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1980s US intercontinental cruise missile (& ATCM program)

GeorgeA

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I'm looking for information about a little-publicized US program in the mid-to-late 1980s for an intercontinental cruise missile. It was intended to have a 6000 nm range, Lockheed, Boeing, and General Dynamics were the candidate contractors, and three designs (subsonic, supersonic, and hypersonic) were to be explored. According to Bill Gunston's Warplanes of the Future, General Dynamics and Williams Research (propulsion) were selected to go forward with the program.

Can anyone direct me to additional information about this program? Designs, specifications, results, or the like? Given the time frame, it might have been a casualty of the post-Cold War strategic weapons cutbacks and been canceled before any designs emerged.

Thanks in advance.

George
 

sferrin

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Well if Williams won it was probably the subsonic design as I don't think they've ever produced an afterburning engine.
 

overscan

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I think this is a misunderstanding on your part.

From my copy of Gunstons Warplanes of the Future P205

Three shapes for an advanced stealth-type cruise missile with a design range of 6,000 nm (9,600km). Such vehicles have been studied by Boeing, General Dynamics and Lockheed. In 1983 GD Convair (composite aircraft) and Williams Research ("plastic" turbofan) were named winners".
Its three notional stealth cruise missile designs. The last sentence is talking about the AGM-129.
 

Andreas Parsch

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overscan said:
The last sentence is talking about the AGM-129.
You beat me to it ;) ... GD + Williams + 1980s sounded a lot like the AGM-129 :).

BTW (and off-topic), this forum software appears to have a rather clever feature: After I had written my initial reply and was going to submit it, I was warned that a new reply had been posted and that I may want to review my posting. Cool 8)
 

TinWing

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overscan said:
I think this is a misunderstanding on your part.

From my copy of Gunstons Warplanes of the Future P205

Three shapes for an advanced stealth-type cruise missile with a design range of 6,000 nm (9,600km). Such vehicles have been studied by Boeing, General Dynamics and Lockheed. In 1983 GD Convair (composite aircraft) and Williams Research ("plastic" turbofan) were named winners".
Its three notional stealth cruise missile designs. The last sentence is talking about the AGM-129.
Does this quote suggest that the requirement that lead to AGM-129 was for a missile with an astounding 6,000 nautical mile range?

Incidentally, 9,600km converts to only about 5184 nautical miles, but 5,952 statute miles is pretty close to 6000.
 

Andreas Parsch

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FWIW, here is a quote from

Kenneth P. Werrell: "The Evolution of the Cruise Missile", Air University Press, 1985

in the chapter about ongoing developments at the time of writing:

Another line of development is the ATCM (Advanced Technology Cruise Missile). The Air Force restricted the ATCM in two ways. The B-52's bomb bay and eight-missile rotary launcher dictated a maximum diameter of 19 inches while its external tandem carriage dictated a maximum length of 249 inches. The resulting paper designs emphasized survivability and missile ranges of 2,300 to 2,600 miles. According to the press, General Dynamics, Boeing and Lockhhed were competing for a full scale development contract beginning in the spring of 1983.
This ATCM is not identical to the ACM (AGM-129), because the latter is discussed separately by Werrell.
 

Andreas Parsch

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TinWing said:
Does this quote suggest that the requirement that lead to AGM-129 was for a missile with an astounding 6,000 nautical mile range?

Incidentally, 9,600km converts to only about 5184 nautical miles, but 5,952 statute miles is pretty close to 6000.
Isn't 6,000 nm range a bit of over-engineering for an air-launched cruise missile? Why fly this thing half-way round the world, when it can just as well carried by the bombers close enough to the target? AGM-129 range is about 3000 km, which looks adequate for the purpose.

