HAWC (Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept) and HACM (Hypersonic Attack Cruise Missile)

trose213

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Well I got my answer.

A demonstrator for a hypersonic missile flew faster than Mach 5 for 300 nm above 60,000 ft. over a Western training range in mid-September, finally breaking a nine-year drought of successful testing for an air-launched, U.S.-made hypersonic vehicle.

 

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Close to the my guess of 600 km assuming that it flew 300 nautical miles at those speeds and 300 nm doesn't refer to the total distance covered. Tactically, a JASSM-ER like strike range would be the most desired +/- 10%.
 

trose213

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Close to the my guess of 600 km assuming that it flew 300 nautical miles at those speeds and 300 nm doesn't refer to the total distance covered. Tactically, a JASSM-ER like strike range would be the most desired +/- 10%.
I would think definitely longer than that given, it's not counting the boost phase and it exited that 300 nm at least Mach 5 and at 60,000 feet. 50 km for that portion seems pretty conservative.
 

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Doesn’t drag increase at the square of the velocity? I thought very high speed items lose KE at a disproportionate rate compared to sub sonic glide weapons?
 

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300 miles at Mach 5? Welcome to 1980.

The maximum scramjet run time (flight testing) we have managed (ever) was 210 seconds with the X-51 programs final flight back in 2013. Based on open source that is about the most anyone has ever kept a scramjet running in flight testing. This vehicle matched that on its very first scramjet flight test event. At Mach 5+ and 210 seconds, this vehicle cruised for nearly nearly 250 miles. Raytheon and Northrop Grumman now have 2 more flight tests in the coming months to build on that. Lockheed too is getting ready for its test having successfully performed a booster flight test on its HAWC.

Add the booster phase and you are well above 250 miles of powered flight. All in a vehicle simulating a seeker and warhead weight with a 20% length reduction relative to the X-51. My guess is that HAWC will look to be between 240 and 300 second engine run time which should result in roughly comparable to JASSM-ER level of range. Subsonic and even LO subsonic cruise missiles probably have to route with air-defense systems in mind so that's probably a penalty on their actual mission range (my guess). Factoring that in a 400+ mile scramjet cruise missile should be able to match a 500 mile subsonic cruise missile in terms of practical/mission range.

Get scramjets to fire up, and perform for hundreds of seconds and you are getting into some serious range and speed territory that you won't be able to come anywhere close to with ramjets. By now it is well established that scramjets are more efficient at Mach 5+ speeds than ramjet even though a couple of ramjet flights over the last 30-40 years did manage to exceed Mach 5. We already have two larger scramjet engines that produce 13,000+ lbs of thrust that were successfully tested recently. That's your 1000+ nautical mile Mach 5+ cruise missile or UAV if you want that for the larger bombers (which is why AFRL is fully invested in maintaining two engine suppliers for that thrust class as well). HAWC is more tactical from a size and range perspective. You have ARRW for faster speed or greater range. Its a good mix. Go crazy with speed or range on HAWC and you run the risk of it being too expensive (higher speeds probably move them to more expensive materials). Mach 5-6 seems to be the sweet spot to keep it tactical, low cost (relative to ARRW) and to be able to produce it at scale. I think they chose the two programs wisely back in 2014 when AFRL and DARPA launched HAWC and TBG.

 
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Close to the my guess of 600 km assuming that it flew 300 nautical miles at those speeds and 300 nm doesn't refer to the total distance covered. Tactically, a JASSM-ER like strike range would be the most desired +/- 10%.
I would think definitely longer than that given, it's not counting the boost phase and it exited that 300 nm at least Mach 5 and at 60,000 feet. 50 km for that portion seems pretty conservative.

It exceeded Mach 5 at cruise and cruised (scramjet on) for about 210 seconds. This based on what DARPA's program boss has said (again within a range and not a specific number). So you are looking at approximately 200 nm of scramjet run time and another 100 nm of booster and unpowered flight (if 300 nm is actually from DARPA) before it executed the end of testing / terminated and splashed down.

