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Current US hypersonic weapons projects. (General)

bring_it_on

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Operational Fires Program Advances to Phase 3, Targets System Development and Integration

he joint DARPA/U.S. Army Operational Fires (OpFires) program is moving into Phase 3 to further develop and integrate ongoing propulsion system designs into a missile system, including the launcher, electronics, and payload. OpFires aims to develop and demonstrate a novel ground-launched system, enabling hypersonic boost glide weapons to penetrate modern enemy air defenses and rapidly and precisely engage critical time-sensitive targets from a highly mobile launch platform.

The OpFires program will conduct a series of subsystem tests designed to evaluate component design and system compatibility, and culminate in integrated end-to-end flight tests. DARPA has awarded a contract to Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control to lead the integration effort.

“We made excellent progress in the first two phases, which focused on the propulsion technologies required to deliver diverse payloads, and I am confident in our approach in the next phase of the OpFires program,” said Maj. Amber Walker (USA), program manager for OpFires in DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office. “This award furthers our ability to integrate new technologies and deliver enhanced capabilities in a highly mobile, robust ground-launched platform to overwhelm adversary positions.”
 
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bring_it_on

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Modly says industrial base for hypersonics not there yet for transition to production
The Navy needs to send clear signals to the hypersonics industrial base in anticipation of the coming transition from developing prototypes to producing the weapon systems at scale, according to the service's acting chief civilian.
That would be expected. There are a series of tests currently planned (some delayed) that will form the basis for a medium-long term acquisition strategy. Once they have enough confidence in the system and place some hard numbers around what they'll be buying and at what rate, I'm sure industry will respond enthusiastically.
 

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That would be expected. There are a series of tests currently planned (some delayed) that will form the basis for a medium-long term acquisition strategy. Once they have enough confidence in the system and place some hard numbers around what they'll be buying and at what rate, I'm sure industry will respond enthusiastically.
Agreed, I'm afraid we're going to see Cold War era numbers and deployments where feasible in the SW Pacific. Need to start courting our allies a little more.
 

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I think ultimately there will be a contingent of land based weapons (LRHW) in Guam. It’s close enough to hold a lot of the Chinese coast at risk assuming a range of 2200+ miles (2017 test) and big enough/far enough removed that the PRC would have enormous difficulties in a Scud hunt there even after devastating the fixed facilities there. I also think mobile launcher units will be ready to deploy to Europe in times of crisis, though I suspect only a couple countries would be willing to host them and only temporarily. Air and sea based weapons would be the core conventional deterrent.
 

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I feel like my BS senses are tingling, anyone's thoughts on the credibility of this source? https://geopolitics.news/anglo-amer...rent-russian-hypersonic-capabilities-in-2040/
Most know US programs have IOC or EOC dates of 2022-23. While I suspect many will be delayed, there will likely be several fielded systems by 2025. However these will all be conventional medium range systems, not strategic. I don’t think the US has any interest in an Aventgard type system. So the 2040 timeframe seems way off and the comparison seems apples to oranges. It’s worth noting Zircon has been delayed; it’s not clear Russia has much of a lead in scramjet tech in addition to the plethora of US boost glide systems being researched and likely fielded. It also seems likely Russian systems are fielded in smaller numbers than their US counterparts once they enter full rate production.
 

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It is quite likely that both Lockheed's and Raytheon's scramjet demonstrators fly this year (Lockheed's probably this quarter). At the tactical level the Russians seem to have just one weapon..in the Zircon which will be sea and ground launched. The USAF/USN/USArmy have a far more diverse portfolio of invested programs for it to choose from in case one or two bets don't pan out (which usually happens with this level of cutting edge technology). This beyond the initial layer of the conventional hypersonic triad (AHW, HCSW, and CPS) which is fully funded with acquisition green lighted. I think beyond technology breakthroughs, production and generating a vibrant supply chain for these systems is going to be a funding challenge for Russia if it tries to match the scale of the US or China given its current budget and economic outlook. They are wise to have first introduced the capability at the strategic deterrent level..
 