Anyway, the confusion over the units doesn't make the figures look very reliable anyway ;)
 

overscan

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Yes, thats a typical Gunstonism. I don't have a picture of item x, so I'll print a picture of y, and talk about x in the caption anyway.
 

overscan

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The U. S. Air Force has also been supporting investigations in Advanced Technology for Cruise Missiles (ATCM) with contracts at Boeing Aircraft Co., McDonnell-Douglas Astronautics Co., General Dynamics/Convair, Rockwell International , and Martin Marietta. Research is, or will be, supported in several areas of aerodynamics, propulsion, and structures and materials based on the needs pointed out by several mission-effectiveness studies. These research areas include investigations of radar absorbing primary structure (RAPS) as well as the use of radar absorbing material (RAM) for coating a primary structure to reduce the radar cross-section (RCS). Research on advanced
composites continues to receive strong support. In aerodynamics, a study entitled "Aero-configured Missiles" has been under way at McDonnell-Douglas-East. The objective of Phase I is to provide upper bounds on available lift - drag ratio, maximum lift coefficient, and minimum drag coefficient that an aerodynamic configuration can achieve if no limitations are placed on the design. Although aimed at the supersonic-hypersonic speed regime, some transonic work is included. The characteristics of the numerous configurations are predicted by means of available computer programs and checked by wind tunnel tests at the Arnold Engineering Development Center (AEDC) wind tunnel facilities.

The second phase will narrow the configuration choices by introducing the effects of propulsion systems. The third phase will introduce further missile system limitations, including requirements for reduced radar cross-section. The latter consideration has actually had some influence on Phase I.

The propulsion program includes studies of changes in supersonic inlet design to improve RCS, tests of woven-carbon-carbon material for the walls (without insulation) of conventional hydrocarbon-burning ramjet combustors in supersonic missiles , and studies of carbon slurry and boron slurry fuels. As noted above, the structures work is concentrated on research on advanced composites and on the use of radar absorbing primary structure.

The importance being placed on decreasing radar signatures is noted by the fact that RCS studies have been made on several missile configurations as well as studies of the effects of high temperature on RAM.
NASA Contractor Report 3187
Advanced Missile Technology: A Review of Technology Improvement Areas for Cruise Missiles
 

Andreas Parsch

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GeorgeA said:
Of the configurations in the caption mentioned by Overscan, one was a wide wing-body design that would have been a challenge to integrate with any potential launch aricraft then in the inventory. Another looked like a wedge-shaped hypersonic cruiser. The third was a "shark-shape" similar to the ACM.
Do these configurations look related to the (rather crude) drawings in the attachment?
 

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overscan

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No. The three drawings are, roughly, something like a delta "parasol wing" design (looks very fast), a shark-like lifting body design and a subsonic looking delta rather like the Teledyne "stealth RPV".

I'll scan and post them tonight after work.
 

overscan

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I've found a number of possible leads on cruise missile designs from this period. I expect that these three drawings come from an AIAA paper on possible cruise missile designs.
 

Andreas Parsch

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GeorgeA said:
Andreas' picture is from p. 135 of Stealth Technology: The Art of Black Magic by Joseph Jones. (I'm sneezing as I blow the dust off this thing.) These were submissions to the Teal Dawn project, which was a precursor to ACM. The first two are General Dynamics designs, the third a Boeing concept, and the fourth a Lockheed one.
Yes. Sorry for omitting the reference.

The book implies the Lockheed concept was a redesign of Senior Prom.
What ever the book says (let alone only implies ;)) - don't believe it at face value ::).
 

overscan

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Yes, the Joseph Jones book brilliantly summarises pretty much every wrong Stealth "fact".

Picture from Warplanes of the Future
 

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Trident

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Sorry for this rather unscientific remark, but that design in the middle does look like a shark - one that has swallowed an outsize surfboard :D
 

overscan

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If I find it I will ;D

I've found a lot of stuff on cruise missiles in the 1979-1985 period but not those particular designs.
 

flateric

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1989 General Dynamics Hypersonic Cruise Missile studies

reference:
AIAA 1989-2353
OPTIMIZATION OF GEOMETRICALLY LIMITED HYPERSONIC AIR-BREATHING CRUISE MISSILES
 

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LowObservable

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Oh my, I have never seen anything like that before. ;D
 