My guess is that they eventually land b/w 240 and 300 sec engine run time for the program and a vehicle that is much smaller than the X-51.
 

sferrin

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300 miles at Mach 5? Welcome to 1980.
I mean the size could have improved thats almost the equivalent of comparing the launched GZUR from a tu-160 to the kholod project.
ASALM was already the size the USN is looking for. In other words it was SMALLER than the design Raytheon flew.

1846-30c0ca5279b0c0f4d3b370960a5dc1cd.gif
 

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ASALM was already the size the USN is looking for. In other words it was SMALLER than the design Raytheon flew.

How many seconds did ASALM cruise (powered) for at speeds above Mach 5.0? How is the ramjet solution it employed more efficient at speeds exceeding Mach 5.0 than a Scramjet?

The Navy has no issues with contractors submitting a Ramjet design for its Screaming Arrow program. As long as that design exceeds a continuous cruise speed of Mach 5.0 which I assume it would have to sustain for more than 200 seconds at a minimum (to be tactically relevant for the Navy). One of the contractors actually asked this specific question during the industry back and forth for Screaming Arrow (whether a non-scramjet design would be ok). The Navy doesn't have a problem with that but whoever shows up against scramjet designs would have to do the seemingly impossible by showcasing that a ramjet can cruise more efficiently for extended periods at Mach 5.5 or thereabouts.
 

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bring_it_on

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How many seconds did ASALM cruise (powered) for at speeds above Mach 5.0? How is the ramjet solution it employed more efficient at speeds exceeding Mach 5.0 than a Scramjet?
Accidently

Yeah that is what I've read as well. The whole reason to begin the long process of perfecting scramjets was that they are way more efficient when you begin looking at cruise speeds of higher than Mach 5 and through the Mach 10 and higher range. I think this was set back when a decision was made to go with the SED and neither the AFRL nor DARPA will seriously look at a non scramjet AB propulsion when they need sustained cruise above Mach 5. Cranking up the speed to higher levels is then essentially a question of thrust, the materials you use (and cost of the vehicle) and how large a booster you have. X-43 was able to nearly sustain Mach 10 with its scramjet engine and showed positive acceleration at Mach 7 IIRC.
 

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trose213

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So you are looking at approximately 200 nm of scramjet run time and another 100 nm of booster and unpowered flight (if 300 nm is actually from DARPA) before it executed the end of testing / terminated and splashed down.
I guess it really comes down to how exact Steve's language was. I thought he phrased it pretty deliberately.

I wonder how many variants of the missile we'll get. Have to think an anti-ship one will get the go ahead in a couple of years, if they haven't already started work on the sensors. I would also imagine we'll also maybe get an AAM version, depending on how the other long range AAM projects turn out. Same with delivering next generation cluster munitions (AKA drones).
 

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So you are looking at approximately 200 nm of scramjet run time and another 100 nm of booster and unpowered flight (if 300 nm is actually from DARPA) before it executed the end of testing / terminated and splashed down.
I guess it really comes down to how exact Steve's language was. I thought he phrased it pretty deliberately.
The article includes a quote from the DARPA PM and I believe AvWeek is extrapolating performance from the X-51s final flight test which feature a 3.5 minute powered scramjet cruise and a total of 370 seconds of flight before they stopped receiving telemetry data. The X-51 was designed to splash down at about 400 nautical miles from launch point but that was with a series of test maneuvers performed post scramjet shut down, to validate tunnel data. No source is quoted by AvWeek on the 300 nautical miles HAWC claim, but it is possible that this as how the test was set up given it was their first of three scramjet powered attempts for the Raytheon/NG design. Lockheed has successfully conducted its booster test flight so they should be up next shortly with their first full attempt.

Also HAWC is just the demonstrator, not a weapons program, so it probably lacks a warhead as well.

It's a weapon demonstrator and not an engine demonstrator like the X-51. One of the goals is to create a design that can accomodate a seeker and warhead so that is what they will be held to. These vehicles probably won't have that but they will have provisions and likely some margin for that. X-51 was to demonstrate that we could build a Scramjet cruise vehicle with a practical fuel source and can ignite and keep it lit for a few minutes at least. This is about building on that and also showing that all that can be affordably packaged as a cruise missile with a seeker, warhead, data link and all the stuff that you need to turn this into a weapon. If successful (HAWC), HACM will then do just that.
 
