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Stumbled onto this photo today so I thought I'd start a thread about ASALM (the first photo). Any info and images would be appreciated (already checked out Andreas' page).


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I had a look into Gunston's "Encyclopedia of Rockets and Missiles". ASALM is described
as an weapon. with a dual air-to-air and air-to-ground capability and a combined solid fuel
rocket and ramjet. Ground-to-air isn't mentioned, but this book was published already
in 1979.


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I heard about this missile searching data about ramjets (I'm a great fan of spaceplane projects). Demonstrators were the PTV vehicles. At the time, speed record for air-breathing engine was the french Stataltex at mach 4.2. Aparently, one of the PTV accidentaly reached mach 4.5 in 1979, breaking the record (non official of course!)
Archibald said:
I heard about this missile searching data about ramjets (I'm a great fan of spaceplane projects). Demonstrators were the PTV vehicles. At the time, speed record for air-breathing engine was the french Stataltex at mach 4.2. Aparently, one of the PTV accidentaly reached mach 4.5 in 1979, breaking the record (non official of course!)

They got the numbers flipped. It was actually 5.4 (and I've seen 5.5 quoted). The picture with it mounted on the Corsair II was from the USAF's Wright Propulsion Laboratory and the caption mentioned it hit Mach 5.4 at 40,000 feet.
What you see depicted is Martin-Marietta's winning design. The competing entry from Vought was based on their very successful LVRJ test vehicle series. Aesthetically, I prefer the Vought design myself, but that's very much a personal preference.
It would be great (and long over due) if Gunstan would publish a up to date 2006 version of the "Encyclopedia of Rockets and Missiles".
For I have that 1979 edition, and it would have to be one of the best laid out book on rockets & missiles I have yet seen. As well as one of my most used book I have.
Although it would almost have to be double the thickness with the amount of missiles & rockets developed since 1979

Sentinel Chicken said:
It would appear that the rounded triangle cross-section shape of the missile would facilitate carriage on a rotary launcher?

Yep. Basically the idea was to swap SRAM out for ASALM.
Later is better than never - ASALM and ASALM-PTV (Propulsion Technology Validation) vehicle graphics


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A little bit more...


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Factory desktop model of ASALM


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Funny how these things work...Yesterday I started researching ducted ramjet missiles for work (I need to solid model something that looks believable as a hypersonic SEAD future weapon, an S-400 killer if you will), and today I check the forum and find all the info I can possibly need, including three view, cutaway, and cross-sections. If only it were always this easy...
Thanks guys! :)

does anybody have reliable info on the max range, weight and dimensions? I need something that will fly at least some 200nmi to pose a credible threat to the SAM.
AeroFranz said:
Funny how these things work...Yesterday I started researching ducted ramjet missiles for work (I need to solid model something that looks believable as a hypersonic SEAD future weapon, an S-400 killer if you will), and today I check the forum and find all the info I can possibly need, including three view, cutaway, and cross-sections. If only it were always this easy...
Thanks guys! :)

does anybody have reliable info on the max range, weight and dimensions? I need something that will fly at least some 200nmi to pose a credible threat to the SAM.

I've read up to 300 miles and that it was a dual mode ASM/AAM (yes, air to air missile- with a 200kt nuke as it would have used the same W-80 as the cruise missiles.) As for the size and weight my guess would be in the neighborhood of a SRAM or AGM-86A as it was to fit the same rotary launcher.
AeroFranz said:
Funny how these things work...Yesterday I started researching ducted ramjet missiles for work (I need to solid model something that looks believable as a hypersonic SEAD future weapon, an S-400 killer if you will),

If you want one of those you'll want to use this one as it's more along the lines of what's in the works for a future ARM.,3411.0/highlight,aargm.html

Pay particular attention to the one hanging off the F-4 as that was a test from just a few months ago.
There are enough info on ASALM proposed range and dimensions on the net, Flight International archive has many interesting stuff, too...and yes, AAM use is confirmed - FI has an article on that.
Found somewhere on the net


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Pioneer said:
It would be great (and long over due) if Gunston would publish a up to date 2006 version of the "Encyclopedia of Rockets and Missiles".
For I have that 1979 edition, and it would have to be one of the best layed out book on rockets & missiles I have yet seen. As well as one of my most used book I have.
Although it woulsd almost have to be double the thickness with the amount of missiles & rockets developed since 1979

Good it was;mine is never far from my desk. But it sold in only modest quantities, which ruled out any chance of the publisher investing money in a revised edition.
ASALM chapter from Nuclear Weapons Databook, Volume I


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Martin Marietta ASALM ad from 1978


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What with the proliferation of advanced and capable AEW/AWACS throughout the military world, I think a conventionally-armed variant of the ASALM, would have made an excellent ‘AWACS killer’ for the likes of the USAF F-15's & USN F-14's
I can envisage this ‘AWACS killer’ ASALM variant with its 300-mile range and Mach 4+ speed taking down the likes of A-50 ‘Mainstay’s’
Not unlike that of the Russian’s own ‘AWACS killer’ Novotor KS-172 (P-172/K-172) air-to-air missile, only a decade earlier!

Pyrrhic victory said:
Frontal view of MM and McDD entries into ASALM

Can you point the source paper? Thanks in advance!
1977 ASALM Concept being launched from B-1A.


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From the Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles web site:

Martin Marietta ASALM

In 1976, the US Air Force issued a requirement for a new air-launched missile called ASALM (Advanced Strategic Air-Launched Missile). ASALM was intended as a nuclear-armed replacement for the AGM-69 SRAM (Short-Range Attack Missile) with a longer range and a much higher speed. Apart from its primary strategic air-to-ground mission, the missile was planned to have a secondary air-to-air role against AWACS (Airborne Warning And Control System) aircraft coordinating the enemy's air defenses. ASALM would have used inertial guidance in the cruise phase, and would have been equipped with a dual-mode seeker for terminal guidance against ground or air targets. The missile was to be of the same size as the SRAM so that it could be used from the same launchers. Two airframe/propulsion teams competed for the ASALM development contract, these being Martin Marietta/Marquardt and McDonnell Douglas/UTC.

The major innovation in ASALM was the integrated rocket/ramjet propulsion system. A solid-fueled rocket motor accelerated the missile to supersonic speed, when the now empty rocket casing served as the combustion chamber for the ramjet sustainer. Before ramjet ignition, an aerodynamic cover on the ramjet intake and the rocket nozzle were ejected. Between October 1979 and May 1980, seven flight tests of propulsion technology validation (PTV) vehicles were successfully conducted. These PTV vehicles were probably closely related to the Marquardt LASRM (Low-Altitude Short Range Missile), which reportedly tested integrated rocket/ramjet technology under Air Force program 655A. In one of the PTV tests, the missile accidentally accelerated beyond the planned speed, and eventually reached Mach 5.5 at 12200 m (40000 ft)! The planned cruise speed for operational ASALM missions was to be around Mach 4.5 for a range of about 480 km (300 miles).

