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AGM-183A ARRW

Moose

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(Warning, paywall) AW&ST is reporting that Arrow now has a designation, since we have a HAWC thread I would assume a thread for AGM-183 is also called for in the Missile Projects section.
Newly released Pentagon acquisition documents have confirmed the award of a rapid development and production contract to Lockheed Martin for the Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW), now designated the AGM-183A...
FlightGlobal has a pair of ARRW stories, one about the progress of the program with some general details
The ARRW, now assigned the designation AGM-183A, evolves from the Tactical Boost Glide (TBG) programme launched in 2014 by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). By using a rocket to boost the missile to very high altitudes, the unpowered ARRW then glides down to lower altitudes at speeds up to Mach 20.

Although Lockheed won the $780 million ARRW contract more than a year ago, the USAF was forced to re-open the competition this summer. The original deal was structured as an extension to a DARPA contract for TBG. The USAF later decided to restructure the terms using the service’s own acquisition process. That decision, however, required the USAF to re-consider the two bidders that had already been disqualified under the DARPA programme.
Neither of their responses, however, met the USAF’s requirements for ARRW. Indeed, Boeing presented an hypersonic design that flew a ballistic re-entry trajectory, rather than a glide profile as required, the USAF document says. Boeing’s design also proposed different propulsion systems for development and production versions of the weapon, which the USAF dismissed for adding too much risk. Raytheon Missile Systems submitted a compliant boost-glide concept, but the USAF criticised the proposal for lacking details about the effort required to field a flight-qualified weapon.

Lockheed’s concept — resubmitted a year after winning the original contract — was unsurprisingly far more detailed and technically compliant with the ARRW requirement, the USAF says. Moreover, Lockheed has worked with suppliers to prepare to meet the “required production rate at 36 months after contract award”, the USAF says.
and a second about the booster being developed to get the glider up to hypersonic speeds
Aerojet Rocketdyne successfully completed two hot-fire tests of a rocket motor designed to boost an air-launched tactical glide hypersonic vehicle during its initial phase of flight.

The tests, which were done under simulated extreme cold and hot conditions, took place on an undisclosed “recent” date at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) at Edwards AFB in California, Aerojet Rocketdyne said.

The motors were tested at extreme temperatures to verify they would perform as expected across the full range of anticipated operational conditions, the company says.

In a boost glide hypersonic system, a rocket accelerates its payload to high speeds; the payload then separates from the rocket and glides unpowered to its destination at hypersonic speeds up to Mach 20. Lockheed Martin is leading the development of the USAF’s boost glide programme, called the Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW), and Aerojet Rocketdyne is subcontracted to supply the booster rockets.
 

sferrin

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I think that Mach 20 number is a mistake. The article I read used it in the context of, "boost gliders fly at up to Mach 20" with it being a general comment, not necessarily tied to this project. (Especially if this is something small enough to launch from a fighter.)
 

DrRansom

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sferrin said:
I think that Mach 20 number is a mistake. The article I read used it in the context of, "boost gliders fly at up to Mach 20" with it being a general comment, not necessarily tied to this project. (Especially if this is something small enough to launch from a fighter.)
Isn't that the big question? Just how big the AGM-183A is...
 

sferrin

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DrRansom said:
sferrin said:
I think that Mach 20 number is a mistake. The article I read used it in the context of, "boost gliders fly at up to Mach 20" with it being a general comment, not necessarily tied to this project. (Especially if this is something small enough to launch from a fighter.)
Isn't that the big question? Just how big the AGM-183A is...
I'd think the upper limit is related to the program to give the B-52 the ability to carry 20,000lb weapons on the wing pylons. (But I'd think a 5,000lb weapon for the F-15E, F-22, and F-35 might be more useful.)

Using my calibrated Mk1 that motor doesn't look like it would be in the 20,000lb category.
 

