Defense against Hypersonic Glide Vehicles

Josh_TN

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THAAD always struck me as the logically place to start just because it was endo/exo atmospheric capable out of the box, compared to SM-3's interceptor.
 

Bhurki

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THAAD always struck me as the logically place to start just because it was endo/exo atmospheric capable out of the box, compared to SM-3's interceptor.
Thaad doesnt have the divert capabilities required to intercept high manuevering targets. SM3 is quite a bit different with that 3rd stage Mk136
 

sferrin

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THAAD always struck me as the logically place to start just because it was endo/exo atmospheric capable out of the box, compared to SM-3's interceptor.
Thaad doesnt have the divert capabilities required to intercept high manuevering targets. SM3 is quite a bit different with that 3rd stage Mk136


SM-3 can't do anything inside the atmosphere. THAAD-ER, with the 2nd stage, would have lots of divert capability.
 

marauder2048

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I'm curious about the shipboard aspects for THAAD-ER (MDA says first deployment about USN ships).
Either Lockheed is using a non-hypergolic LDACS or the Navy is relaxing its ban.
 

Bhurki

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THAAD always struck me as the logically place to start just because it was endo/exo atmospheric capable out of the box, compared to SM-3's interceptor.
Thaad doesnt have the divert capabilities required to intercept high manuevering targets. SM3 is quite a bit different with that 3rd stage Mk136


SM-3 can't do anything inside the atmosphere. THAAD-ER, with the 2nd stage, would have lots of divert capability.
What envelope would it cater to that can't be covered by
- SM-3 Blk 2A
- SM-6 Blk 1B (expecting its delta v to increase based on full bore sustainer motor)
Can't the latter do high endo interceptions (50-100km apogee)
It would provide a high degree commonality and eco of scale if so imho
 
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marauder2048

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THAAD always struck me as the logically place to start just because it was endo/exo atmospheric capable out of the box, compared to SM-3's interceptor.
Thaad doesnt have the divert capabilities required to intercept high manuevering targets. SM3 is quite a bit different with that 3rd stage Mk136


SM-3 can't do anything inside the atmosphere. THAAD-ER, with the 2nd stage, would have lots of divert capability.
What envelope would it cater to that can't be covered by
- SM-3 Blk 2A
- SM-6 Blk 1B (expecting its delta v to increase based on full bore sustainer motor)
Can't the latter do high endo interceptions (50-100km apogee)
It would provide a high degree commonality and eco of scale if so imho

How does the SM-6 maneuver at those altitudes?
I suppose if the 21-inch second stage has the supersonic split-line nozzle TVC arrangement the Navy RFI'ed about a few years back.

It's not clear to me they can use the same 21-inch booster for both; the SM-6 gets pitched around much more violently
and is subjected to the harsher endo-environment for much longer.
 
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Bhurki

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It's not clear to me they can use the same 21-inch booster for both
Money has certainly moved in that direction.
https___s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com_the-drive-cms-content-staging_message-editor%2F15531242355...jpeg
Taking this modification into consideration, and the fact that the limiting effect of diameter is more on the motor than the propellant quantity carried, i'd say its safe to say they'll use the same unit for sustain operation of the flight in Sm3 2a and Sm6 1b, and not a different one for 21' Sm6 where the motor is somehow limited in its performance parameters vis-a-vis the 21' Sm3.
 
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marauder2048

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It's not clear to me they can use the same 21-inch booster for both
Money has certainly moved in that direction.

Taking this modification into consideration, and the fact that the limiting effect of diameter is more on the motor than the propellant quantity carried, i'd say its safe to say they'll use the same unit for sustain operation of the flight in Sm3 2a and Sm6 1b, and not a different one for 21' Sm6 where the motor is somehow limited in its performance parameters vis-a-vis the 21' Sm3.

The RFI the Navy released for the SM-6 Block IB rocket motor tells a very different story.
And budget talks about designing and acquiring multiple prototypes along with awarding multiple design contracts.
 
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bobbymike

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MDA advancing work on high-powered microwave for hypersonic defense
The Missile Defense Agency is pressing ahead with a project to develop a speed-of-light weapon to knock down maneuvering hypersonic vehicles, awarding Raytheon $9.7 million to advance work originally proposed two years ago on a Hypersonic Defense Weapon System concept and setting the project on a path to a potential Microwave Technology Testbed
 

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MDA launching second counter-hypersonic project, adding sea-based interceptor for terminal defense
The Missile Defense Agency is launching a second layer to its counter-hypersonic portfolio with a new project that aims to develop a sea-based interceptor to defeat threats in the terminal phase -- an envisioned last-line of defense for the Navy against a new class of ultra-fast glide vehicles and cruise missiles being developed by Russia and China -- with plans to vet proposals by December and award initial contracts in early 2021
 

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SpaceX winning a contract to build wide FoV, real-time detection and tracking sats seems like a pretty massive step up from their prior sat work. They must really have impressed with their proposal.
 