Jock1

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Darpa study is reminiscent of French work into a low-RCS subsonic cruise missile concept from the late 90s
 

Grey Havoc

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Andreas Parsch said:
FWIW, here is a quote from

Kenneth P. Werrell: "The Evolution of the Cruise Missile", Air University Press, 1985

in the chapter about ongoing developments at the time of writing:

Another line of development is the ATCM (Advanced Technology Cruise Missile). The Air Force restricted the ATCM in two ways. The B-52's bomb bay and eight-missile rotary launcher dictated a maximum diameter of 19 inches while its external tandem carriage dictated a maximum length of 249 inches. The resulting paper designs emphasized survivability and missile ranges of 2,300 to 2,600 miles. According to the press, General Dynamics, Boeing and Lockhhed were competing for a full scale development contract beginning in the spring of 1983.
This ATCM is not identical to the ACM (AGM-129), because the latter is discussed separately by Werrell.
Here's a link to a DTIC copy in case anyone who hasn't seen it is interested.
 

quellish

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PaulMM (Overscan) said:
Yes, the Joseph Jones book brilliantly summarises pretty much every wrong Stealth "fact".

Picture from Warplanes of the Future
The interesting thing though is that I've seen two of these shapes - and one other from the Jones book - appear in some very interesting places, even relatively recently.

Attached is an example from "Technologies for Future Precision Strike Missile Systems - Missile Aeromechanics Technology" (EN-018-02)
 

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quellish

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flateric said:
1979, DARPA approach to stealth cruise missile configuration
1979ish Boeing supersonic cruise missile
 

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Bruno Anthony

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Perhaps what you are looking for is the Excalibur missile which can be found in Norman Friedman's World Naval Weapons Systems.
 

Grey Havoc

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One possible driver for the ICCM project may have been a need for an alternative delivery vehicle for non-standard payloads such as, say a weaponised subterrene.
 

Grey Havoc

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A Boeing program from the period 1981-1984, called the Cruise Missile Power System that is likely related. Undertaken on behalf of Air Force Wright Aeronautical Laboratories, Aero Propulsion Laboratory. The linked Final Report is from 1986.

The program was for design and development of an exploratory advanced
generator and control unit which would have an improved energy density over
present day components. This generator was to be applied to cruise missiles
which might be operational in the next 10 to 20 years with higher power loads.
Loads were analyzed for future cruise missile missions. The prototype
generator and control unit were fabricated and tested to verify the design
and the analysis. Concepts reviewed were: mounting the generator and control
unit internally on the enqine rotor shaft and on the accessory pad, as in the
present cruise missile. Because of cooling difficulties, the qenerator of
the size selected could not be integrated in the shaft of any conceived
engine size. Thus, the provision is for accessory pad mounting. The weight
of the generator and control unit is 27.75 pounds and 227 cubic inches for
a 5kW rating.
 

Forest Green

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FWIW, here is a quote from

Kenneth P. Werrell: "The Evolution of the Cruise Missile", Air University Press, 1985

in the chapter about ongoing developments at the time of writing:

Another line of development is the ATCM (Advanced Technology Cruise Missile). The Air Force restricted the ATCM in two ways. The B-52's bomb bay and eight-missile rotary launcher dictated a maximum diameter of 19 inches while its external tandem carriage dictated a maximum length of 249 inches. The resulting paper designs emphasized survivability and missile ranges of 2,300 to 2,600 miles. According to the press, General Dynamics, Boeing and Lockhhed were competing for a full scale development contract beginning in the spring of 1983.
This ATCM is not identical to the ACM (AGM-129), because the latter is discussed separately by Werrell.
From page 210.
.
 