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BTW, the attribution to the X-51 flight test is directly to the DARPA PM

AvWeek article:

The more recent test provided “very similar” speed and endurance results to that fourth and most successful flight attempt by the Boeing/Aerojet Rocketdyne X-51, Knoedler says.

So given how close they are to those targets, I'm of the opinion that they have a design with similar requirement so roughly Mach 6 capable, with a 240-300 second target for scramjet on time. If they've switched to JP-10 and have reduced the motor weight by 1/2 (as previously indicated by Northrop Grumman) then you are looking at an overall smaller and lighter vehicle that is more efficient and thus may (depending on cooling requirements) end up trading some fuel for warhead and seeker.
 

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It would have to either be small or almost demand an integral booster (or both). ASALM would fit the bill but it was "only" Mach 4 (Mach 5.4 in tests). Was apparently about 14 feet long. A shame DARPA quailed at the thought of developing LRASM-B. They'd be ahead of the game by now.


Thanks for the link. A must read!

Example:
The other impact of this choice is how vehicle turns are made. For a[n] [axy]symmetric vehicle, "skid-to-turn" is usually employed as the simplest and easiest-to-implement. For an asymmetric vehicle like ASALM-PTV, "bank-to-turn" is more suitable: you roll toward the turn direction you desire, then pull higher angle-of-attack in that rolled pitch plane, so that the increased lift, aimed toward in the turn direction, then causes the vehicle to turn. If you have a chin inlet whose mass ingestion improves as you increase angle-of-attack, then your ramjet thrust actually increases as you turn, thus better offsetting the increase in vehicle drag at higher angle-of-attack (drag-due-to-lift increase).

Thus the choice of vehicle asymmetry, the choice of chin inlet, and the choice of bank-to-turn, are not arbitrary choices for ASALM-PTV. These really do work together to confer better performance overall. Amateurs at this kind of vehicle design are unlikely to achieve results like this, because they are unlikely to be aware of all these nuances, and especially how they interact. This is not simple stuff! You don't learn this stuff in school by simply feeding inputs to a computer program whose internal details you do not know!

Now folks, we all know!
 

sferrin

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How many seconds did ASALM cruise (powered) for at speeds above Mach 5.0? How is the ramjet solution it employed more efficient at speeds exceeding Mach 5.0 than a Scramjet?
Accidently
Completely irrelevant. That it did it is what matters. If it could do it on accident it could certainly do it on purpose. The X-51 actually did LESS than this ramjet did. The X-51's booster, by itself, got it to Mach 4.8. The X-51s scramjet (which, by the way, only experienced periods of supersonic airflow, much of the time it was subsonic airflow) barely added any acceleration at at all, peaking at Mach 5.1. ASALM hit Mach 5.4 - 5.5 at 40,000 feet. Furthermore, the X-51 had to use a booster nearly as large as the missile itself. ASALM had a integral booster tucked right inside the ramjets combustion chamber.
 
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Do we know for a fact HAWC had a simulated payload space/mass? If so that bodes very well for HACM.
 

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That it did it is what matters.
That may well be true. But for the purpose of discussing efficient hypersonic cruise missile designs, we need to know how long were they able to sustain cruise at that speed or at any speed above Mach 5? What's relevant here is the cruise speed, duration and overall efficiency.
. The X-51 actually did LESS than this ramjet did. The X-51's booster, by itself, got it to Mach 4.8. The X-51s scramjet (which, by the way, only experienced periods of supersonic airflow, much of the time it was subsonic airflow) barely added any acceleration at at all, peaking at Mach 5.1.