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bobbymike

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sferrin said:
DrRansom said:
sferrin said:
I think that Mach 20 number is a mistake. The article I read used it in the context of, "boost gliders fly at up to Mach 20" with it being a general comment, not necessarily tied to this project. (Especially if this is something small enough to launch from a fighter.)
Isn't that the big question? Just how big the AGM-183A is...
I'd think the upper limit is related to the program to give the B-52 the ability to carry 20,000lb weapons on the wing pylons. (But I'd think a 5,000lb weapon for the F-15E, F-22, and F-35 might be more useful.)

Using my calibrated Mk1 that motor doesn't look like it would be in the 20,000lb category.
What would be the estimated burn-out speed of a missile that size, guesstimate wise?
 

stealthflanker

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bobbymike said:
What would be the estimated burn-out speed of a missile that size, guesstimate wise?
20000 Lb weapon. Assume the following :

-6000 Kg (13300 lb) of boost propellant
-267 seconds of IsP.
-10 seconds burn time
-49000 ft launch altitude at mach 0.85.

Would give you Mach 14.9/M 15 burnout velocity and burn out altitude of 84680 ft.

---
Tactical 5000 Lb weapon assuming same propellant but reduced to about 3300 Lb would also give M 15 burnout.
 

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sferrin said:
DrRansom said:
sferrin said:
I think that Mach 20 number is a mistake. The article I read used it in the context of, "boost gliders fly at up to Mach 20" with it being a general comment, not necessarily tied to this project. (Especially if this is something small enough to launch from a fighter.)
Isn't that the big question? Just how big the AGM-183A is...
I'd think the upper limit is related to the program to give the B-52 the ability to carry 20,000lb weapons on the wing pylons. (But I'd think a 5,000lb weapon for the F-15E, F-22, and F-35 might be more useful.)

Using my calibrated Mk1 that motor doesn't look like it would be in the 20,000lb category.
size of that motor seems not much different from X-51 booster for me
 

sferrin

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litzj said:
sferrin said:
DrRansom said:
sferrin said:
I think that Mach 20 number is a mistake. The article I read used it in the context of, "boost gliders fly at up to Mach 20" with it being a general comment, not necessarily tied to this project. (Especially if this is something small enough to launch from a fighter.)
Isn't that the big question? Just how big the AGM-183A is...
I'd think the upper limit is related to the program to give the B-52 the ability to carry 20,000lb weapons on the wing pylons. (But I'd think a 5,000lb weapon for the F-15E, F-22, and F-35 might be more useful.)

Using my calibrated Mk1 that motor doesn't look like it would be in the 20,000lb category.
size of that motor seems not much different from X-51 booster for me
Possibly. That was an ATACMs booster.
 

DrRansom

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The size is the million dollar question. Lockheed has two hypersonic missile questions, are they both boost glide? Is one boost-glide and the other scramjet? If they're both boost glide, are they tactical / strategic sized? The tactical goes to Lockheed Alabama and the strategic to Lockheed space systems?

Questions. Though the conclusion is clear, the USAF wants hypersonics ASAP.
 

bring_it_on

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The size is the million dollar question. Lockheed has two hypersonic missile questions, are they both boost glide? Is one boost-glide and the other scramjet? If they're both boost glide, are they tactical / strategic sized? The tactical goes to Lockheed Alabama and the strategic to Lockheed space systems?
Lockheed is working on multiple programs. Among them:

- Tactical Boost Glide (TBG) for DARPA
- ARRW for the US Air Force
- Hypersonic Air Breathing Weapons Concept (HAWC) for DARPA

Out of these HAWC is going to demonstrate scramjet propulsion. It appears that ARRW is going to leverage DARPA's TBG while HCSW will leverage the HAWC.
 

bobbymike

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https://www.military.com/defensetech/2018/08/13/air-force-doubles-down-hypersonic-weapons-development-2nd-contract.html

The Air Force first awarded Lockheed Martin a contract in April to develop a prototype hypersonic cruise missile, the Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon (HCSW). That project could cost as much as $928 million over the course of its lifetime.

