend to overestimate performance since the SM-3's 2nd stage is mostly burning in *much* lower atmospheric pressures than SM-6s?

I think it's quite a stretch to call it an "analysis".   ;D  That said, if the SM-6 is in a lofting trajectory for maximum range, why wouldn't it be in a similar realm?

Like a min-energy ballistic trajectory? I wouldn't think that that trajectory would put the missile at good attitude for the terminal seeker.

By the time it was coming down it would be.  Midcourse guidance updates until it's headed down and then the active seeker starts up at the end.

Ah. I was thinking the longer midcourse component would put it out of range of most of the uplinking platforms requiring the active seeker to start illuminating earlier.
Would not be out of range of an E-2D positioned between the fleet and the incoming threat.

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #39 on: December 02, 2015, 10:47:56 pm »
Wouldn't this analysis tend to overestimate performance since the SM-3's 2nd stage is mostly burning in *much* lower atmospheric pressures than SM-6s?

I think it's quite a stretch to call it an "analysis".   ;D  That said, if the SM-6 is in a lofting trajectory for maximum range, why wouldn't it be in a similar realm?

Like a min-energy ballistic trajectory? I wouldn't think that that trajectory would put the missile at good attitude for the terminal seeker.

By the time it was coming down it would be.  Midcourse guidance updates until it's headed down and then the active seeker starts up at the end.

Ah. I was thinking the longer midcourse component would put it out of range of most of the uplinking platforms requiring the active seeker to start illuminating earlier.
Would not be out of range of an E-2D positioned between the fleet and the incoming threat.

Probably got lost in the chatter but I was referring to the CSBA analysis in which the surface fleet did not have access (for whatever reason) to carrier AWACs/ISR assets.

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #40 on: December 03, 2015, 02:58:34 am »
Probably got lost in the chatter but I was referring to the CSBA analysis in which the surface fleet did not have access (for whatever reason) to carrier AWACs/ISR assets.

That being the case I'd think you'd be limited by the horizon then.  Unless a satellite is feeding the surface ship ELINT information on the enemy aircraft/missile there wouldn't be anything to acquire targeting data for the mid-course updates.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2015, 03:30:05 am by sferrin »
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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #41 on: December 03, 2015, 05:38:33 am »
Assuming we're looking at high-altitude targets, SPY-1 has LOS and the range to see that far, easily.  But it may take software changes to suit the seeker to a look-down terminal engagement at such long range. OTOH, AMRAAM was already designed to do look-down/shoot-down engagements, and SM-6 was being touted for long-range cruise missile defense, which means it already has the ability to look down into clutter.

They may also be talking about possible software changes that would let SM-6 use GPS to engage targets ashore, such as coastal-defense cruise missile batteries, high-value SAM sites, etc.  Basically Land-attack Standard Missile (SM-4) on steroids.


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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #42 on: December 03, 2015, 05:45:46 am »
Assuming we're looking at high-altitude targets, SPY-1 has LOS and the range to see that far, easily.  But it may take software changes to suit the seeker to a look-down terminal engagement at such long range. OTOH, AMRAAM was already designed to do look-down/shoot-down engagements, and SM-6 was being touted for long-range cruise missile defense, which means it already has the ability to look down into clutter.

They may also be talking about possible software changes that would let SM-6 use GPS to engage targets ashore, such as coastal-defense cruise missile batteries, high-value SAM sites, etc.  Basically Land-attack Standard Missile (SM-4) on steroids.

What size is SM-6s warhead?  IIRC SM-4s was so small (~125lbs or so) they figured the bang for the buck wasn't there.  Pretty sure SM-6s isn't any larger.
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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #43 on: December 03, 2015, 06:57:02 am »
Assuming we're looking at high-altitude targets, SPY-1 has LOS and the range to see that far, easily.  But it may take software changes to suit the seeker to a look-down terminal engagement at such long range. OTOH, AMRAAM was already designed to do look-down/shoot-down engagements, and SM-6 was being touted for long-range cruise missile defense, which means it already has the ability to look down into clutter.

They may also be talking about possible software changes that would let SM-6 use GPS to engage targets ashore, such as coastal-defense cruise missile batteries, high-value SAM sites, etc.  Basically Land-attack Standard Missile (SM-4) on steroids.


I have posted to other threads - the Air Force, in a couple of cases, strongly hinting the US can precision target using space assets if not now, very, very soon (as in the assets are in space ready for use).

IIRC the last article was about Red Flag when a USAF general said, cryptically, we have classified assets, space assets we cannot use in this exercise for identification and targeting.
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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #44 on: December 03, 2015, 07:12:13 am »
SM-6 has the the same warhead as LASM but it's gotten a bit smarter -- the version of the Mk 125 used in SM-6 is a focused blast-frag warhead that can concentrate its fragmentation toward the target.  Nopt sure if that matters much ina  lad-taack mode, though.  A 125-pound warhead isn't huge but it's nothing to sneeze at either, and it would be more than sufficient to kill soft targets like missile launchers and radars.  The excuse given that LASM couldn't engage mobile or hard targets is sort of true, but  there is a large target set of non-mobile, non-hardened targets of significant concern.  I think the Navy wanted NTACMS and thought getting LASM would stop that effort.  In the end it got neither.

LASM as a dedicated missile might not have made sense (I think it did, at least as an interim capability).  Having land-attack mode as a  switch you can throw on the whole inventory of SM-6 missiles instead is interesting.  It's cheap and doesn't tie up VLS cells for single-role land-attack missiles.  Plus, using the SM-6 airframe should add a lot of range compared to SM-4.

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #45 on: December 03, 2015, 08:59:34 am »
Having land-attack mode as a  switch you can throw on the whole inventory of SM-6 missiles instead is interesting.  It's cheap and doesn't tie up VLS cells for single-role land-attack missiles.  Plus, using the SM-6 airframe should add a lot of range compared to SM-4.

SM-6 is many things but I don't know that "cheap" is one of them.  ;)
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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #46 on: December 03, 2015, 09:15:16 am »
Cheap in terms of marginal cost, especially compared to holding two separate stocks of missiles.

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #47 on: December 04, 2015, 01:35:06 am »
Lest it fall down a memory hole...

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #53 on: January 18, 2016, 05:02:47 pm »
SNA 2016 Show News - General Atomics Medium Range Railgun

By Xavier Vavasseur
At the Surface Navy Association's (SNA) National Symposium currently held near Washington DC, General Atomics Electromagnetics unveils for the first time its "Multi-mission Medium Range Railgun Weapon System". Brochures and a poster at SNA 2016 showed the weapon system fitted on board a Freedom variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS).

The system is designed to fire round similar in diameter to a coke can. Based on the design shown on the poster and brochure, the system shares the same gun body/cupola as BAE System's 57mm gun.

A General Atomics representative at the show told us that deck space availability on was studied and the system could fit. Likewise, the power generated by the LCS is enough to accommodate the railgun. Batteries need to be fitted below deck however.

The Multi-mission Medium Range Railgun would be capable of intercepting anti-ship cruise missiles as well as anti-ship ballistic missiles. The system is capable of firing 10 rounds per minute to deal considerable damage (multi round simultaneous impact).

Other information on the system has not been publicaly released yet.

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #54 on: January 18, 2016, 05:31:28 pm »
So put pairs of these on the Zumwalts instead of the little pop-guns they swapped out the Mk110s for.
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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #56 on: February 17, 2016, 08:39:11 pm »
Isn't 10 rpm pretty low for engaging anti-ship missiles? Even with a very high probability to hit that isn't going to let you engage more than one or two inbound missiles.

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #57 on: February 17, 2016, 11:36:46 pm »
Isn't 10 rpm pretty low for engaging anti-ship missiles? Even with a very high probability to hit that isn't going to let you engage more than one or two inbound missiles.
If they can start to engage on the periphery of their 100 miles range, an anti-ship missile at 1200/miles/hr would take 5 minutes to get to the ship. 50 rounds/2 per missile 25 missiles X two railguns/Zumwalt 50 missiles is that good? I honestly don't know.
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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #58 on: February 17, 2016, 11:50:44 pm »
For comparison, the Mk 45 tops out at 20 rounds a minute and even with the HVP can't touch the Railgun for range. And the operational ship will still have ESSM+Standard.

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #59 on: February 18, 2016, 05:14:29 am »
Isn't 10 rpm pretty low for engaging anti-ship missiles? Even with a very high probability to hit that isn't going to let you engage more than one or two inbound missiles.

That's 10 RPM added to whatever they already have for defense, not instead of.
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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #61 on: February 18, 2016, 10:33:33 am »
http://news.usni.org/2016/02/18/west-u-s-navy-anti-ship-tomahawk-set-for-surface-ships-subs-starting-in-2021

Very interesting, combined with the LRASM effort and the SM-6 modification the USN is finally getting a credible anti-ship capability again.

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #62 on: February 18, 2016, 04:30:26 pm »
http://news.usni.org/2016/02/18/west-u-s-navy-anti-ship-tomahawk-set-for-surface-ships-subs-starting-in-2021

Very interesting, combined with the LRASM effort and the SM-6 modification the USN is finally getting a credible anti-ship capability again.
Didn't the FY2017 defense budget include future funding for 4000 Tomahawks?
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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #63 on: February 18, 2016, 05:59:56 pm »
http://news.usni.org/2016/02/18/west-u-s-navy-anti-ship-tomahawk-set-for-surface-ships-subs-starting-in-2021

Very interesting, combined with the LRASM effort and the SM-6 modification the USN is finally getting a credible anti-ship capability again.
Didn't the FY2017 defense budget include future funding for 4000 Tomahawks?

Buying 100 new for FY2017, and maintaining the line for when the oldest Block IV's come in for refurbishing/recertification (where the new mulit-mode seeker will be incorporated) for a total inventory of 4000.

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #64 on: February 18, 2016, 11:04:27 pm »
Reason for DL?

http://news.usni.org/2015/04/21/global-guided-missile-expansion-forcing-u-s-navy-to-rethink-surface-fleet-size

Storm in a tea cup. Aren't USN plans already for 100 large surface combatants in the near future? Where is the article getting the notion that this is a "rethinking"? 22 Ticonderoga class, 76 Burke and 3 Zumwalt. That's 101 in fact. Chinese navy in the same time frame will have about 18 "similar" ships (similar only in class, not in capability.)  Other pacific countries in the same time frame will have 35 large modern surface combatants (Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Australia)

Is it me, or is the USN and military in general just freaking out too much over any potential adversary? Back in the day we were outnumbered substantially by the Soviets, and there wasn't so much freaking out. Maybe 25 years of not having anyone to compare with has made us too impressionable. Or, as is more likely, the Navy/military know they can get more funding if they exaggerate the threat for politicians.

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #65 on: February 19, 2016, 12:23:34 pm »
For comparison, the Mk 45 tops out at 20 rounds a minute and even with the HVP can't touch the Railgun for range. And the operational ship will still have ESSM+Standard.
Isn't 10 rpm pretty low for engaging anti-ship missiles? Even with a very high probability to hit that isn't going to let you engage more than one or two inbound missiles.

That's 10 RPM added to whatever they already have for defense, not instead of.

Right, but the Mk45 isn't the most up-to-date system. For instance, the Finmeccanica/OT- Melara 76/62 Super Rapid is quoted as having 120 rpm bursts with the added benefit of programmable fuses on the bursting 76mm rounds. This makes it a pretty desirable medium range protection system (in addition to missile interceptors at longer ranges and rapid fire CIWS at close ranges).

I was just wondering of the probability-to-hit and added range of the rail-gun actually make it competitive as a ship based defense compared to such a conventional gun. I also wonder if a stealthy anti-ship missile will necessarily be acquired early enough to get full advantage of the rail-gun's range?

I suppose another way of putting the question would be: Is the rail-gun more of a competitor to missile interceptors (i.e. anti-missile missiles) or CIWS?

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #66 on: February 19, 2016, 01:05:04 pm »
Is it me, or is the USN and military in general just freaking out too much over any potential adversary? Back in the day we were outnumbered substantially by the Soviets, and there wasn't so much freaking out.

Were you even alive back then?  No offense, but if you were, how could you possibly believe what you just wrote?  Furthermore, back then it was just the USSR.  Now it's both Russia AND China. 
« Last Edit: February 19, 2016, 01:08:37 pm by sferrin »
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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #67 on: February 19, 2016, 01:29:49 pm »
Is it me, or is the USN and military in general just freaking out too much over any potential adversary? Back in the day we were outnumbered substantially by the Soviets, and there wasn't so much freaking out.

Were you even alive back then?  No offense, but if you were, how could you possibly believe what you just wrote?  Furthermore, back then it was just the USSR.  Now it's both Russia AND China.

Both Russia and China, combined, aren't even a fraction of the threat or capability the USSR possessed in the 1980s compared to the US. And yes, the level of freaking out these days is much worst than in the height of the cold war (but as I said I suspect its political in nature)

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #68 on: February 19, 2016, 02:13:50 pm »
For comparison, the Mk 45 tops out at 20 rounds a minute and even with the HVP can't touch the Railgun for range. And the operational ship will still have ESSM+Standard.
Isn't 10 rpm pretty low for engaging anti-ship missiles? Even with a very high probability to hit that isn't going to let you engage more than one or two inbound missiles.

That's 10 RPM added to whatever they already have for defense, not instead of.

Right, but the Mk45 isn't the most up-to-date system. For instance, the Finmeccanica/OT- Melara 76/62 Super Rapid is quoted as having 120 rpm bursts with the added benefit of programmable fuses on the bursting 76mm rounds. This makes it a pretty desirable medium range protection system (in addition to missile interceptors at longer ranges and rapid fire CIWS at close ranges).

