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Current US hypersonic weapons projects. (General)

quellish

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Can someone identify this rocket stack's dimensions? It is said to be dual stage.
Looks similar to a certain SDI era experimental rocket. Likely not related though.
It was. STARS boosters were used for missile defense experiments.

 

Bhurki

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TomcatViP

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Since they also put Rocketdyne and the X-33 in the mix... I was dreaming of an aerospike.
 

tequilashooter

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Wow... So a turbo-ram-scramjet.



There are existing ramjet missile designs that bumped their range up and speed to reach mach 5 so mach 5.01 can fit the over mach 5 claim so I wouldn't say ram-scramjet for now.
 

Bhurki

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Wow... So a turbo-ram-scramjet.
There are existing ramjet missile designs that bumped their range up and speed to reach mach 5 so mach 5.01 can fit the over mach 5 claim so I wouldn't say ram-scramjet for now.

I'm calling it 'scram'jet only because it says
'dual mode ramjet capable of supersonic combustion'.

Hell, putting ramjet and turbojet into the same package was pretty revolutionary for the size of a missile (YJ102R).
Adding a mode that can then shift to a third mode of combustion(supersonic flow) within the same chamber is kind of hard.
 
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Flyaway

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View: https://mobile.twitter.com/TeamEglin/status/1367967876917891072


The
@usairforce
prepares for its first booster test flight (BTF-1) of the AGM-183A Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW), expected in the next 30 days.
Read about it here.

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --
The Air Force prepares for its first booster test flight (BTF-1) of the AGM-183A Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW), expected in the next 30 days.

Following delivery of the ARRW test missile to Edwards Air Force Base, California March 1, and loading on a B-52H Stratofortress, immediate work began on pre-flight ground tests and checks to obtain certification for the flight to proceed as scheduled.

“The BTF-1 test vehicle is complete and is progressing through ground testing to verify its readiness for flight. The team has successfully dealt with COVID challenges and resolved technical findings not uncommon in a first-of-a-kind weapon system. We have minimized schedule delays while maintaining a laser focus on engineering rigor. Our first BTF will happen in the next 30 days, followed by several additional booster and all-up-round test flights by the end of the year,” said Brig. Gen. Heath Collins, Air Force Program Executive Officer for Weapons.

The ARRW program is a rapid prototyping project that will leverage cutting edge technologies to deliver a conventional hypersonic weapons capability to the warfighter in the early 2020s. The weapon system provides combatant commanders the capability to destroy high-value, time-sensitive targets. ARRW expands precision-strike weapon systems’ capabilities by enabling survivable rapid response strikes against heavily defended targets.

The Air Force designed the ARRW booster test vehicle to achieve the high speeds necessary to deliver the ARRW glide vehicle and embedded ordnance package to designated targets required by U.S. combatant commanders. The ARRW program followed a rigorous systems engineering process with extensive ground and flight test campaigns to ensure a well-executed BTF event; BTF-1 will be the eighth flight test for the ARRW program, following seven captive carriage flight tests.

To ensure ARRW is mature for a production decision, the Air Force and Lockheed Martin took deliberate steps to achieve a high level of manufacturing readiness. Assembly of the ARRW booster test vehicle on production-representative manufacturing lines is a major step toward this production readiness goal.

The ARRW BTF-1 will demonstrate the booster’s ability to reach operational speeds and collect other important data. In addition to booster performance, the test vehicle will also validate safe separation and controllability of the missile away from the carrier B-52H, through ignition and boost phase, all the way up to separation of a simulated glide vehicle. The simulated glider will not sustain flight, and will safely disintegrate soon after separation. The 412th Test Wing will conduct the ARRW BTF series over the Point Mugu Sea Range in California.

 

Bhurki

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Funny the idea of bringing to life a modern J58. Shows you how ahead of its time the original engine was.
J58 was a ramjet wrapped around a turbojet. Advanced for its time, but the advances in metallurgy and design over the decades mean a lot more can be extracted from the same form factor.