ASALM development was put on hold after the completion of the PTV flights in 1980, and later cancelled. I have found no explicit reasons for the cancellation, but it was most likely connected to budget restrictions and the concurrent development of the AGM-86 ALCM (Air-Launched Cruise Missile).

In 1983, Martin Marietta submitted a derivative of its ASALM design as a candidate in the U.S. Navy's YAQM-127A SLAT (Supersonic Low-Altitude Target) competition. The design was eventually selected as winner, but SLAT was cancelled after the initial test phase.

NOTE: Data given by several sources show slight variations.

Data for ASALM:
Length: 4.3 m (14 ft)
Speed: Mach 4.5
Range: 480 km (300 miles)
Propulsion: Marquardt integrated rocket/ramjet
Warhead: Thermonuclear (possibly W-69 (200 kT))

Main Sources
[1] Bill Gunston: "The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rockets and Missiles", Salamander Books Ltd, 1979
[2] R.T. Pretty (ed.): "Jane's Weapon Systems 1982-83", Jane's, 1983
I am very surprised that a missile program could be that advanced without ever getting a proper M- designation... After all, there was a prototype and proof that it was launched from a Corsair II. So many missiles got an M- number before they even left the drawing board... and some actually never did! Why is that, then? If the ASALM had been a private venture, it would not have carried the USAF markings all over, right?


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Priceless! When are the t-shirts available? :)
From AvWeek:

Aviation Week & Space Technology

March 1, 1976

Supersonic Air-Launch Missile Award Set

BYLINE: By Michael L. Yaffee


LENGTH: 1172 words

DATELINE: Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio

Advanced strategic air-launched missile (ASALM) program will move into high gear this week as the Air Force Aeronautical Systems Div. awards a contract to the winner of the $40 million propulsion validation flight test program.

McDonnell Douglas and Martin Marietta are competing for the prime contract. Both companies were awarded $3 million, 30-month technology integration study (TIS) contracts in June, 1974, on ASALM. For this work, Martin teamed with Marquard on propulsion and McDonnell Douglas teamed with United Technologies.

The new program will extend over 39 months and will extend over 39 months and will cover flight testing of several vehicles. The exact number of flight test vehicles and the launching platform will be determined by the prime contractor. First flight test could take place in approximately 28 months from contract signing. Marquardt's integral rocket/ramjet (IRR) engine will be used in the flight test program.

Pricipal goal of the flight test program is to prove the feasibility of the IRR concept. The advanced strategic air-launched missile is still referred to as a technology program rather than a missile program (AW&ST Dec. 16, 1974, p. 54). For one thing, the Air Force and government do not want this wupersonic strategic missile concept connected or confused in any way with the subsonic air- and sealaunched cruise missiles playing a crucial part in current SALT negotiations.

At the same time, ASALM, which is carried in the budget under the strategic bomber penetration program, is designed, at least initially to conform to the volume constraint of the Boeing SRAM launcher designed for use on the B-52, FB-111 and B-1 bombers. Studies carrier out over the past few years indicate that the integral rocket/ramjet engine -- in which the same combustion chamber is used for both the solid rocket booster and the subsequent ramjet sustainer propulsion system -- offers the optimum approach for providing the advanced strategic air-launched missile with maximum speed and range.

United Technologies Chemical Systems Div. and the Marquart Div. of CCI Corp. are the two competing engine contractors on the ASALM technology integration study program for the IRR engine. Earlier this year, the Air Force awarded Thiokol Corp. a contract to provide both engine companies with the solid propellant rocket motor.

United Technologies and Marquardt are pursuing slightly different approaches to the IRR engine, but the basic propulsion concepts are the same. Initials propulsion after launch is provided by the rocket motor, which will boost the vehicle to supersonic speeds. After the rocket motor has burned out, the inlet fairing -- both prime contracts have settled on a single, chin-mounted inlet -- and the rocket motor nozzle will be ejected or blown off, leaving the missile with a more efficient ramjet nozzle design and opening the airflow passage into the combustion chamber. After an extremetly brief delay, the high density hydrocarbon ramjet fuel, Shelldyne H (AW&ST Jan. 26, p. 111) will start to flow into the combustion chamber, mix with the incoming air, be ignited and burn subsocinically.

Fuel controls for the ramjet propulsion system are still considered a crucial part of the ASALM technology program. The air-launched missile, whether on an air-to-ar or air-to-ground mission, will have to operate efficiently over a wide range of velocities and altitudes. This will require a complex energy management system with fairly high throttleability ratios up to approximately 20:1. Use of a throttleable ramjet propulzion system provides ASALM with both terminal velocity and maneuverability -- which a straight rocket propulsion system would not -- for intercepting high speed, maneuvering targets after extended flight.

For the upcoming ASALM propulsion technology validation program both McDonnell Douglas and Martin have preselected the Marquardt IRR engine as a result of their own private competitions last summer. But because Martin and McDonnell Douglas are intimately familiar with both propulsion companies' engines, it is conceivalbe but unlikely that the winner of the prime flight test validation program could elect to go with the United Technologies engine.

Marquardt held its own solicitation for solid propellant rocket motor suppliers for the propulsion technology validation program to which Thiokol elected not to respond. Consequently, Marquardt selected another solid motor contractor for its flight test integral rocket/ramjet engine. It would not reveal the company's name at this time but did tell AW&ST that it planned to stick with its rocket motor choice unless directed by the Air Force to use Thiokol, which the Air Force selected for the technology integration study.

United Technologies Chemical Systems Div.'s integral rocket/ramjet engine will still be a viable candidate for an atual advanced strategic air-launched missile program that could follow the successful propulsion technology validation program, now in negotiation, that will be based on the Marquardt IRR engine.

If the upcoming flight test program proves the IRR propulsion concept feasible and optimal for an advanced strategic air-launched missile, an Air Force officer said, then the ongoing ASALM technology integration studies at McDonnell Douglas with United Technologies and Martin with Marquardt will take on new importance with respect to whatever gains each has made in achieving its goals of advancing basic ASALM technology.

In terms of missions and concepts, the advanced stragetic air-launched missile has come to include roles and vehicles that in the past have been referred to as the multi-purpose missile, the bomber defense missile, the short-range bomber defense missile and, even in some circles, the short range attack missile, which it is now officially designed to complement. For the future, it is conceivable that if could find other applications such as a long-range, low altitude, supersonic penetrator, or even tactical uses.

