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Current US hypersonic weapons projects. (General)

Josh_TN

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Actually I can't find any reference to the flight time now. I'm positive I remember someone being quoted as 'just over' or 'just under' a half hour or 30 minutes, because I remember calculating average speed and wondering how much time was spent accelerating and what burnout speed would be. But I just tried to find an article with a time reference and I can't find anything now.
 

bobbymike

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Lawmakers flinch at hypersonic cost estimate, dial back Navy plans

A key congressional panel, concerned by a recent independent cost estimate for the Pentagon's marquee offensive hypersonic strike weapon, is moving to rein in plans for the Conventional Prompt Strike program by clipping Navy-requested procurement funding as well as resources sought for a Block 2 variant and blueprint efforts to integrate the two-stage booster and hypersonic glide vehicle into the Virginia-class submarine
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The cutting begins
 

Moose

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The cost estimates doubled since the program went public, cuts were inevitable.
 

bring_it_on

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The cost estimates doubled since the program went public, cuts were inevitable.

Is there any good synopsis of the cost to field the CPS and other hypersonic weapons given a set production quantity? I think eventually we're going to have to prioritize within and between services. Can't really afford to have multiple R&D and acquisition projects across the three services irrespective of the budgets staying flat (likely) or increasing (unlikely). I hope that decision is made once the tech is mastered and the weapons prove themselves out so that we retain the advantage of buying them in higher quantities at a later date without going back to the R&D world.
 
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sferrin

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Apparently there will be a HyFly 2. Well, I hope they have more spine than the first time.

1605365043369.png

So they never even got to the point of seeing if it would work before giving up. Then there was the X-51 where they literally said they were afraid of doing the last (and only mostly successful) flight because, "what if we fail"? Nobody would be happier to be wrong than me but I don't have high hopes. Meanwhile both China and Russia have hypersonic weapons either in or on the verge of being in service because they don't give up. Not everybody is Elon Musk I guess.
 

bring_it_on

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Lawmakers flinch at hypersonic cost estimate, dial back Navy plans

A key congressional panel, concerned by a recent independent cost estimate for the Pentagon's marquee offensive hypersonic strike weapon, is moving to rein in plans for the Conventional Prompt Strike program by clipping Navy-requested procurement funding as well as resources sought for a Block 2 variant and blueprint efforts to integrate the two-stage booster and hypersonic glide vehicle into the Virginia-class submarine
————-
The cutting begins

The Senate Appropriations Committee in its proposed FY-21 defense spending bill would cut funding for the CPS program by $388 million, a nearly 40% reduction to the Navy's $1 billion request, noting the panel understands the need for the new class of weapons and supports the endeavor but has misgivings about current plans to scale the effort.

A report accompanying the committee's spending bill reveals new information about the project, including the existence of a recently completed independent cost estimate prepared by the director of the office of cost assessment and program evaluation.

While the committee report doesn't disclose the total sum of the cost estimate, it reveals that CAPE found the Navy's acquisition strategy, technical baseline, and schedule programmatic definitions lacked specificity. In addition, CAPE flagged potential issues that could signal problems with future cost growth in the program, including "the Navy's optimistic assumptions with respect to CPS engineering development, the concurrent development of CPS blocks, as well as significant funding shortfalls in the outyears," according to the Senate report.

In December 2018, then-Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson set a 2025 target for fielding a sea-based, offensive hypersonic strike conventional weapon. That goal, which maintains service policy, calls for putting the new hypersonic boost-glide weapon on the fleet of four conventionally armed Ohio-class SSGN submarines.

The Navy's FY-21 budget proposal outlined new plans to also begin integrating the hypersonic weapon on variants of the Virginia-class boats outfitted with a Virginia Payload Module for initial operation as soon as fiscal year 2028 -- just as the SSGN fleet begins retiring. The VPM is the newest variant of its attack submarine class, stretched to accommodate additional missile tubes that have been eyed for a conventionally armed hypersonic boost-glide body since the VPM program was announced in 2012.

"The Committee recognizes the need for and continues its support of the CPS program, but is concerned by the Navy's acquisition approach and the Director, CAPE's, findings," the appropriators' report states. "Therefore, to ensure continued development progress towards a CPS capability while reducing acquisition risk, the Committee recommends a reduction of $248.8 million for the procurement of CPS all-up rounds in fiscal year 2021 that are excess to rounds required to execute the flight test program; a reduction of $35.9 million to contractor-led CPS block 2 upgrades; and a reduction of $104 million for Virginia-class modifications and installations."

The Senate panel's legislation would also direct the Navy acquisition executive to review the CPS program's acquisition strategy.

The Navy's FY-21 budget request projected the CPS program would require $5.8 billion through FY-25.

The Senate report reveals that the current five-year plan envisions procuring 25 all-up rounds during the developmental stage of the program.