The X-51 scramjet engine was designed a long time back and was the first practical scramjet engine design we built so it was just the starting point. That said, it was designed to be capable of Mach 6 and sustain 240 or more seconds of continuous hypersonic flight. Initial goals were to get closer to 300 seconds. The booster was not part of the developmental part of the program so they used what they had (it even used components from existing fighter propulsion systems). HAWC has had more than a decade to learn from that pathbreaking effort and they've already said, for example, that the weight targets are closer to half the weight of the X-51's scramjet engine. And they are likely to be using JP-10. So all in, they should be able to achieve Mach 6 and with these two scramjet engine designs and the remaining five test flights likely extend the 240 second limit of the X-51's scramjet engine on time target. At those specs, based on even X-51 like program goals (or X-51 + 20%) they should be able to get powered hypersonic cruise for very close to 500 km if not more.
 

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Re: ASALM vs X-51:

Clearly ASALM was a missed opportunity. That said, while ASALM made it to faster speeds, presumably that was at the expense of endurance and it sounds like the airframe was about to fail at burnout. As for booster placement, X-51 used an off the shelf ATACMs motor, presumably for cost reasons. The objective was not to make a weapons demonstrator of short enough length to be practical. If HAWC is ~20 feet long, the it either uses IRR or has achieved a lot of efficiency in a short vehicle, if that includes the extended booster. HAWC seems to put the US on the right page in terms of size and cost.
 

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Both vehicles appear to be using a separating booster (probably the same) for the vehicles. DARPA's press note mentions booster separation as being an objective. Unless the cruiser itself is smaller, much of the length reduction (5 ft over the X-51) probably comes from a more optimized booster designed for the weapon and likely carried over to HACM.


Goals of the mission were: vehicle integration and release sequence, safe separation from the launch aircraft, booster ignition and boost, booster separation and engine ignition, and cruise. All primary test objectives were met.

The achievement builds on pioneering scramjet projects, including work on the X-30 National Aero-Space Plane as well as unmanned flights of NASA’s X-43 vehicles and the U.S. Air Force’s X-51 Waverider.

 

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Do we know for a fact HAWC had a simulated payload space/mass? If so that bodes very well for HACM.

The official program description :

The Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC) program is a Joint DARPA / Air Force effort that is developing and demonstrating technologies for an effective and affordable air-launched hypersonic cruise missile. These technologies include advanced air vehicle configurations capable of efficient hypersonic flight, hydrocarbon scramjet-powered propulsion to enable sustained hypersonic cruise, thermal management approaches designed for high-temperature cruise, and affordable system designs and manufacturing approaches. Investments may lead into developments in aerodynamics, propulsion, and payload capacity, and algorithms that support maneuvering and target recognition. This is a joint program with the Air Force, and HAWC technologies are planned for transition to the Air Force after flight-testing is complete.

Given that they are developing a concept for a cruise missile that will transition into a rapid EMD-like effort it is highly likely that they not only require the baseline designs to include provisions (or demonstrate how) for integrating seekers, warheads and other efforts, but may as well be simulating that to some degree during these tests. Unlike the X-51 this isn't an experimental air-vehicle. These two designs are designed to mature into operational cruise missile as that is what the task AFRL and DARPA agreed upon. This is why they plan on completing the HACM CDR within just a year of launching the program in FY-23 (after funding a PDR through other programs in the current budget years). They've been at it since 2014/2015 so have come a long way since the X-51. They may not get their credit because most of what the team did was in secret and developmental but they should start to receive it now that they plan about 6 flight tests (all scramjet powered) by early to mid 2022.

Av Week:

Raytheon might have completed the first successful HAWC flight test, but Lockheed may not be far behind. Lockheed has already completed a previously undisclosed flight test that demonstrated a separation from the launch aircraft and ignition of the booster stage, Knoedler says. As planned, the Lockheed test did not activate the Aerojet Rocketdyne scramjet engine.

DARPA now plans to stage two more flight tests of the Raytheon/Northrop vehicle and three hypersonic tests of the Lockheed/Aerojet demonstrator. The agency hopes to complete the hypersonic tests as quickly as possible in order to feed performance data to the newly launched Southern Cross Integrated Flight Research Experiment (SciFire) program.
 
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A separating booster doesn’t preclude an IRR, as I understand it. But so long as the length and launch weight are ballpark AGM-86, I think we have a winner. SciFire or the USN program can focus on miniaturization.
 