Currently, however, it is envisioned as a potential missile primarily for two airlaunched attack missions. In one air-to-air application, it would be designed to destroy an enemy airborne early warning and control aircraft before it could pick up and identify U.S. strategic bombers, or, failing this, destroy enemy interceptor aircraft and missiles. Its second major mission would be air-to-surface in which its purpose would be to detroy ground strategic targets from ranges beyond enemy defenses.

There will be no guidance system requirements for the upcoming propulsion technology validation flight test program other than whatever is needed to meet range safety requirements, according to the Air Force. As part of its ASLAM technology integration studies, however, the Aeronautical Systems Div. awarded raytheon Missile Systems Div. A $1,478,085 contract and Rockwell International Missile Systems Div. a $1,242,929 contract for ASALM guidance technology work.
Aviation Week & Space Technology
June 20, 1977

USAF Launches Bomber Weapon Study

BYLINE: By Katherine Johnsen
LENGTH: 605 words
DATELINE: Washington

Air Force is launching a major study of weapons for its Rockwell International B-1, Boeing B-52 and General Dynamics B-111 strategic bomber forces so that recommendations on the mix of attack missiles, cruise missiles and gravity bombs can be submitted to Congress with the Fiscal 1979 budget next January. The Senate Armed Services Committee urged the Defense Dept. to undertake the study in its report on the $35-billion Fiscal 1978 authorization for weapons systems.

"This review should define a durable and integrated development plan," the committee said, "which will inform continuing decisions about how rich a mix of weapons developments is required, how those developments should be paced, critical weapons characteristics and criteria regarding inventory size and composition."

The committee also reopened two controversial issues:

* Whether top priority in development and procurement should revert to the 168-in.-long A variant of the Boeing airlaunched cruise missile (ALCM-A). This was the Air Force's original plan. But the Defense Dept. ordered emphasis on the 228-in.-long ALCM-B with an 18-month program speed-up to meet an initial operating capability (IOC) by mid-1980. Fuel for extended range, electronic countermeasures or other equipment could be accommodated in the 60-in. additional length (AW&ST Apr. 18, p. 19).

* Whether the long-range, supersonic Martin Marietta-Marquardt advanced strategic air-launched missile (ASALM) technology program should be accelerated. ASALM could be the follow-on to both the ALCM and the Boeing short-range attack missile (SRAM) (AW&ST Mar. 1, p. 24). The Senate Armed Services Committee added $13 million to accelerate the program and counter Defense Dept. opposition that favors slowdown or cancellation. The $13 million is the maximum the Air Force said could be used efficiently in Fiscal 1978.

The ALCM-A should come first, the Senate committee said, "and the ALCM-B later, if necessary."

"The accelerated IOC seemed risky even with the ALCM-A," the committee said. "But the ALCM-B has not even been fabricated, let alone flight-tested. . . . Therefore, it is highly unlikely that Air Force could comply with the Defense Dept.'s direction to develop the ALCM-B first and to accelerate the program without increased costs or unacceptable risk."

In testimony to the committee, Lt. Gen. Alton D. Slay, deputy chief of staff for research and development, said: "I would say keep the A and let the B slip."

Navy Capt. Walter M. Locke, joint cruise missile program manager, was optimistic that the operational target date can be met if ALCM-B flight testing is started in 1978, instead of 1979. With flight testing in 1978, he told the committee "the program would then become low risk."

The Senate committee also is concerned that the ALCM-B cannot be delivered by the B-1 because of its length, and delivery carried internally in the FB-111 (two), the B-52 (eight) or the B-1 (24).

The system would operate as a rocket initially to gain speed and then as a ramjet in supersonic flight. Assignment would be defended hard targets.

Current plans call for concluding propulsion technology development flight demonstration in Fiscal 1979. With the $13 million additional funding, it is estimated an initial operating capability could be achieved in Fiscal 1984. The total research and development cost between Fiscal 1978 and Fiscal 1985 would be about $675 million.

If this course if followed, ASALM missiles would start replacing SRAM-A missiles in the mid-1980s to give a mix of SRAM-B and ASLM on the penetrating bomber force.

Aviation Week & Space Technology
April 7, 1980

USAF to Curb ASALM Hardware Pace

LENGTH: 286 words
DATELINE: Washington

Air Force will curtail the advanced strategic air-launched missile (ASALM) to emphasize proof-of-principle, rather than development of prototype hardware.

An official said the Air Force will sustain ASALM at a low technology level while looking for an alternative way to counter the Soviet Union's airborne warning and control aircraft.
ASALM development has emphasized combining air-to-air capability with the air-to-ground mission of the short-range attack missile (SRAM) (AW&ST Jan. 29, 1979, p. 133).

Martin Marietta's ASALM propulsion technology validation test vehicle has completed five of seven planned tests at the White Sands Missile Range, N.M. officials expect to complete the program this month. However, the first Defense Systems Acquisition Review Council, scheduled for this month, is canceled.

The program focus was going to be on air-to-air guidance. Now, the goal is to prove the principle through laboratory work.

"This means less development of an operational piece of hardware," a Pentagon official said. "The cheaper way is proof of principle. The argument has been made that once we do that, we could go into full-scale development with a modest risk, should the threat justify it. We'll look at a set of alternatives based on ECM [electronic countermeasures] techniques and SRAM L."

The Air Force has studied SRAM L, which is supersonic like the current SRAM and ASALM, as an extended-range weapon.

The ASALM program was estimated to cost $140 million. So far, no decision has been made on how future funding will be structured to phasing down the system's development. The Air Force request for Fiscal 1981 was $25.7 million in research and development funds.
Aviation Week & Space Technology
June 30, 1980

Rocket Ramjet Tests Meet Expectations

LENGTH: 1641 words
DATELINE: Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio

Chin-inlet-equipped integral rocket ramjet has met all expectations of officials who had hoped that it would power the advanced strategic air-launched missile (ASALM).

While those aspirations have been dampened by a curtailment of the ASALM hardware pace (AW&ST Apr. 7, p. 16), Aeronautical Systems Div. officers here are proud of advances engendered by the propulsion technology validation vehicle (PTV) for which testing was completed on May 20.

Meanwhile, they are awaiting word from the Defense Dept. on how ASALM proof of principle, rather than development of prototype hardware, will be pursued. During a Mar. 28 briefing, high-level Pentagon officials decided that the first Defense Systems Acquisition Review Council for ASALM would be canceled. Their rationale was twofold -- the 142.4-million cost of a 44-month subsystem demonstration validation program and uncertainty about the threat.

"The SUAWACS [Soviet Union Airborne Warning and Control System] is projected but is not actually in being," a point paper said. "Even if the threat develops as projected, [the office of the secretary of Defense] is not convinced ASALM is the only solution."

