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Current US hypersonic weapons projects. (General)

Ronny

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1.PNG
B-52 length is 48.5 meters
ARRW length is 13.043% of B-52 length, so about 6.3 meters
 

Grey Havoc

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From the article:
Japan is developing two advanced anti-surface warheads that will be fitted onto two hypersonic weapons that are currently also under development, as indicated by several documents obtained by Jane's from the Ministry of Defense (MoD) in Tokyo.

The MoD's Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics Agency (ATLA) plans to arm these weapons, namely the Hyper Velocity Gliding Projectile (HVGP) and the Hypersonic Cruising Missile (HCM), with the 'Sea Buster' tandem-charge warhead and a multiple explosively formed penetrator (MEFP) warhead, according to the documents.

The warheads are designed to "attack warships and military vehicles deployed around/on the small islands and their surrounding sea area" according to one of the documents in a possible reference to Japan's more remote islands in the East China Sea.

The 'Sea Buster' warhead is being specifically developed to target enemy surface vessels, most likely larger warships, according to the documents. It is composed of a main warhead, which carries armour-piercing high-explosive shells and a nose fuze, and a precursor warhead that uses shaped charges.

Artist renderings depicting this warhead targeting large surface vessels have appeared in several ATLA documents and pamphlets obtained by Jane's . For instance, last year the ATLA published its 'R&D Vision', which contained an artist's rendering of the HCM targeting an enemy aircraft carrier. A text accompanying the image referred to Japan's development of an advanced highly effective penetration warhead that can damage the deck of an aircraft carrier or be used for "area suppression".

The MEFP warhead is being designed to engage surface vessels and both stationary and mobile ground targets, with the ATLA saying in one of the documents that one such warhead will be able to release dozens of hypervelocity metal fragments capable of striking several targets.
 

bobbymike

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From Inside Defense pay site


DOD appears poised for major hypersonic flight test this week
The Defense Department appears set this week to conduct a flight experiment of a long-range hypersonic glide vehicle that -- if successful -- will advance Army and Navy plans to mature prototype designs for land- and sea-launched offensive strike weapons as soon as 2023 and 2025, respectively
 

Lc89

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fredymac

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bobbymike

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sferrin

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I wonder how many an Ohio (or Columbia) SSGN could carry.
 

TomS

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I think a few more words may help. The booster used in this test is a heavily modified Polaris A3. If the operational booster were similar in size, only one would fit in a Trident tube.

However, the Navy's operational CPS using this glide body is supposed to by only 34.5 inches in diameter. Depending on how densely it packs that should be three or maybe four missiles in the Ohio or Virginia SSGN payload tubes, which are 87-88 inches in diameter.
 

bobbymike

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A few links with probably redundant information but here for members to peruse



 

Flyaway

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Unfortunately most of this is behind a paywall:

HyperSpace claims several advantages for the superconducting electric hybrid TBCC versus a conventional turbine-based design because the turbine core is completely integrated and embedded inside the ramjet/scramjet engines with a common central flow path. The design has the theoretical capability of operating to a much higher takeover Mach number before transitioning from turbine to ram/scramjet mode.

The company estimates the turbine will run up to Mach 5-6 before transitioning to scramjet power, which will be used to operate to Mach 8-plus. “Our turbine is operable at very high Mach numbers because it is shaftless-electric and all the loads of the rotating machinery are carried in the exoskeleton of the engine structure,” Lugg says. “We are operating at rpms and loads that were previously impossible until we came along with this concept.”

The outer casing for the turbine engine also forms the inner casing of the double-walled ram/scramjet ducting. The space between the double walls is used to hold the JP7/8 subsystem for fueling and cooling as well as to provide space for the electromagnetic power systems and controls. The company says the common airflow path through the center of the powerplant eliminates the need for completely separate turbine and ramjet/scramjet engines. “Ours is all one mass flow, so we are saving volume, weight and complexity. Plus, we don’t have the issue of cocooning a hot turbine,” he adds.