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panzerfeist1

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I feel like my BS senses are tingling, anyone's thoughts on the credibility of this source? https://geopolitics.news/anglo-amer...rent-russian-hypersonic-capabilities-in-2040/
Most know US programs have IOC or EOC dates of 2022-23. While I suspect many will be delayed, there will likely be several fielded systems by 2025. However these will all be conventional medium range systems, not strategic. I don’t think the US has any interest in an Aventgard type system. So the 2040 timeframe seems way off and the comparison seems apples to oranges. It’s worth noting Zircon has been delayed; it’s not clear Russia has much of a lead in scramjet tech in addition to the plethora of US boost glide systems being researched and likely fielded. It also seems likely Russian systems are fielded in smaller numbers than their US counterparts once they enter full rate production.
Has the zircon really been delayed or is it just still in in the testing phase? Did they give an operational date of the missile and it went passed thiat date? The missile went from mach 6 to mach 8 than to mach 9, with stated intentions to go over mach 10. I can understand why they would bump the missiles speed up for those high speeds. Also they had plans integrating a hypersonic cruise missile back in 2014 with a news source from late 2018 of wanting to fit a similiar like missile of the kinzhal inside the internal weapons bay of the su-57.

I have also heard before there was intentions of fitting a tomahawk based ramjet on a VLS but that it was to costly to remove the VLS for those ships because of the ramjet size. Might as well invest in the brahmos NG. I would really like to know where the US stands in air breathing missile technology and i hope a Missiles like HAWC get introduced since as you said it is not clear who has an edge in scramjet technology.
 

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I don’t have details concerning the original project milestones of zircon. But the CinC of the Russian navy has been quoted as stating it is delayed:


As to all other Russian claims, I believe them when I see them demonstrated. Their track record of following through on their projects and delivering the capabilities they claim has always been spotty.

Active US programs were well documented at the beginning of this thread, although there appear to be at least two additional black programs for which there is no information at all. I believe HAWC, HCSW, ARRW, and TBG all have tests scheduled in 2020.
 

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I don’t have details concerning the original project milestones of zircon. But the CinC of the Russian navy has been quoted as stating it is delayed:
One strategy to never miss a program milestone is to never publish an official one or provide transparency into programmatic details that may shed an insight into such things.
 

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As to all other Russian claims, I believe them when I see them demonstrated. Their track record of following through on their projects and delivering the capabilities they claim has always been spotty.

Active US programs were well documented at the beginning of this thread, although there appear to be at least two additional black programs for which there is no information at all. I believe HAWC, HCSW, ARRW, and TBG all have tests scheduled in 2020
"some" reports said 2019, while others would have had no specified dates, in other words no defense official has stated a specific time. But there has already been multiple test with the Igla scramjets and even a projects like this demonstrated at one of their airshows.

1580395968727.png

I would still like to know how much the U.S. has downsized in scramjet technology since the waverider missile, introducing programs is nice and all but delays and even cancellation can be possible and that rule also applies to their missile projects.
 

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More news from corporate earnings releases


Classified work fuels Northrop Grumman's growth. In fact, so-called"restricted" contracts accounted for more than a quarter of the company' 2019 sales, CEO Kathy Warden said during a Thursday morning quarterly earnings call with Wall Street analysts. The company was awarded classified contracts totaling "nearly $11 billion." Of that, "approximately $7 billion" is for space projects. "We clearly still see space as being a growth driver for us into the future," Warden said.

What about hypersonic weapons? Northrop sees itself providing propulsion for hypersonic weapon prime contractors Lockheed Martin and Raytheon. It has relationships with both, Warden noted. But it could also be a system integrator as well. "We do see ourselves following both paths," Warden said. "We want to be a good provider to the primes in propulsion and that means making investments that support multiple technology paths, but at the same time we do have a capability ourselves to prime efforts and be an integrator for certain types of systems."

Northrop sees its space sensors playing counter-hypersonic missions."There [in counter-hypersonics] we see really our expertise in space and the capabilities that we have in space being a key enabler to the future counter hypersonic mission set," Warden said. "We have looked at the space business that we are assembling and view ourselves as both a capable prime and payload provider in that space." This week, DARPA announced a $13 million contract to Northrop for initial research in the field.

