Current US hypersonic weapons projects. (General)

Opportunistic Minnow

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Sigh. This project is too slow, lets stop and rethink all of it. What "concept of operations" do you need? It's a JDAM that will get there really fast. Use it like that! Don't overthink it.

Is AGM-183 Launch Platform Available in theatre? >No ......FFS
Is AGM-183 Launch Platform Available in theatre? >Yes >
Is Target Type APPLICABLE? >Yes >
Is Target Type PRIORITY? (AGM-183=EXPENSIVE) >Yes >
Is Intelligence Confidence HIGH? >Yes >
Use the damn AGM-183!
 
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sferrin

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These GD idiots never change. Same thing back in the days of RATTLRS, HyFly, etc. Basically, "we don't have a use for them if they work".

"“It’s pretty clear to me what the Chinese want to do with the hypersonics they’re developing. It’s even pretty clear to me what the Russians might want to do with hypersonics,” Kendall said.

“The target set that we would want to address, and why hypersonics are the most cost effective weapons for the U.S., I think it’s still to me somewhat of a question mark,” he added. “I haven’t seen all the analysis that’s been done to justify the current program.”"


Hellooo McFly. Why wouldn't we want to, you know, do those same kinds of things?

"Although the Air Force’s work on hypersonic weapons is progressing, it’s not moving fast enough, Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall told reporters at the Air Force Association’s Air, Space and Cyber conference."

Let me guess. Cancelling them and starting over would result in hypersonic weapons on the ramp sooner, right? Right? I'd underestimated the amount of dumbth out of this general when I compared him to the Keystone Cops. Obviously I gave him too much credit.
 
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bobbymike

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These GD idiots never change. Same thing back in the days of RATTLRS, HyFly, etc. Basically, "we don't have a use for them if they work".

"“It’s pretty clear to me what the Chinese want to do with the hypersonics they’re developing. It’s even pretty clear to me what the Russians might want to do with hypersonics,” Kendall said.

“The target set that we would want to address, and why hypersonics are the most cost effective weapons for the U.S., I think it’s still to me somewhat of a question mark,” he added. “I haven’t seen all the analysis that’s been done to justify the current program.”"


Hellooo McFly. Why wouldn't we want to, you know, do those same kinds of things?

"Although the Air Force’s work on hypersonic weapons is progressing, it’s not moving fast enough, Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall told reporters at the Air Force Association’s Air, Space and Cyber conference."

Let me guess. Cancelling them and starting over would result in hypersonic weapons on the ramp sooner, right? Right? I'd underestimated the amount of dumbth out of this general when I compared him to the Keystone Cops. Obviously I gave him too much credit.
Has he been in a bubble? RAND did a study back in 1992 I believe about prompt conventional strike. Given nuclear arms reductions anticipated the US would have all these “extra” ballistic missiles and RAND said “hey they’re really accurate how about CPGS missiles?”

Yes the shorter range hypersonic systems today encompass more systems but are we saying in 30 years since the RAND report we don’t even understand how to use them in war?
 

Ronny

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URL unfurl="true"]https://www.defensenews.com/air/2021/09/22/air-forces-top-civilian-hints-at-changes-to-hypersonic-weapons-programs/[/URL]

This is not likely to end well.
:rolleyes: Why do I have the feeling that all hypersonic program will be cancelled then they will go with a "less risk", "mature" option of subsonic cruise missile?.
 

sferrin

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URL unfurl="true"]https://www.defensenews.com/air/2021/09/22/air-forces-top-civilian-hints-at-changes-to-hypersonic-weapons-programs/[/URL]

This is not likely to end well.
:rolleyes: Why do I have the feeling that all hypersonic program will be cancelled then they will go with a "less risk", "mature" option of subsonic cruise missile?.
Well they still think Tomahawk is superior to LRASM, (And Brahmos, Zircon, Shipwreck, Vulkan, Sizzler, etc.)
 

bring_it_on

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A lot on this is being overblown. The programs are using OTA's. This means that they have to (soon/beyond 5 years) begin transitioning into traditional programs of record. AGM-183A will need to do this in the next 1-2 budgets, and HACM within the FYDP. At that time, the service has to develop more detailed plans, do and get approval for the analysis required to set objective inventories, platforms, buy-rates and all the work that goes into creating a full fledged long term production program (they skipped some of this work by leveraging the new authorities when they created these programs). ARRW was set up as a rapidly fielded capability so as it finishes up on that it has to transition into something more sustainable. HACM is being developed under the same authority and likewise will have to do the same work to establish the program requirements for the future. The current DOD leadership is committed to hypersonic programs and has increased the funding from last year's levels while adding new programs for FY-22. This is unlikely to stop all of a sudden. Especially after the number 2 at the Pentagon highlighted offensive and defensive hypersonic capability as one of the top priorities against China.