Orionblamblam

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I *knew* I had something on that. I have some fragmentary records of the General Dynamics BGV with that and other booster arrangements. The burnout was at 160,000 feet and 16,391 fps. For a different (shorter) booster arrangement, the B-1 could carry eight of 'em. As shown here, the glide range *seems* to have been 2,000 to 2,400 nm, but given the fragmentary nature of what I have, that's uncertain.

gd_hgv0021.jpg
 

quellish

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I *knew* I had something on that. I have some fragmentary records of the General Dynamics BGV with that and other booster arrangements. The burnout was at 160,000 feet and 16,391 fps. For a different (shorter) booster arrangement, the B-1 could carry eight of 'em. As shown here, the glide range *seems* to have been 2,000 to 2,400 nm, but given the fragmentary nature of what I have, that's uncertain.
Late 70s or mid-80s?
 

sferrin

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I *knew* I had something on that. I have some fragmentary records of the General Dynamics BGV with that and other booster arrangements. The burnout was at 160,000 feet and 16,391 fps. For a different (shorter) booster arrangement, the B-1 could carry eight of 'em. As shown here, the glide range *seems* to have been 2,000 to 2,400 nm, but given the fragmentary nature of what I have, that's uncertain.

View attachment 615704
Either long or short carried externally I presume? (On the same hard-points AGM-129s were later carried on?)

615736
 

Forest Green

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HGV

615745


American spaceplane. Study 1992. The Hypersonic Glide Vehicle was a USAF project discussed openly in 1987 to 1988, which may have flown as a black project in 1992-1993.
AKA: Hypersonic Glide Vehicle;Strategic Boost Glide Vehicle. Status: Study 1992. Gross mass: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb).

A model of the General Dynamics concept for the vehicle was shown at the Air Force Association show in 1987. Martin Marietta was an associated or competing contractor. The HGV resurrected the Dynasoar boost-glide bomber concept of the 1950's. A booster would accelerate the HGV to Mach 18 and an altitude of 80 km. It would then enter a long glide, coming over its selected target at Mach 5 at 30 km altitude. An HGV launched by a Minuteman would have a range of 15,000 km; air-launched from a B-1 or B-52, a 7,400 km range.

Advanced materials and lightweight avionics were expected to make it possible for the ca. 2 metric ton HGV to have a useful payload. These might include an interceptor using Raytheon's LORAINE (Long-Range Interceptor Experiment) phased-array radar; or a surface attack missile using Loral air-to-surface guidance concepts developed for the USAF Maneuvering Re-entry Vehicle (MaRV) program. In 1987 the USAF was considering a five-year, $400 million program ending in four Minuteman-boosted HGV flights from Vandenberg AFB. Reports as late as 1992 indicated the tests may have occurred under the Have Space project, with the air-launched version referred to as the HGV and the ground-launched version as the Strategic Boost Glide Vehicle.

The NASA Hyper-X air-launched scramjet experiment may owe some of its launch vehicle underpinnings to HGV.
 

quellish

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The image is not of an HGV model, but of Isinglass. Isinglass was not a GD project.

In the late 70s and early 80s DARPA pursued a program to demonstrate an air launched ballistic missile with hypersonic glider for air-to-air. This was the Ballistic Intercept Missile. The reentry vehicle was to be SWERVE. LORAINE was the guidance and seeker package. The thinking was that this missile could be used to shoot down bombers threatening the US or carrier groups.
At the same time USAF was pursuing their boost glide vehicle for hitting ground targets, and the navy had their own program. In 1987 congress ordered that the DARPA, USAF. and Navy programs be consolidated (sound familiar?). The USAF program at this point looked at air launch, ground launch, air breathing and rocket, air to air and air to ground. This was the Hypersonic Glide Vehicle program. OBB's image shows some of the proposed GD HGV configurations at that point. There are some other images on the forum of models, etc. that depict the same vehicle.

At this point the DARPA effort was well along. Some parts had been flight demonstrated (SWERVE) and some were maturing in labs and almost ready for flight test or demonstration (GPS INS guidance, terminal X-band seeker). But no service really took interest or ownership and the program died. The air force program generated a lot of paper studies and some tech development in labs but that seems to be it. The likelyhood of some covert flight test of a glide vehicle is small - that would be difficult to conceal.
 
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