Josh_TN

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They are using the satellite bus of Starlink to carry a recon payload contracted out to a third party. I think what their proposal had was a super aggressive time frame of deployment. They can probably bump four of their own sats off a starlink mission any time they feel like it; they are putting those trips up every couple months. Furthermore their ability to spam a sensor layer into orbit using an already in service satellite bus and rocket/dispenser combination 60 satellites at a time must weigh heavily on SDA's decision. SpaceX already has a constellation no military in the world could dream of in terms of size and robustness, as well as ease and cost of launching replacements and spares. Elon is a Persian cat away from being a Bond villain.
 

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SpaceX winning a contract to build wide FoV, real-time detection and tracking sats seems like a pretty massive step up from their prior sat work. They must really have impressed with their proposal.

I find myself wondering if they can fit elements of the system on their Starlink sats.
 

stealthflanker

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I find myself wondering if they can fit elements of the system on their Starlink sats.

They can. At least the datalink part.

If they have dense enough constellation. They can perhaps mount some form of dedicated transmit-receive module and use each Satellite as "elements" to form a Massive phased array radar.

One can even perhaps do a real-time mid course guidance using Starlink.
 

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The actual IR package as well as the laser cross link probably has to be a custom component that replaces the traditional payload I imagine. At least it will be for the first four test satellites.

I think the goal of this constellation ultimately will be to generate real time target tracks. Seems like a lofty goal, but it looks like the wide angle low level IR will cue a medium altitude satellite with higher resolution. I wonder if there will be a SAR component? In any case, it might be enough of a track to enable an interceptor launch that meets the target just after it crosses into the envelope of an ABM radar that can provide a more precise track. The US has a rather large network of these pointed towards the Asian continent from most directions. Some Aegis ships would also fall into that category as well.
 

marauder2048

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I wonder if there will be a SAR component?
A conventional SAR image would show a big, blurry streak down the middle of it. If you have good radar power and a cooperative
background, the radar shadow might show you some useful things and at the very least establish that it's a real object.

ISAR is background dependent and VideoSAR might work but AFAIK, there have not been spaceborne applications of the latter.
 

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All eight satellites will be launched in 2022 for a demonstration of the Tracking Layer. The next step will be to add 28 more wide field-of-view satellites and one or two “medium field of view” satellites that will be developed by the Missile Defense Agency. The medium field-of-view sensors provide more specific target location data to cue weapons automatically.

Under Tranche 0, a constellation of 20 Transport Layer satellites, eight wide field-of-view and two medium field-of-view OPIR Tracking Layer satellites would be deployed in two planes of 15 satellites each.

201005-D-ZZ999-001.jpeg
 

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By the way, we launched hypersonic ASM:


It was fired by "Admiral Flota Sovetskogo Soyuza Gorshkov" frigate from the White Sea, across the Kola Peninsula against the naval target in Barents Sea, and successfully hit it over 500 km distance. The whole flight took just over four minutes. Heh, good ol' Mother Russia still have cool toys!
 

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They said 450 km in 4.5 minutes; so it averaged Mach 4.8?

It's a bit meaningless though to state a Mach number in terms of the speed of sound at sea level on a 20°C day when the missile actually cruised in the stratosphere on an early October morning in the far north of Russia. Using Mach number to characterize its speed only makes sense to give context to the aerodynamic conditions the vehicle is actually encountering.

Based on the reported altitude of 28km and ISA-10 conditions (that is to say 5°C on the ground), you get an average of Mach 5.7 which the missile would have experienced up there.
 
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TomS

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Lockheed drafting proposal for sea-based PAC-3 to counter hypersonic threats
Lockheed Martin is drafting plans for a sea-based variant of its most advanced Patriot interceptor -- the Missile Segment Enhanced -- in response to the Missile Defense Agency's request for ideas on ways to defeat a hypersonic weapon during the terminal phase

Again? Seriously, navalized PAC-3 has been a proposal for nearly 20 years now. Originally known as Pegasus, IIRC, even before PAC-3 was actually fielded by the Army.
 

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Josh_TN

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I didn't realize Congress had mandated 2022. It seems like a very bad idea have congress set specific deadlines for R&D. That said I hope the first batch of test satellites goes up soon. I am particularly interested in the SpaceX starlink package that uses a third party IR package, because SpaceX has already demonstrated an ability to build and deploy these at a startling rate. It would be a great way to quickly have an expansive LEO tracking system.
 

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MDA pushes hypersonic defense program launch to 'early April'

The Missile Defense Agency has delayed by more than three months plans to publish a solicitation to formally commence a competition for a Regional Glide Phase Weapon System, pushing the launch date until early April to begin a project that is expected to produce a two-way, 18-month competition to develop a prototype hypersonic defense interceptor
 

marauder2048

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