But as ARRW, LRHW, IR-CPS, HACM and others transition from their 5 year OTA's to full fledged programs they will have to go through the process and compete with other investments in each of their service's acquisition portfolio. This doesn't mean that they won't be developed, and fielded under their existing contracts. Nothing points to them walking back on that. The work needed to get to "what comes after that" doesn't appear to have been fully fleshed out yet but will have to in the FY-23 and the FYDP as most of these programs will begin their transition in the next 2 or so years.
 
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bring_it_on

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Yeah that's understandable but the current OT agreements are fairly secure and have Congressional support. That's not the problem. The problem is going to be more long term in the post 2025 timeframe when these operational prototypes are fielded and the work transitions to a full fledged program of record. I think OTA's don't even require a formal analysis of alternatives, or the type of work that goes into creating a program of record that establishes inventories, production rates and unit costs. All that work now needs to happen on some of these older OTA's (LRHW and ARRW) as they are getting close to finishing up their development.

On ARRW, the program is now at risk of having production contract slipping from FY-22 award to a FY-23 award given the delays with testing (they aren't expected to get back in the air till end of the year at the earliest). But even then, FY-23 and FY-24 is when they'll have to do the work to transition this program beyond its current state. HACM is running just a couple of years behind.
 

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I think the target set and rationale for adopting hypersonics is quite clear. As for escalation issues, the US weapons are all non nuclear programs with gliders and cruise missiles of a size all but incapable of carrying a nuclear warhead. If nuclear ambiguity is a problem, somebody surely forgot to tell Russia and China.
 

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View attachment 665747



(For the love of God, could somebody at Oshkosh PLEASE crack a book on Russian/Chinese TELs and learn how it's supposed to be done?)
LOL!!
I was just thinking that when I saw these pics yesterday.
Still it could be worse tho,you could have something that looks like this monstrosity.
l2013012344846.jpg
 

TomcatViP

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@sferrin : look at the way they are pulling it off the trailer of the delivery truck. See the rear triple axle play. Not too bad for something that has to move around a typical expeditionary road networks (outside dimensions) and still fulfill the mission.

message-editor%2F1633536783559-210914-a-wg537-1009.jpg
 

bring_it_on

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Or maybe learn from Gryphon TEL's where one can pack 4 missiles.
What can they learn from the Gryphon TEL? How to pack four missiles? LRHW uses a trailer and for expeditionary reasons, and to expedite fielding, the Army mandated that either an existing, as is, inventory trailer, or a modified trailer already in the inventory be used. They wanted eight missiles per Battery and two 34.5 inch missiles per TE seems logical. Using an integrated TEL seems counterintuitive for an expeditionary environment. They aren't parking this thing off of the border of Canada but will have to ship or airlift this thing halfway across the globe and then sustain the system there. Commonality matters when trying to manage the logistics associated with that. The US Army's Typhon battery (more similar to the Gryphon in role) will have 16 missiles with four per each trailer.
 

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sferrin

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@sferrin : look at the way they are pulling it off the trailer of the delivery truck. See the rear triple axle play. Not too bad for something that has to move around a typical expeditionary road networks (outside dimensions) and still fulfill the mission.
1633613963406.png

A soldier actually has to run around to the back of the trailer and attach the pads to the hydraulic stabilizers. The THAAD launcher is the same way.
 

bring_it_on

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For the love of God, could somebody at Oshkosh PLEASE crack a book on Russian/Chinese TELs and learn how it's supposed to be done?)

Doesn't it have 2x the loadout of the DF-17? And a trailer is better from an expeditionary perspective where you can get a new prime mover (standard HEMTT) if one breaks down as opposed to being stuck.

A soldier actually has to run around to the back of the trailer and attach the pads to the hydraulic stabilizers. The THAAD launcher is the same way.

You can automate this very easily. However, having a bit of experience on this with some other systems with the Army, the Army doesn't like that from a logistical perspective as it introduces complexity which can cause breakdown when forward deployed. The same reason it (and the USMC) still prefers to tow many of its radars, and requires manually setting them up for tasks that have been automated (by the same OEM's) in many other similar applications.
 

sferrin

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Or maybe learn from Gryphon TEL's where one can pack 4 missiles.
What can they learn from the Gryphon TEL? How to pack four missiles? LRHW uses a trailer and for expeditionary reasons, and to expedite fielding, the Army mandated that either an existing, as is, inventory trailer, or a modified trailer already in the inventory be used. They wanted eight missiles per Battery and two 34.5 inch missiles per TE seems logical. Using an integrated TEL seems counterintuitive for an expeditionary environment. They aren't parking this thing off of the border of Canada but will have to ship or airlift this thing halfway across the globe and then sustain the system there. Commonality matters when trying to manage the logistics associated with that. The US Army's Typhon battery (more similar to the Gryphon in role) will have 16 missiles with four per each trailer.
Yeah, you have to cut a lot of corners to stuff it on a plane.

