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
 
Well if Williams won it was probably the subsonic design as I don't think they've ever produced an afterburning engine.
 
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.
 
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)
 
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.
 
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.
 
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 ;)
 
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.
 
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
 
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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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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.
 
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.
 
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 ::).
 
Yes, the Joseph Jones book brilliantly summarises pretty much every wrong Stealth "fact".

Picture from Warplanes of the Future
 

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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
 
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.
 
1989 General Dynamics Hypersonic Cruise Missile studies

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

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1979, DARPA approach to stealth cruise missile configuration
 

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Darpa study is reminiscent of French work into a low-RCS subsonic cruise missile concept from the late 90s
 
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.
 
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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flateric said:
1979, DARPA approach to stealth cruise missile configuration

1979ish Boeing supersonic cruise missile
 

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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.
 
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.
 
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.
 
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.
.
 
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 "Aero-configured Missiles" study mentioned here is almost certainly this:
AD-B058 132L, "Aerodynamic Configured Missile Development: Final Report. Executive Summary. Volume I", Flight Dynamics Laboratory, AFWAL-TR-80-3071-VOL-1, 1980

Note this is a 6 volume study. Some of the authors have produced AIAA, etc. papers derived from this work, many of which show designs illustrated in this thread. For example, AIAA 82-0390 "Evaluation of missile aerodynamic characteristics for diversified configurations using rapid prediction techniques" (https://arc.aiaa.org/doi/abs/10.2514/6.1983-180) and ADP005921 "Next Generation Missile Design" (https://apps.dtic.mil/sti/citations/ADP005921)
 
ATCM Program , March 1979
Initial studies (phase I?) looked at subsonic, subsonic with dash, supersonic, and hypersonic. Later studies focused primarily on subsonic and subsonic with dash

atcm1.png atcm2.png atcm3.png
 
ADP005921 "Next Generation Missile Design" (https://apps.dtic.mil/sti/citations/ADP005921)
DTIC sez that's not available. Was it at one point?

I suspect that there are MANY DTIC reports I was able to access and download are no longer online, once upon a time when you searched for a report it listed EVERY single matching entry now you're limited to just the top 100 reports.
DTIC has Google index everything they have. So just use Google to search DTIC using the "site" operator.

i.e. :
"super secret program" site:dtic.mil
 
The article "Next Generation Missile Design" is available in ADA199172: Proceedings of the Special Course on Missile Aerodynamics (Page 457 onward)
Better version of the relevant paper still available via NTRL (attached for archival purposes)

All of the volumes/appendices of the report Quellish mentioned in post 39 are available via Hathi Trust with the exception of Vol. II 'Appendix C - Low Radar Signature Concepts' (noted "this appendix will be classified confidential" in the preface).

'Appendix A - Reference Library Summary' is quite interesting as it has "one page summaries" (including 3-views) of each of the references
collected during the program. A number of old favourites make an appearance (AMI, HyFAC, WHRA, RLV's, SST's etc.)

Vol. I - Executive Summary
Vol. II - Configuration Development
Appendix A - Aerodynamic Configured Missile Reference
Appendix B - Relations Between Aerodynamic Characteristics and Performance
Appendix C - Low Radar Signature Concepts
Vol. III - Missile Aerodynamic Prediciton Rationale using the Supersonic/Hypersonic Arbitrary Body Program
Vol. IV - Phase I Experimental Program
Vol. V - Phase II Experimental Program
Vol. VI - Phase III Experimental Program

V.1. Fig. 5.jpg

V.1. Fig. 6.jpg

V.1. Fig. 7.jpg

V.1. Fig. 11.jpg
 

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