AGM-183A ARRW

sferrin

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I still think that is the least of their worries. Given what's new here is the BGV, the Warhead, and the Booster. Of these, the warhead was successfully tested recently. I assume the booster has done multiple static test firings so I don't see it being a major source of problems resulting in massive delays. But the BGV appears to be the most behind and DARPA seems to be totally silent on the state of that (or the HAWC for that matter even though we know it is 0/2 in flight testing so far). The program is a dead end if the glider doesn't work which is/was the biggest risk in terms of the AF went into a weapons program without actually flying the glider hardware first to validate viability and performance (they are doing the same with the scramjet cruise missile BTW).

Glad they left a weapons data-link and other technologies out of the A variant (Navy is working to add a WDL to the TBG glider) otherwise that would have added additional risk and delays. But the critical portion, as far as I'm concerned, is going to be TBG proving that the glide body performs as required. Without that, all you have is just an expensive short-medium range ballistic missile.
Imagine where we'd be if they hadn't up and quit after X-51, HyFly, RATTLRS, HTV-2, etc, but instead kept trying to work the bugs out. I guess, "hey, let's quit because we've got problems, I'm sure it will go smoother if we just wait", isn't a viable strategy.
 

Ronny

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I honestly don't understand how it is possible to screw up the rocket ignition????. If they fuck up the glider then I can understand but the solid rocket booster fail to ignite ?????:rolleyes: That like a mistake that banana republic would have made
 

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So, it just fell into the ocean like HyFly. Awesome. Even Homer Simpson kept the reactor going.
Book plot, these test failures are really successful technology theft operations they actually dropped it right near a Chinese SSN for pick up!!! :oops:;)
No lie, I did just think "sabotage?" as a possible cause.
 

bring_it_on

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I still think that is the least of their worries. Given what's new here is the BGV, the Warhead, and the Booster. Of these, the warhead was successfully tested recently. I assume the booster has done multiple static test firings so I don't see it being a major source of problems resulting in massive delays. But the BGV appears to be the most behind and DARPA seems to be totally silent on the state of that (or the HAWC for that matter even though we know it is 0/2 in flight testing so far). The program is a dead end if the glider doesn't work which is/was the biggest risk in terms of the AF went into a weapons program without actually flying the glider hardware first to validate viability and performance (they are doing the same with the scramjet cruise missile BTW).

Glad they left a weapons data-link and other technologies out of the A variant (Navy is working to add a WDL to the TBG glider) otherwise that would have added additional risk and delays. But the critical portion, as far as I'm concerned, is going to be TBG proving that the glide body performs as required. Without that, all you have is just an expensive short-medium range ballistic missile.
Imagine where we'd be if they hadn't up and quit after X-51, HyFly, RATTLRS, HTV-2, etc, but instead kept trying to work the bugs out. I guess, "hey, let's quit because we've got problems, I'm sure it will go smoother if we just wait", isn't a viable strategy.

To their credit they did immediately pivot and spend a lot of money on hypersonics right after the X-51 program. The AFRL and DARPA collectively poured in excess of a billion dollars into TBG and HAWC starting 2014. There are also a whole host of other scramjet engines that AFRL is testing that are expected to be larger than what's on the HAWC. But you are right, instead of just asking for a higher performing requirements (to the X-51) they should have also kept flying the existing configuration as a test bed which in hindsight would probably have helped. The just took a 5-6 year flight test gap while those new requirements and their technology was developed..
 

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The HAWC vehicles and program is said to be more advanced. If anything the X-51 should have involved multiple engine suppliers like the HAWC. We could have had two teams flying hardware for more than half a decade by now. But now HAWC is doing just that (TBG too has Raytheon as a second supplier) so as long as we stick with two suppliers, and at least two sizes for our S&T and R&D focus we should be in a good place in the medium (5-6 years out) term. If they stick to it (and to their credit multiple administrations, and Congress has continued to increase R&D funding to virtually every program) we could have multiple classes of air-breathing hypersonic vehicles by the end of this decade - early next decade. There will be failures and a lot of short term pain as we pivot from developing and testing glide munitions (which we've essentially focused on for the greater part of the last decade and a half) to more challenging systems. But the industrial capacity is there to make dramatic leaps and if they stick with it..Go back to the initial pains when fielding JASSM. Now the AF wants an inventory of 10,000 JASSM-ER's. I don't think the development of ARRW, HACM etc is going to be very dramatically different.
 
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NMaude

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If anything the X-51 should have involved multiple engine suppliers like the HAWC.
Since the US DoD has paid for the design, development and testing of the X-51A Boeing could build, say, ten new X-51As and do follow on tests using company funds.
 

Kat Tsun

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Mfw Starship explodes a dozen times but ARRW fails a captive carry and a launch ignition.