What is Typhon?
 

sferrin

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For the love of God, could somebody at Oshkosh PLEASE crack a book on Russian/Chinese TELs and learn how it's supposed to be done?)

Doesn't it have 2x the loadout of the DF-17? And a trailer is better from an expeditionary perspective where you can get a new prime mover (standard HEMTT) if one breaks down as opposed to being stuck.
The DF-17 looks like a bigger missile. Certainly it's glider wouldn't fit in a LRHW cannister.
 

bring_it_on

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For the love of God, could somebody at Oshkosh PLEASE crack a book on Russian/Chinese TELs and learn how it's supposed to be done?)

Doesn't it have 2x the loadout of the DF-17? And a trailer is better from an expeditionary perspective where you can get a new prime mover (standard HEMTT) if one breaks down as opposed to being stuck.
The DF-17 looks like a bigger missile. Certainly it's glider wouldn't fit in a LRHW cannister.

Well exactly. And the fact that these are expeditionary systems makes the comparison much harder to do. Army prefers trailers and passes on several tasks that could easily be automated for doing so would add to the logistical and sustainment burden. The Marines are even more strict about what they will or won't accept.
 

bring_it_on

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What is Typhon?

Army's Mid-Range Capability. Basically Tomahawk, and SM-6 (and whatever else will fit the MK41 in the future). The Army has confirmed that it will have four Mk41 tubes per trailer, and four trailers per battery. Ignore the PATRIOT launcher in the graphic, since this presentation they've also said that they are using a variant of the SCO developed MK41 launch system that just launched an SM-6 from an unmanned Navy vessel.
 

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TomcatViP

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You can automate this very easily. However, having a bit of experience on this with some other systems with the Army, the Army doesn't like that from a logistical perspective as it introduces complexity which can cause breakdown when forward deployed. The same reason it (and the USMC) still prefers to tow many of its radars, and requires manually setting them up for tasks that have been automated (by the same OEM's) in many other similar applications.

I suspect that one of the main reason driving the removable pad for the stabilizer is on being roadable. With those pads fitted, you'll certainly not be allowed to use public road, cutting the benefits to have an easily deployable asset like this.
Notice that the rear "bumper" follow general design rules for truck and trailers when the pads are removed (would be interesting to see how that fits with pictures of this trailer seen driving on public roads).
 

totallyaverage

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(For the love of God, could somebody at Oshkosh PLEASE crack a book on Russian/Chinese TELs and learn how it's supposed to be done?)

Neither country has a TEL that can carry one, let alone two, MRBM class missiles and remain C-17 transportable. Rapid deployability is a critical requirement for the US. It doesn't matter how capable a weapon system is if you don't have it where and when you need it. It's the same reason why the Patriot launcher is designed the way it was; it was the only way to fit four large diameter missiles on a mobile launcher and still have it be C-141 transportable.

Additionally, designing a TEL would add hundreds of millions or more in extra costs, in a budget where the Army is trying to squeeze every last penny to fund its other modernization programs.
 

Josh_TN

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The big boosters for ground launched gliders are always going to be expensive (and I presume the gliders aren't cheap either). My hope is that something like HAWC is actually much more affordable. The entire engine is a 3D print; I'd have thought that would do a lot to bring the cost down. If they really want a cheaper ground launched weapon maybe they need to settle for a throttlable ramjet with a booster instead of boost-glide. You could cruise low supersonic to get to altitude and approach the target and then open up to hypersonic or near hypersonic when you got with the defended airspace of the target.
 

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sferrin

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I think the only way they'll get the cost down is to buy more. Everybody is tooled up for composite/aluminum/titanium structures. Don't know how much industry bandwidth there is for all the high-temp materials they'll need. Just for example, the RATTLRS airframe was a titanium airframe made at a smaller company (Klune). HyFly used a giant titanium casting for it's body.
 
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TomcatViP

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Lawmakers, local officials, Grand Forks business leaders and executives from Northrop Grumman met on Wednesday, Oct. 13, to officially recognize the transfer of four retired Global Hawk drones. The drones will be retrofitted with new equipment, then flown out to either the east or west coast where they will be used to assist in hypersonic missile testing. The drones were transferred to Northrop’s facility from Grand Forks Air Force Base.

 

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