If you go by datasheets the disparity isn't that pronounced.

BAE claims 20 rpm for the Mk45 with a 28 lb (projectile weight) HVP which is convenient given that there are 20 ready rounds.  80-85 ready rounds for the Super Rapid firing a projectile that weighs about third of HVP.


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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #69 on: February 19, 2016, 04:55:57 pm »
For comparison, the Mk 45 tops out at 20 rounds a minute and even with the HVP can't touch the Railgun for range. And the operational ship will still have ESSM+Standard.
Isn't 10 rpm pretty low for engaging anti-ship missiles? Even with a very high probability to hit that isn't going to let you engage more than one or two inbound missiles.

That's 10 RPM added to whatever they already have for defense, not instead of.

Right, but the Mk45 isn't the most up-to-date system. For instance, the Finmeccanica/OT- Melara 76/62 Super Rapid is quoted as having 120 rpm bursts with the added benefit of programmable fuses on the bursting 76mm rounds.
The Mk 45 Mod 4 entered service in 2000, the 76/62 Super Rapid entered service  in 1988. The 76mm Strales dates to 2004. It's not about up-to-date, the guns are in two different classes. But both can contribute to the air defense and missile defense missions.

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #70 on: February 19, 2016, 05:00:17 pm »
How many railgun alternatives can fire 100 mile range guided munitions?
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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #71 on: February 20, 2016, 02:59:59 pm »
How many railgun alternatives can fire 100 mile range guided munitions?

An Electrothermal-Chemical gun system + MS-SGP/LRLAP would be the closest rival.

An ETC gun system would also extend the range of conventional rounds.

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #72 on: February 20, 2016, 06:01:38 pm »
How many railgun alternatives can fire 100 mile range guided munitions?

An Electrothermal-Chemical gun system + MS-SGP/LRLAP would be the closest rival.

An ETC gun system would also extend the range of conventional rounds.
How about some close range rapid fire.

http://imgur.com/gallery/WS3qdCx

 In the early 1990's the US Navy sponsored a project to build and test a massive 60mm bore, ten-shot, autoloading electrothermal-chemical anti-missile cannon. The huge cannon mechanism and barrel are about 14 feet long and weigh a few tons. The cannon is shown firing test projectiles, but the ultimate goal was to fire guided or steered projectiles which were being developed in another project. Most of the rounds fired in the tests shown are "conventional" rounds using conventional solid propellant. Some of the rounds, as indicated by the onscreen text, were electrothermal propulsion test rounds. Those used various conventional propellants or mixtures of one or more types of it, plus a high-energy electrical pulse through the propellant, in hopes that the electrical energy would be converted into kinetic energy. The cannon mechanism is of the revolver type, where the revolver cylinder is indexed by hydraulic actuators. There are ten removable chambers in the cylinder. The rounds of ammunition were typically constructed like plastic shotgun shells, but were bottle-necked, not cylindrical. They had a "high base" of thick stainless steel, and a body of moulded polyethelyne.

    The action of this huge revolver was reminiscent of the M1895 Nagant Russian service revolver, in that there was a mechanism to cause an overlap between the chambers and the barrel at each discharge. This is called a "gas seal" revolver system.

    One of the Navy's press releases on this project reads:

    "The 60 mm electrothermal-chemical (ETC) demonstrator was built and tested as part of the Navy's ship self defense development effort. The program conducted integrated tests of a new 60 mm rapid fire ETC gun/autoloader, CIWS mount, electric pulse power source, and ETC cartridge. The program has resulted in many advances in ETC propulsion including: reliable rapid fire electrothermal (ET) power transfer through a gun breech; repeatable rapid fire gun/propelling charge interface; and demonstration of ETC propulsion in an automatic gun system. Successful operation of the CIWS mount in an ETC environment has shown that EMI is not a significant design issue. The program has successfully proven that ETC technology is moving beyond the laboratory phase and is applicable to advanced weapon system development."

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #73 on: February 21, 2016, 09:52:00 pm »
How many railgun alternatives can fire 100 mile range guided munitions?

An Electrothermal-Chemical gun system + MS-SGP/LRLAP would be the closest rival.

An ETC gun system would also extend the range of conventional rounds.
How about some close range rapid fire.

http://imgur.com/gallery/WS3qdCx

Very cool effort. Thanks. I had never seen a video.

By way of comparison, the modern ETC gun systems are designed to use multiple plasma pulses at six times the energy to hurl self-guided shells with ten times the mass to even higher muzzle velocities.


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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #74 on: February 22, 2016, 03:24:43 am »
Who is doing any research into ETC guns?  I am unaware of any DARPA or DOD program along these lines.  The early 90's work was terminated before reaching any validation tests for demonstrating hypervelocity muzzle speeds (similar to the early railgun efforts).  The concept seems plausible but I haven't seen any definitive test reports validating the operating principles.  In this respect, it is analogous to COIL guns.  Nobody seems to be developing them (at least in a way that is openly documented).

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #76 on: February 22, 2016, 10:56:34 am »
Who is doing any research into ETC guns?  I am unaware of any DARPA or DOD program along these lines.  The early 90's work was terminated before reaching any validation tests for demonstrating hypervelocity muzzle speeds (similar to the early railgun efforts).  The concept seems plausible but I haven't seen any definitive test reports validating the operating principles.  In this respect, it is analogous to COIL guns.  Nobody seems to be developing them (at least in a way that is openly documented).


DSSP just completed a Phase 2 SBIR for DARPA and presented the results at the 2015 NDIA Armaments conference (pdf attached).
« Last Edit: February 22, 2016, 01:16:17 pm by marauder2048 »

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #77 on: February 22, 2016, 12:00:25 pm »
Very interesting.  I had no idea this was going on although at SBIR funding levels (phase II awards are generally < $1Million) it is easy to see why.  This research still seems to show a relatively basic level of development.  I would imagine the big companies are just watching to see if anything interesting comes about.

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #78 on: February 22, 2016, 01:50:03 pm »
Very interesting.  I had no idea this was going on although at SBIR funding levels (phase II awards are generally < $1Million) it is easy to see why.  This research still seems to show a relatively basic level of development.  I would imagine the big companies are just watching to see if anything interesting comes about.

From a funding standpoint, I tend to view ETC guns as "fellow travelers" in terms of the technological ecosystem being developed for railguns e.g. PFNs, capacitors, materials etc.

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #79 on: February 22, 2016, 07:38:23 pm »
Rail technology might be used to enhance a multiple sidewall injection gas gun, for instance, but to claim as DSSP does, that Railguns have higher velocity than gas guns seems quite disingenuous.

http://ramaccelerator.org/home/

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #80 on: February 22, 2016, 08:31:42 pm »
Rail technology might be used to enhance a multiple sidewall injection gas gun, for instance, but to claim as DSSP does, that Railguns have higher velocity than gas guns seems quite disingenuous.

http://ramaccelerator.org/home/

A ramjet is going to have a lower theoretical top speed. 

" This device operates as an in-bore ramjet in which a subcaliber projectile, shaped like the centerbody of a cylindrical supersonic ramjet, is propelled through a stationary tube filled with a pressurized gaseous propellant mixture of fuel, oxidizer, and diluent."

Sounds like a completely impractical weapon.  Furthermore, whats to keep the heat from the round compressing the gas in FRONT of the round from prematurely setting it off?   You're never going to hit 18,000 mph out of normal length barrel, and if you're going for a hillside launcher you could just do that with a rail gun.  So I would say the claim that gas guns have the higher velocity "seems quite disingenuous". 
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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #81 on: February 22, 2016, 08:59:16 pm »
fuels always will have better energy capacity than capacitors (as explain too many times already) so will always be superior to pure electric systems unless every system is nuke powered w/ an excess of electric power..

http://www.google.com.gh/patents/US5303632

Projectile propelling system
US 5303632 A
ABSTRACT
A projectile propelling system includes a gun barrel filled with a gaseous propulsive mixture, a projectile having a front cone wall and a rear cone wall, and a driver for initially propelling the projectile in the gun barrel to an initial velocity above the detonation velocity of the gaseous propulsive mixture to produce a shock wave at the front cone wall followed by a detonation wave resulting from the reflection of the shock wave inside the barrel, which detonation wave is applied to the rear cone wall to increase the velocity of the projectile. The front cone wall and rear cone wall of the projectile are such as to create a "mach stem" in the form of a disc normal to the longitudinal axis of the projectile, of sufficiently high pressure and temperature to ensure ignition of the gaseous propulsive mixture.

DESCRIPTION
FIELD AND BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to a projectile propelling system and particularly to the RAM accelerator type of projectile propelling system.

The RAM accelerator is a recent type of projectile propelling system for accelerating heavy projectiles to hyper velocities in the range of 10 Km/s (22369.4 mph). It is based on a continuous combustion or detonation of a gaseous propulsive mixture in a gun. The gun barrel is prefilled with the mixture, and the projectile is propelled into the gun barrel and the gaseous propulsive mixture after the projectile has been accelerated by a conventional launcher, such as a light gas gun or a powder gun. The projectile is shaped in a special manner so that the flow around it creates the necessary conditions for the mixture to be detonated. The thrust is produced by the action of the high pressure of the expanding combustion or detonation products on the rear part of the projectile."


Cited Patent   Filing date   Publication date   Applicant   Title
US3126789 *   May 17, 1962   Mar 31, 1964      Hypervelocity propulsion arrangement


US3465638 *   Aug 23, 1967   Sep 9, 1969   Nasa   Hypervelocity gun

US4428293 *   Dec 19, 1980   Jan 31, 1984   United Technologies Corporation   Gun-launched variable thrust ramjet projectile

US4722261 *   Sep 22, 1986   Feb 2, 1988   United Technologies Corporation   Extendable ram cannon

US5485787 *   Jun 21, 1994   Jan 23, 1996   Rockwell International Corporation   Gas gun launched scramjet test projectile

US5513571 *   May 17, 1994   May 7, 1996   Rockwell International Corporation   Airbreathing propulsion assisted gun-launched projectiles

EP0693668A2 *   Jun 19, 1995   Jan 24, 1996   Rockwell International Corporation   Gas gun launched scramjet test projectile

US4930421 *   Jul 11, 1988   Jun 5, 1990   The Boeing Company   Partitioned, fluid supported, high efficiency traveling charge for hyper-velocity guns

US5363766 *   Feb 8, 1990   Nov 15, 1994   The United States Of America As Represented By The Secretary Of The Army   Remjet powered, armor piercing, high explosive projectile
« Last Edit: February 22, 2016, 09:25:02 pm by jsport »

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #82 on: February 22, 2016, 11:47:28 pm »
Why don't we keep to the topic at hand as stated in the title of the thread and not some theoretical comparison of rail guns and gas guns. I seem to remember another thread being de"railed" due to this.
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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #83 on: February 23, 2016, 05:07:13 am »
fuels always will have better energy capacity than capacitors (as explain too many times already) so will always be superior to pure electric systems unless every system is nuke powered w/ an excess of electric power..

If energy capacity were the only thing that mattered, perhaps.  Unfortunately for this application (guns) energy capacity is WAY down the list of "what's important". 
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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #84 on: February 23, 2016, 05:59:58 am »
How many railgun alternatives can fire 100 mile range guided munitions?

An Electrothermal-Chemical gun system + MS-SGP/LRLAP would be the closest rival.

An ETC gun system would also extend the range of conventional rounds.
How about some close range rapid fire.

http://imgur.com/gallery/WS3qdCx

 In the early 1990's the US Navy sponsored a project to build and test a massive 60mm bore, ten-shot, autoloading electrothermal-chemical anti-missile cannon. The huge cannon mechanism and barrel are about 14 feet long and weigh a few tons. The cannon is shown firing test projectiles, but the ultimate goal was to fire guided or steered projectiles which were being developed in another project. Most of the rounds fired in the tests shown are "conventional" rounds using conventional solid propellant. Some of the rounds, as indicated by the onscreen text, were electrothermal propulsion test rounds. Those used various conventional propellants or mixtures of one or more types of it, plus a high-energy electrical pulse through the propellant, in hopes that the electrical energy would be converted into kinetic energy. The cannon mechanism is of the revolver type, where the revolver cylinder is indexed by hydraulic actuators. There are ten removable chambers in the cylinder. The rounds of ammunition were typically constructed like plastic shotgun shells, but were bottle-necked, not cylindrical. They had a "high base" of thick stainless steel, and a body of moulded polyethelyne.

    The action of this huge revolver was reminiscent of the M1895 Nagant Russian service revolver, in that there was a mechanism to cause an overlap between the chambers and the barrel at each discharge. This is called a "gas seal" revolver system.

    One of the Navy's press releases on this project reads:

    "The 60 mm electrothermal-chemical (ETC) demonstrator was built and tested as part of the Navy's ship self defense development effort. The program conducted integrated tests of a new 60 mm rapid fire ETC gun/autoloader, CIWS mount, electric pulse power source, and ETC cartridge. The program has resulted in many advances in ETC propulsion including: reliable rapid fire electrothermal (ET) power transfer through a gun breech; repeatable rapid fire gun/propelling charge interface; and demonstration of ETC propulsion in an automatic gun system. Successful operation of the CIWS mount in an ETC environment has shown that EMI is not a significant design issue. The program has successfully proven that ETC technology is moving beyond the laboratory phase and is applicable to advanced weapon system development."

What GA has now reduced their RG proposal to could likely be matched by the above technology. Their pitc no longer claims great indirect fire bombarment. Point defense RGs & ETC. Global --long range indirect fire folks have stopped claiming RG.  DAGGR is and was superior for vehicle based point and rail.