At least they solved the release problem. Now they need to figure out why it didn't ignite the motor. Slow, but judging by this avant-garde "SpaceX model" of weapons development, ARRW should be ready sometime before 2030. If we consider every failure to actually be a success, both Starship and ARRW have been a litany of successes because they've gotten one (baby) step closer to orbit/target impact with each flight test.

USAF is pushing the boundaries of weapons development by proving it can adopt the same genius methods of "incremental success" as private industry at the same time.

Not really a big deal though I see why there's so much hand wringing about it. Bringing up THAAD is pretty funny though. I don't think AGM-183 will take +30 years or outlive some dozen odd subcontractors before it gets out of its growing pains to the point that we can be certain it can safely and reliably fire and engage targets in a testing range. ARRW is way better managed and has more talent than that.
 
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bring_it_on

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If anything the X-51 should have involved multiple engine suppliers like the HAWC.
Since the US DoD has paid for the design, development and testing of the X-51A Boeing could build, say, ten new X-51As and do follow on tests using company funds.

What's the point? Its old technology and not a weapons concept but merely a demonstrator vehicle. HAWC has built two actual scramjet engine powered weapon concepts (not mere propulsion demonstrators) that have started flying (though we've seen 1 or 2 failures with at least one performer) and is in the process of ramping up their testing. Furthermore, AFRL has worked with both scramjet engine vendors to develop an even more powerful engine that should be transitioned to flight testing in the next five years for a larger application. So they are not short of funding as far as developing new scramjet engines, and testing them. They just have to pick up the pace in flight testing.

HAWC is expected to perform multiple flight tests this year, and next year before concluding. Its follow on USAF program will be launched in FY-22 upon its completion so the technology and research is transitioning. There are additional scramjet development and test opportunities within OSD funded programs. We are not short of programs to fund..we are short on actual testing and having vendors succeed.
 

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For it to be "still on track" would mean that they literally built in a one year buffer on a 4 year program. Unless they cut the original flight test plan, there is really zero chance that they make their original EOC targets. That shouldn't really matter since the four year program was always going to be difficult. The focus should now squarely be on succeeding in testing, and then spinning that into a program of record for an eventual AGM-183B with all the other features that got excluded from the ARRW prototyping effort. If they can have the "B" variant in rate production by 2025, I'd consider this a huge success.
 

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Recent comments about potentially meeting (if RCA and resolution was swift) the next test availability window seems to suggest that they do. Of course there is no point in going into test with it until you've root caused what caused the failure with the last one and implemented the necessary corrected actions.
 

sferrin

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Recent comments about potentially meeting (if RCA and resolution was swift) the next test availability window seems to suggest that they do. Of course there is no point in going into test with it until you've root caused what caused the failure with the last one and implemented the necessary corrected actions.
Bet the root cause of the last test failure could be written on a single sheet of paper.
 

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Recent comments about potentially meeting (if RCA and resolution was swift) the next test availability window seems to suggest that they do. Of course there is no point in going into test with it until you've root caused what caused the failure with the last one and implemented the necessary corrected actions.
Bet the root cause of the last test failure could be written on a single sheet of paper.
Someone fucked up and didn't do their job.
 

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Babione told reporters Aug. 10 the initial examples of the ARRW’s hypersonic glide body will be built at Building 601 at Skunk Works’ Palmdale, Calif., facility at Air Force Plant 42. The company has the capacity to build “8-12” units of ARRW per year at the plant, but Babione didn’t indicate how many years of low-rate production are anticipated.

Once the missile is given the green light for large-scale production, Babione said manufacturing will likely shift to Lockheed Martin’s Missiles and Fire Control facility, which is better for large-scale work.

“We can stand up manufacturing” of hypersonics programs generally at Palmdale “in a relatively short space of time,” he said.

But after that initial pulse of production, “I see a very similar future to the JASSM [AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile] model, where we would develop an early prototype like TBG [Tactical Boost Glide], HAWC [Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept], and then we would find the best place to produce it,” he said.


 

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The ARRW program plans to transition into production next year. Money for that is in the budget. Hopefully it can maintain that but that is subject to what happens in the coming months with testing. The Fiscal Year 2022 budget includes the low rate lot for the prototype weapon. FY-23 will likely include money for another prototype lot. Once the USAF concludes testing, it will likely begin rolling out a formal program of record and defining what that "non prototype" weapon configuration looks like (for beyond "few dozen weapons" inventory). The DARPA "parent program" continues to offer additional options that were not available to ARRW when it was set up. By end of next year, DARPA would have done significant R&D and testing on incorporating a data link into the boost glide vehicle. the second TBG glide vehicle would have also likely flown. Maybe a seeker is what comes next. Regardless, probably a couple of years of low rate prototype production will allow the USAF to field an early operational capability. That's what they can do with an advanced prototyping program. Beyond this, they have to conclude testing and move into full rate production and that means transitioning to a more traditional program (which the ARRW is not).
 

