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Author Topic: Defense against Hypersonic Glide Vehicles  (Read 365 times)

Offline sferrin

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Defense against Hypersonic Glide Vehicles
« on: January 13, 2019, 07:40:14 am »
Just starting a generic thread here to discuss possibilities and programs.  Saw the following in an AvWeek article:

"These include a new family of interceptor missiles called SkyFire proposed by Raytheon; hypervelocity projectiles designed by General Atomics, Boeing and BAE Systems; a laser gun offered by Boeing; and electronic attack systems conceptualized by Northrop Grumman, L3 Technologies and Lockheed. Lockheed also has proposed a full range of new interceptors, including a space-based system, an air-launched missile and the “Valkyrie” for terminal hypersonic defense. "

http://aviationweek.com/defense/top-us-hypersonic-weapon-program-facing-new-schedule-pressure#comment-1090641


Anybody know anything about these?
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Offline Orionblamblam

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Re: Defense against Hypersonic Glide Vehicles
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2019, 12:03:37 pm »
a laser gun offered by Boeing;

I have doubts about the utility of lasers against hypersonic weapons. Not only do they have to punch through a potentially incandescent leading edge shockwave they also have to damage structures that are *designed* for high thermal and structural loading.
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Offline Trident

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Re: Defense against Hypersonic Glide Vehicles
« Reply #2 on: Today at 11:44:16 am »
Said structures are operating in a thermal environment which is already challenging to begin with though, so there might not be a lot of margin to bear additional heat load. The straw which breaks the camel's back...

I do agree about the optical challenges imposed by hypersonic flow past the target - lasers currently seem to have quite enough problems dealing with normal atmospheric distortion and turbulence.

Offline sublight is back

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Re: Defense against Hypersonic Glide Vehicles
« Reply #3 on: Today at 12:12:59 pm »
.....seem to have quite enough problems dealing with normal atmospheric distortion and turbulence.

Only if they are coming from the terrestrial side....  ;)

Offline sferrin

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Re: Defense against Hypersonic Glide Vehicles
« Reply #4 on: Today at 12:19:52 pm »
Even radar has problems getting through the plasma layer.  With Sprint they needed quite a bit of power to communicate through it.  I would think it would be even more difficult for a much shorter wavelength laser.
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Offline Orionblamblam

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Re: Defense against Hypersonic Glide Vehicles
« Reply #5 on: Today at 07:39:27 pm »
Said structures are operating in a thermal environment which is already challenging to begin with though, so there might not be a lot of margin to bear additional heat load. The straw which breaks the camel's back...

*IF* the thing is flying fast enough to create an incandescent gas layer, then it has a pretty good shield against lasers. A gas that is transparent to visible or IR becomes very, VERY opaque to visible or IR if it's glowing. So a laser would strike that and heat up the outer layer of the gas, but little to none of that energy would likely punch through to the vehicle.

Of course it's a safe bet that the incandescent "shield" will only cover leading edges, not the whole thing. So a strike at the side might work. But head-on, the laser has a challenge.
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And so the endless circle of life comes to an end, meaningless and grim. Why did they live, and why did they die? No reason. Two hundred million years of evolution snuffed out, for in the end Nature is horrific and teaches us nothing