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #85 on: February 23, 2016, 06:07:49 am »
What GA has now reduced their RG proposal to could likely be matched by the above technology. Their pitc no longer claims great indirect fire bombarment. Point defense RGs & ETC. Global --long range indirect fire folks have stopped claiming RG.  DAGGR is and was superior for vehicle based point and rail.

Most likely because that's what the USN and US Army are looking at - railguns to bring down the cost of missile defense.  There is nothing magical about indirect fire that precludes rail guns from participating.  But indirect fire can be done just fine with conventional guns.  The same cannot be said re. missile defense.
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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #86 on: February 23, 2016, 06:16:27 am »
Why don't we keep to the topic at hand as stated in the title of the thread and not some theoretical comparison of rail guns and gas guns. I seem to remember another thread being de"railed" due to this.
There are plenty of cases of either solid or gas fuel or combo ETC based military HV Gun technology that puts RGs utility in question.  Another case of the "political" tech not the tech being pursued. This is typical. So quite on subject. 

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #87 on: February 23, 2016, 06:25:34 am »
What GA has now reduced their RG proposal to could likely be matched by the above technology. Their pitc no longer claims great indirect fire bombarment. Point defense RGs & ETC. Global --long range indirect fire folks have stopped claiming RG.  DAGGR is and was superior for vehicle based point and rail.

Most likely because that's what the USN and US Army are looking at - railguns to bring down the cost of missile defense.  There is nothing magical about indirect fire that precludes rail guns from participating.  But indirect fire can be done just fine with conventional guns.  The same cannot be said re. missile defense.
always stated RGs rpm likely can't be beat so there is some utility in Point defense.
The M-109 155mm Msle Def demo late last year uses a railgun projectile w/ HVP solid propulsion.
DAGGR- A Carter era 75mm ARES automatic cannon mounted on a RDF light tank demoed BMD is possible conventional battlefield solid propulsion gun.

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #88 on: February 23, 2016, 07:01:28 am »
What GA has now reduced their RG proposal to could likely be matched by the above technology. Their pitc no longer claims great indirect fire bombarment. Point defense RGs & ETC. Global --long range indirect fire folks have stopped claiming RG.  DAGGR is and was superior for vehicle based point and rail.

Most likely because that's what the USN and US Army are looking at - railguns to bring down the cost of missile defense.  There is nothing magical about indirect fire that precludes rail guns from participating.  But indirect fire can be done just fine with conventional guns.  The same cannot be said re. missile defense.
always stated RGs rpm likely can't be beat so there is some utility in Point defense.
The M-109 155mm Msle Def demo late last year uses a railgun projectile w/ HVP solid propulsion.
DAGGR- A Carter era 75mm ARES automatic cannon mounted on a RDF light tank demoed BMD is possible conventional battlefield solid propulsion gun.

I thought that ARES was a neat idea.  Don't know how effective it would have been.
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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #89 on: February 23, 2016, 07:11:29 am »
What GA has now reduced their RG proposal to could likely be matched by the above technology. Their pitc no longer claims great indirect fire bombarment. Point defense RGs & ETC. Global --long range indirect fire folks have stopped claiming RG.  DAGGR is and was superior for vehicle based point and rail.

Most likely because that's what the USN and US Army are looking at - railguns to bring down the cost of missile defense.  There is nothing magical about indirect fire that precludes rail guns from participating.  But indirect fire can be done just fine with conventional guns.  The same cannot be said re. missile defense.
always stated RGs rpm likely can't be beat so there is some utility in Point defense.
The M-109 155mm Msle Def demo late last year uses a railgun projectile w/ HVP solid propulsion.
DAGGR- A Carter era 75mm ARES automatic cannon mounted on a RDF light tank demoed BMD is possible conventional battlefield solid propulsion gun.

I thought that ARES was a neat idea.  Don't know how effective it would have been.
papers related showed pretty good high altitude accuracy..miniaturization has matured think Raytheon Quickill.

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #90 on: February 23, 2016, 07:15:40 am »

papers related showed pretty good high altitude accuracy..miniaturization has matured think Raytheon Quickill.

I swear I've read of GAU-8s looked at as point defense of missile silos against ICBM RVs years ago.  Like a C-RAM but for RVs instead of mortar rounds.  Never been able to find a source though.  :(
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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #91 on: February 23, 2016, 07:33:27 am »

papers related showed pretty good high altitude accuracy..miniaturization has matured think Raytheon Quickill.

I swear I've read of GAU-8s looked at as point defense of missile silos against ICBM RVs years ago.  Like a C-RAM but for RVs instead of mortar rounds.  Never been able to find a source though.  :(

as we have "exchanged" about before..not just CRAM but everywhere point defense is big deal worldwide and guided weapons ARE threatened.. Russians are on it (thank you for posting the IRBM cheat video given in Israel awhile back) AHEAD ammo is out of the bag and likely longer range cheaper guns will follow.

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #92 on: February 23, 2016, 10:58:47 am »

papers related showed pretty good high altitude accuracy..miniaturization has matured think Raytheon Quickill.

I swear I've read of GAU-8s looked at as point defense of missile silos against ICBM RVs years ago.  Like a C-RAM but for RVs instead of mortar rounds.  Never been able to find a source though.  :(

Yeah. I remember that too. I think it was mentioned as a possible last-ditch defense for MX in one of those long basing scheme analyses.

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #95 on: February 25, 2016, 04:20:05 am »
http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/the-most-important-weapon-asia-the-next-us-anti-ship-missile-15303?platform=hootsuite

Just think, we could have had one by now if they hadn't cancelled Fasthawk (or any of the other many programs that have fallen past the wayside because they weren't bleeding edge enough).  Considering all the time they'd put into the chain of engines that resulted in RATTLRS I have a difficult time believing it was a complete POS.  Okay, so maybe it only went Mach 2 instead of Mach 3.  That's still a hell of a lot better than a subsonic missile. 
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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #96 on: February 25, 2016, 04:46:47 am »
I wonder why someone isn’t hyping a ship based ballistic anti-ship missile a la the DF-21D.  The SM-6 used this way vaguely fits this definition.  If you are going to go for speed vs stealth, may as well go for broke.  If they ever manage to fund development of a deployed hypersonic strike missile I would think a naval variant would be an automatic offshoot.  Ironically, developing netted targeting sensors for subsonic cruise missiles via “distributed lethality” would be directly applicable to this.

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #97 on: February 25, 2016, 04:58:59 am »
I wonder why someone isn’t hyping a ship based ballistic anti-ship missile a la the DF-21D.  The SM-6 used this way vaguely fits this definition.  If you are going to go for speed vs stealth, may as well go for broke.  If they ever manage to fund development of a deployed hypersonic strike missile I would think a naval variant would be an automatic offshoot.  Ironically, developing netted targeting sensors for subsonic cruise missiles via “distributed lethality” would be directly applicable to this.

SM-6 is too small and less than ideal IMO.  A 2-stage ATACMS now. . . 
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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #98 on: February 25, 2016, 01:31:27 pm »
I wonder why someone isn’t hyping a ship based ballistic anti-ship missile a la the DF-21D.  The SM-6 used this way vaguely fits this definition.  If you are going to go for speed vs stealth, may as well go for broke.  If they ever manage to fund development of a deployed hypersonic strike missile I would think a naval variant would be an automatic offshoot.  Ironically, developing netted targeting sensors for subsonic cruise missiles via “distributed lethality” would be directly applicable to this.

SM-6 is too small and less than ideal IMO.  A 2-stage ATACMS now. . . 
Check out the prompt global strike thread the Navy is going to piggyback on DARPA/USAF boost glide program.
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Looked like a double bang.  At normal speed the bangs are so close you can't tell.


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JSOW C-1 uses the same BROACH multi-stage hard-target penetrator warhead as the baseline JSOW C.  BROACH has a shaped charge to clear the path and then a hardened blast warhead to follow through and detonate behind protection.

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Game Changing Innovations and the Future of Surface Warfare
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The article mentions replacing the "kill chain" with a "kill web".  That sounds like CEC where all the sensor data is amalgamated, disambiguated, and formatted to a common reference in order to implement a coordinated response with a single optimized firing against each threat.   They just need to keep a bunch of Tritons in the air and add a large aperture hyperspectral imager into the sensor package for enhanced discrimination.  Or maybe give the Air Force support the next time they float the idea of Space Based Radar.

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Navy codifies new cruise missile strategy, readies launch of Tomahawk follow-on

March 15, 2016

The Navy is poised to launch an analysis to define a Tomahawk cruise missile replacement, one of two planned multibillion dollar acquisition efforts central to the service's new cruise missile strategy which also calls for a full-and-open competition to replace the Harpoon anti-ship missile.

These two modernization efforts form the backbone of what the Navy in its fiscal year 2017 budget request has branded the Next-Generation Strike Capability. It is a newly codified policy that aims to provide a logical roadmap for cruise missile acquisition, an area where the service -- arguably for the last four years -- lacked coherence.

The two new programs are the Next-Generation Land Attack Weapon, which will also provide an ancillary capability to sink ships and be launched from submarines and ship canisters; the other program is the Offensive Anti-surface Warfare Increment 2 program, to provide air-launch, anti-ship missile capability.

The Next-Generation Strike Capability construct takes shape as the Navy is working to re-instate robust anti-ship capabilities the service allowed to atrophy, marking the end of a period since the fall of the Soviet Union when the Navy enjoyed uncontested primacy at sea. Specifically, the Navy requires new strike capabilities effective against anti-access, area denial threats being fielded by potential near-peer challengers such as China and Russia as well as by Iran and North Korea.

To support the Tomahawk follow-on program, dubbed the Next-Generation Land Attack Weapon (NGLAW), the Navy last year completed a capabilities based assessment that formed the basis for drafting an initial capability document which is currently being reviewed by the Joint Staff, according to a service spokeswoman. Should the Joint Requirements Oversight Council validate the Navy's proposal for a Tomahawk follow-on program, which the service expects, it plans to seek permission from the Pentagon's acquisition executive to conduct an analysis of alternatives to generate options and, eventually, a recommendation for a new program.

“Via the AOA process, the department will assess the operational effectiveness, cost, and risks of proposed NGLAW materiel solutions to address the long-term warfighter gaps for a surface and subsurface launched long-range strike and anti-surface warfare weapon system,” said Lt.j.g. Kara Yingling, a Navy spokeswoman. “NGLAW will initially complement and then eventually replace legacy cruise missile weapon systems,” she said, referring to Tomahawk. The Navy sees the follow-on program to be ready for initial operational use between 2028 and 2030.

While the Tomahawk replacement is more than a decade away, the Navy's FY-17 budget lays out new details about nearer-term plans to replace the Harpoon.

Two years ago at the direction of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Navy split its fledgling requirement for a Harpoon replacement -- offensive anti-surface warfare (OASuW) -- into two separate programs in order to meet an urgent need in the Pacific region for an air-launched advanced anti-ship missile by 2018. Lockheed Martin's Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM), in development since 2009 as a technology demonstration led by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, was declared OASuW Increment 1 to provide the stopgap capability on Air Force B-1 bombers and Navy F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, a move that established the project as a program of record.

The original technology demonstration program called for LRASM to also demonstrate a ship-launched capability. While the new program of record calls for only an air-launched variant, Navy surface warfare officials are eager for the LRASM program to execute the originally planned test to evaluate LRASM's ship-launch effectiveness. If it passes muster, one official expressed hope the Navy would expand its LRASM buy to provide a stopgap capability for its cruiser and destroyer fleets.

The Navy's FY-17 budget outlines new plans for OASuW Increment 2, which the service plans to acquire as part of a full-and-open competition. While the service two years ago said OASuW Increment 2 would seek a solution that could be both ship- as well as air-launched, the Navy's FY-17 budget describes Increment 2 as an air-launched only capability.

“OASuW/Increment 2 will be a follow-on to the current air-launched OASuW/ Increment 1 (LRASM) accelerated acquisition program,” Yingling said. The “Navy intends to conduct a full and open competition to deliver the most capable and affordable material solution to meet the projected warfighting requirements. The program has a projected Initial Operational Capability (IOC) in 2024.”

While the NGLAW and OASuW/Increment 2 are on slightly different schedules, the Navy plans to explore opportunities to leverage commonality where possible.

These two programs “will follow independent development paths tailored to the unique differences in capability requirements and the size/weight constraints between ship/submarine and aviation strike weapons platforms,” Yingling added. “However, the DON will leverage common components and technologies across these weapon systems to reduce cost, shorten development timelines, and promote interoperability.”

Other elements of the Next-Generation Strike Capability strategy call for development and sustainment of existing cruise missile inventories, including support of Tomahawk Land Attack Block III and TACTOM Block IV through their anticipated service lives; the integration of modernization and obsolescence upgrades to TACTOM during a mid-life recertification program, which is slated to extend the missile service life an additional 15 years, according to the Navy.
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Online sferrin

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"The Navy is poised to launch an analysis to define a Tomahawk cruise missile replacement"

So they're getting ready to think about what they might want eh?  It's depressing what counts as "progress" these days.

"The original technology demonstration program called for LRASM to also demonstrate a ship-launched capability. While the new program of record calls for only an air-launched variant, Navy surface warfare officials are eager for the LRASM program to execute the originally planned test to evaluate LRASM's ship-launch effectiveness. If it passes muster, one official expressed hope the Navy would expand its LRASM buy to provide a stopgap capability for its cruiser and destroyer fleets."

Aaaand they've already ditched the ship-launched variant.  Two words: Keystone Cops.

"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.

Offline Grey Havoc

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"The Navy is poised to launch an analysis to define a Tomahawk cruise missile replacement"

So they're getting ready to think about what they might want eh?  It's depressing what counts as "progress" these days.