An Air Force official at the Pentagon said that from 1981 through 1983, both non-lethal measures -- decoys, communications jamming and electronic counter-measures -- and lethal measures will be considered for the mission. The second category will include ASALM and SRAM-L, a Boeing proposal for an extended-range missile to fill the Strategic Air Command's air-to-air and air-to-ground role (AW&ST Mar. 10,p. 15). The current Boeing SRAM is not an air-to-air weapon. Meanwhile, plans call for continued examination of the integral rocket ramjet and air-to-air guidance.

Up to the slowdown decision, the Air Force had spent about $130 million on ASALM, including less than $65 million for the PTV. Along the way, McDonnell Douglas and Martin Marietta, which already had fulfilled contracts for technology integration, were selected to demonstrate captive-flight tests of air-to-air guidance incorporating active radar and antiradiation homing. Avionics contractors were to be Hughes for Martin Marietta and Raytheon fro McDonnell Douglas.

If ASALM had gone ahead, DSARC 2, leading into full-scale engineering development, would have been planned for late 1983, with a production decision set for 1986 and initial operational capability in the late 1980s.

That process has been slowed, but not before propulsion was validated. Maj. Don Hartman, PTV program manager, said every goal was achieved in a program that began more than four years ago and culminated with seven flight tests that started last October on a modified Vought A-7 at White Sands Missile Range, N.M. The contractor was Martin Marietta, with Marquardt as the propulsion subcontractor and Hercules, Inc., McGregor, Tex., subcontracting to Marquardt for the rocket motor.

The PTV itself was a base vehicle with standardized avionics. Its one purpose was to demonstrate the chin-inlet-equipped integral rocket ramjet technique. As an example of PTV performance, it was launched at 26,000 ft. on its seventh flight, then reached a cruising altitude of 80,000 ft. before beginning a powered descent. At 9,000 ft., the dive ended and fuel ran out after a 290-mi. flight. In another 10 mi., the PTV impacted as expected.

The vehicle met specifications by performing at very low as well as high altitudes and at a wide range of Mach numbers. Col. William Lewark, ASALM program manager, explained that from Mach 2 to Mach 5, a ramjet is the most efficient form of propulsion, which has been enhanced by the chin inlet. Other integral rocket ramjets have had external boosters that did not provide the volumetric efficiency of the chin mount. "We've progressed to the chin inlet and a bigger flight envelope," Lewark said. "That is now captured technology. "External booters also are not desirable for a SRAM rack.

One concern officials had as testing got under way was the challenge inherent in using one chamber for both the rocket and the ramjet. The aft end has two nozzles, with the rocket nozzle inside the ramjet nozzle. At the forward end of the PTV, where air enters, there is a frangible glass dome acting as a seal during the 5-sec. rocket burn just after the vehicle is dropped from an aircraft.

At the ramjet takeover speed of more than Mach 2, the inner nozzle is released and the glass dome is shattered by a small charge. With the air now flowing in for ramjet operation, a flare ignites the fuel, RJ-5, a heavy hydrocarbon about 20% denser than JP-5.

"We were concerned about ramjet takeover at low altitude," Hartman said. "Our fifth flight test was designed deliberately to explore the subcritical operating region, with a successive series of step-downs in Mach numbers, then an acceleration out of it. Based on that, we felt we had the capability for low-altitude transition, which was performed on the sixth mission."

The PTV, a proof-of-principle vehicle, is ready for the full-scale engineering development phase, officials said. The only problems encountered were solved. As an example, there were concerns about finding a ramjet combustion chamber insulation that could stand up to temperatures of 3,600F. The answer proved to be silicon rubber and a netting of stainless steel ribbon welded to the wall in small hoops.

The development of that propulsion technology may have to wait, along with the rest of the ASALM program. In its stead for the foreseeable future is a SRAM motor recertification program that amounts to a minimum skills retention program designed to keep alive what one official called a "warm production base."

The total SRAM buy of 1,500 units started in 1972 and ended in August, 1975. After that ran out, Lockheed, the original propulsion contractor, was out of the SRAM engine business.

Now the recertification is being done by Thiokol as a subcontractor to Boeing. Although the program was meant to be a duplication of the earlier motor effort, Thiokol replaced the propellant with a new one that doubles the design motor life to 10 years. The change is from carboxyterminated polybutadiene to a hydroxyterminated polybutadiene.

The production program calls for 16 motors each in Fiscal 1980 and 1981, 12 of which will be delivered to the Air Force each year. The cost is $11.9 million this year and $13.1 million in 1981. The nozzle subcontractor is Kaiser Aerotech of San Leandro, Calif.

The next area of risk, as it would have applied to ASALM, was to have been air-to-air guidance, an area in which threat postulation is vital but still cloudy.

"We have to tack assumption on the threat," one official said. "If the threat is sophisticated, we're looking for extremely long-range launches at maximum range, and we'll have to shrink down the package and subsystems. It would be at the very extreme of the radar horizon. So, thermal guidance could require a capability beyond what we have.

"The challenge is a multimode guidance system and logical transition one to the other. A typical problem for ASALM is packaging. The high-speed, high-external-temperature challenge is to shield the equipment and make it survivable."

The desired capability is for midcourse guidance to the engagement area, then a terminal sensor for transition, with antiradiation homing and active radar performing those respective roles. "The remaining technical challenges," Leward said, "are long-range passive location of the target from a bomber, long-range antiradiation homing and relatively sophisticated radar guidance for the close-in end game."

A driving factor for the use of active radar is the acquisition of a non-radiating target, while the antiradiation homing capability would be invaluable in a cluttered electromagnetic environment where discrimination among interfering emissions is a necessity.

While formulating such needs, ASALM development officials realized that long-range passive detection was of sufficient moment to be picked out for separate attention. They received permission to award a contract, which went to Boeing for Prose (passive ranging on scanning emitters). It will be a proof-of-principle concept. The hardware will be delivered here soon. Flight testing will start inSeptember on a Boeing C-135, which will be used against a non-interfering Boeing E-3A early warning aircraft.

In terms of the ASALM launch platform, planners were expecting an essentially open system that would be relatively insensitive to its carrier configuration. At 168 in. long, ASALM would be SRAM-sized and therefore easily affixed to a rotary launcher or pylon.

Extending SRAM's range by adding a motor is at the heart of what Boeing has proposed for SRAM-L, which also could fill the air-to-air role, Air Force officials said. One opinion holds that antiradiation homing could be installed without great difficult, but the addition of active radar may raise the cost too far. Still, SRAM-L is being supported as an overall cost saver because it would be based on an existing system. Boeing did a $150,000 study of the idea last year.

Officials here summed up SRAM-L's advantages: relatively quick availability; lower cost than ASALM; adequate effectiveness against unsophisticated platforms, and a smaller radar signature. That last item has been of concern to ASALM planners, who said radar signature problems go up with the presence of ramjet inlets. Also, Lewark said, "The better the radar signature, the less sophisticated are the guidance requirements."