"The ARRW effort is 'pushing the art-of-the-possible' by leveraging the technical base established by the Air Force/[Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency] partnership," the release said. "The HCSW effort is using mature technologies that have not been integrated for an air-launched delivery system."

The Air Force said the latest award remains an undefinitized contract to allow Lockheed to begin work "before reaching a final settlement on contract terms and conditions." The final price and negotiated terms will be met within 180 days of the award, it said.

The second contract award comes after Pentagon officials said in recent months they fear the U.S. may be lagging behind in hypersonics, while rivals Russia and China have created national programs of record and reported recent advances.

"We have lost our technical advantage in hypersonics; we haven't lost the hypersonics fight," Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Air Force Gen. Paul Selva told reporters in January. "China has made it a national program, so China's willing to spend tens to up to hundreds of billions to solve the problem of hypersonic flight, hypersonic target designation, and then ultimately engagement."
Only program missing is Global Strike missile based on the Omega launch system
 

sferrin

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Omega launch system? ???
 

bobbymike

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https://www.space.com/40331-orbital-atk-omega-next-generation-launch-vehicle.html

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Orbital ATK's next rocket will be its biggest one yet, and the company has picked a fitting name for the new booster: OmegA.

OmegaA, formerly known as the Next Generation Launch Vehicle, is Orbital ATK's candidate booster to launch intermediate- and heavy-class military satellites for the U.S. Air Force's Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program. The rocket will compete with United Launch Alliance, Boeing and Blue Origin for military launch contracts under the Air Force's Launch Services Agreement.
 

GeorgeA

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More ARRW detail. May be behind the paywall for a week or so.

http://aviationweek.com/defense/first-us-air-force-rapid-response-hypersonic-weapon-agm-183a
 

bring_it_on

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^^ Posting a brief snippet that suggests that HCSW will not be air-breathing...

As both ARRW and HCSW rely on well-understood rocket-based propulsion, they are considered a lower technical and schedule risk to meeting the urgent requirement for near-term air-launched hypersonic weapons capability. For the mid-to-longer term, development of more operationally flexible air-breathing systems also continues. Both Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works and Raytheon are working under contract with DARPA to develop the Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC), a scramjet-powered missile demonstrator similar in concept to the Air Force Research Laboratory/Boeing X-51A scramjet-powered vehicle that exceeded Mach 5 in a 2013 flight test.

Raytheon, which is partnered with Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems (formerly Orbital ATK) on the scramjet for HAWC, is also in final negotiations with DARPA to develop and test a TBG glide demonstrator. Raytheon’s newest work is believed to be supporting DARPA development of a ship-launched TBG for the U.S. Navy. In July, Lockheed was awarded a $40.5 million Navy Hypersonic Booster Technology Development (HBTD) contract, also believed to be related to this effort.
 

aonestudio

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A sensor-only version of the ARRW prototype was carried externally by a B-52 during the test to gather environmental and aircraft handling data.

The test gathered data on drag and vibration impacts on the weapon itself and on the external carriage equipment of the aircraft. The prototype did not have explosives and it was not released from the B-52 during the flight test. This type of data collection is required for all Air Force weapon systems undergoing development.





 

Moose

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Thanks for posting those, very cool. Interesting fin arrangement.
 

sferrin

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Any estimates on the size? And is that the whole thing or just the forward portion?
 

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Any estimates on the size? And is that the whole thing or just the forward portion?
Looking at pictures of AGM-109s being tested way back, the pylons are about twice the length of those, so circa 12m long. This weapon is almost as long at the pylon so maybe ~10-11m and probably about twice the diameter of a Tomahawk, so ~1m. Roughly, it's Pershing-II-sized.

615369
 

sferrin

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Those are VERY different pylons. Compare the size of the AGM-183A with the size of the wing cord on the B-52. Now look at the picture below of the roughly Pershing-sized Skybolt below and compare IT to the wing cord. AGM-183 is much smaller.