"The original technology demonstration program called for LRASM to also demonstrate a ship-launched capability. While the new program of record calls for only an air-launched variant, Navy surface warfare officials are eager for the LRASM program to execute the originally planned test to evaluate LRASM's ship-launch effectiveness. If it passes muster, one official expressed hope the Navy would expand its LRASM buy to provide a stopgap capability for its cruiser and destroyer fleets."

Aaaand they've already ditched the ship-launched variant.  Two words: Keystone Cops.

 :(
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Offline Moose

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"The Navy is poised to launch an analysis to define a Tomahawk cruise missile replacement"

So they're getting ready to think about what they might want eh?  It's depressing what counts as "progress" these days.

"The original technology demonstration program called for LRASM to also demonstrate a ship-launched capability. While the new program of record calls for only an air-launched variant, Navy surface warfare officials are eager for the LRASM program to execute the originally planned test to evaluate LRASM's ship-launch effectiveness. If it passes muster, one official expressed hope the Navy would expand its LRASM buy to provide a stopgap capability for its cruiser and destroyer fleets."

Aaaand they've already ditched the ship-launched variant.  Two words: Keystone Cops.
The LRASM buy was split into two parts because Lockheed's competitors (and their congressional supporters) were screaming bloody murder about not being able to compete against the LM version of LRASM. As a compromise the purchase of the air-launched version (sans competition) was greenlit and the surface-launched version was to be competed in the OASuW Increment 2 program. However there's a great deal of pressure to combine OASuW I2 and the Tomahawk replacement, and while the benefits of a combined program in the long run are obvious it would mean a longer wait for a new surface-launched ASM (especially if it's to be a hypersonic weapon). So now there's renewed calls to just push ahead with LRASM-SL (which LM has been testing on their own dime) as an interim solution. And of course Raytheon's also pointing out that their guidance upgrades for Block IV can give it an Anti-ship capability, so why not pay for that instead of LRASM?

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"The Navy is poised to launch an analysis to define a Tomahawk cruise missile replacement"

So they're getting ready to think about what they might want eh?  It's depressing what counts as "progress" these days.

"The original technology demonstration program called for LRASM to also demonstrate a ship-launched capability. While the new program of record calls for only an air-launched variant, Navy surface warfare officials are eager for the LRASM program to execute the originally planned test to evaluate LRASM's ship-launch effectiveness. If it passes muster, one official expressed hope the Navy would expand its LRASM buy to provide a stopgap capability for its cruiser and destroyer fleets."

Aaaand they've already ditched the ship-launched variant.  Two words: Keystone Cops.
The LRASM buy was split into two parts because Lockheed's competitors (and their congressional supporters) were screaming bloody murder about not being able to compete against the LM version of LRASM. As a compromise the purchase of the air-launched version (sans competition) was greenlit and the surface-launched version was to be competed in the OASuW Increment 2 program. However there's a great deal of pressure to combine OASuW I2 and the Tomahawk replacement, and while the benefits of a combined program in the long run are obvious it would mean a longer wait for a new surface-launched ASM (especially if it's to be a hypersonic weapon). So now there's renewed calls to just push ahead with LRASM-SL (which LM has been testing on their own dime) as an interim solution. And of course Raytheon's also pointing out that their guidance upgrades for Block IV can give it an Anti-ship capability, so why not pay for that instead of LRASM?

Ugh.   "Okay Raytheon, we're going to do a survivability assessment.  After you're told why we won't be buying Tomahawk you can go back to your drawing board and come up with something better.  Don't waste our time with a Tomahawk knock-off."
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SCO aims to flip the script on missile defense for bases, ports, ships with hypervelocity gun

April 06, 2016


The Pentagon wants to take a weapon originally designed for offense, flip its punch for defense and demonstrate by 2018 the potential for the Army and Navy to conduct missile defense of bases, ports and ships using traditional field guns to fire a new hypervelocity round guided by a mobile, ground variant of an Air Force fighter aircraft radar.

The Strategic Capabilities Office is working with the Army, Navy and Air Force to craft a Hypervelocity Gun Weapon System that aims, in part, to provide China and Russia an example of a secret collection of new U.S. military capabilities the Defense Department is bringing online in an effort to strengthen conventional deterrence.

"It is a fantastic program," Will Roper, Strategic Capabilities Office director, said in a March 28 interview with reporters, who said the project aims "to completely lower the cost of doing missile defense" by defeating missile raids at a lower cost per round and, as a consequence, imposing higher costs on attackers.

Current U.S. missile defense capabilities are centered around very sophisticated guided-missile interceptors, which cost -- in most cases -- millions of dollars per shot, an approach the Army and Navy service chiefs, in a Nov. 5, 2014 joint memo, warned the defense secretary is "unsustainable."

"Projectiles that we fire and test today are on the order of $50,000 currently and we hope to push down to $35,000 -- a two order-of-magnitude swing in some cases," Roper said.

The Pentagon is seeking $246 million for the HGWS in fiscal year 2017, building on $364 million appropriated for the project in FY-15 and FY-16.

The HGWS takes smart projectiles developed for the Navy's electromagnetic railgun and fires them with artillery already in the inventory.

"Cost-effective, large magazine, base defense will be demonstrated by closing the fire-control loop between existing sensors and prototype projectiles launched from existing powder guns including the Navy's Mk-45 5-inch Naval gun and the Army's Paladin 155 mm self-propelled howitzer; advanced powder gun prototypes; and the electromagnetic railgun," the Pentagon's FY-17 budget request states.

The Army and Navy have a combined inventory of approximately 1,000 guns capable of firing rounds of this size, including about 900 Army Paladins. The Navy has about 100 cruisers and destroyers, each with one 5-inch MK-45 gun on the bow.

"The intended end-state is a prototype system that retires risks to allow transition of gun-based defense to partners: the Missile Defense Agency, the Navy, and/or the Army," the budget request adds.

Roper, during the March 28 interview, disclosed a new dimension of the HGWS project.

"We haven't talked publicly about the sensor that we're doing with that," he said. "So, if you're going to do missile defense, you're going to need something to do the tracking. And we are working very extensively with taking fighter radars, in which we have a huge investment, and building ground-based variants of these."

The SCO is working to fashion a ground variant of the most advanced fighter radars, based on active electronically scanned array (AESA) technology: "Putting them on the ground to support intercepts of systems that can truly move," Roper said, referring to the radar's role in plans to take out ballistic and cruise missile threats.

He said the hypervelocity project has evolved to be a joint effort with three services: "We have a Navy round, an Army gun, and an Air Force sensor -- all combined into one Frankenstein architecture."

Roper, who was the Missile Defense Agency's director for engineering before being tapped to head the SCO at its formation in August 2012, declined to quantify the estimated range for the hypervelocity gun system.

"It goes without saying that because it is a gun, it is not a huge area defense," Roper said. "We're wanting to be able to defend high-value, small-area assets -- forward operating bases, ships, ports with a high, high density of fire -- with assets that are completely mobile."

He noted that much of the existing missile-defense capability is hindered by being fixed infrastructure. "Things that don't move give an opponent a decided advantage," Roper said. "We want to deny those, complicate their counter-targeting" with the HGWS, he said.

"We'd like opponents of the U.S. to think: 'I can't saturate their defense by having enough systems on my side.' We'd like them to think these critical forward operating bases and stations will continue to operate no matter how many missiles they continue to throw at them," the SCO director said. "We want that deterrent aspect in play."

Roper said the SCO is testing the new round out of the guns every three months. "We hope to prove the end-to-end architecture by the end of 2018," he said.
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Offline bobbymike

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Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

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Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

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Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

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Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

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The language about a 4-year CVN build cycle is largely window dressing, the Congress which actually buys that hull will ultimately be the one whose opinion matters, and that's a few years in the future yet. But authorizing block buys of equipment and material for RCOHs and the next two Ford class is a pretty significant move. As long as it passes and doesn't get repealed subsequently.

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http://breakingdefense.com/2016/04/winning-the-missile-wars-army-navy-tech-in-hasc-ndaa/

So many weapon solutions (like the MLSR/SDB combo) taking current solid rocket propulsion systems and adding a guided warhead to them.
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Work: New hypervelocity gun could displace rail gun in next administration

Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work said Monday that current Pentagon leaders have made investments intended to position the next presidential administration to offset expected Russian and Chinese technological advancements, specifically lessons learned about a new hypervelocity gun.
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Offline DrRansom

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Work: New hypervelocity gun could displace rail gun in next administration

Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work said Monday that current Pentagon leaders have made investments intended to position the next presidential administration to offset expected Russian and Chinese technological advancements, specifically lessons learned about a new hypervelocity gun.

Oh come on. US is a world leader in Railguns and we'd give it up to use a 3rpm artillery gun?

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This is the same thing we've talked about before -- the Navy's Hypervelocity Projectile is compatible with both conventional propellant guns and railguns, with the conventional gun offering about half the range for the same flight body.


Offline jsport

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This is the same thing we've talked about before -- the Navy's Hypervelocity Projectile is compatible with both conventional propellant guns and railguns, with the conventional gun offering about half the range for the same flight body.

except that unconventional propellants will always beat railguns.

Offline Moose

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Yeah, I'm not a subscriber but this is likely a reporter not understanding the HVP's cross-compatibility with conventional+AGS systems rather than the Navy moving away from railgun.

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Yeah, I'm not a subscriber but this is likely a reporter not understanding the HVP's cross-compatibility with conventional+AGS systems rather than the Navy moving away from railgun.

Especially since the USN said, essentially, they don't want to waste the time testing a railgun on a test ship but would instead prefer to mount it on a Zumwalt and do it all there. 
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Offline TomS

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Yeah, I'm not a subscriber but this is likely a reporter not understanding the HVP's cross-compatibility with conventional+AGS systems rather than the Navy moving away from railgun.

Defense News has the quote:

http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense-news/2016/05/02/pentagon-no-2-how-keep-third-offset-going-next-admininistration/83851204/

Quote
As an example, he pointed to the idea of a electromagnetic railgun. Initially, Work and his team thought that was an area that would be a major focus of development, but as they experimented they realized that a powder gun with a hypervelocity round could have almost the same impact — but at a fraction of the cost, because it did not require the development, testing and adaptation of a new gun.

“We’re going to say ‘look, this is the place where [we think] you want to put your money,’ but we’re going to have enough money in both the electromagnetic railgun and the powder gun that if the new administration says ‘I really want the electromagnetic railgun, this is the way I want to go,’ knock yourself out,” Work said. “We’ve set you up for success.”

My read is that Work is saying "railguns are expensive and you can get a large portion of the warfighting impact with Hypervelocity Projectiles in conventional guns without paying for the cost of developing railguns." 

But I'm not sold.  Railgun brings twice the range (four times the covered area) and more terminal impact.  It's going to take a pile of cash up front to develop them, but the long-term impact is going to be too important to drop now. 

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But I'm not sold.  Railgun brings twice the range (four times the covered area) and more terminal impact.  It's going to take a pile of cash up front to develop them, but the long-term impact is going to be too important to drop now.

Wouldn't be the first time the US has foolishly tossed away technology only to have to reinvent it later.  Ramjet/scramjets and BGVs come to mind.  They've currently retreated to their safe space and are licking their wounds with no signs of ever leaving it.  Russia and China don't seem to be deterred by learning experiences.
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Offline jsport

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But I'm not sold.  Railgun brings twice the range (four times the covered area) and more terminal impact.  It's going to take a pile of cash up front to develop them, but the long-term impact is going to be too important to drop now.

Wouldn't be the first time the US has foolishly tossed away technology only to have to reinvent it later.  Ramjet/scramjets and BGVs come to mind.  They've currently retreated to their safe space and are licking their wounds with no signs of ever leaving it.  Russia and China don't seem to be deterred by learning experiences.
some amount of money has been spent on scramshells and Electro-thermal chemical guns and even liquid guns and where are they..

Offline TomS

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Yeah, I'm not a subscriber but this is likely a reporter not understanding the HVP's cross-compatibility with conventional+AGS systems rather than the Navy moving away from railgun.

Especially since the USN said, essentially, they don't want to waste the time testing a railgun on a test ship but would instead prefer to mount it on a Zumwalt and do it all there.

And yet, there's a railgun sitting on USNS Trenton right now waiting for testing this summer.


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Yeah, I'm not a subscriber but this is likely a reporter not understanding the HVP's cross-compatibility with conventional+AGS systems rather than the Navy moving away from railgun.

Especially since the USN said, essentially, they don't want to waste the time testing a railgun on a test ship but would instead prefer to mount it on a Zumwalt and do it all there.

And yet, there's a railgun sitting on USNS Trenton right now waiting for testing this summer.

Just passing along what the article said.  Maybe the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing.  Who knows?  Also there are two railguns.  (BAE and GA) maybe one on each ship?  Or is the GA design US Army specific?   ???
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Offline bring_it_on

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He never said it in the way its being reported. He said that there is some benefit in moving forward before the railgun matures, but irrespective they are fully funding rail gun research so that the next administration has the higher end choice ready to go if it chooses to pursue such a move. In the lame duck budget, the best they can do for future projects is to leave choices on the table, and that's what they have done.

« Last Edit: May 04, 2016, 06:25:13 am by bring_it_on »
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Offline TomS

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Thanks, that's helpful.  He does say that you can get most of the benefit of the HVP with conventional powder guns, but he does talk about leaving funding for both technologies. 

Offline jsport

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Any cursory look at the two prototypes  displays quite clearly display the complexity requiring reduction (and "reduction to practice" and who pays for those intellectual rights?) as well as where energy "loss" is introduced throughout. Propellants are one the original "direct drives".

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Any cursory look at the two prototypes  displays quite clearly display the complexity requiring reduction (and "reduction to practice" and who pays for those intellectual rights?) as well as where energy "loss" is introduced throughout. Propellants are one the original "direct drives".