On the negative side for SRAM-L are: possibility of unacceptable length; somewhat range-limited, particularly at low altitudes, and the probability of limited effectiveness against the sophisticated SUAWACS.
Boy, you certainly don't read about high speed airbreathing programs being that successful today, even with our fancy computers, CFD, "experience" etc. A shame. In hindsight, given the timeframe, I'm wondering if maybe they were thinking about stealth aircraft dealing with SUAWACS instead.
Thanks for these contributions, Bruno. I removed the bold type on your posts for better readability.
sferrin said:
Boy, you certainly don't read about high speed airbreathing programs being that successful today,

Well I actually posted these articles after reading the LRASM thread. Can't agree with you more about the US always choosing the slow stuff. We( I say "we" because I am American) are definitely NOT into pushing the edge like we used to and we have been in this mode for a long time. For Ex: the manned space program post-Apollo, the SSC was defunded(Super Conducting Super Collider) three times more powerful than CERN's LHC, overall loss of multiple aerospace companies, etc.

At least we increased funding for something really worthwhile like midnight basketball! ???
sferrin said:
I'm wondering if maybe they were thinking about stealth aircraft dealing with SUAWACS instead.

I haven't read the whole article but it may help you.

Aviation Week & Space Technology

January 29, 1979

Advanced Bomber, Missile in Definition

BYLINE: By Craig Covault

SECTION: SPECIAL REPORT: US AIR FORCE; Research and Development: Changing Patterns; Pg. 113

LENGTH: 2808 words

DATELINE: Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio

U.S. Air Force is in the earliest stages of defining a new strategic manned bomber and advanced technology cruise missile. Both could be operational by the early 1990s to replace the Boeing B-52 or cruise missile system currently under development.

About $15 million is being requested in Fiscal 1980 for the new bomber program.

Aeronautical Systems Div.hs advanced cruise missile study has been geared toward identifying key technologies for such weapons. But technology projections for the 1990s have proved difficult because potentially important subcontractors are concentrating on the near term and have provided little far-term enginneering development forecasts for incorporation into the USAF long-range planning, researchers here said.

Although strategic planners here see a serious need for early planning for an advanced survivable cruise missile carrier to go along with a new missile, Congress failed to provide funding for this technology work. Eingineers here foresee survivability problems with some of the current cruise missile carrier aircraft candidates because most of them have not been designed with strategic strike and survival in mind. The new manned bomber will be a factor in advanced cruise missile development.

The Rockwell International B-1 earlier terminated by President Jimmy Carter and the General Dynamics FB-111H reengined version of the operational FB-111A, both terrain-following bombers, will be considered along with more-advanced designs in the new manned bomber program.

Termination of the B-1 program in 1977 has not dampened USAF insistence that manned strategic bombers must be considered as strong candidates for the future. The course of the new manned bomber program will be strongly dependent on decisions made in the cruise missile carrier aircraft (CMCA) program, which Aeronautical Systems Div. planners view as a program competing for funds and manpower.

Basic questions on strategic attack aircraft are being reexamined under the new bomber program. These are:

* Penetration capability -- "We are seeing the standoff and penetration concepts coming closer together," according to USAF Capt. Milton Moores, ASD project manager for the conceptual phase of the new manned bomber program. The new bomber may be a merging of the two concepts, he said. Cruise missile carriers may have to be hardened more as the threat moves outward from enemy frontiers and attacking missiles are going to have to be placed in longer-range aircraft. "The word 'bomber' may be a misnomer because the aircraft will carry cruise missiles, whether it is designed 'hard' to penetrate [low] or designed to stand off at higher altitudes," Moores said.

* Penetration altitude -- There are indications USAF is considering a move away from today's low-level penetrator to an extremely high-altitude/high-speed bomber. "Some people in very high places talk about very high/very fast penetrators," Moores said.

Soviet threats are making bomber penetration of the USSR increasingly difficult. Computer war games conducted under the advanced cruise missile study here showed that with the projected 1995 air defense threat, penetration by B-1/B-52 type aircraft could result in loss of most of the bombers before they launched their advanced technology cruise missiles.

Use of B-1/B-52 type aircraft against a 1995 Soviet threat has inherent inaccuracies because by 1995 technology should have improved beyond the B-1/B-52 stage, but the computer analysis employed the most advanced electronic countermeasures and lethal bomber defense systems envisioned and still resulted in very high penetrator losses prior to cruise missile launch.

All potential bomber concepts will be studied during the early phases of the new bomber program. While extremely high and fast aircraft will be given consideration, recent advanced bomber studies show that once an aircraft is designed for speeds above Mach 1, its life-cycle and development costs climb dramatically. The studies show that supersonic speed, at least in a low-level environment, may not add commensurately more survivability when compared to bomber defense systems and low radar cross-section techniques that will increase survivability over today's capabilities in those areas.

Aeronautical Systems Div.'s deputy for development planning was asked by the USAF Air Staff in late 1978 to prepare a preliminary development plan for the new manned bomber.

This is in advance of the formal USAF new manned bomber mission element needs statement planned soon and a USAF program management directive which will give formal approval for the development effot. Studies that will be used by USAF to draft the new mission element needs statement and will be used as key early guides to the program are:

* Innovative strategic aircraft design study -- This effort was conducted originally by Boeing and Rockwell International to identify possible bomber designs that could be follow-ons to the B-1 once it entered service. The basic data will be useful in the initial new manned bomber work, even though innovative strategic aircraft design studies (ISADS) concepts may be too advanced technically for the current project. The ISADS concepts were geared to a B-1 replacement, but the current new bomber project is oriented toward a B-52 replacement. This makes the ISADs data somewhat too advanced for the current project.

* Strategic bomber study -- Performed by General Research Corp. of Santa Barbara. Calif., for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the study evaluated the B-1, FB-111H, the effect of extensive B-52 modifications and the potential for new bomber designs to identify weaknesses and possible options for the future. One conclusion reached was that an FB-111H model would be an extremely expensive way to proceed. The General Research Corp. study is a major input to the mission element needs statement.

* Strategic Air Command requirement for operational capability -- Also known as a statement of operational need, this document is just being completed by SAC and will support development of a new manned bomber.

* New manned bomber requirements study -- This is a joint SAC/ASD project that will examine the technical requirements for a new aircraft. First results from this effort are expected in late 1979 and will spell out deficiencies that must be addressed in future systems.

* Strategic bomber enhancement program -- This is a group of related efforts that together will be used to assess the status of technology related to strategic systems. It will not only address bombers from an airframe standpoint, but also areas such as cruise missile avionics that can affect attack planning for this leg of the triad.

ASD will use funds in Fiscal 1979 planned for general strategic work to initiate the new manned bomber program since the new program element, designated 63251F, has no designated Fiscal 1979 funds. Money to evaluate alternative concepts will be requested in Fiscal 1980.

