Current US hypersonic weapons projects. (General)

Flyaway

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A two-stage suborbital sounding rocket was launched at 7:12 p.m. EDT, March 21, for a mission managed by the Air Force Research Laboratory/Air Force Office of Scientific Research, from NASA’s launch range at the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

The launch of the Terrier-Improved Malemute rocket was for the BOundary Layer Turbulence 2, or BOLT-2, BOLT-2 mission, investigating boundary layer transition, turbulent heating, and drag at hypersonic conditions. Boundary layer transition to turbulence is the process where smooth, laminar flow becomes unstable after which turbulence dominates and significantly increases heating and drag on high-speed vehicles.

The next launch from Wallops is a two-stage Terrier-Improved Orion sounding rocket carrying the RockOn/RockSat-C educational payload. The launch is targeted for early morning June 23.

 

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seruriermarshal

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HAWC tested successfully a second times. BTW, do anyone have the list of US hypersonic test till date?
Second HAWC from Lockheed ,first from raytheon
 

Ronny

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HAWC tested successfully a second times. BTW, do anyone have the list of US hypersonic test till date?
Second HAWC from Lockheed ,first from raytheon
I meant something like this
hypersonic test summary.PNG
 

Josh_TN

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HAWC and ARRW seem to be night and day, success wise. It seems likely to me that if the ARRW program doesn't resolve its issues, HCSW won't be revived to replace it. That missile was criticized as being even heavier than ARRW (probably due to the larger conical glider), and while boost-glide is definitely in a different performance envelope than HAWC, the cost point on an air breather is going to make it hard to justify a weapon that is carried externally in limited numbers only on a strategic bomber.

It's interesting that the HAWC test info was withheld due to concerns it would be viewed as an escalation. I think that will likely be the case with future tests until the conflict is resolved, making US hypersonic testing even more secretive than it has been.
 

bring_it_on

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HAWC and ARRW seem to be night and day, success wise.
Apples and oranges. Comparison should be between operational prototyping efforts. This would be between ARRW and HACM which is the operational prototyping program leveraging HAWC and SCiFiRE work. HACM is currently in the pre CDR phase and expects to complete CDR by mid next near or about 3 years after ARRW reached the same milestone. The ARRW program is investing in a full up weapon and weapon testing (note the warhead testing a while back) while HAWC is simply de - risking a scramjet cruise missile concept and it would still need a 5 year effort to operationalize a prototype under the FY-22 HACM OTA (fielded in 2027).
 
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bring_it_on

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Lockheed Martin’s version of the Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept missile demonstrator set a record for hypersonic flight under scramjet power in a just-revealed March flight test, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency confirmed.

The flight test likely achieved about 327 seconds of hypersonic flight under scramjet power, versus 200 seconds achieved by the Boeing X-51 Waverider in 2010, based on figures provided by DARPA.

“DARPA, in partnership with the U.S. Air Force, recently completed a second successful test of a Hypersonic Air-breathing Concept, known as HAWC,” Stefanie Tompkins, head of DARPA, told the Senate Armed Services subcommittee on emerging threats and capabilities. “This test set a record for scramjet endurance, and we believe it’s an inflection point on the path to reclaiming U.S. leadership in hypersonic weapons.”

Tompkins did not provide details, but DARPA issued a release saying it had flown the Lockheed HAWC 300 miles at altitudes up to 65,000 feet. Scramjets require supersonic speeds to ignite, and are boosted to those speeds by a detachable rocket. Since hypersonic flight begins very quickly after the rocket fires, most of the 300 miles would be flown under scramjet power.

At 65,000 feet, the speed of sound is 660 mph. Hypersonic flight is considered above Mach 5, or five times the speed of sound, meaning the HAWC’s speed at that altitude would be at least 3,300 mph. At that speed, 300 miles would be covered in 1/11 of an hour, translating to a flight time of 5:45 minutes, or about 327 seconds.

“We were at hypersonic speeds for the majority of that distance, and it would be a longer flight than X-51,” a DARPA spokesman said in response to that calculation.

Tompkins’ testimony remark also suggests the duration of flight by the Lockheed HAWC bested the performance of the competing Raytheon HAWC, which made a free flight in September 2021. Few details of that test were revealed, although it was touted as a success by DARPA.

 

Josh_TN

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All we can say for sure, assuming the DARPA statement is accurate, is that the test exceeded the previous HACW test and the 210 seconds of the X-51. Actual duration would be dependent on speed, which we don't know. It's probably a safe assumption that the HACW demos are at the low end of hypersonic - that seems to be a sweet spot in terms of speed, fuel efficiency, and ease of manufacture (ie less thermal stress allowing for less exotic materials), but we don't really have any information.