 

fredymac

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Did some hunting around. The CEO (Richard Lugg) has been promoting electrical hybrid jets for quite a while under "Hyper Mach" and "Sonic Blue". That was for a M3.5 business jet. Doesn't look like he has ever got a working prototype to demonstrate his ideas. Maybe the AV Week article shows that but I couldn't find anything. There are some videos of him promoting his concepts but no hardware shown.
 

sferrin

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sferrin

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Unfortunately most of this is behind a paywall:

HyperSpace claims several advantages for the superconducting electric hybrid TBCC versus a conventional turbine-based design because the turbine core is completely integrated and embedded inside the ramjet/scramjet engines with a common central flow path. The design has the theoretical capability of operating to a much higher takeover Mach number before transitioning from turbine to ram/scramjet mode.

The company estimates the turbine will run up to Mach 5-6 before transitioning to scramjet power, which will be used to operate to Mach 8-plus. “Our turbine is operable at very high Mach numbers because it is shaftless-electric and all the loads of the rotating machinery are carried in the exoskeleton of the engine structure,” Lugg says. “We are operating at rpms and loads that were previously impossible until we came along with this concept.”

The outer casing for the turbine engine also forms the inner casing of the double-walled ram/scramjet ducting. The space between the double walls is used to hold the JP7/8 subsystem for fueling and cooling as well as to provide space for the electromagnetic power systems and controls. The company says the common airflow path through the center of the powerplant eliminates the need for completely separate turbine and ramjet/scramjet engines. “Ours is all one mass flow, so we are saving volume, weight and complexity. Plus, we don’t have the issue of cocooning a hot turbine,” he adds.

My general impression was a lot of hand waving that would result in money disappearing with little to show.
 

Ronny

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Air Force Wants To Use External Pylons To Arm The B-1B Bomber With 31 Hypersonic Missiles


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top U.S. Air Force officer has detailed plans to add the AGM-183A Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon, as well as the Hypersonic Air-Breathing Weapon Concept, both of which are hypersonic missiles, to the B-1B Bone bomber's arsenal. He also curiously talked about the potential for these aircraft to carry a conventionally-armed version of the future Long Range Stand Off stealthy cruise missile, something Congress effectively canceled last year.

U.S. Air Force General Timothy Ray, head of Air Force Global Strike Command, which oversees all of America's bomber fleets, gave an update on future B-1B loadouts in a recent interview with Air Force Magazine. Last year, the service highlighted work to expand the bomber's ability to carry hypersonic weapons and other new stores, both internally and externally. This all also comes amid already controversial plans to retire 17 of its 60 remaining Bones in the 2021 Fiscal Year and has severely scaled back the activities of the fleet as a whole, prohibiting crews from flying at low altitudes and restricting total annual flight hours, which you can read about more in this past War Zone exclusive.
"My goal would be to bring on at least a squadron’s worth of airplanes modified with external pylons on the B-1, to carry the ARRW [Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon] hypersonic cruise missile," General Ray told Air Force Magazine. He added that the service had contemplated several options for integrating the AGM-183A onto the bombers, "but we believe the easiest, fastest, and probably most effective in the short term will be to go with the external pylons."

At present, B-1 squadron typically has 18 aircraft, according to Air Force Magazine. Ray appears to have misspoken in describing ARRW, which is pronounced "arrow," as a "cruise missile." The AGM-183A has an unpowered hypersonic boost-glide vehicle as its warhead. The weapon's rocket booster lofts that vehicle to an appropriate speed and altitude, after which it then glides down along a level trajectory within the Earth's atmosphere to its target. The weapon's high speed and unpredictable flight path make it difficult for opponents to detect and track, which makes it hard to move critical assets out of the target area, if at all possible, or otherwise take shelter before the strike hits, or even attempt an intercept.

Rockwell had designed the Bones to carry external stores on up to eight external hardpoints. The Air Force had also developed special pylons that would have allowed the bombers to carry two nuclear-tipped AGM-86B Air-Launched Cruise Missiles (ALCM) on each one. Following the end of the Cold War, the B-1Bs lost their nuclear mission and, as a result, the external pylons fell into disuse. Today, the bombers use just one of the hardpoints to carry the AN/AAQ-33 Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod (ATP).
It's not clear what other modifications or upgrades the B-1Bs might need to be able to physically carry the AGM-183As or how many of these missiles the bombers might be able to carry at once. While we don't know how much the ARRW weighs, we do know that a B-52H Stratofortress bomber carried a prototype during a test last year using one of its heavyweight underwing pylons, which are rated to carry stores in the 5,000 pound class or lighter. The AGM-86B weighs around 3,200 pounds and the B-1B's original pylons were each supposed to carry two of them at once.