Concept Timetable

First Defense System Acquisition Review Council meeting on the project could select the new manned bomber concepts in Fiscal 1981. A systems program office then would contract for a demonstration validation phase that could run through Fiscal 1984, with a full-scale engineering development program starting possibly as early as Fiscal 1985, leading to possible production of an operational aircraft in about 1988.

Generally, it is believed a new bomber would have to have electronics hardened at least to the B-1 level and require electronic countermeasures and active defensive systems such as gunds or missiles, no matter how much progress is made in radar cross-section reduction.

The biggest technology area will be radar cross-section reduction from both a materails and structures standpoint.

The innovative strategic aircraft design study considered many innovative concepts that will be examined for application to the new manned bomber. These include forward-swept wing and flying-wing span loader designs, as well as ground effects machines. Nuclear propulsion and laser defensive systems also were identified but not viewed as likely for application to the new manned bomber program.

Rockwell supplied USAF with five possible new bomber concepts in the innovative strategic aircraft study and Boeing supplied six. No one in USAF or the contractors believes the designs or costs estimated for the designs are anything but extremely preliminary ideas on what could be designed 10-15 years from now. The designs or costs are not going to be directly transferable to the new bomber program because the program is keyed to a more near-term aircraft than the study considered.They do offer a starting point to work from, however, and are useful from the standpoint of showing what engineers believe could evolve.

The contractors submitted several versions of the flying wing or span loader. Life-cycle costs roughly estimated for these span loader designs were among the lowest for all the aircraft emerging from the study.

The $12-13.6 billion range in life-cycle costs for these aircraft spread over 15-20 years were lower than other designs because span loaders have relatively simple structures in which the entire simple structures in which the entire aircraft is an airfoil. The basic flying wing carries a 50,000-lb, payload, the same as the B-1. Two other possible span loader versions showed extremely low radar cross-sections and possible laser defense systems.

The aircraft would hae short takeoff capability. The ride in the low-level environment could be a problem because of aerodynamic characteristics. Advanced active controls now available could be applied to prevent stability problems that earlier flying wings encountered.

Boeing also investigated turboprops, but analysis showed that the extensive moving parts required raised costs. Radar cross-section also was increased by turboprop propulsion.

This study dictated that all aircraft concepts had to be able to fly unrefueled strike missions into Soviet territory from U.S. bases. The new manned bomber program now under way, however, would use tankers.

A more near-term conventional design created by Boeing was an aircraft about 50% the size of a B-52, which would use two moderate-bypass-ratio engines for subsonic cruise and attack from low-level, terrain-following flight. This design also had a 25:1 thrust-to-weight ratio engine in the rear that would be used for takeoff and landing only.

Both contractors' supersonic concepts were swing-wing designs with a life-cycle cost of almost $20 billion or about $6 billion more than the most expensive subsonic concept.

Rockwell pursued only one span loader flying concept and concentrated on low radar cross-section as this concept's key advantage. A laser-defended delta-wing vehicle that would use two dimensional engine nozzles for thrust control was considered a possible design, as was a double delta design described as having minimum weight characteristics.

A low-cost, high-performance penetrator with forward-swept wings and canards was another Rockwell concept. Rockwell International and Grumman have been doing considerable design work on forward-sweep concepts for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and USAF to simplify overall aircraft manufacturing by allowing a constant chord wing and canard.

Engine technologies for an advanced cruise missile are an entirely different story. Powerplant technology must make significant strides to achieve the performance desired for these weapons.

Advanced cruise missile airframe studies have been performed by Boeing, McDonnell douglas and General Dynamics/Convair. A mission analysis phase of the study effort has been conducted by Martin Marietta and Rockwell International.

The studies involved strategic strike situations for 1995-2000 and evaluated the availability of technology in 1990-1995.It is possible, however, that advanced cruise missile development and production could be started somewhat earlier than these study dates imply, according to Richard R. Stalder, who manages advanced cruise missile studies for ASD's strategic planning directorate.

Primary missions evaluated were prime strategic strike, defense suppression and anti-airborne warning and control system for an air-to-air version of the vehicle. Four specific performance regions were studied from the standpoint of both low-and high-altitude attack. These are.

* Subsonic cruise missile powered by a turbofan engine.

* Subsonic cruise/Supersonic dash missile powered by a duct-burning turbofan or turboramjet.

* Supersonic cruise missile powered by a turbojet or integral rocket ramjet.

* Hypersonic cruise missile flying at Mach 6 at altitudes of 150,000-200,000 ft. and powered by a supersonic combustion ramjet better known as a scramjet.

Bulk of the highly secret studies were completed last month, although the three contracts have been extended for studies for an additional six months on the most promising concepts.

Each of the three contractors has derived 30-40 possible cruise missile configurations, which are now being sifted to find the most viable designs for potential missions.

Ranges of 700 mi. to 2,800 mi. have been evaluated because it is uncertain whether the aircraft that will carry these weapons would be penetrators or launch the missiles from a standoff position.

Ability of cruise missiles to perform other roles, such as electronic countermeasures and reconnaissance, also was evaluated.

An extensive amount of threat and performance analysis has been done on the configurations to decide what concepts should be pursued further.

Threat projections, mission analysis and technology projections all have been applied in reaching initial configuration. This process then has been followed by a one-on-one threat analysis and overall engagement analysis to identify critical technologies that ASD will recommend USAF pursue starting with the Fiscal 1980 budget, the first year the advanced technology cruise missile will have a dedicated project office here in Dayton.

Key technologies that have been identified are the following:

* Stealth technology.

* Engines and fuels.

* Avionics.

"Stealth cannot be overemphasized," Stalder said. "Those technologies are really not here today so there are going to have to be a lot of research dollars put into them."

Propulsion Crucial

Propulsion would be "the long pole in the tent" if USAF decides to develop an advanced cruise missile for earlier than the mid-1990s, which is possible, Stalder said.

To get the ranges envisioned and in some concepts the speeds, significant engine work is required to obtain suitable specific fuel consumption figures to keep the design of the missile small.

Most significant technology work here is not under USAF, but rather the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. DARPA is contracting with both Garrett and Teledyne for concepts of advanced turbofan engines with much better specific fuel consumption than current engines. This is difficult because cruise missile engines are extremely constrained as to parts size.

In order to overcome size limitations, Teledyne is pursuing a configuration where the last spool has been pulled off an engine, allowing the construction of a larger turbine section and larger final compressor stage, with gases then rerouted back through the engine via the exhaust nozzle. Garrett is working on a "combined compound cycle" taht uses a high-speed diesel engine to enhance engine compression capabilities, Stalder said.