What I found remarkable about the X-51 test was that it purportedly only used 270lbs of fuel for a ~4000lb object that traveled 200+ miles under power. To put that into perspective, I think a BGM-109 carries almost a thousand pounds of fuel. Presumably HACW demos are even more fuel efficient than the X-51, being newer in design and apparently with much lower engine weight.
 

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala., April 06, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- An advanced Aerojet Rocketdyne scramjet engine powered the successful flight test of the Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC), in a joint effort with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and Lockheed Martin.

The goal of the DARPA / Lockheed Martin HAWC program is to develop and demonstrate critical technologies to enable an effective and affordable air-launched hypersonic cruise missile system.

“Aerojet Rocketdyne is well-positioned to support our nation’s hypersonic development and production,” said Eileen P. Drake, Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and president. “By applying decades of advanced research and development, together with engineering know-how and innovative manufacturing and materials, our products optimize performance while dramatically reducing costs and development time.”

Through the use of additive manufacturing, Aerojet Rocketdyne is using 95% fewer parts in its scramjets than it used for the history-making scramjet engine that powered the United States Air Force X-51A Waverider to sustained hypersonic speed. Aerojet Rocketdyne has continued to improve the aerothermal performance, affordability, scalability and rapid manufacturability of scramjet engines to meet emerging needs for hypersonic missile and aircraft applications.

 

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bring_it_on

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It is for the entire hypersonic prototyping effort with the AF. When the materials are published you can see all individual programs that are included (but likely elements of HACM and ARRW make up the largest portion of this)
 

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It is for the entire hypersonic prototyping effort with the AF. When the materials are published you can see all individual programs that are included (but likely elements of HACM and ARRW make up the largest portion of this)
I think you meant HAWC and ARRW?, because it seem like HACM has separate budget of 190 mil in 2022 and 144 mil in 2023?
 

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It is for the entire hypersonic prototyping effort with the AF. When the materials are published you can see all individual programs that are included (but likely elements of HACM and ARRW make up the largest portion of this)
I think you meant HAWC and ARRW?, because it seem like HACM has separate budget of 190 mil in 2022 and 144 mil in 2023?
HAWC is not funded by the AF RDT&E accounts. Its a DARPA program. Its also not a prototyping effort. The parent prototyping account has previously included HACM and ARRW (HCSW prior to that), and they've broken it up this time because Congress wanted each prototyping effort to exist separately in the reporting. So wait a week or so and go through the documents.
 

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It is for the entire hypersonic prototyping effort with the AF. When the materials are published you can see all individual programs that are included (but likely elements of HACM and ARRW make up the largest portion of this)
I think you meant HAWC and ARRW?, because it seem like HACM has separate budget of 190 mil in 2022 and 144 mil in 2023?
HAWC is not funded by the AF RDT&E accounts. Its a DARPA program. Its also not a prototyping effort. The parent prototyping account has previously included HACM and ARRW (HCSW prior to that), and they've broken it up this time because Congress wanted each prototyping effort to exist separately in the reporting. So wait a week or so and go through the documents.

Keeping up with US hypersonics:

56i6z3o3uzt31.png
 

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If they're going to kill it at the end of next year, why are they still funding it until then? That's like, "here, let me put this $430+m down the toilet for you."

Shouldn't an air-launched ballistic missile be simpler than air-breathing, or is it the fancy glide RV that's causing the problems?
 

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If they're going to kill it at the end of next year, why are they still funding it until then? That's like, "here, let me put this $430+m down the toilet for you."

Shouldn't an air-launched ballistic missile be simpler than air-breathing, or is it the fancy glide RV that's causing the problems?
There’s a few indications why in the replies to that post.
 

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If they're going to kill it at the end of next year, why are they still funding it until then? That's like, "here, let me put this $430+m down the toilet for you."
Probably pouring money into additional research hoping it will perform. But if not then it gone for good
Shouldn't an air-launched ballistic missile be simpler than air-breathing, or is it the fancy glide RV that's causing the problems?
If they have issue with the fancy glider RV that would be a huge improvement with what currently happening, they can't even get the booster to start 3 differenr times
 

bring_it_on

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This is not the correct take (I've pointed it out to Steve in comments below the tweet). The RDT&E or prototyping funding for ARRW is going away in FY-23 because it is expected to end the development and prototyping phase of the program. This would have happened in FY-22 had there been no delays. The AF has opened up an ARRRW line in its procurement budget. This currently includes $40 MM funding for tooling and AUR production but that is apparently being diverted to cover the shortfalls on the testing side to make up for the delays. However, if the program is successful over the next 12 months, the AF can request reprogramming, and the Congress can add dollars into this procurement account to avoid a gap between FY-23 RDT&E completion, and additional FY-24 funding.