615381
 

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Difficult to tell because of the angles, the ranges and how far back the various weapons are mounted. The Skybolt is mounted centrally to the wing chord, the AGM-183 is mounted towards the front, such that its rear only goes back as far as the rear of a forward AGM-86 would, but the front sticks out past the front of the pylon considerably. The Skybolt is also 11.7m long.

The rear of the pylon for the AGM-109s and AGM-183 seems to be at the same place relative to the flaps.
 
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sferrin

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It's pretty obviously nowhere near as long as the chord length whereas Skybolt much longer. If somebody knew the length of the Heavy Stores Adapter Beam (HSAB) the AGM-183A is mounted to that might make it easier to determine.

X-51 stack is 25ft. for comparison:

615395
 
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Forest Green

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It's hard to say. I'm not saying you're wrong but my impression is that the AGM-183 is mounted much further forward and sticks out past the front of the pylon by about half its length almost. Mounted in the same position as the missile above, I think it would be at least as long but significantly wider. I have changed my estimate to 8m having considered this shot though.

The Skybolt appears to stick out in front more than it does due to the angle (taken from rear).
 

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Actually changed my mind again, B-52 is 48.5m long, which is 187mm in this shot, missile is 25mm, that gives 6.5m. Slight angle may throw calcs slightly though. That ain't reaching Mach 20, unless it's just carrying a KKV into space, or DARPA have produced a cold fusion drive.

615402
 
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sferrin

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The whole thing doesn't need to hit Mach 20 if one assumes you're looking at a multistage missile with a small RV/BG. Think fatter ArcLight.

Something like the middle one here:

615403

Or maybe they left the 1st stage off during the captive carry.
 

Forest Green

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SM-3 BlkIIA only reaches Mach 15 and that's a multistage missile roughly the same size going into space with just a KKV. One would assume that a strike weapon would need a reasonably heavy warhead, much heavier than a KKV. You can get significant range without that speed though with a system like ArcLight (90kg warhead).
 

sferrin

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Block II isn't launched from a plane.
 

Forest Green

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Block II isn't launched from a plane.
No but it still spends more of its journey in a vacuum, due to the location of its targets and I'd imagine the KKV weighs less than a 90kg warhead plus control and aero parts. I think Mach 10 is the upper limit for this weapon.

I don't know though, is this speed right for the ASM-135?

If so, then maybe faster is possible, it just doesn't seem right for such a small package.

Looking further though, this describes the speed of the ASM-135 as 13,000ft/s, which is more like M12-13.5 (depending on altitude), which seems to gel with my gut feeling better.

Does anyone know how tall the B-52 cockpit windows are? Based on the pilot it looks like ~0.5m, which would make the weapon near 1m diameter, significantly bigger than SM-3/ASM-135. Maybe faster is possible??? All depends on warhead size.

View attachment 615405
 
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sferrin

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Compared with a frame from the video:

615411
 

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That looks small enough (under 5k lbs?) to fit under the F-35.
 

sferrin

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Hard to say. It looks fatter than ATACMs and probably more propellant dense.
 

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I would say the diameter is similar to the Skybolt but the length is about 6.5m give or take. Can probably carry 8-12 externally and 4-6 internally. 6 would require a new rotary launcher design. Based on the diameter being >50% greater than a Tomahawk, I think at least 6,000lb. It's more of a bomber or F-15 load but I believe there's a smaller missile (HCSW) for fighters anyway.
 
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sferrin

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It would be really helpful if somebody knew the dimensions of the Heavy Stores Adapter Beam. I looked for a while with no luck at all.
 

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Or the diameter of the engine shrouds at the front. The diameter of each engine on its own is 1.3m.

Using ratios, if the missile is 6.5m long, that is 47mm, so 6mm wide means 0.83m. And 6m long would give 0.77m.
 
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Racer

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Booster of X-51 is based on ATACMS, 604mm. Now have a look to the pic in post #32 above.
 
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