New fuels that can provide more energy per pound than conventional fuels also will be a factor. Slurry fuels, which involve elements such as carbon imbedded in a hydrocarbon fuel, are being evaluated by the USAF Aeropropulsion Laboratory. Hydrocarbon-based fuels wuld be used in the turbofans, with boron slurries used possibly in integral rocket ramjet engines. USAF advanced strategic air-launched missile (ASALM) work has developed integral rocket ramjet technology that could be a part of an advanced cruise missile, as has the U.S. Navy. NASA has done scramjet work, but this has been a low-priority propulsion area beacause of a lack of funding.

Magnetic bubble memory technology allowing extraordinary data storage capability in extremely small packages will be a key technology that will enable highly accurate guidance systems to be built for advanced cruise missiles. This technology is being pursued widely in industry and evaluated by the USAF Electronic Systems Div. Navigation and terminal guidance update systems will be integrated in the advanced missiles.
Aviation Week & Space Technology

March 10, 1980

USAF Readies Advanced Cruise Missiles

BYLINE: By Clarence A. Robinson, Jr.


LENGTH: 2492 words

DATELINE: Washington

HIGHLIGHT: Prototype and test expected within three years to meet anticipated threat growth with 1986-87 operational date

Air Force expects to prototype and test advanced-technology cruise missiles within three years to achieve a 1986-87 initial operational capability in response to Soviet airborne and ground-based defenses.

The USSR has developed and is testing new interceptor aircraft equipped with look-down, shoot-down radar (AW&ST Nov. 20, 1978, p. 20; Oct. 30, 1978, p. 13). The interceptors also are armed with advanced air-to-air missiles such as the AA-X-9 with its radar seeker and 25-naut.-mi. range. The interceptors are configured to attack cruise missile carrier aircraft before they can fire their air-launched cruise missiles armed with nuclear warheads.

In addition to the new interceptors, the Russians are working to improve their airborne warning and control system aircraft with a radar designed to detect low-flying targets against ground clutter.

To enhance the survivability of the cruise missile carrier aircraft against Soviet interceptors, the new advanced technology cruise missiles would have an increased range, approximately 2,300 naut. mi. This would enable the carrier aircraft to stand off outside the range of interceptor aircraft to launch their missiles.

The Soviets also are beginning to deploy the Mach 6 SA-10 surface-to-air missile with altitude coverage from low level to 15,000 ft. and an active terminal radar guidance system. There is some evidence that the Soviets have started to integrate high-energy laser weapons in the air defense system as technology demonstrators, and this concerns air-launched cruise missile experts.

In addition to developing advanced-technology cruise missiles, USAF officials are working to improve the existing air-launched cruise missile even before the selection of a contractor in the competitive phase of the program. Source selection is in progress, and choice of a winner between General Dynamics and Boeing is expected by Mar. 28, according to Pentagon officials.

An incremental growth study is being conducted by General Dynamics for the AGM-109 and by Boeing for the AGM-86B, with improvements to the weapons based on block changes to be incorporated in the production line process.

After source selection later this month, USAF plans to issue a contract to the winning company to focus on enhancements to the air-launched cruise missile.

The Defense Dept. believes the Boeing B-52Gs armed with 3,000 air-launched cruise missiles will provide a force that could overwhelm the Soviet air defense system with its almost 6,000 air defense radars and 12,000 surface-to-air missiles.

In concert with the advanced-technology cruise missile airframe designs, the Air Force is developing engine technology for both the near and long term. The near-term engine work is based on the initial operational capability of 1987. It includes:

* Williams Research Corp. advances on the F107 turbofan engine selected to power the current cruise missiles, including both air-launched competitors, and the Navy/General Dynamics Tomahawk. The two new F107 versions are labeled the F107-14A and 14B. The A version has an improved first-stage fan, and a new low-pressure turbine. The B version has a higher bypass ratio and cooled high-pressure turbine blades.

* General Electric GE26-F2 and GE26-B3. Both engine designs are based on using the technology and components from the company's T700-GE-700 used with the Army's Sikorsky UH-60 utility transport and Hughes Helicopters AH-64 attack rotary-wing aircraft.

* Teledyne CAE alternate ALCM cruise engine (AACE), based on current technology developed for the 471-11DX engine designed for the submarine-launched cruise missile and for the Boeing subsonic cruise armed decoy (SCAD).

* Garret Corp. TFE1050-13, a new small turbofan engine described by Air Force officers as being based on 1980 technology.

There are at least three other engines being considered to power the advanced-technology cruise missiles, but they will require longer to complete development. They are being developed to use new fuels such as carbon and boron slurry fuels expected to become available in the mid-1980s to replace JP type fuel. The three new engine designs are:

* Williams Research recuperative engine design. Engine gases are channeled back through the powerplant core to obtain higher inlet temperatures and cooler exhaust gases. Air Force officers describe the engine as very efficient for small platforms operating at low altitudes.

* Garrett Corp. compound cycle turbine engine, a high-bypass-ratio engine driven by a high-speed, supercharged diesel engine mounted off line.

* Teledyne Excentric turbine engine, with an off-mounted third spool to provide design efficiencies over concentric-mounted engine spools.

The three advanced engine designs -- all with commercial fallout potential -- are expected to be available for cruise missile application in the late 1980s to early 1990s at the present rate of development funding. They could be available sooner, according to service officials, if the Soviet threat forces increased spending levels.

The Air Force objective for the advanced cruise missile technology program is to lay the foundation for missile designs to exploit emerging technology as the Soviet air defense threat expands.

The $10 million provided in Fiscal 1980 for the technology program is being used to initiate development work on advanced turbofan engines with emphasis on reduced fuel consumption and higher performance.

The Air Force also is seeking to reduce the cruise missile radar cross-section and the infrared signature, and to take advantage of advanced avionics technology work being accomplished by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

In Fiscal 1981, USAF plans to use the $13.9 million requested for advanced cruise missile technology in two specific areas: advanced engines and fuels, and critical airframe design.

The four engine contractors proposing engine/fuel technologies under Fiscal 1980 funding will be reduced to two, based on increased engine performance, reduced fuel consumption and availability for initial operational capabilities, one in Fiscal 1987 and the other in Fiscal 1991.

The two airframe contractors will be demonstrating component technologies associated with materials and design for low radar and infrared signatures, avionics improvements, maneuverability and capability to avoid Soviet air defenses.

The capabilities to retarget Soviet strategic systems, command, control and communications and other high-value targets will be an important consideration, along with the ability to operate in electronic countermeasures environments and with automated route planning features.

While the engine/fuel combination is considered the most critical technology component, USAF also considers reduced radar cross-section extremely important. For subsonic missions, flush inlets will be used to lower the radar cross-section.