Whoever pays for it owns it.  Has BAE and GA been funding these railguns on their own dime?
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Most of the money has come from the USGov, but both have also put their own money in as well.

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Any cursory look at the two prototypes  displays quite clearly display the complexity requiring reduction (and "reduction to practice" and who pays for those intellectual rights?) as well as where energy "loss" is introduced throughout. Propellants are one the original "direct drives".

Whoever pays for it owns it.  Has BAE and GA been funding these railguns on their own dime?

Both BAE and GA funded their launchers with IRAD in the pre-2012 NDAA regime.

Offline jsport

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Any cursory look at the two prototypes  displays quite clearly display the complexity requiring reduction (and "reduction to practice" and who pays for those intellectual rights?) as well as where energy "loss" is introduced throughout. Propellants are one the original "direct drives".

Whoever pays for it owns it.  Has BAE and GA been funding these railguns on their own dime?

Both BAE and GA funded their launchers with IRAD in the pre-2012 NDAA regime.
how much for a final integration cost for a compact, efficient, tactical rugged system? meanwhile already paid for various propellant tech both multiple competing private and USG research (decades old combined emerging material science) would deliver far greater range.. as always EM may be good for high RPM point defense.

Online marauder2048

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Any cursory look at the two prototypes  displays quite clearly display the complexity requiring reduction (and "reduction to practice" and who pays for those intellectual rights?) as well as where energy "loss" is introduced throughout. Propellants are one the original "direct drives".

Whoever pays for it owns it.  Has BAE and GA been funding these railguns on their own dime?

Both BAE and GA funded their launchers with IRAD in the pre-2012 NDAA regime.
how much for a final integration cost for a compact, efficient, tactical rugged system? meanwhile already paid for various propellant tech both multiple competing private and USG research (decades old combined emerging material science) would deliver far greater range.. as always EM may be good for high RPM point defense.

I'm not convinced of the great disparity in cost. For Naval gunfire, the competing solutions need comparable support infrastructure (energy storage, PFNs), gun breech/barrel mods
and with the exception of DSSP's ETC gun none of the competing solutions can rival the IM compliance offered by EMRGs.

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House authorizers want Navy to look at inserting MK 41 on an amphib

The House Armed Services Committee wants the Navy to look into inserting a MK 41 Vertical Launch System on an amphibious ship.
----------------------------------------------------
I've been saying this for years on defense forums across the web and Tweeting many of the members of the HASC/SASC for about as long. Somebody was reading my tweets?
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There is (or was) space and weight reservation for 16 Mk 41 VLS cells on the LPD-17s (originally for ESSM).  But it costs a surprising amount to do the install, especially if you want it to launch strike missiles.  IN addition to the physical launchers and their support systems (water, power, etc.)  you need to add a Naval Fires Control System console and a bunch of personnel (OSs to run the consoles, GMMs to maintain the launchers, etc.)  It all adds up.  And as long as we have more VLS cells in the fleet than weapons in the inventory, it's kind of hard to see that the benefit of "distributed lethality" outweighs that cost.

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Odd drawing there. I'm fairly sure it doesn't represent a real ship concept -- just a mashup of an Arleigh Burke with some MEKO-style modules.  Plus the odd inclusion of the Grumman 698 or something like it.

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That's not new art, it's AOC's concept from the 80s for what open architecture flexibility could ultimately achieve. The "MEKO-style modules" were supposed to illustrated how OA would make it possible to "drop-in" systems without extensive redesign of the basic Burke. Need more NSFS? Swap the aft VLS for another Mk45. Need a new AAW Cruiser? Wrap a deckhouse around the aft funnel and add radars as needed. It's modularity during the design and construction of the ship that makes it easier to refit them later, or rapidly/flexibly switch between variants on the production line, rather than "hot-swap" modules.

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Regarding the modular Burke, that image and various others of the "variable payload destroyer" can be found in: Boerum, RE & Birindelli, JB, "How Modular Combat Systems Will Enhance Support of Surface Combatants", Naval Engineers Journal, November 1985

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there is difference between consolidated (centuries battle proven gun technology) and integrated (wired, disbursed EMRG tech) systems susceptible to yet unknown ambient sea environmental effects as well as battle related shock impacts causing single points of failure (SPoF) across these large and complicated, effectively, networks.  The costs and concerns related to mitigating most "network" SPoFs demand addressing. Potential adversaries might be amused if there is focus on EMRGs as main ship weapon system anytime in the near future. If these systems are not ready to be Prime and are not prime time, well then how much should the USG spend on them. Isn't it prime time for private competition to evolve them on their own until a clear winner is ready to be declared?

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there is difference between consolidated (centuries battle proven gun technology) and integrated (wired, disbursed EMRG tech) systems susceptible to yet unknown ambient sea environmental effects as well as battle related shock impacts causing single points of failure (SPoF) across these large and complicated, effectively, networks.  The costs and concerns related to mitigating most "network" SPoFs demand addressing. Potential adversaries might be amused if there is focus on EMRGs as main ship weapon system anytime in the near future. If these systems are not ready to be Prime and are not prime time, well then how much should the USG spend on them.

You don't know that they, "aren't ready for prime time" and if not they never will be without working on them.  Did we wait until we had GPS and DSMAC before deploying cruise missiles?  Of course not.  Did we wait for SM-6 before deploying SAMs?  Did we wait for AIM-120 before deploying AAMs?  Seeing a trend here?
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there is difference between consolidated (centuries battle proven gun technology) and integrated (wired, disbursed EMRG tech) systems susceptible to yet unknown ambient sea environmental effects as well as battle related shock impacts causing single points of failure (SPoF) across these large and complicated, effectively, networks.  The costs and concerns related to mitigating most "network" SPoFs demand addressing. Potential adversaries might be amused if there is focus on EMRGs as main ship weapon system anytime in the near future. If these systems are not ready to be Prime and are not prime time, well then how much should the USG spend on them.

You don't know that they, "aren't ready for prime time" and if not they never will be without working on them.  Did we wait until we had GPS and DSMAC before deploying cruise missiles?  Of course not.  Did we wait for SM-6 before deploying SAMs?  Did we wait for AIM-120 before deploying AAMs?  Seeing a trend here?

nor do you and networks are hard to secure. plus no confidence there was ever an unbiased competition between solutions.  all USG resources ever spent on EMRG  should be match given competing solutions such as next gen energetics at Army Research Lab et al. No unbalanced commitment to anything tech. 

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nor do you and networks are hard to secure. plus no confidence there was ever an unbiased competition between solutions.

Any evidence of that?  They (the DoD) obviously looked at what was available and went with what they wanted.  As for competition both BAE and GA are have built and are testing railguns.


all USG resources ever spent on EMRG  should be match given competing solutions such as next gen energetics at Army Research Lab et al.

Why?  That's just stupid, especially when money is finite.  Railguns are WAY down the line in development.  What you're asking for was determined years if not decades ago.  That's what one does.  You look at options and eliminate the unfavorable ones ASAP. 

No unbalanced commitment to anything tech.

??
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there is difference between consolidated (centuries battle proven gun technology) and integrated (wired, disbursed EMRG tech) systems susceptible to yet unknown ambient sea environmental effects as well as battle related shock impacts causing single points of failure (SPoF) across these large and complicated, effectively, networks.  The costs and concerns related to mitigating most "network" SPoFs demand addressing. Potential adversaries might be amused if there is focus on EMRGs as main ship weapon system anytime in the near future. If these systems are not ready to be Prime and are not prime time, well then how much should the USG spend on them.

You don't know that they, "aren't ready for prime time" and if not they never will be without working on them.  Did we wait until we had GPS and DSMAC before deploying cruise missiles?  Of course not.  Did we wait for SM-6 before deploying SAMs?  Did we wait for AIM-120 before deploying AAMs?  Seeing a trend here?

nor do you and networks are hard to secure. plus no confidence there was ever an unbiased competition between solutions.  all USG resources ever spent on EMRG  should be match given competing solutions such as next gen energetics at Army Research Lab et al. No unbalanced commitment to anything tech.

There was certainly *biased* competition in that the Navy wanted a solution that was fully IM compliant which with one notable exception (funded by other agencies because of broader applicability), none of the competing efforts could match or demonstrate a convincing roadmap for attaining.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2016, 11:56:44 am by marauder2048 »

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https://news.usni.org/2016/05/31/document-report-congress-navy-laser-railgun-hypervelocity-projectile-programs-2

Very interesting.  Despite all the coverage and stories about directed energy, this paragraph shows that the R&D effort is not very significant:

Congress makes the following findings:
(1) The Committee on Armed Services of the Senate noted in the report accompanying S. 1356 (S. Rept. 114–49; 114th Congress) that since 1960, the Department of Defense has invested more than $6,000,000,000 in directed energy science and technology initiatives, and that the Committee is concerned that, despite this significant investment, the Department's directed energy initiatives are not resourced at levels necessary to transition them to full-scale acquisition programs.


$6 Billion is a lot of money for sure.  But spread over 56 years it's an average of $107 Million per year.  In reality, the funding has varied significantly year-to-year which is even worse since it prevents continuity and rational planning while creating waste with associated start-stop activities.  Moreover, the money tends to get spread over a plethora of small projects rather than flowing under a coherent plan aiming towards specific objectives.  On the other hand, that sounds like standard practice for most government financed R&D. 

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$6 Billion is a lot of money for sure.  But spread over 56 years it's an average of $107 Million per year.  In reality, the funding has varied significantly year-to-year which is even worse since it prevents continuity and rational planning while creating waste with associated start-stop activities.  Moreover, the money tends to get spread over a plethora of small projects rather than flowing under a coherent plan aiming towards specific objectives.  On the other hand, that sounds like standard practice for most government financed R&D.

Considering they were shooting down supersonic antiship missile analogs (Vandal) with lasers back in the 80s and now burning up little plastic toy "drones" is considered newsworthy. . .   :P
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http://www.defenseone.com/technology/2016/06/can-navys-electric-cannon-be-saved/128793/?oref=DefenseOneFB

That's a pretty incoherent story. 

For example:

Quote
The railgun rounds can be fired from more conventional cannons, giving the same capability sooner and cheaper.

Except that as they go on to point out, a conventional gun achieves less than half the velocity of a railgun with the same projectile.  That's not "the same capability" at all.

Quote
Vice Adm. William Hilarides, commander of Naval Sea Systems Command, said last year that, because of the railgun’s high power needs, it will be at least 30 years before the Navy considers removing powder guns from the fleet.

This is just pointing out that you can't retrofit a railgun in most existing ships with powder guns, and those ships will be in the fleet for at least 30 years (the Flight III Burkes even longer than that, likely)

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That article also portrays Bob Work as talking down the railgun, something we on this site and others elsewhere debunked weeks ago. D1's not thrilling me with the quality of their reporting lately.

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there is difference between consolidated (centuries battle proven gun technology) and integrated (wired, disbursed EMRG tech) systems susceptible to yet unknown ambient sea environmental effects as well as battle related shock impacts causing single points of failure (SPoF) across these large and complicated, effectively, networks.  The costs and concerns related to mitigating most "network" SPoFs demand addressing. Potential adversaries might be amused if there is focus on EMRGs as main ship weapon system anytime in the near future. If these systems are not ready to be Prime and are not prime time, well then how much should the USG spend on them.


You don't know that they, "aren't ready for prime time" and if not they never will be without working on them.  Did we wait until we had GPS and DSMAC before deploying cruise missiles?  Of course not.  Did we wait for SM-6 before deploying SAMs?  Did we wait for AIM-120 before deploying AAMs?  Seeing a trend here?

nor do you and networks are hard to secure. plus no confidence there was ever an unbiased competition between solutions.  all USG resources ever spent on EMRG  should be match given competing solutions such as next gen energetics at Army Research Lab et al. No unbalanced commitment to anything tech.

There was certainly *biased* competition in that the Navy wanted a solution that was fully IM compliant which with one notable exception (funded by other agencies because of broader applicability), none of the competing efforts could match or demonstrate a convincing roadmap for attaining.
forgive me but.. any long term thru 2050 roadmap which exclusively focuses on EMRGs given all alternative technical evolution (not to mention alternatives that have already been proven years ago) is utterly preposterous.

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #180 on: August 10, 2016, 05:04:57 pm »
http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/us-navys-railgun-dream-could-be-denied-by-two-big-problems-17301

"There’s renewed interest of late in the US Navy’s (USN)  electromagnetic railgun. Plans to perform at-sea weapon testing appear to have been delayed in favor of further research."

One can never do enough navel gazing before moving to action.  Acting might result in failure ya know.

"The first is meeting the weapon’s massive power requirements at sea."

Easy, but it would require accepting the dreaded "n-word".  People want to get rid of fossil fuels, and you can't power a warship with unicorn dreams, so we may as well bite the bullet and get as skilled with nuclear powered surface ships as we are with submarines.

"The second is demonstrating that it’ll be ‘better’ than existing weapons."

How is that even a question?  Seriously. 

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #181 on: August 11, 2016, 07:43:33 am »
I'm not convinced that railguns demand nuclear power.  If DDG-1000 could power railguns with fairly typical GT installations just by switching to electric drive, why do we need nuclear power?  Powering railguns doesn't require long endurance or sustained power, just the ability to charge a pulse power system in a reasonable time frame.

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #182 on: August 11, 2016, 08:29:11 am »
I'm not convinced that railguns demand nuclear power.  If DDG-1000 could power railguns with fairly typical GT installations just by switching to electric drive, why do we need nuclear power?  Powering railguns doesn't require long endurance or sustained power, just the ability to charge a pulse power system in a reasonable time frame.