In October 2019, the Navy assumed stewardship of the CPS program -- a continuing technology development effort -- from the Office of the Secretary of Defense. The Navy and the Army are cooperating to develop a prototype operational system that uses the same booster and a common hypersonic glide body developed as part of the CPS program.

The Navy is spearheading design of the C-HGB and the Army is responsible for production of the glide body for the two services.

Following a March flight test, the Defense Department announced the end of the technology experimentation phase and the launch of the system development phase for prototype weapon systems the Army and Navy aim to deploy. The Army's program aims to repurpose the Navy booster on a road-mobile system in a prototype Long Range Hypersonic Weapon battery by 2023.

Legislation proposed by the House Armed Services Committee in its version of the FY-21 defense policy bill would mandate the Navy begin integrating the CPS hypersonic weapon on the Zumwalt-class (DDG-1000) destroyers beginning Jan. 1, 2021.

Hypersonic weapons travel at least five times the speed of sound and are one of two types: glide vehicles or air-breathing. The CPS program is focused on glide-vehicle technology, where the payload is lifted on ballistic missiles to the edge of space then released to skip unpowered along the rim of the atmosphere with the ability to maneuver in flight. This trajectory allows this new class of weapons to exploit a huge blind spot in existing air and missile defense sensors, giving them an air of invincibility.
 

bobbymike

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bring_it_on

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Department of Defense Announces New Allied Prototyping Initiative Effort With Australia to Continue Partnership in Developing Air Breathing Hypersonic Vehicles


Today, the U.S. Department of Defense and the Australian Department of Defence announced a bilateral effort to advance the development of air-breathing hypersonic technologies. The Southern Cross Integrated Flight Research Experiment (SCIFiRE) is an Allied Prototyping Initiative (API) under the Directorate for Advanced Capabilities within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. The Department of the Air Force, under the direction of the Weapons Program Executive Officer, is responsible for the execution of the program.

“SCIFiRE is a true testament to the enduring friendship and strong partnership between the United States and Australia,” said Michael Kratsios, Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. “This initiative will be essential to the future of hypersonic research and development, ensuring the U.S. and our allies lead the world in the advancement of this transformational warfighting capability.”

The SCIFiRE effort aims to cooperatively advance air-breathing hypersonic technologies into full-size prototypes that are affordable and provide a flexible, long range capability, culminating in flight demonstrations in operationally relevant conditions. The effort will also pursue potential co-production opportunities between the two countries, and leverages U.S. and Australian collaborative hypersonic activities over the last 15 years, namely the Hypersonic International Flight Research Experimentation (HIFiRE) program. SCIFiRE continues collaborative research efforts involving the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, the Royal Australian Air Force Headquarters, and the Australian Defence Science and Technology Group.

“The SCIFiRE initiative is another opportunity to advance the capabilities in our Air Combat Capability Program to support joint force effects to advance Australia’s security and prosperity,” Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld AO, DSC, Chief of Air Force said. “Working with our Defence scientists here in Australia and our partners in the U.S. Air Force and across the U.S. Department of Defense on leading edge capabilities brings out the best in our Air Force team.”

SCIFiRE is the second effort announced under the Allied Prototyping Initiative, which was launched in 2019 by the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering through its Advanced Capabilities directorate. API leverages new and existing frameworks for international cooperation in research and development, so that the U.S. and its closest Allies can co-develop high impact operational prototypes and capitalize on the use of the industrial base within both countries.
 

Grey Havoc

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sferrin

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I've pretty much stopped paying attention to hypersonics at all. All I'm seeing is a bunch of talk in the US.
 

Josh_TN

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Did Congress just limit funding to the USN? They seem to think CSP is redundant...presumably with USAF projects that would come to fruition sooner.
 

GARGEAN

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I've pretty much stopped paying attention to hypersonics at all. All I'm seeing is a bunch of talk in the US.
They might eventually explode into number of promising programms giving fruits at the same time.
 

sferrin

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I've pretty much stopped paying attention to hypersonics at all. All I'm seeing is a bunch of talk in the US.
Because a lot of the work is classified.
I'd like to believe that. But past programs (HyFly, X-51, HTV-2, US Army & USN boost-glide flights, etc.) have been mentioned in the public. What are they doing now aside from captive carrying inert shapes and existing weapons?
 

bring_it_on

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What are they doing now aside from captive carrying inert shapes and existing weapons?

Quite a bit. Like setting up production, testing and validating rocket motors for future variants and getting ready for full flight testing which will naturally only follow once the safety and captive carry testing is complete (which it is for the ARRW). They are laying the groundwork for a considerable ramp in flight testing that is expected in the 2021-2023 timeframe based on publicly available information. I know the past doesn't inspire a lot of confidence but there's reason to be optimistic this time around.
 

sferrin

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What are they doing now aside from captive carrying inert shapes and existing weapons?