It's also worth noting that the Air Force's is looking to halt work on the Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon (HCSW) program in its latest budget proposal for the 2021 Fiscal Year in favor of the AGM-183A, specifically because the latter is smaller. The HCSW missile, which the service planned to designate AGM-182A Hacksaw, has a different hypersonic boost-glide vehicle warhead, which is a common design also found on ground and submarine-launched weapons that the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy are working on, respectively.

"The reason we went with ARRW was not that HCSW was bad, but ARRW is smaller," Will Roper, the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, explained in March 2020. "We can carry twice as many on the B-52, and it’s possible it could be on the F-15[E Strike Eagle] … It’s in the class to be able to fit on the centerline."

General Ray did tell Air Force Magazine that some of the B-1s will need significant structural work," but it's unclear if this is directly related to plans to integrate the AGM-183A. The bombers have been flown hard in recent years and their airframes have seen greater than expected wear and tear as a result, which is part of the reason for the halt to low-altitude flight operations, which put additional physical stress on the aircraft.

The Air Force is also looking at the B-1B as a potential platform to carry the Hypersonic Air-Breathing Weapon Concept, or HAWC. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has been leading the development of this powered hypersonic cruise missile, though the Air Force Research Laboratory has also been involved. Air Force Magazine says that the Bones, using external pylons and common rotary launchers in their internal bomb bays, could potentially carry a mix of up to 31 hypersonic missiles in total
.
 

bobbymike

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TomS

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The Air Force is also looking at the B-1B as a potential platform to carry the Hypersonic Air-Breathing Weapon Concept, or HAWC. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has been leading the development of this powered hypersonic cruise missile, though the Air Force Research Laboratory has also been involved. Air Force Magazine says that the Bones, using external pylons and common rotary launchers in their internal bomb bays, could potentially carry a mix of up to 31 hypersonic missiles in total.
[/QUOTE]

Task & Purpose put a slightly different spin on Ray's remarks.


They say up to 6 large hypersonics like ARRW externally, plus the usual internal load of up to 24 other missiles (JASSM-ER, LRASM, or potentially HAWC apparently) on three internal rotary launchers. That's 30 total. How you get to 31 is a mystery to me.
 

Josh_TN

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I sincerely doubt they will find the money for the external hard point upgrade, but it would be a hell of a war load to carry a half dozen hypersonic weapons and two dozen shorter ranged ones, even if it was just some flavor of AGM-158s. Those hard points are good for ~6000lbs, so we can probably conclude AGM-183's launch weight is in that range. Apparently HCSW, or what is now sometimes referred to as AGM-182, was heavier. That makes sense given the fact that the diameter of the USN glide body seems to be near 34.5 inches. It would have to be a larger diameter weapon than AGM-183.
 

sferrin

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Those hard points are good for ~6000lbs,
More than that I would think. 6 of those pylons could carry a PAIR of AGM-129s (3,700+lbs each) with the pylon to mount them.
 

GeorgeA

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More than that I would think. 6 of those pylons could carry a PAIR of AGM-129s (3,700+lbs each) with the pylon to mount them.
Wasn’t there a recent USAF RFP for a pylon with a capacity of 20,000 lb?
 

bobbymike

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From Inside Defense pay site


Navy eyed NASA's Wallops Island launch facility for hypersonic test over Atlantic
The Navy last month considered launching a long-range experimental hypersonic flight test over the Atlantic Ocean toward target areas in the open sea more than 2,000 miles from Virginia, including points northeast of the South American coast and another roughly midway between the U.S. eastern seaboard and Western Sahara
 

bobbymike

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From Inside Defense


DOD reveals hypersonic collaborative research with Norway, framework for allied cooperation
The Pentagon today unveiled a collaborative research project begun in 2019 with Norway to prototype advanced technologies needed for a hypersonic cruise missile, revealing both the specific project with the Scandinavian partner as well as a previously undisclosed, overarching collaborative framework to work with allied nations on advanced technologies
 
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