I don't disagree with you.  I was just pointing out, if it was really a concern, there's a ready made solution we already have experience with.  With the electrical generation being a larger issue going forward, I wonder if integral power generation on turbines that they're looking at with aircraft will make it into ships.
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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #183 on: August 11, 2016, 09:03:19 am »
I'm not convinced that railguns demand nuclear power.  If DDG-1000 could power railguns with fairly typical GT installations just by switching to electric drive, why do we need nuclear power?  Powering railguns doesn't require long endurance or sustained power, just the ability to charge a pulse power system in a reasonable time frame.

I don't disagree with you.  I was just pointing out, if it was really a concern, there's a ready made solution we already have experience with.  With the electrical generation being a larger issue going forward, I wonder if integral power generation on turbines that they're looking at with aircraft will make it into ships.

I doubt it.   Much simpler just to go to electric propulsion and couple the whole GT to a generator than to add the complexity of auxiliary generators tapping bleed air off the main engine. 


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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #184 on: August 11, 2016, 10:53:17 am »
I'm not convinced that railguns demand nuclear power.  If DDG-1000 could power railguns with fairly typical GT installations just by switching to electric drive, why do we need nuclear power?  Powering railguns doesn't require long endurance or sustained power, just the ability to charge a pulse power system in a reasonable time frame.

I don't disagree with you.  I was just pointing out, if it was really a concern, there's a ready made solution we already have experience with.  With the electrical generation being a larger issue going forward, I wonder if integral power generation on turbines that they're looking at with aircraft will make it into ships.

I doubt it.   Much simpler just to go to electric propulsion and couple the whole GT to a generator than to add the complexity of auxiliary generators tapping bleed air off the main engine.

Consider that the Flight IIIs and any Tico replacement (assuming they aren't so short-sighted as to make them one and the same) would not only have railguns, but higher powered radars, megawatt-range solidstate lasers (free electron lasers seem to be dead), and possibly high powered microwave weapons.  They'll likely be in service for 40 years and a lot can happen in that time. 
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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #185 on: August 11, 2016, 11:55:56 am »
I'm not convinced that railguns demand nuclear power.  If DDG-1000 could power railguns with fairly typical GT installations just by switching to electric drive, why do we need nuclear power?  Powering railguns doesn't require long endurance or sustained power, just the ability to charge a pulse power system in a reasonable time frame.

I don't disagree with you.  I was just pointing out, if it was really a concern, there's a ready made solution we already have experience with.  With the electrical generation being a larger issue going forward, I wonder if integral power generation on turbines that they're looking at with aircraft will make it into ships.

I doubt it.   Much simpler just to go to electric propulsion and couple the whole GT to a generator than to add the complexity of auxiliary generators tapping bleed air off the main engine.

Consider that the Flight IIIs and any Tico replacement (assuming they aren't so short-sighted as to make them one and the same) would not only have railguns, but higher powered radars, megawatt-range solidstate lasers (free electron lasers seem to be dead), and possibly high powered microwave weapons.  They'll likely be in service for 40 years and a lot can happen in that time.

If only there was a ship that could generate a significant surplus of electrical power and was approximately the right size to host railguns, lasers, and high power microwave systems.  I wonder how much cost could be engineered and/or processed out of the DDG 1000 design if politics weren’t involved (high level production automation, multi-year block buys, freezing customer design changes, etc).


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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #187 on: September 07, 2016, 12:38:53 am »
Russian railgun Mach 33 can shoot objects into space  :o

http://www.nextbigfuture.com/2016/09/russia-working-on-railguns-with-space.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+blogspot%2Fadvancednano+%28nextbigfuture%29&utm_content=FaceBook

Quote
Rail gun fires into space

An electromagnetic railgun was tested in the US earlier this year firing bullets at Mach 6 — six times the speed of sound. Not to be outdone, Russian engineers are now at work developing this country’s very own such weapon of the future. In a series of laboratory tests the Russian prototype has fired its projectile at a whopping 6.25 kilometers per second. A weapon capable of firing at a speed like this renders useless all existing means of ship, plane or tank protection. Moreover, a projectile made from several kilos of tungsten is comparable to a small-yield nuclear artillery shell as it generates almost as much energy without leaving behind a deadly trail of radiation. During the latest such test the projectile reached the speed of over 11 kilometers a second, which means that the Russian railgun can send payloads right into space!

Read more: https://sputniknews.com/russia/20160902/1044897242/russia-future-weapons.html

So if memory serves the Navy estimated a 64Mj railgun was capable of 3km/sec or Mach 8.8 Russian system equivalent to Mach 32.4 power requirement would be what? Does it scale up proportionally, 235Mj? Plus the claim of a several kilo tungsten round? Possible? Hyperbole?
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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #188 on: September 07, 2016, 03:36:01 am »
Russian railgun Mach 33 can shoot objects into space  :o

http://www.nextbigfuture.com/2016/09/russia-working-on-railguns-with-space.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+blogspot%2Fadvancednano+%28nextbigfuture%29&utm_content=FaceBook

Quote
Rail gun fires into space

An electromagnetic railgun was tested in the US earlier this year firing bullets at Mach 6 — six times the speed of sound. Not to be outdone, Russian engineers are now at work developing this country’s very own such weapon of the future. In a series of laboratory tests the Russian prototype has fired its projectile at a whopping 6.25 kilometers per second. A weapon capable of firing at a speed like this renders useless all existing means of ship, plane or tank protection. Moreover, a projectile made from several kilos of tungsten is comparable to a small-yield nuclear artillery shell as it generates almost as much energy without leaving behind a deadly trail of radiation. During the latest such test the projectile reached the speed of over 11 kilometers a second, which means that the Russian railgun can send payloads right into space!

Read more: https://sputniknews.com/russia/20160902/1044897242/russia-future-weapons.html

So if memory serves the Navy estimated a 64Mj railgun was capable of 3km/sec or Mach 8.8 Russian system equivalent to Mach 32.4 power requirement would be what? Does it scale up proportionally, 235Mj? Plus the claim of a several kilo tungsten round? Possible? Hyperbole?
While I'm sure the Russians have a project for this...somewhere, this is Sputnik news so use that big 50Kg of salt liberally.

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #189 on: September 07, 2016, 06:20:49 am »
I'll be nice and speculate that someone moved a decimal place a couple places when they were transcribing.

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #191 on: September 15, 2016, 10:30:53 am »
http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/the-us-army-firing-100-mile-range-5000-mile-per-hour-big-17717

"The rail gun uses an electromagnetic current to fire a kinetic energy warhead up to 100 miles at speeds greater than 5,000 miles an hour, a speed at least three times as fast as existing weapons.

Firing from an Army Howitzer, the rail gun hypervelocity projectile can fire a 5,000-mile and hour projectile at enemy targets to include buildings, force concentrations, weapons systems, drones, aircraft,vehicle bunkers and even incoming enemy missiles and artillery rounds."

 The railgun can fire it that fast.  My mind would be blown if the M109 is firing it faster than an M1 can fire a sabot M829. 
« Last Edit: September 15, 2016, 10:33:07 am by sferrin »
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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #193 on: September 16, 2016, 06:03:00 pm »
Pentagon's new hypervelocity gun technology emerging as key missile defense capability
September 16, 2016

After much deliberation, both public and private, the Pentagon, which has shifted emphasis away from the electromagnetic rail gun as a next-generation missile defense platform, sees a new hypervelocity powder gun technology as the key to demonstrating to potential adversaries like China and Russia that U.S. military units on land and sea can neutralize large missile salvos in future conflicts.

Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work, who spoke to national security advisers and think tankers at the Center for a New American Security in Washington on Thursday, said he is pushing hard to lay the groundwork for the next presidential administration to conduct a military exercise called "Raid Breaker" that would demonstrate the capabilities of the Hypervelocity Gun Weapon System program. The program allows U.S. artillery already in the inventory to be modified to fire the same smart projectiles intended for the Navy's developmental electromagnetic rail gun.

"If you do that, you change every 155 [mm] howitzer in the U.S. Army in every NATO country into a cruise missile and tactical ballistic missile defender and, oh by the way, you extend their offensive range," Work said.

The HGWS technology would also work for the Navy's 5-inch ship guns, thus potentially turning them into missile defenders as well and upending conventional thought about U.S. limitations in an anti-access/area-denial scenario.

Work said modeling shows that U.S. forces using the modified powder guns as part of a sophisticated battlefield network would be able to neutralize the vast majority of a 100-missile salvo. But running an actual demonstration -- with HGWS technology in a starring role -- would be far more effective in deterring potential adversaries. Work said the Assault Breaker demonstration executed 40 years ago showed the Soviet Union the power of conventional guided munitions and strengthened conventional deterrence.

"I would argue that if we did a Raid Breaker exercise at White Sands [Missile Range, NM,] using . . . ballistic [and] cruise missiles and were able to convince [potential adversaries] that we're able to knock down 95 to 98 of them, then that would have an enormous impact on the competition in the Pacific, on the competition in Europe and would [clearly] improve conventional deterrence," he said. "Our modeling shows that if we can close the fire support with a controlled solution on these, what we call 'powder guns,' we will be able to" shoot down most of a 100-missile raid.

Work first announced his desire to see a Raid Breaker demonstration in March 2015 and first discussed the Pentagon's shift toward the HGWS technology program in May 2016, making it clear that the technology would be positioned as an investment priority for the next administration.

"So, we're going to say, 'Look, we believe this is the place where you've got to put your money,'" he said in May. "But we're going to have enough money for electromagnetic rail gun if the next administration says, 'That is really the way we want to go.' Knock yourself out. We've set you up for success."

The Pentagon is seeking $246 million for the HGWS in fiscal year 2017, building on $364 million appropriated for the project in FY-15 and FY-16. Rail gun prototypes have been built by General Atomics and BAE Systems. Meanwhile, the Navy has requested $3 billion for FY-17 to invest in the railgun, hypervelocity projectiles and solid-state lasers, according to the Congressional Research Service. The Obama administration is still crafting its FY-18 budget.

The new HGWS technology was first matured by the Pentagon’s Strategic Capabilities Office, which was established in 2012 by Defense Secretary Ash Carter when he was deputy defense secretary. The office is tasked with identifying existing weapon systems that can be affordably modified to provide an upgrade in capability.

Pentagon officials have been more public recently about the SCO and its successes such as HGWS and a newly modified SM-6 missile with anti-ship capability, choosing to reveal some new military capabilities to deter potential adversaries and conceal others to, if necessary, defeat them.

Will Roper, chief of the SCO, said in July at the Center for Strategic and International Studies that the Pentagon was convinced it could do "pretty revolutionary things" with the HGWS program.

"We shifted emphasis to that, not because we're not interested in the rail gun -- we are," Roper said. "But when you look at the delta between fielding in quantity, we've got over 1,000 powder guns; we have very few rail guns."
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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #194 on: September 16, 2016, 06:11:20 pm »


Yep.  Sure would be nice.
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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #195 on: September 16, 2016, 08:09:46 pm »
Wow 15 rounds to 3  :o now imagine a battery of 8 - 120 rounds to 24 in 1:21 what a huge firepower difference.
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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #200 on: October 31, 2016, 02:48:38 pm »
Excerpt from MDA BAA (24 Oct 16)

Background. The Missile Defense Agency (MDA), U.S. Navy (USN), U.S. Army (USA),
and the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Strategic Capabilities Office (SCO) are
cooperating to assess the feasibility of a Hypervelocity Gun Weapon System (HGWS to
support the Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) and Ballistic Missile Defense
(BMD) missions. The MDA is hereby issuing a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) on
behalf of the OSD SCO to solicit white papers from all potential sources on fire control
sensor options, including architectural innovations and lessons learned that could be applied
to a multi-mission HGWS architecture to support, detect, track and engagement of a broad
spectrum of threats.

...

MDA requests industry inputs related to architectural constructs /approaches and
predicted performance that might be incorporated into a future HGWS.

Inputs should include, but not be limited to the following:
a. Ability to track targets at extended ranges
b. Electronically scanned Field of View (FOV) 90 degrees or greater in azimuth and
elevation
c. Measurement, tracking, and engagement of targets
d. Environmental clutter rejection (e.g., maritime multipath, weather, surface, biological)
e. Track capacity and ability to support raid handling for target engagements
f. Simultaneous tracking of inbound and outbound targets
g. Enhanced real time threat damage assessment
h. Improved resistance to technical and tactical countermeasures
i. Low latency data
j. High data rate tracking and data collection
k. Maturity sufficient to support risk-reduction and capability demonstration in the 2018/19
timeframe using existing sensors
l. Path to a tactical capability in the 2025 timeframe or sooner
m. Adaptability for either land mobile or ship-based applications.

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #201 on: October 31, 2016, 02:57:06 pm »
With the BAA above, we really are in the future of the past albeit the D2 TMD effort used ETCs rather than EMRG or powder guns.

From:  P. Dewar, "The D2 hypervelocity projectile program", IEEE Trans. Magn., vol. 31, January 1995

Dewar later became an Executive VP at LM.

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #203 on: November 08, 2016, 08:16:38 am »
http://aviationweek.com/defense/us-navy-eyes-tomahawk-successor

" LRSO and Nglaw could end up sharing common components, such as the Mach 3-capable Supersonic Turbine Engine for Long-Range, or Stelr, propulsion system being developed by Rolls-Royce Liberty Works and Williams International for future missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles."

Fat chance.  Assuming LRSO and NGLAW aren't dead on arrival, I give the odds of either being supersonic at 0.001%  Nobody would be happier to be wrong than me though.
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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #205 on: November 13, 2016, 04:14:12 pm »
" LRSO and Nglaw could end up sharing common components, such as the Mach 3-capable Supersonic Turbine Engine for Long-Range, or Stelr, propulsion system being developed by Rolls-Royce Liberty Works and Williams International for future missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles."