All in, the AF has build a mechanism to finish ARRW development and testing, and to begin buying the missile once it is ready. Whether they do this, and at what pace, will be highly dependent on how the program is executed by the armament directorate and Lockheed Martin.

They are aiming for booster test and verifications by end of FY-2022, followed by four AUR flight tests in FY-23. That's a lot of flight test activity that they have to do and get right so it is far from certain that they'll be able to do it within this time.

View: https://twitter.com/MIL_STD/status/1517698216396918784
 
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bring_it_on

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Which existing program are the re-branding to get "HALO"?
I think HALO is probably something like air launched SM-6 block IB :)

The Navy has for several years looked at and invested in figuring out how to take the scramjet tech from DARPA/AFRL HAWC and put it on a carrier. They have even launched a S&T effort to de-risk such a thing under its Screaming Arrow effort. So HALO appears to be basically HAWC like scramjet powered AL weapon for the Super Hornet which is basically what SciFire is accelerating (via a PDR and follow on integration and flight test activity this year and next year).
 

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Which existing program are the re-branding to get "HALO"?
I think HALO is probably something like air launched SM-6 block IB :)

The Navy has for several years looked at and invested in figuring out how to take the scramjet tech from DARPA/AFRL HAWC and put it on a carrier. They have even launched a S&T effort to de-risk such a thing under its Screaming Arrow effort. So HALO appears to be basically HAWC like scramjet powered AL weapon for the Super Hornet which is basically what SciFire is accelerating (via a PDR and follow on integration and flight test activity this year and next year).
Would it be cheaper to just use HACM instead of start another separate program?
 

bring_it_on

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Which existing program are the re-branding to get "HALO"?
I think HALO is probably something like air launched SM-6 block IB :)

The Navy has for several years looked at and invested in figuring out how to take the scramjet tech from DARPA/AFRL HAWC and put it on a carrier. They have even launched a S&T effort to de-risk such a thing under its Screaming Arrow effort. So HALO appears to be basically HAWC like scramjet powered AL weapon for the Super Hornet which is basically what SciFire is accelerating (via a PDR and follow on integration and flight test activity this year and next year).
Would it be cheaper to just use HACM instead of start another separate program?

If HACM is HAWC derived then it will not fit the carrier weapon elevators because at around 20 ft in length it is about 5 ft longer than what works on a carrier. The Navy has stated as much in its budgets in prior years and has been looking to get it down to 15 ft. HALO is likely to roll out of the SciFire effort which is effectively taking over the HAWC work and moving it forward. I expect there to be significant commonality between HAWC, SciFire, HACM and HALO to a point where HALO will not be a completely fresh new look but rather using the same parent tech and design work and moving it into a naval carrier use environment. In fact SciFire will most likely fly a scramjet prototype off of a Super Hornet so the Navy effort probably relates more closely to it than HACM does.
 

Flyaway

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This is not the correct take (I've pointed it out to Steve in comments below the tweet). The RDT&E or prototyping funding for ARRW is going away in FY-23 because it is expected to end the development and prototyping phase of the program. This would have happened in FY-22 had there been no delays. The AF has opened up an ARRRW line in its procurement budget. This currently includes $40 MM funding for tooling and AUR production but that is apparently being diverted to cover the shortfalls on the testing side to make up for the delays. However, if the program is successful over the next 12 months, the AF can request reprogramming, and the Congress can add dollars into this procurement account to avoid a gap between FY-23 RDT&E completion, and additional FY-24 funding.

All in, the AF has build a mechanism to finish ARRW development and testing, and to begin buying the missile once it is ready. Whether they do this, and at what pace, will be highly dependent on how the program is executed by the armament directorate and Lockheed Martin.

They are aiming for booster test and verifications by end of FY-2022, followed by four AUR flight tests in FY-23. That's a lot of flight test activity that they have to do and get right so it is far from certain that they'll be able to do it within this time.

View: https://twitter.com/MIL_STD/status/1517698216396918784
Would help if you put up his reply to you.

View: https://mobile.twitter.com/TheDEWLine/status/1517698682497519616
 

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