Raytheon sees itself playing a big role in counter-hypersonics. "We view the counter-hypersonic market as more opportunistic for us compared to hypersonics," CFO Toby O'Brien said in an interview Thursday. He pointed to the company's missile defense radars and command-and-control systems that are vital in detecting and tracking missiles. That data is passed on to the interceptor itself. He also noted that while Raytheon doesn't build satellites, it builds sensing technology on satellites. "We're playing in the counter-hypersonic area in different ways, albeit, some classified and not necessarily yet multibillion-dollar type of awards," O'Brien said. "But like hypersonics, opportunity lies in front of us there and we feel good about how we're positioned."

Lockheed is still waiting for counter-hypersonic contracts. "We really were investing in the counter hypersonics, but we really haven't seen any orders there yet," Lockheed Martin CFO Ken Possenriede said Tuesday during the company's quarterly earnings call. "[It] would not surprise us if we're put under contract this year and going forward for counter and those will be dilutive to margins as well."
 

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As to all other Russian claims, I believe them when I see them demonstrated. Their track record of following through on their projects and delivering the capabilities they claim has always been spotty.

Active US programs were well documented at the beginning of this thread, although there appear to be at least two additional black programs for which there is no information at all. I believe HAWC, HCSW, ARRW, and TBG all have tests scheduled in 2020
"some" reports said 2019, while others would have had no specified dates, in other words no defense official has stated a specific time. But there has already been multiple test with the Igla scramjets and even a projects like this demonstrated at one of their airshows.

View attachment 625593

I would still like to know how much the U.S. has downsized in scramjet technology since the waverider missile, introducing programs is nice and all but delays and even cancellation can be possible and that rule also applies to their missile projects.
HACW is a program of record; look it up. Both competitors have the ability to 3D print their combustion chambers, saving weight, cost, and speeding manufacturing. Both will be tested this year. One of the articles above Indicates that scramjet tech in the US has advanced dramatically in the last year and will be a weapon system program of record by the end of the year.
 

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HAWC is not a program of record, but a demonstrator program jointly funded by DARPA and the USAF, although a program of record for a similar weapon is probably being looked at (if not already in the restricted budget).
 

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I am so expecting HCSW, it would be quite a game-changer for tactical aircraft
 

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Is it just me or they mixed up ARRW and HCSW?
hypersonic weapon.PNG

Department of the Air Force, Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC), Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC)/EBJK, 205 West D Avenue, Bldg 350, Eglin AFB, FL 32542.
Description
Notice of Contract Action (NOCA) - The Long Range Systems Division (AFLCMC/EBJ) intends to solicit proposals from limited sources and award contracts for the development and integration of an air-launched hypersonic conventional strike weapon (HCSW) with both fighter and bomber aircraft platforms. Integration will include mission planning operations and support. The HCSW will provide a prompt (Hypersonic/Hypervelocity), precision strike capability against high-value, time-critical fixed and relocatable surface targets in a single or multi-theater challenged (A2/AD) environment. It will utilize Global Position System (GPS)/Inertial Guidance System (INS) for navigation and terminal guidance with a Government Furnished Equipment (GFE) warhead. It is anticipated that the contract will be awarded in the 1st quarter of FY18. The contract will include all necessary effort through Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD).

What fighter platform can carry 32 inches rocket?
 
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Josh_TN

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I am so expecting HCSW, it would be quite a game-changer for tactical aircraft
it’s not clear HCSW is a payload tax a/c can carry. One of the above articles indicates it uses the SWERVE glide body, 34”diameter, in which case it will be a very large weapon to haul. It’s not clear any of the hypersonic projects are tac air compatible, though I suspect whatever comes out of the HACW demonstrator will be ALCM-ish in size.
 

bring_it_on

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I am so expecting HCSW, it would be quite a game-changer for tactical aircraft
it’s not clear HCSW is a payload tax a/c can carry. One of the above articles indicates it uses the SWERVE glide body, 34”diameter, in which case it will be a very large weapon to haul. It’s not clear any of the hypersonic projects are tac air compatible, though I suspect whatever comes out of the HACW demonstrator will be ALCM-ish in size.
The AGM-183A looks like the best candidate for F-15E and F-15EX integration.
 

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" ... Lastly, the F-15EX is seen as a reliable launch pad for new, larger weapons, in particular hypersonic missiles that will not fit inside the F-35A's internal weapons bay, the source notes.

"We've got to carry a [7,000lb] to 8,000lb weapon that is enormous and doesn't fit in an internal bay," says the source. "And we need a very reliable platform that we well understand, that has power, space and cooling, and we can adapt quickly over the next 10, 12 or 15 years."