This is something I wonder about, the LRASM-A and the STELR are both signs that the DoD is interested in high-speed weapons. What has changed to make high-speed preferable to subsonic and very stealthy? I assume that a Mach 3 cruise missile / UAV could be made stealthy, but it is unlikely to be as stealthy as JASSM.

What caused the change in DoD preferences?

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #206 on: November 13, 2016, 06:52:34 pm »
" LRSO and Nglaw could end up sharing common components, such as the Mach 3-capable Supersonic Turbine Engine for Long-Range, or Stelr, propulsion system being developed by Rolls-Royce Liberty Works and Williams International for future missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles."

This is something I wonder about, the LRASM-A and the STELR are both signs that the DoD is interested in high-speed weapons. What has changed to make high-speed preferable to subsonic and very stealthy? I assume that a Mach 3 cruise missile / UAV could be made stealthy, but it is unlikely to be as stealthy as JASSM.

What caused the change in DoD preferences?

Tomahawk and JASSM are slow.  Maybe they need faster time-on-target.
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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #207 on: November 13, 2016, 07:24:59 pm »
Tomahawk and JASSM are slow.  Maybe they need faster time-on-target.

That's one option, though if you needed faster time-on-target, I'd think that a SRAM or Mach 4-ish RAMJET would be preferable. (Imagine a SRAM style weapon in the B-21. B-21 loiters and then launches at targets spotted by other aircraft)

I wonder if part of it is to reduce the effective range of SAMs. It would allow a missile to skirt closer to a SAM site than before.

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #208 on: November 13, 2016, 07:54:17 pm »
*cough* . . rockets . . *cough*

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #210 on: November 14, 2016, 02:07:04 pm »
On second thought, a mach 3 engine with a 30 minute lifespan would give a cruise missile a 1500km radius... That's a big advantage.

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #211 on: November 14, 2016, 02:20:25 pm »
Tomahawk and JASSM are slow.  Maybe they need faster time-on-target.

That's one option, though if you needed faster time-on-target, I'd think that a SRAM or Mach 4-ish RAMJET would be preferable. (Imagine a SRAM style weapon in the B-21. B-21 loiters and then launches at targets spotted by other aircraft)

I wonder if part of it is to reduce the effective range of SAMs. It would allow a missile to skirt closer to a SAM site than before.

It tells me that AT3-style T/FDOA geolocation networks formed by a submarine and its organic UAV(s) work well and work fast enough
such that weapons time-of-flight is now on the critical path. 

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #212 on: November 14, 2016, 06:11:04 pm »
marauder - I get a high-speed weapon to pursue tactical targets, but that to me suggests a Mach 4 rocket / ramjet based weapon.

I understand the great ability of a supersonic cruising jet engine, but I am curious about it's strategic requirement. Perhaps this was required to close the kill-chain on the Strategic Re-locatable Targets? A B-2 / B-21 with a B-61 will take too long to reach a target over the search area, especially if something else is providing the cuing.

Anyhow, a Mach 3 jet engine could be useful for other purposes. A drone interceptor maybe?

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #213 on: November 14, 2016, 07:35:26 pm »
It's not clear to me that NGLAW has to be an air-breather.

NGLAW could conceivably be a two-stage version of the DARPA/USAF tactical boost glide (TBG) effort. In theory,  TBG is supposed to be compatible with the Navy's VLS.

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #214 on: November 14, 2016, 07:46:48 pm »
I'm not sure what the Navy will choose. I suspect it will be an air breather in order to get enough payload on target. The tomahawk minimum payload is going to be scaled by hardened bunkers, buildings, etc. That will require ~1000lb+. Tactical boost glide from a VLS is not going to have a big payload.

The other problem is that the NGLAW will have a wide range of target sets:
- heavily defended targets in near-peer / peer conflicts
- baby-formula factories (I kid, I kid) in counter-terrorism conflicts

I don't know if a boost glide or even a Mach 3 cruising missile is appropriate for that range of target sets. On the other hand, the USAF would probably love the Navy to get in on the STELR engine, to bring down unit costs. That could change Navy's thought process.

To give some more context on the STELR:
http://aviationweek.com/technology/turbine-engine-could-pave-way-supersonic-cruise-missiles <-- Paywalled
Quote
Testing of high-speed engines is being conducted separately by Rolls-Royce Liberty Works and Williams International under the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory’s (AFRL) supersonic turbine engine for long-range (Stelr) program. A follow-on effort to the joint AFRL and Darpa (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) high-speed turbine engine demonstration (Histed) program, Stelr is targeted at the development of Mach 3-plus weapons and vehicles. These include long-range standoff missiles, air-launched cruise missiles, unmanned air vehicles and advanced cruise missiles capable of sustaining flight at maximum Mach number for 1 hr.

...
Speaking to Aviation Week at the Air Force Association convention in Washington, Kusnierek explained that although the Stelr engine is designed for a lower Mach number than the YJ102R, it has longer endurance. The engine has been developed to “run at Mach 2-3.2 continuously.” The design mission is to operate for 1 hr. at speeds up to Mach 3.2, or sufficient to provide a range of more than 2,000 mi. The same system would also, therefore, have the ability to fly 1,000 mi. in 30 min., which is a “capability of interest,” he adds.

...
Although designed for expendable weapons, the engine’s baseline durability could make it useful for wider, reusable roles. “The need to have enough life to qualify the engine means it can be reusable, so it could probably do 50 missions in an ISR [intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance] role,” he adds.

There is talk further down the article about the STELR closing the gap for a combined-cycle engine.

A Mach 3 non-afterburning cruising UAV could give the rapid eyes-on-target required for re-locatable threats or pre/post BDA.

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #215 on: November 14, 2016, 10:53:30 pm »
http://www.nextbigfuture.com/2016/11/pro-military-analysts-are-happy-trump.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+blogspot%2Fadvancednano+%28nextbigfuture%29&utm_content=FaceBook

I like WWII and Korean War numbers  ;D

Quote
There was a peak of 833 major surface ships. 377 Destroyers. 361 Frigates. 28 aircraft carriers. 23 Battleships. 232 submarines.

From 1950 to 1953 there was a renewed buildup for the Korean war that reached a peak of 1122 ships. 20 aircraft carriers. 326 major surface ships. 108 submarines
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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #216 on: November 15, 2016, 05:09:59 am »
I don't know if a boost glide or even a Mach 3 cruising missile is appropriate for that range of target sets.

Why on earth wouldn't it be?

A Mach 3 non-afterburning cruising UAV could give the rapid eyes-on-target required for re-locatable threats or pre/post BDA.

It's an expendable engine.  You're not going to be flying multiple missions on it.
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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #217 on: November 15, 2016, 05:52:56 am »
Why on earth wouldn't it be?

Technological overkill for an easy target, like using a JASSM to provide CAS in Afghanistan. A water of money if done too often.



It's an expendable engine.  You're not going to be flying multiple missions on it.

Had you read the article, you would have seen that the engine was tested up to 50 flights and the possible use as a uav was explicitly mentioned. Now, the uav would have a short life to be sure, but there aren't a ton of scenarios which call for a supersonic recon uav, so that isn't a major problem. In a similar vein, an interceptor ucav could sit in waiting for a major war.

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #218 on: November 15, 2016, 06:32:49 am »
"Kusnierek explained that although the Stelr engine is designed for a lower Mach number than the YJ102R, it has longer endurance. The engine has been developed to “run at Mach 2-3.2 continuously.” The design mission is to operate for 1 hr. at speeds up to Mach 3.2, or sufficient to provide a range of more than 2,000 mi. The same system would also, therefore, have the ability to fly 1,000 mi. in 30 min., which is a “capability of interest,” he adds."

Interesting.  I wonder why they junked the YJ102R & RATTLRS.
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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #219 on: November 15, 2016, 06:34:25 am »
Had you read the article,

Hadn't got that far.  Assumed the YJ102 was a failure (since they never did anything with it) and that this was merely a continuation of the effort to make a workable engine.
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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #220 on: November 15, 2016, 08:02:13 am »

Hadn't got that far.  Assumed the YJ102 was a failure (since they never did anything with it) and that this was merely a continuation of the effort to make a workable engine.

I wonder if the RATTLERS engine was too much. I think this came up in a presentation by a former Skunk Works chief. The RATTLERS engine ended up being an almost exact copy of the SR-71. In that case, it wouldn't surprise me if another company said we can do better if the requirement is relaxed some.

Put otherwise, a gas guzzling and short lived Mach 3.6 engine makes little sense when there is boost glide for the fast response and non-afterburninh  Mach 3 for long range.


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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #221 on: November 15, 2016, 11:43:10 am »
Why on earth wouldn't it be?

Technological overkill for an easy target, like using a JASSM to provide CAS in Afghanistan. A water of money if done too often.

The Navy's Next Generation Strike Capability (NGSC) is broken into:
 
 OASuW Increment 2: (with no prejudice) an LRASM++ which is the "cheaper" general purpose weapon
 
 Next Generation  Land Attack Weapon (NGLAW):  which is coming across as a higher end weapon for the most demanding target set.

 TBG's terminal dive would easily meet the velocity requirements for an earth penetrating weapon. Harder to meet that with a Mach 3 air breather.   
 Also, I haven't read which fuel they are using for STELR; anything other than JP-10 would likely be a non-starter for the Navy.

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #223 on: November 16, 2016, 02:27:23 pm »
Old radar types never die; they just phased array - Unknown

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #225 on: November 18, 2016, 11:51:48 am »
"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #226 on: November 18, 2016, 04:30:01 pm »

pretty sure it could heard energetics and railguns are still moving in parallel.. as stated before some mix like the EMTC gun...................................................................................

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #234 on: January 12, 2017, 05:40:29 am »
LRASM discussed at start of video including possible installation on LCS Frigate.  From 6:45 on, General Atomics discusses application of electromagnetic systems for EMALS, AAG, railguns, and lasers.


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« Last Edit: January 14, 2017, 03:32:35 am by bobbymike »
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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #238 on: January 17, 2017, 03:56:41 pm »
https://www.thecipherbrief.com/article/north-america/railguns-fast-furious-and-future-1091?utm_source=Aggregators&utm_campaign=804a6fdadc-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_01_13&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_b02a5f1344-804a6fdadc-122460921

https://www.thecipherbrief.com/article/north-america/scalable-adaptable-and-powerful-weapon-1091
from the contractor advocate

"It’s still an incremental process but we’re moving forward. And I think the biggest challenge to successful deployment is getting the system to perform at a high rep rate, where we can fire several shots per minute reliably. (high rpm air defense is best use of EMRG)

There are also just so many components to this system. The pulse power system, for instance, is made up of hundreds of modules, each one of which has to be individually controlled so we have to be very precise at every stage. (and if the ship takes multiple hard hits in battle)

TCB: How long do you think it will take before an electromagnetic railgun system becomes operational?

JF: I could see a smaller scale railgun becoming operational in the next five years or so. Getting a full-powered railgun – i.e. 32-megajoule ship-mounted system –  up and running will probably take maybe 10 years or so. But we could certainly see a small-scale railgun operational sooner than that, perhaps even a land-based system. Actually a land-based railgun could probably be operational within the next five years because you don’t have the challenge of making the system seaworthy."

In ten years an electromagnetic thermal chemical (EMTC) would provide a faster and longer range solution and likely not be dependent on the EM portion in a battle damage environment.

Offline seruriermarshal

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #239 on: January 20, 2017, 09:05:50 pm »
Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. John Richardson visits Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD).

 ;D


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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #240 on: January 21, 2017, 08:16:45 am »
Those are some big ball screws.  :o
"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #241 on: January 22, 2017, 01:36:26 pm »
http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/the-us-navys-biggest-what-if-could-super-battleships-make-19147

Quote
Big ships with heavy armor are unlikely to solve the A2/AD dilemma. However, big ships with effective systems of defense components, combined with a large number of extremely lethal offensive systems, can go a long way toward defeating a system of anti-access systems.

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #242 on: January 22, 2017, 06:31:12 pm »
http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/the-us-navys-biggest-what-if-could-super-battleships-make-19147

Quote
Big ships with heavy armor are unlikely to solve the A2/AD dilemma. However, big ships with effective systems of defense components, combined with a large number of extremely lethal offensive systems, can go a long way toward defeating a system of anti-access systems.

"Huh, maybe we actually need that Zumwalt we're cancelling."
"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.

Offline bobbymike

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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #243 on: January 23, 2017, 10:59:41 pm »
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Re: Navy Seeks Rail Guns, Lasers, Cruise Missiles To Improve Pacific Firepower
« Reply #244 on: January 24, 2017, 09:40:47 pm »
Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. John Richardson visits Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD).

 ;D

VLS based missiles might be an alternative to something that massive throwing just railroad spikes, no matter how fast they are. If it is going to be that large it needs to throw ATACM size warheads against area targets (maybe a little slower). Oh or one could have a smaller rapid fire EMTC gun and convert this beast into a larger diameter EMTC while one is at it.

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http://www.popularmechanics.com/military/research/a25747/navy-ramjet-model-rocket-credit-card/

Yes long way from a deployed weapon system but relates back to my comment concerning the Army 500km range missiles taking 10 years to deploy???
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http://www.popularmechanics.com/military/research/a25747/navy-ramjet-model-rocket-credit-card/

Yes long way from a deployed weapon system but relates back to my comment concerning the Army 500km range missiles taking 10 years to deploy???

To the fleet in 3 to 4 years? They deserve a unit citation. I'm not joking either. That's proper, old school 'skunk works speed'

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http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/blog/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=2485

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But the services need to take a closer look at the "prompt global strike" concept that has been studied for more than a decade, he noted. The capability would allow the United States to strike targets with conventional warheads anywhere on Earth in about an hour, according to a Congressional Research Services report.

