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Current US hypersonic weapons projects. (General)

dark sidius

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The reusable hypersonic is more like the Holy Grail .
 
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TAOG

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Lockheed Martin’s hypersonic ARRW set to pass critical design review

" ... Learnings from the TBG programme are to be eventually incorporated into ARRW, says Varly. He declines to discuss specifics of the effort.

“The sensitivities on the TBG programme are higher than others and we’ve got to be cautious,” adds Joe Monaghen, communications manager with Missiles and Fire Control. ..."

 

GeorgeA

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Another one from Lockheed and DARPA to throw on the acronym pile: HSW-ab (Hypersonic Strike Weapon — Air-breathing):

 

TAOG

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Will Roper says:

1. ARRW is much smaller than HCSW, and it carry twice as many (than HCSW) on the B-52.

2.HCSW will still complete the CDR which allows a quickly restart in the future if needed.

3. If ARRW program doesn't experience mass growth, its in class to be able to fit on the center line of F15.





Also, the F-15 EX has been reported that has the ability to carry a 7000 - 8000 lb hypersonic weapon.

HAWC is less than 5000 lb, and HCSW is too large that can not be carried by F 15.

" ... 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." ..."

 

Ronny

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Will Roper says:

1. ARRW is much smaller than HCSW, and it carry twice as many (than HCSW) on the B-52.

2.HCSW will still complete the CDR which allows a quickly restart in the future if needed.

3. If ARRW program doesn't experience mass growth, its in class to be able to fit on the center line of F15.





Also, the F-15 EX has been reported that has the ability to carry a 7000 - 8000 lb hypersonic weapon.

HAWC is less than 5000 lb, and HCSW is too large that can not be carried by F 15.

" ... 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." ..."

I wonder how heavy is ARRW
 

DWG

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Hmm, hadn't really appreciated what the internal carriage did for the size of the boost-glide vehicle. If ARRW is 30" diameter, then that image suggests the second stage wingspan could be as small as 24", with overall vehicle length somewhere in the 6' to 8' range.
 

TAOG

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An estimate from a Chinese analysis website before.

But according to the latest released picture, the warhead or glide vehicle section is less than 1.7 m.


0e65cdf877f04eaf8e9117c0077d6581.jpeg13546.png
 

TAOG

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Via the imageJ, if the 30 inch diameter is true, then estimates from this picture, the total length of ARRW is around ~6 m.


12322541.png12221.png
 

TAOG

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A 23 inch diameter and ~3.3 m long modified ATACMS rocket can accelerate the whole X-51 to the mach 4.5.

The rocket section of ARRW seems to be 30 inch in diameter and 4.5 m long.


156015-6b0bde2da161cd16d8009bff12137a38.png
 
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TAOG

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So, for navy, now there has four hypersonic weapon projects: IRCPS, TBG VLS variant (risk reduction starts in FY2021), SM-6 Block 1B and HAWC navy version ?
 
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bobbymike

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Inside Defense pay site

 

Grey Havoc

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A slightly different take here:
 

rooster

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Wasn't it the invention of stealth that negated the need in the 80s and 90s for faster and faster aircraft and missiles? Is the need to also now develop hypersonic systems because stealth will no longer be relevant in the future?
 

HyFonic

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Wasn't it the invention of stealth that negated the need in the 80s and 90s for faster and faster aircraft and missiles? Is the need to also now develop hypersonic systems because stealth will no longer be relevant in the future?
Stealth is less relevant now due to the proliferation of high performance long range SAMs and search radars, but it is still incredibly important for a modern aircraft.

High speed weapons act as a force multiplier, much in the same way stealth does. It's hard to deny the fact that these weapons are being developed in response to the
Russian/Chinese systems, but their tactical and strategic value is also very important.

One of the major targets for hypersonics will be time sensitive A2/AD sites with a big focus on mobile SAM sites, radars, command posts and long range rocket or missile launchers. In a near peer fight it can be assumed that aircraft operating in the vicinity of these weapons will have an extremely difficult time. Hypersonics will give the attacking military an extremely tough to intercept weapon to neutralize anti access weapons and to re-allow aircraft, ships, and ground forces to operate freely.
 

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Agreed but it is also important to note that Stealth is a force multiplier for Hypersonic weapons. In that sense it will be hard to speak about its reduced relevance.

The clearest sign of that is the recent announcement by the USAF to prioritize development of air launched Hypersonic weapon with a smaller size (hence less expected range). Stealth gives you the possibility to engage at close range (hence often retargeting in real time) with no or less reaction time left for the target.