Flush inlet designs have low air recovery and high distortion in airflow at the inlet. The advanced-technology cruise missile engine will be designed to tolerate these constraints and maintain high efficiency for maximum performance, according to USAF officials. They believe technology now emerging from laboratories and industry will provide turbine engines with higher turbine inlet temperatures, higher cycle pressure ratios and greater bypass ratios to provide reduced fuel consumption for longer range. Ranges up to 2,600 naut. mi. are expected with advanced-technology cruise missiles constrained to the dimensions of the current air-launched cruise missile airframes to fit in the extended Boeing rotary launcher for the short-range attack missile (SRAM).

USAF will seek $30 million in Fiscal 1982 for the advanced cruise missile technology effort, $100 million in Fiscal 1983, and $180 million in Fiscal 1984. The funding is required to maintain the option to have the 1987 operational capability with the new cruise missile if the Soviets succeed in setting up an effective defense against the present generation of air-launched cruise missiles.

William J. Perry, under secretary of Defense for research and engineering, told Congress this month that cruise missile survivability testing has demonstrated that present cruise missile designs will defeat the present generation of Soviet air defense systems. If the Soviets successfully develop the necessary technologies for a system that could defend effectively against a mass cruise missile attack, "We believe it would be the late 1980s until they could begin deployment," Perry said. "By that time, we will be able to improve our cruise missiles to deal with improved air defenses. Survivability testing will continue in order to detect unsuspected vulnerabilities or weaknesses that could be exploited by an opponent, and to provide the basis for improvements to the weapons now in development and for possible follow-on weapons."

After source selection later this month of the air-launched cruise missile, the selected missile will complete an additional flight series, with 19 more launches as part of a follow-on test and evaluation program. The last eight of the series will be B-52G offensive avionics system/ ALCM system integration tests.

Another important cruise missile program to the Air Force in enhancing the survivability of bombers and cruise missile carrier aircraft is the advanced strategic air-launched missile (ASALM).A Defense Systems Acquisition Review Council (DSARC 1) is scheduled Apr. 4 to chart a course for the air-to-air guidance system for the missile. ASALM is designed to operate in the Mach 4-5 region using an integral rocket ramjet propulsion system with an approximate 200-naut.-mi. range. It will have both an air-to-air and air-to-ground capability. The requirement calls for a missile to improve bomber and cruise missile survivability and effectiveness by suppressing enemy air defenses, including destruction of Soviet Union airborne warning and control system (SUAWACS) aircraft, airfields and air defense missile sites. It also is designed to attack terminally defended sites beyond the range of the B-52/SRAM combination.

The ASALM guidance is to be passive, using active radar in the aerial intercept mode with frequency agility, according to Pentagon officials. Raytheon and McDonnell Douglas have teamed in ASALM development, and Martin Marietta has teamed with Hughes for guidance subsystem validation.

ASALM is designed to fly a variety of trajectories including all-low, all-high and combinations. It also is designed for maneuvers at very high g-force levels to evade enemy air defenses.

ASALM will employ an updated inertial guidance system to achieve accuracy and operate with a passive antiradiation homing capability and the active radar seeker for air-to-air use.

In the current fiscal year, Congress appropriated $25 million for ASALM development. Of this amount, $13.5 million is earmarked to complete the last six propulsion technology validation flight tests and to complete propulsion technology work.

Martin Marietta is flying the propulsion technology missiles with a Marquardt integral rocket ramjet system. United Technologies Corp. also has developed an integral rocket ramjet system and the option to select that system is still open to the Air Force, according to Pentagon officials.

The remainder of the Fiscal 1980 funds -- $11.5 million -- will be used for ASALM subsystem validation, which will be initiated after the DSARC. The subsystem validation emphasis will be on air-to-air guidance, the radar cross section reduction materials and techniques.

In Fiscal 1981 USAF is asking for $25.7 million for ASALM to support subsystems validation. Competitive designs for air-to-air guidance will enter development leading to captive flight tests in Fiscal 1983.

Radar cross-section reduction design techniques and high-temperature radar absorption material development also are planned.

The initial operational capability for ASALM is in the late 1980s.

Boeing has proposed to the Air Force an upgraded version of the AGM-69A SRAM, known as the SRAM L, as a possible substitute for the ASALM, or as an improved SRAM missile for aiding penetration. The L designation is used to denote the longer range capability of the missile.

The SRAM L also would be operated with a modified guidance system and a new computer.

It would be configured to carry out the air-to-air mission against the SUAWACS, or it could be continued only for the air-to-ground mission.

At least two configurations of the SRAM have been studied and proposed by Boeing to USAF. One is 278 in. long and weighs 3,870 lb. It uses the 100-in. motor section from the SRAM A now in the inventory as a first-stage motor. The second version, type L, would use a new solid propellant motor 72 in. long and 19.3 in. in diameter.

This version would be 250 in. long overall and weigh 3,715 lb. Both of the booster sections would be fitted on the aft end of the existing SRAM A missile to extend the range capability.

A number of guidance system options are available for the SRAM L in air-to-air missions. They are:

* Level 1 -- the preferred option -- which provides attitude reference heading only, a 3-4 GHz. frequency response and a 300-naut.-mi. lock-on range.

* Level 1A, with an attitude reference heading only, a 3-4 GHz. and 9-13 GHz. frequency response, and a 300-naut.-mi. lock-on at 3-4 GHz. and 150-naut.-mi. lock-on at 9-13 GHz.

* Level 2, with an attitude reference heading complemented by a short-range terminal guidance system such as infrared or millimeter wave with a 15-naut.-mi. lock-on range.

* Level 3, a system with attitude reference heading complemented by an active I-J-band radar with a lock-on range of 50 naut. mi.

Development of a low-risk, air-to-air guidance system that will not adversely affect the missile's radar cross-section is one of the key objectives in developing the SRAM L. Another is development of a system for the long-range identification and position determination of a SUAWACS and other targets.

Boeing will need approximately $800,000 to conduct wind tunnel tests and concept definition. The long-term potential costs are $300 million for research, development, test and evaluation, and $500 million for a production contract. Production would provide conversion kits with the first-stage motor, using either the existing SRAM A motor or the new design, and missile computers.

There is a disagreement between the air staff in the Pentagon and USAF's Aeronautical System Div. over development of the SRAM L because it impinges on approval of the ASALM program, some USAF officials believe.

The air staff officers would like to see SRAM L continue until more testing is conducted with ASALM, but Aeronautical Systems Div. opposes it, one Pentagon official said.
sferrin said:
Boy, you certainly don't read about high speed airbreathing programs being that successful today, even with our fancy computers, CFD, "experience" etc. A shame. In hindsight, given the timeframe, I'm wondering if maybe they were thinking about stealth aircraft dealing with SUAWACS instead.

While there have been programs which faltered, I think the two NASA programs, Hyper-X and HiFIRE-2(partnered with AFRL), would be thought of as successes in this light, no?
I think that CIAM/NASA cooperative 90s tests were a very successful program too
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