Quite a bit. Like setting up production, testing and validating rocket motors for future variants and getting ready for full flight testing which will naturally only follow once the safety and captive carry testing is complete (which it is for the ARRW). They are laying the groundwork for a considerable ramp in flight testing that is expected in the 2021-2023 timeframe based on publicly available information. I know the past doesn't inspire a lot of confidence but there's reason to be optimistic this time around.
I'd like to believe that but then you factor in the different politics coming up. . .
 

Flyaway

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I've pretty much stopped paying attention to hypersonics at all. All I'm seeing is a bunch of talk in the US.
Because a lot of the work is classified.
I'd like to believe that. But past programs (HyFly, X-51, HTV-2, US Army & USN boost-glide flights, etc.) have been mentioned in the public. What are they doing now aside from captive carrying inert shapes and existing weapons?
The fact that you think that means the classified process has done its job.
 

sferrin

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I've pretty much stopped paying attention to hypersonics at all. All I'm seeing is a bunch of talk in the US.
Because a lot of the work is classified.
I'd like to believe that. But past programs (HyFly, X-51, HTV-2, US Army & USN boost-glide flights, etc.) have been mentioned in the public. What are they doing now aside from captive carrying inert shapes and existing weapons?
The fact that you think that means the classified process has done its job.
Yeah, I prefer to base my opinions on the facts rather than fantastical wishes. Still waiting for Aurora, Blackstar, SR-72, RQ-180, aliens, and flying saucers.
 

Ronny

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I've pretty much stopped paying attention to hypersonics at all. All I'm seeing is a bunch of talk in the US.
Because a lot of the work is classified.
I'd like to believe that. But past programs (HyFly, X-51, HTV-2, US Army & USN boost-glide flights, etc.) have been mentioned in the public. What are they doing now aside from captive carrying inert shapes and existing weapons?
The fact that you think that means the classified process has done its job.
Not gonna lie, the ramjet and scramjet program of US has been quite disappointing
 

Josh_TN

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US investment into hypersonics, particularly SCRAM jets, has been incredibly disappointing post cold war. If one of the HAWC demostrators is successfully, perhaps the US can finally be on track again. From what I've read both demonstrators use entirely 3D printed engines, which apparently saves a lot of weight and I would guess makes production less expensive. If one of them works it could be a leap ahead technology demonstrator.

I'll feel a lot better when AGM-183 is successfully flight tested as well.
 

Bhurki

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I wouldn't be so critical.
There's quite a bit in the pipeline.
Screenshot_20201202-195149.png
 

Bhurki

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Flyaway

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I've pretty much stopped paying attention to hypersonics at all. All I'm seeing is a bunch of talk in the US.
Because a lot of the work is classified.
I'd like to believe that. But past programs (HyFly, X-51, HTV-2, US Army & USN boost-glide flights, etc.) have been mentioned in the public. What are they doing now aside from captive carrying inert shapes and existing weapons?
The fact that you think that means the classified process has done its job.
Yeah, I prefer to base my opinions on the facts rather than fantastical wishes. Still waiting for Aurora, Blackstar, SR-72, RQ-180, aliens, and flying saucers.
Don’t be facetious. You only have to look at the NRO to know classification is effective.
 

sferrin

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I've pretty much stopped paying attention to hypersonics at all. All I'm seeing is a bunch of talk in the US.
Because a lot of the work is classified.
I'd like to believe that. But past programs (HyFly, X-51, HTV-2, US Army & USN boost-glide flights, etc.) have been mentioned in the public. What are they doing now aside from captive carrying inert shapes and existing weapons?
The fact that you think that means the classified process has done its job.
Yeah, I prefer to base my opinions on the facts rather than fantastical wishes. Still waiting for Aurora, Blackstar, SR-72, RQ-180, aliens, and flying saucers.
Don’t be facetious. You only have to look at the NRO to know classification is effective.
Yes but you can't just attribute the absence of evidence to "classification". While it may be true in some cases it's also true that sometimes you can't see evidence because it doesn't exist.
 

marauder2048

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I personally would trade a couple of CVNs for a force of 10-12 SSGNs loaded with hypersonic strike weapons

I swear that an RFI/RFP for the booster effort had a loadout of three per SSGN tube....but I'm struggling to find it.
 

TomS

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I swear that an RFI/RFP for the booster effort had a loadout of three per SSGN tube....but I'm struggling to find it.

Possibly here? Not quite RFP official, but from a fairly good source.


However, the C-HGB is much bigger than the TLAM. The Navy is leaning on work it undertook more than a decade ago to craft a MAC system that was meant to hold three large intermediate-range ballistic missiles and could be repurposed to contain three C-HGBs instead.

Creating a conventional strike ballistic missile was scrapped nearly a decade ago, but the Navy dusted off the three-shot MAC tube plans to accommodate the similar-sized hypersonic strike weapon with the similar aims of delivering a non-nuclear strike weapon at long-range, according to Bryan Clark, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute who previously worked for former Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jon Greenert. The configuration can be used on the Ohio SSGNs and the upcoming Virginia Payload Modules in the Block V boats.
 

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