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The ARRW program plans to transition into production next year. Money for that is in the budget. Hopefully it can maintain that but that is subject to what happens in the coming months with testing. The Fiscal Year 2022 budget includes the low rate lot for the prototype weapon. FY-23 will likely include money for another prototype lot. Once the USAF concludes testing, it will likely begin rolling out a formal program of record and defining what that "non prototype" weapon configuration looks like (for beyond "few dozen weapons" inventory). The DARPA "parent program" continues to offer additional options that were not available to ARRW when it was set up. By end of next year, DARPA would have done significant R&D and testing on incorporating a data link into the boost glide vehicle. the second TBG glide vehicle would have also likely flown. Maybe a seeker is what comes next. Regardless, probably a couple of years of low rate prototype production will allow the USAF to field an early operational capability. That's what they can do with an advanced prototyping program. Beyond this, they have to conclude testing and move into full rate production and that means transitioning to a more traditional program (which the ARRW is not).
Right. But it reads like they haven't even seriously thought about talking to companies who might build the production model.
 

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I don't think they will open it up for competition. Lockheed won the EMD competition and will likely continue to produce the glide body (its their proprietary design) it so it's more of a case of defining when the program transitions from prototyping to a program of record and funding that transition. If the FY-23 budget request includes a FYDP we will likely see that being rolled out in the future. Right now I think they will aim to IOC by Fiscal Year 2023 (10-12 months later than originally planned), maintain a few years of low volume prototyping production until a more sustainable program of record is created. They may also decide that the "A" variant just stays as a low volume prototype and what they take into production (call it the "B" variant) is more capable and incorporates the enhancements that DARPA has worked on since ARRW was launched in 2018. At that time they may determine of the Raytheon glider is a better fit but I think Raytheon will likely focus on the Navy need. There's also the son of OpFires which could lead to an Army or Marine requirement so maintaining two TBG designs in production (one at high volume and the other at low volumes) probably makes sense long term.

ARRW's mass production will probably be dictated by testing success. The Congress (so far) has fully funded the R&D ask in FY-22 but cut the production budget from 12 down to 8 but added language that would allow any left over R&D money to be used to buy more rounds. If 12-months from now they've made good progress on testing then I think the USAF will move more rapidly into higher volume production so may decide to transition into higher volume production (few dozen AUR's a year) by 2025.
 
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Bhurki

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Is the blue one ARRW or fuel tank?
View attachment 663386
Probably ARRW, it's certainly no fuel tank - cylindrical body, necked prior to nose.
I thought ARRW is bigger though, this actually make it looks tiny
Aargm-er has a diameter of 12 inches.
According to #212, Arrw has a diameter of 26 inches which, comparitively, looks alright in this model.
Also, the inner hardpoint of F-35 is rated at 5k lbs, so that checks out too.
 

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bring_it_on

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I assume that the 25.9" ARRW diameter is dictated by USAF requirements for range/speed/performance and that the TBG itself doesn't require that because DARPA has a TBG effort underway for integration with Navy's VLS which would make 26" a bit too big for MK41 but compatible with mk-57? Any guesses what the dia is around the neck and the non SRM portion on ARRW?
 

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That would also make VLS integration a lot easier and could explain why DARPA is now pursuing that. Fundamentally altering the BGV may have required more work but then they could just restrict (if its > than 21") to the DDG-1000 class.
 

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Is the blue one ARRW or fuel tank?

ARRW. But the Navy has a very *real* length limitations on what weapons it puts on a CVN. A point that it brings up when talking about adapting USAF/DARPA Hypersonic prototypes/programs for its use.
 

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sferrin

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Is the blue one ARRW or fuel tank?

ARRW. But the Navy has a very *real* length limitations on what weapons it puts on a CVN. A point that it brings up when talking about adapting USAF/DARPA Hypersonic prototypes/programs for its use.
Maybe it comes up on a regular elevator. Maybe it comes up to the deck in two parts that are specifically designed for joining with a minimal of tools (one) and rapid self-test. Where there's a will there is usually a way.
 

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Screaming Arrow addresses Navy's requirements around air-delivered hypersonic as they pertain to the number of weapons it wants to carry, other characteristics, and launch platform. All the Navy's currently funded AL hypersonic efforts specifically mention CVN compatibility and they even include specific reference to AF weapons (20 ft) needing to be shortened by 25% or more to fit its carriers. This just seems to what someone drew up at LM (if it is indeed from the company). The Navy doesn't seem to have a requirement for a AL Boost Glide weapon weighing 5000 or more lbs. so I guess the concept of trying to make a 20 ft weapon fit hasn't come up so far in its hypersonic investments.
 

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