Where Stealth should be less relevant is in the European context. The Franco-German endeavor to build a said-so 6th Gen fighter from nowhere and no credible experience have all the sign to become a gigantic money pit where all other factually relevant prior research efforts would be buried with protocolarian emphasis...

Frenchs (them at least) should put the focus on Hypersonic, Hyper stealth and deep space strategic defense (gov regulated energy prod offset of Earth). That's where the meager ressources should be invested.

If you are not convinced, Airbus claims it needs €7billions to develop a MALE drone for the FCAS project, something it was already paid for, a cost that represents a 50% reduction from their initial claim after a bit of negotiating (that tells a lot about the seriousness of their offer!) and an expense that more importantly represents 96 brand new, readily available F-35s that will be good for the job FCAS is intended for.

Fom Hypersonics to un-stealthy Hyperwaste, the path is surprisingly short.
 
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rooster

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Wasn't it the invention of stealth that negated the need in the 80s and 90s for faster and faster aircraft and missiles? Is the need to also now develop hypersonic systems because stealth will no longer be relevant in the future?
Hypersonics will give the attacking military an extremely tough to intercept weapon to neutralize anti access weapons and to re-allow aircraft, ships, and ground forces to operate freely.
But this is what stealth does. Hence the retirement of the blackbird with no follow on faster aircraft, but instead some stealth drones that went nowhere. The B1 was produced and stealthier and slower version when it finally went into service. This is why the B2 is subsonic and stealthy. This is why the F35 isn't exactly "fast" and why the B21 will be subsonic. Arguably stealth does everything hypsonic does. Only flight time is reduced, but if something is long ranged and hypersonic then it will be visible a long way away on radar and IR and the target has time to react before being struck. When Iran launched its missile attack recently on US forces, we had a long time to "brace for impact". How fast were those missiles? If Iran had launched a hypothetical stealthy cruise missile attack then we would not had had time to prepare: things would have just started exploding with no warning. Its impossible to build a stealthy hypersonic aircraft/missile, yes? So you'll see it when its launched all the way to impact.
 

HyFonic

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Wasn't it the invention of stealth that negated the need in the 80s and 90s for faster and faster aircraft and missiles? Is the need to also now develop hypersonic systems because stealth will no longer be relevant in the future?
Hypersonics will give the attacking military an extremely tough to intercept weapon to neutralize anti access weapons and to re-allow aircraft, ships, and ground forces to operate freely.
Arguably stealth does everything hypsonic does. Only flight time is reduced, but if something is long ranged and hypersonic then it will be visible a long way away on radar and IR and the target has time to react before being struck.
I'll concede to most of your points, it is very true that the high and fast style of aircraft and missile fell out of favor in light of the low and slow stealthy designs.

I do take slight issue with this remark as speed is really the major strong point of the hypersonic weapon and that's a big deal. For an insurgency or irregular conflict, a hypersonic weapon is beyond overkill and simply a waste. But in a highly contested combat zone with a near peer adversary the speed advantage is incredibly important. You draw a comparison to the Iranian missile attacks against the airbases in Iraq, it's not an entirely flawed comparison, but one of the reasons there were so few causalities was not because the launches were detected (they were detected though) but due to intercepted signals which gave hours to prepare the troops stationed there. The missile could have been traveling at the speed of light but that wouldn't have mattered as the men and women stationed there would have already been in a secure location.

Another thing about the hypersonics is the kinetic energy involved. Obviously this can not be calculated because of the classified nature of the glider programs, but it would be an exceptional amount.

I think it is also worth noting that due to the death of the INF treaty there is a glaring lack of a long ranged ground based weapon, the recent procurement of hypersonics by the likes of China and Russia forced Americas hand and as such there was a need to play catch up to maintain parity in the global arms race whether or not the weapons were truly needed.

It's safe to say stealth isn't going anywhere, but neither are hypersonics. I envision a battlefield where both types of weapons are able to work synergistically, filling the gaps that each type of weapon leaves open.
 

GARGEAN

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Arguably stealth does everything hypsonic does.
This is quite drastically wrong. Stealth can't "replace" speed advantages. It just gives its own. You can't significantly decrease NEZ of enemy missiles just by stealth: if you were caught (and you WILL be caught no matter how stealthty you are) - you will be engaged. And if you were engaged - speed + ECM is what you want, not magical "muh 0.0001m^2". Opposite is true: you can't just roll around at high speeds and consider yourself immune (well, technically you can, but that would require speeds unpractical for current manned endoatmospheric crafts). You want to be noticed as late as possible for a whole set of reasons, and speed alone won't cut it.
 

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