"We've got to increase the speed of precision, and then we have to address what weapons we use to actually prosecute the targets," he said. "That is not a trivial problem, even in the static target setting. And in a mobile target setting, it is incredibly complex."
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http://breakingdefense.com/2017/04/355-ship-navy-takes-at-least-18-years-cbo/

$33 billion from 2023 to 2027 or $165 billion over a five year period when the expected total federal government spending will be around $25.3 TRILLION. This is 65/100 of ONE PERCENT. This is ridiculously cheap. It is astonishing to me this is regarded as unaffordable.
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« Last Edit: May 19, 2017, 01:49:32 am by bobbymike »
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Missile Defense Agency High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) Unmanned Aircraft Request for Information (RFI)

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The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) Advanced Technology Directorate is interested in industry's capability to provide a High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) unmanned aircraft in the 2023 timeframe.  A HALE aircraft with greater payload capacity is needed to carry a high energy laser system payload to high altitudes to mature Boost Phase Intercept (BPI).  The results of this RFI will inform future program options for maturing BPI technology and capability following the current Low Power Laser Demonstrator (LPLD) effort. Proposed aircraft should be able to maintain continuous positive ground control and are expected to operate from the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii and Edwards AFB in California.  Unmanned platforms are highly desired; however, manned concepts will be considered with appropriate justification.


In parallel with ongoing BPI technology maturation and demonstration projects, BMDS capability requirements for an airborne high energy laser BPI capability are being developed.  Based on analysis to date, Paragraph 2.a below describes the ideal platform characteristics to enable robust BPI capability.  MDA is interested in far-term platform approaches to meet the full performance of Paragraph 2.a and mid-term solutions that demonstrate significant progress toward achieving these performance parameters.  Concepts that do not meet these parameters are requested to include future options for improving performance, where applicable.


Under this BAA/RFI, multiple White Papers and/or proposals at differing levels of capability and/or risk are acceptable.  Contractors are encouraged to include information on alternate uses and potential commercialization for proposed aircraft designs along with potential Government and/or non-Government co-sponsors.  Areas such as cost, life-cycle affordability, and further commercialization will be important considerations in evaluating future concepts and for any forthcoming acquisitions.
Old radar types never die; they just phased array - Unknown

Offline muttbutt

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Missile Defense Agency High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) Unmanned Aircraft Request for Information (RFI)

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The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) Advanced Technology Directorate is interested in industry's capability to provide a High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) unmanned aircraft in the 2023 timeframe.  A HALE aircraft with greater payload capacity is needed to carry a high energy laser system payload to high altitudes to mature Boost Phase Intercept (BPI).  The results of this RFI will inform future program options for maturing BPI technology and capability following the current Low Power Laser Demonstrator (LPLD) effort. Proposed aircraft should be able to maintain continuous positive ground control and are expected to operate from the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii and Edwards AFB in California.  Unmanned platforms are highly desired; however, manned concepts will be considered with appropriate justification.

.
If unmanned, would it be significantly bigger then a Global hawk?

Offline sublight is back

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Missile Defense Agency High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) Unmanned Aircraft Request for Information (RFI)

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The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) Advanced Technology Directorate is interested in industry's capability to provide a High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) unmanned aircraft in the 2023 timeframe.  A HALE aircraft with greater payload capacity is needed to carry a high energy laser system payload to high altitudes to mature Boost Phase Intercept (BPI).  The results of this RFI will inform future program options for maturing BPI technology and capability following the current Low Power Laser Demonstrator (LPLD) effort. Proposed aircraft should be able to maintain continuous positive ground control and are expected to operate from the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii and Edwards AFB in California.  Unmanned platforms are highly desired; however, manned concepts will be considered with appropriate justification.

.
If unmanned, would it be significantly bigger then a Global hawk?

Much bigger than global hawk, and if you want near space/joint warfighting space, then four times bigger than that.

Offline DrRansom

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Much bigger than global hawk, and if you want near space/joint warfighting space, then four times bigger than that.

Such a system doesn't solve the problem of the original ABL, that it's cost and size makes it prohibitively expensive and risky to fly inside defended airspace. Yet the engagement window and laser ranges mandate the system flying relatively close to launch sites.

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The ABL was not “prohibitively expensive” nor risky to fly in undefended air space.   Any HEL by its very nature is capable of acting as a massively powerful DIRCM.  Indeed, the Air Force SHiELD Laser is just that.  The ABL laser had sufficient power to fire directly on a hostile fighter rather than waiting for it to launch its missiles.  Even so, just as tankers and AWACS operate with fighter protection when needed, so would an ABL if only to conserve lasing time.

The renewed MDA interest in HEL based boost phase intercept indicates electric powered lasers may allow increased lasing time and reduced packaging to permit persistent, very high altitude operations.  At 60,000 feet, there is not much left of the atmosphere to bother the laser beam and if the target geometry keeps the beam above 30,000 feet, it will be much more effective.  Second stage intercept might also come into play depending upon positioning along the launch track.

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Missile Defense Agency High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) Unmanned Aircraft Request for Information (RFI)

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The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) Advanced Technology Directorate is interested in industry's capability to provide a High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) unmanned aircraft in the 2023 timeframe.  A HALE aircraft with greater payload capacity is needed to carry a high energy laser system payload to high altitudes to mature Boost Phase Intercept (BPI).  The results of this RFI will inform future program options for maturing BPI technology and capability following the current Low Power Laser Demonstrator (LPLD) effort. Proposed aircraft should be able to maintain continuous positive ground control and are expected to operate from the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii and Edwards AFB in California.  Unmanned platforms are highly desired; however, manned concepts will be considered with appropriate justification.

.
If unmanned, would it be significantly bigger then a Global hawk?

Much bigger than global hawk, and if you want near space/joint warfighting space, then four times bigger than that.

"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.

Offline Moose

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Missile Defense Agency High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) Unmanned Aircraft Request for Information (RFI)

Quote
The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) Advanced Technology Directorate is interested in industry's capability to provide a High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) unmanned aircraft in the 2023 timeframe.  A HALE aircraft with greater payload capacity is needed to carry a high energy laser system payload to high altitudes to mature Boost Phase Intercept (BPI).  The results of this RFI will inform future program options for maturing BPI technology and capability following the current Low Power Laser Demonstrator (LPLD) effort. Proposed aircraft should be able to maintain continuous positive ground control and are expected to operate from the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii and Edwards AFB in California.  Unmanned platforms are highly desired; however, manned concepts will be considered with appropriate justification.

.
If unmanned, would it be significantly bigger then a Global hawk?

Much bigger than global hawk, and if you want near space/joint warfighting space, then four times bigger than that.
Bigger, with far more onboard power generation.

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Wonder if Stratolaunch's Roc would be a suitable surrogate for the time being, seeing as how it doesn't have anything to carry at the moment...

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this is bigger boondoggle then first assumed
 truly amazing.. in a bad way.

Offline bobbymike

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  • as long as all they ask me about is the air war...
DEW is certainly the order of the day for ABM, looking at terminal maneuvers that the df-21d is supposedly capable of means early interception is essential since a kinetic kill with an SM-3 is going to be extremely hard. Much easier to target, re-target track and acquire over time with a laser. If you lose your track at the wrong moment with an AEGIS style missile system you gotta fire off another missile, probably after the intercep window has closed. The Power you can put through newer solid state lasers is truly impressive and the power you can draw from tubojet/fan engines nowdays is also impressive. The real issue of that the platform has to be very stealthy or in some other way survivable and forward deployed of whatever (likely carrier group) it's defending.

Very interesting concept, I'd be curious to know how much ISR is in the HALE concept or if it just takes offboard data from say an F-35 or early warning satellite and naval Radar and is just primarily a platform for the laser?

Can't help but be reminded of AARS with a big laser module.
We train young men to drop fire on people. Yet their commanders won't allow them to write "fuck" on their airplanes because it is obscene.  -  Kurtz

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DEW is certainly the order of the day for ABM, looking at terminal maneuvers that the df-21d is supposedly capable of means early interception is essential since a kinetic kill with an SM-3 is going to be extremely hard.

Why would a kinetic kill, in space, be anymore difficult than any other missile in space?  If worse came to worst they could always put PAC-3 at sea.
"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.

Offline phrenzy

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  • as long as all they ask me about is the air war...
Because of the increasing number of decoys, ECM and non traditional ballistic trajectories any kinetic kill is going to be harder. As you point out they are more predictable in boost and, in space, mid course, but you get it wrong once with an ABM you lose the intercept window, unless you fire them in volleys like CIWS rounds.

With enough power you can re-target and re-fire, or persistently lase a target through any length of time you have a good track.

Not saying kinetic kill can't be made to work, but it's much easier to move a targeting pod some miniscule fraction of a degree in an areal platform than it is to get a KKV to move miles out of its predicted path once it's moving at such high intercept speeds and you also have to pack in a lot more of the kill chain sensors on board the missile in case of a breakdown in any data links feeding info to them to get the data for the kill. On an aerial platform like HALE you get everything back unless it's shot down

 Technically kinetic intercept is not really a problem, but from a cost and practically perspective DEW makes more sense, why fire 3 big smart expensive missiles when you can burn a little extra jp-8 for multiple lasing shots across a wider time span?

Edit: no reason not to do both of course, SM-3 with block upgrades well likely continue to be part of the picture for a long long time, the navy ha airways taken a highly layered approach to these sort of defensive concepts (as have all western ABM systems). Pac-3 at sea isn't so silly, just like Aegis ashore isn't,  just missiles are expensive That's why the offensive missiles are being developed, because they are cheaper than the stuff they destroy and if you need to spend 5 to 1 on the defensive against new hypersonic or ballistic anti shipping weapons you've got a problem. If you can defend 1 to 1 it better yet get aneconomic advantage, making the opponent eat 3 to 1 to try again get a missile through because lasing is cheap then they have the problem.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2017, 01:11:06 pm by phrenzy »
We train young men to drop fire on people. Yet their commanders won't allow them to write "fuck" on their airplanes because it is obscene.  -  Kurtz

Offline Moose

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Lost in some of the recent coverage is this quote,from NDM's June 15 article on the railgun program, which is very interesting:
Quote
“We are gradually increasing firing rate and energy level, and evaluating and grooming the system as we go,” he said.
ONR plans to conduct tests at five rounds per minute in June, and anticipates that the railgun will perform rep-rate operations at 32-megajoules of energy by the end of the year, Boucher said.

Also an informative section at the end about GA's self-funded railgun prototype. It's around 3 mj and seems they're aiming it at cruise missile defense. GA is testing it in Utah in hopes of attracting attention from the services
Quote
The company hopes the Army or Navy will soon test the technology on a vehicle or ship after it proves itself in Utah, he noted.



this is bigger boondoggle then first assumed
 truly amazing.. in a bad way.
Do you have anything of substance to add or .....?

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this is bigger boondoggle then first assumed
 truly amazing.. in a bad way.

Elaborate. (Should be good.)
"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.

Offline jsport

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this is bigger boondoggle then first assumed
 truly amazing.. in a bad way.

Elaborate. (Should be good.)
you know what is good ? and should be good basic physics. for millionth time capacitors don't match fuels for energy.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2017, 05:43:32 pm by jsport »

Offline bobbymike

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this is bigger boondoggle then first assumed
 truly amazing.. in a bad way.

Elaborate. (Should be good.)
for millionth time capacitors don't match fuels for energy.
Isn't that beside the point if you are specifically wanting a "non-fuel" solution?
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Offline phrenzy

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  • as long as all they ask me about is the air war...
It was my understanding that chemically pumped lasers have been out of Vogue for years and that solid state electronics had gotten far enough for high tier tactical applications, just not yet for strategic ones from the air.

Or am I missing something? (Genuine question)

That's certainly where all the money I've seen is going, boondoggle or not this is obviously where DARPA, USN, ONR and USAF think things things are going.
We train young men to drop fire on people. Yet their commanders won't allow them to write "fuck" on their airplanes because it is obscene.  -  Kurtz

Offline jsport

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this is bigger boondoggle then first assumed
 truly amazing.. in a bad way.

Elaborate. (Should be good.)
for millionth time capacitors don't match fuels for energy.
Isn't that beside the point if you are specifically wanting a "non-fuel" solution?
When the President supports the electric carrier catapult and rails don't melt themselves untruly everytime they fire talks to us.
Worse that the China Spike missile program 25yrs later.
Sorry 'no-fuel solution' sounds like non-sense.

Offline jsport

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It was my understanding that chemically pumped lasers have been out of Vogue for years and that solid state electronics had gotten far enough for high tier tactical applications, just not yet for strategic ones from the air.

Or am I missing something? (Genuine question)

That's certainly where all the money I've seen is going, boondoggle or not this is obviously where DARPA, USN, ONR and USAF think things things are going.
Others on this forum have also stated that solid state is going have matching chemical or hybrid (partially chemical) lasers, Imagine details are classified. The army has wanted a railgun gun tank since the 80s. Noone even talks about anymore. ElectroThermal best that can offered.

Offline bobbymike

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this is bigger boondoggle then first assumed
 truly amazing.. in a bad way.

Elaborate. (Should be good.)
for millionth time capacitors don't match fuels for energy.
Isn't that beside the point if you are specifically wanting a "non-fuel" solution?
When the President supports the electric carrier catapult and rails don't melt themselves untruly everytime they fire talks to us.
Worse that the China Spike missile program 25yrs later.
Sorry 'no-fuel solution' sounds like non-sense.
I think your missing the point. It's like someone's trying to develop an electric car and you keep pullin