The USAF says hypersonic weapons are still in early stages of development, and that it is too early to know which platforms will be able to carry them. ..."



We know the HAWC can be carried by F-35, so it would not weigh more than 5000 lb. So does this indicate that the weight of ARRW or HCSW is around 7000 lb - 8000 lb?
 

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I am so expecting HCSW, it would be quite a game-changer for tactical aircraft
it’s not clear HCSW is a payload tax a/c can carry. One of the above articles indicates it uses the SWERVE glide body, 34”diameter, in which case it will be a very large weapon to haul. It’s not clear any of the hypersonic projects are tac air compatible, though I suspect whatever comes out of the HACW demonstrator will be ALCM-ish in size.
The AGM-183A looks like the best candidate for F-15E and F-15EX integration.
Agm-183 looks too big
F2F30109-475E-4C5B-8758-7A71E4015787.png
 

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https://ria.ru/20161028/1480214764.html Do not know if there are translation issues with this source suggesting an air launched Avangard with own engines. which air launched HGV project does the U.S. have? I am happy with hypersonic weapons being carried externally if they are not stealth aircrafts, but watching stealth platforms carry hypersonic weapons externally sets me off. I already know that the HAWC in accordance to images was carried externally by the F-35. But is there any hypersonic project that the B-2 can carry internally? Does anyone have size references to the B-2s internal weapons bay? In fact does anyone have size references for these hypersonic projects yet? I will stop bothering this thread if there at least some answers to address this.
 
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bring_it_on

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I am happy with hypersonic weapons being carried externally if they are not stealth aircrafts, but watching stealth platforms carry hypersonic weapons externally sets me off
Hypersonic weapons are in the medium to long range category. There is no need to burden their specifications and performance for internal carriage on fighters. They are not Stand-In weapons. That portfolio of technologies and weapons is separate and DOES include fast missiles as well like the SiAW and AARGM-ER. There is little utility to the USAF for a 100 or 200 mile hypersonic weapon.
 

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The reason why I see stealth aircrafts being needed to carry internal hypersonic weapons is simple and that is they offer defense systems a less reaction time to intercept such weapons can offer better strategy to the U.S. I would prefer a B-2 having a 600km hypersonic weapon carried internally than a B-52 having a 3000km hypersonic weapon with same speeds and specs https://webcache.googleusercontent....th-aircraft-rcs.htm+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us.. Future satellites and OTH radars can be immediately alerted if there is a far range launch of an HGV. And a B-2 carrying internal hypersonic weapons will be noticed less from other adversary aircraft or other sources nearby.

This will be my last response for now in this thread.
 
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bring_it_on

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There are trade offs there. I would be interested in knowing what the USAF prefers and it is likely to be the ability to bring lots of volume to bear using bombers. All signs currently point to that being the case as in multiple in production systems that can provide a range of options and capabilities instead of just one or two silver bullet systems. That said they are already testing hypersonic weapon checks inside the B-52 and I wouldn’t rule out similar activity on the B-2 and even B-21 in the future. The goal seems to be to field a diverse and substantial tactical hypersonic weapon inventory and they are well on that path given the FYDP funding profile which is expected to get yet another funding boost with the upcoming 21 budget proposal.
 

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The reason why I see stealth aircrafts being needed to carry internal hypersonic weapons is simple and that is they offer defense systems a less reaction time to intercept such weapons can offer better strategy to the U.S. I would prefer a B-2 having a 600km hypersonic weapon carried internally than a B-52 having a 3000km hypersonic weapon with same speeds and specs
It will takes less time for the ARRW to cross 3000 km with its Mach 20 speed than for the B-2 to fly 2400 km at Mach 0.8 before launching the missile.
 

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Given the fact that the range of boost-glides is measured in thousands of miles, internal carriage seems like a rather moot point. A hypersonic air breather however will likely be small enough for internal bomber carriage or tactical aircraft.
 

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They are already contemplating HBGV in internal bays of bombers and seem to be exploring their options. Again, with half a dozen or more programs currently in active and loads of cash they are going to be explore multiple paths before settling on the few that offer the best bang for the buck..In the most recent earning calls both Raytheon and Lockheed admitted to at least one classified missile program each above and beyond what has been publicly disclosed.

 
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