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And I don't necessarily disagree with what's been said here. My point is that the Mach 5.4 ASALM flight was also of a test vehicle. (PTV, Propulsion Test Vehicle.) Yet they still used a boost configuration that the final article would. Kludging something together, just so you can do it all over again to get a usable booster, seems counter productive. As for being "about to fail at burnout" it probably encountered a lot more heat than designed for. Certainly something that could have been accommodated in a production model. When they're comfortably going Mach 6 then yeah, high-fives for everyone. As it is now it seems like a step down from something we could have had 40 years ago.
 

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A separating booster doesn’t preclude an IRR, as I understand it. But so long as the length and launch weight are ballpark AGM-86, I think we have a winner. SciFire or the USN program can focus on miniaturization.
USN needs 15 feet or less. A shame they didn't know the USN wanted in on this.
 

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That’s because it was a weapon program. X-51 was not a weapons program but an engine demonstrator for a practical scramjet engine. That’s all they were testing.

My point is that the Mach 5.4 ASALM flight was also of a test vehicle. (PTV, Propulsion Test Vehicle.)

ASALM's development tied directly into a US Air force missile requirement. It was to lead to a missile. X-51 had no such goal. It was purely a S&T effort designed to show that scramjet engines utilizing practical fuel sources could be made to work for extended periods of time.

DARPA partnered with the Air Force to fund the program in 2005, which was now called the Scramjet Engine Demonstrator (SED). The SED
program was not a weapon development program like HyFly, but rather a research vehicle like X-43 Hyper-X.
Realizing the value of this program as a national test asset, the Air Force designated the program as an “X-plane,”
the X-51A Scramjet Engine Demonstrator-WaveRider (SED), in July 2005.

The main program objective of the X-51A program is to flight test the US Air Force HyTech scramjet engine,
using endothermic hydrocarbon fuel, by accelerating a vehicle from boost, at approximately Mach 4.5, to Mach 6.5.
Additionally, the program has several other goals. The first is to acquire ground and flight data on an actively
cooled, self-controlled operating scramjet engine. This data will be used to develop and fine-tune the “rules and
tools,” or the understanding of the governing physical phenomena and computational design tools used for scramjet
design. A second goal is to demonstrate viability of an endothermically fueled scramjet in flight. The third goal of
producing greater thrust than drag will prove the viability of a free-flying, scramjet powered vehicle.

HAWC would be more analogous to something that transitions straight into a weapon development and test effort. So even though HAWC is focusing majority of its developmental efforts on propulsion, it has a similar requirement as ASALM did i.e. transition to an Air Force weapon program. Now that this requirement has been expanded to Navy and international partners, the program overlapped the OSD southern cross initiative which allowed both the AF and Navy access into HAWC development technology. AF spins HACM out of the southern cross effort in FY-22 and goes straight into a year long CDR and will begin producing initial HACM prototypes once that is concluded. All of this is only possible because of the 6 years invested by the DARPA-AFRL team on HAWC and the six flight tests that are part of it.
 
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sferrin

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That’s because it was a weapon program. X-51 was not a weapons program but an engine demonstrator for a practical scramjet engine. That’s all they were testing. HAWC would be more analogous to something that transitions straight into a weapon development and test effort.
Yes, which is why I'm surprised it's got a separating booster. Maybe they've miniaturized things so they can still get the range with a 10 foot "cruiser". A shame they didn't pursue HyFly (dual-combustion ramjet). It had a smaller booster because it didn't need to be going as fast for the air-breather to take over.
 

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I believe Boeing is working on proposing a Hyfly 2.0 for one of these requirements. But if the goal is to master scramjets that are capable of way faster speeds, then I'd much rather see the focus there so that we are continuously developing and testing engines across the 2-3 thrust classes for relevant cruise missile and UAV applications.
 