Back in 2009, YJ102R reportedly had 6x specific impulse of the J58. Thats a lot more range and thrust if it was implemented on a larger scale.

However, adding a supersonic combustion mode is a whole different ball game, and will probably provide stupendous performance.
 

sferrin

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Bhurki

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Feel the need to remind people that the RATTLR existed.

Was a thing up til like 09 then it disappeared off the face of the earth. Pop up again from a tweet in 2019 before going dark again. Will not be surprise to see it return.
There's quite a few missiles that faced the axe about a decade ago that were probably at TRL 5/6 and could spawn at short notice. Rattlrs, Hyfly, Arclight, Lrasm-B.
 

Ronny

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Ah what??
To be replaced... by...? -crickets-
They still have many others on going air launched hypersonic missile programs
HACM: Hypersonic Attack Cruise Missile
SPEAR: Supersonic Propulsion Enabled Advanced Ramjet
HyFly 2
THOR-ER: Tactical High-speed Offensive Ramjet for Extended Range
HSWab: Hypersonic strike weapon- air breather

 

Firefinder

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Feel the need to remind people that the RATTLR existed.

Was a thing up til like 09 then it disappeared off the face of the earth. Pop up again from a tweet in 2019 before going dark again. Will not be surprise to see it return.
Or how about ASALM that they never have the spine to take to completion?
Feel the need to remind people that the RATTLR existed.

Was a thing up til like 09 then it disappeared off the face of the earth. Pop up again from a tweet in 2019 before going dark again. Will not be surprise to see it return.
There's quite a few missiles that faced the axe about a decade ago that were probably at TRL 5/6 and could spawn at short notice. Rattlrs, Hyfly, Arclight, Lrasm-B.
I brought up the Rattlrs since they were talking a missile using a J58 style of engine.

And the Engine used by the Rattlrs was basically a mini J58 bout the size of the Tomahawks with the missile being similar to fit in the MK41 VLS and having around 800 miles of range and cruises at mach 3. Since it was flying very recently I can see them bringing back fast.
 

Josh_TN

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I was always surprised something wasn't done with that engine. It apparently set a thrust to weight ratio record and I would have thought it would be incredibly useful for an air launched long ranged super sonic missile or even a UAV.
 

In_A_Dream

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I was always surprised something wasn't done with that engine. It apparently set a thrust to weight ratio record and I would have thought it would be incredibly useful for an air launched long ranged super sonic missile or even a UAV.
Project Mayhem? Lots of possibilities :)
 

Josh_TN

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I figured most of the energy of the ARRW warhead would have to be kinetic, with perhaps a small burster charge. Looks like that is what they went for. As such I would guess this weapon would be ineffective against hardened targets, though there are plenty of subsonic cruise missiles to address that target class.

The >500 mile range seems like a very low bar to pass for an air launched weapon.
 

sferrin

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I was always surprised something wasn't done with that engine. It apparently set a thrust to weight ratio record and I would have thought it would be incredibly useful for an air launched long ranged super sonic missile or even a UAV.
And it was just the most recent (at the time) in a long line. Williams International also built one. Then there was an earlier effort here:

TURB-DEM.gif
 

Ronny

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looking at the guidance of ARRW, it seem that the missile is only usable against fixed target
 

bring_it_on

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looking at the guidance of ARRW, it seem that the missile is only usable against fixed target

Moving and rapidly relocatable targets which suggests some sort of rapid ISR to fix a target that may have just moved. That is the first application for these systems. The air-breathing systems will begin to incorporate seekers for other target types but even with the ARRW, LRHW et al the # of candidate fixed targets are likely to continue to exceed the number of available munitions for a long long time until these inventories are fielded. Right now neither the ARRW, nor the LRHS are programs of record so it is a long road to reach an objective inventory.
 
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bobbymike

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