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I believe Boeing is working on proposing a Hyfly 2.0 for one of these requirements. But if the goal is to master scramjets that are capable of way faster speeds, then I'd much rather see the focus there so that we are continuously developing and testing engines across the 2-3 thrust classes for relevant cruise missile and UAV applications.
I just want them to pick something, ANYTHING, that can be made into something useful, and then stick with it until it works instead of quitting at the first sign of difficulty.
 

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That’s what HAWC is doing with its six flight tests and two performers. It’s weapon transition program is conducting its PDR and will likely include as many or more flight tests as part of its development.
 

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USN needs 15 feet or less. A shame they didn't know the USN wanted in on this.

I’m fine with USAF emphasizing speed of development and accepting external or even B-52 only carriage as the compromise. I suspect F-15s and the like could carry a pair if we’re only talking 3,000 lbs.

There are a couple programs for more tac-friendly sized missiles.
 

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When HAWC was set up the USN did not have a requirement and did not pitch in any funding. USAF via AFRL funded half of the entire program. OSD later initiated efforts with a more broader focus and both take HAWC and build on it. This has apparently allowed the USAF to use some of that program to do some concurrent work on HACM. Navy is using similar maturity to baseline its future weapon needs through Screaming Arrow and other programs. Same is happening on TBG which was also a USAF and DARPA program with the USAF funding half of the work. DARPA subsequently included funding for VLS integration and launch while also adding a second performer (Raytheon).
 

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That’s what HAWC is doing with its six flight tests and two performers. It’s weapon transition program is conducting its PDR and will likely include as many or more flight tests as part of its development.
Now compare that to this:


Why do we need to compare? Are these related? What does each of the Tsirkon flight actually test or demonstrate? HAWC is a minimum an 8 flight test shot program (2 booster tests and 6 scramjet tests - four each for LM and Raytheon, with Captive tests on top of that). HACM should be similar. It will test whatever it needs to declare the missile operational. For the first test of HAWC, we have the exact primary objectives. Do we have anything for any of the tests for Tsirkon? Do we even have an official confirmation of what the missile is in terms of propulsion solution? I don't think it adds any value to compare the two press releases. HAWC aims to validate that a scramjet cruise missile can advance into weapon development, production and operationalization. It did that on its first scramjet flight. There are five more to go. Meanwhile, a weapons program spinning it off into a USAF weapon is gearing up to get started in the next 4-6 months. It will test further so HACM, and its underlying technology will be a well tested product prior to operationalization in the 2025-2026 timeframe that the AF has given to field this (ARRW fields in 2023, and HACM 2-3 years later).

BTW, DARPA probably plans to wrap up HAWC by Mid (Q2 to early Q3) FY-22. If they stick to that then you're looking at five additional flight tests over the next 6 months or so. This in addition to TBG and AGM-183A flight tests, both of which are currently scheduled to occur by end of the year. Another LRHW test is scheduled before end of 2021 - the first of three AUR tests prior to Army declaring LRHW operational in 2023.
 
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The X-51 actually did LESS than this ramjet did.
The X-51 was a science project testing scramjets.

A separating booster doesn’t preclude an IRR, as I understand it. But so long as the length and launch weight are ballpark AGM-86, I think we have a winner. SciFire or the USN program can focus on miniaturization.
USN needs 15 feet or less. A shame they didn't know the USN wanted in on this.
Would imagine that the weapons elevator requirement would hold back the program a little too much, so USAF was happy to go it alone with DARPA.
 

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Not to mention that the USAF would have absolutely zero interest in trying to figure out what the USN's requirements would be (not just length but all the other things). This program was stood up just as the X-51 effort concluded. That was also an AFRL partnership with NASA and others. AF set some broad requirements for what an AL cruise missile should look like, and funded half of the research. DARPA pitched in the other half and off they went. It could have been a joint services thing if the Navy had interest and some funding but I think it would have been problematic because submarine or surface launched was always going to be the Navy's priority over an AL weapon. Look how late the Navy is to getting back on JASSM. I'm happy that this was DARPA-AFRL and the Navy can use the work to advance something suitable for it as opposed to being there at the start.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTIB4uWxpnI
 
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That’s what HAWC is doing with its six flight tests and two performers. It’s weapon transition program is conducting its PDR and will likely include as many or more flight tests as part of its development.
Now compare that to this:

To be fair, Russia is simply far ahead of US when it come to hypersonic weapon , they also have more experience fielding several type of supersonic ramjet cruise missiles so that probably help a lot in the development of hypersonic programs
 

sferrin

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That’s what HAWC is doing with its six flight tests and two performers. It’s weapon transition program is conducting its PDR and will likely include as many or more flight tests as part of its development.
Now compare that to this:

To be fair, Russia is simply far ahead of US when it come to hypersonic weapon , they also have more experience fielding several type of supersonic ramjet cruise missiles so that probably help a lot in the development of hypersonic programs
Considering the last ramjet the US deployed was Talos that's a gross understatement.
 

bring_it_on

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That’s what HAWC is doing with its six flight tests and two performers. It’s weapon transition program is conducting its PDR and will likely include as many or more flight tests as part of its development.
Now compare that to this:

To be fair, Russia is simply far ahead of US when it come to hypersonic weapon , they also have more experience fielding several type of supersonic ramjet cruise missiles so that probably help a lot in the development of hypersonic programs

I would argue with "far ahead" because to substantiate that would require one to identify what the end game is. Will Russia have one or two tactical systems fielded first? Possibly. What are the attributes and confirmed test objectives for Tsirkon? Can you show? Is it scramjet powered? Has that been confirmed? If so, how long has it sustained scramjet powered flight till date? Any failures on that program? EVER?

But regardless, is that the end game or is that even relevant? The US tactical or conventional programs (ARRW, LRHW/CPS, HACM etc) are going to hopefully be produced at scale and at that time it doesn't become a game to who gets where first but more in terms of who has a more substantial and effective conventional hypersonic capability in terms of weapons, targeting, and effective employment. I'm more confident on that goal. The goal isn't to get to a point ahead of anyone (those things were baked in years ago and are immovable at this point). The goal should be to produce inventories of a conventional hypersonic triad that serve a purpose and help accomplish a mission. You field thousands of Tomahawks and thousands of JASSM's for that purpose (not to be the first to field a stealthy tactical cruise missile). With the LRHW/CPS entering production, ARRW expected to enter production late next year, and HACM 2 years later, I think they are well on their way to that goal. Some would say the USAF was late to the UAV game back a few decades ago. But when they had a clear operational need for them, they fielded the largest UAS fleet in the world, and the only one that can sustain orbits at any point on the globe. There is enough industrial design and production capacity to spool up on hypersonics as long as there is an operational need that is pressing and sustained. All these programs are coming online now and not 5 years ago because their pace was dictated by service interests and priorities. Now that those are clearly established we'll begin to see them deliver.

Yes Russia has more supersonic ramjet weapons. That's not the end goal here for the US or does not appear to be. I don't think they want to build up large inventories of large heavy Mach 3 class ramjet weapons. The operational need identified are currently for high speed conventional boost glide systems, and Mach 5+ scramjet. And at enough scale to warrant multiple engine, glider, and booster suppliers to stand up capability instead of having one or two and producing just those. We currently have 3 glider designs (all conventional) two of which are assured production (CGB and Lockheed ARRW), and 4 scramjet engines across two classes (2 for each team). There's enough there to field a very sizable and diverse hypersonic capability over the next decade.
 
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trose213

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That’s what HAWC is doing with its six flight tests and two performers. It’s weapon transition program is conducting its PDR and will likely include as many or more flight tests as part of its development.
Now compare that to this:

To be fair, Russia is simply far ahead of US when it come to hypersonic weapon , they also have more experience fielding several type of supersonic ramjet cruise missiles so that probably help a lot in the development of hypersonic programs
Considering the last ramjet the US deployed was Talos that's a gross understatement.
The Russians have the advantage in supersonic, but that's because the US went a different route and focused on stealth. There really hasn't been much to validate whichever side was correct, except for stealth continuing to be developed, while hypersonics have overshadowed supersonics.

For the Russians supposedly being ahead they and being so publicly boisterous about it, they are awfully coy on their plans and progress to actually field the systems.
 

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