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US hypersonic weapons projects. (General)

edwest

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It would be nice if someone posted a proper review, not an emotion review.
 

marauder2048

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34.5" is a lot less of a headache than I feared, not even in KEI territory. Still going to require a new VLS spec, and the length is going to make backfit to DDG-51 or FFG(X).... problematic.
I am going to risk being proved wrong one day and say neither FFG(X) or any currently authorised DDG51 variant is ever going to carry this system. The missile alone is a third longer than a strike length Mk-41 is deep.

On the other hand, Virginia Payload Tubes are said to be 87 inches in diameter which means they should be able to hold 3 rounds including missile canisters and internal structure etc. Mathematically 4 would work but there probably wouldn't be room for the canisters etc.
The NAP study indicated they could fit four missiles of this diameter provided the depth charge shock reqs
were similar to those for Trident rather than the much greater shock levels they have for Tomahawk in the SSGNs.

VLS was never a serious consideration for intermediate range+ CPGS.
 

sferrin

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The NAP study indicated they could fit four missiles of this diameter provided the depth charge shock reqs
were similar to those for Trident rather than the much greater shock levels they have for Tomahawk in the SSGNs.

VLS was never a serious consideration for intermediate range+ CPGS.
What is this NAP study you refer to?
 

bobbymike

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34.5" is a lot less of a headache than I feared, not even in KEI territory. Still going to require a new VLS spec, and the length is going to make backfit to DDG-51 or FFG(X).... problematic.
I am going to risk being proved wrong one day and say neither FFG(X) or any currently authorised DDG51 variant is ever going to carry this system. The missile alone is a third longer than a strike length Mk-41 is deep.

On the other hand, Virginia Payload Tubes are said to be 87 inches in diameter which means they should be able to hold 3 rounds including missile canisters and internal structure etc. Mathematically 4 would work but there probably wouldn't be room for the canisters etc.
I wouldn't expect it either given the specs, but someone is going to make a case for it somewhere, and I don't trust the current Navy to fight against the notion as strongly as they should. What they should do is call back to when TLAM helped make the case for big MK41 ships and present this as the opportune and necessary moment to reset expectations for what size combatants will be if they going to carry the next generation of missiles.
Big flat LHA decks. But I’m under no illusions this would ever happen
 

marauder2048

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I'm not sure TLAM is a good historical analog since TLAM was an actual POR with a significant quantity buy behind it.
 

JFC Fuller

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VLS was never a serious consideration for intermediate range+ CPGS.
From the head of Sea Systems Command:

The head of Naval Sea Systems Command, Vice Adm. Thomas Moore, told an audience at a conference of naval engineers that...“Vertical launch system has been a real game changer for us. We can shoot any number of things out of those launchers,” Moore said. “We’ll probably change those out and upgrade them for prompt strike weapons down the road.”
From the Large surface Combatant RFI:

The ability of the ship's Vertical Launch System to accommodate longer and larger diameter missiles for increased speed and range of weapons.
Admittedly, the Navy is clear that subs are the first priority, but the ambition to deploy CPGS on surface vessels seems to be there. As I said previously I highly doubt any currently in-service or authorised DDG51 will ever carry a CPGS, hypersonic weapons maybe but only if/when they can shrink the package.
 

Forest Green

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Is this a completely different missile to the one pictured on a B-52 earlier?
 

marauder2048

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VLS was never a serious consideration for intermediate range+ CPGS.
From the head of Sea Systems Command:

The head of Naval Sea Systems Command, Vice Adm. Thomas Moore, told an audience at a conference of naval engineers that...“Vertical launch system has been a real game changer for us. We can shoot any number of things out of those launchers,” Moore said. “We’ll probably change those out and upgrade them for prompt strike weapons down the road.”
From the Large surface Combatant RFI:

The ability of the ship's Vertical Launch System to accommodate longer and larger diameter missiles for increased speed and range of weapons.
Admittedly, the Navy is clear that subs are the first priority, but the ambition to deploy CPGS on surface vessels seems to be there. As I said previously I highly doubt any currently in-service or authorised DDG51 will ever carry a CPGS, hypersonic weapons maybe but only if/when they can shrink the package.
There's no mention of intermediate range CPGS there for a reason.
 

bobbymike

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VLS was never a serious consideration for intermediate range+ CPGS.
From the head of Sea Systems Command:

The head of Naval Sea Systems Command, Vice Adm. Thomas Moore, told an audience at a conference of naval engineers that...“Vertical launch system has been a real game changer for us. We can shoot any number of things out of those launchers,” Moore said. “We’ll probably change those out and upgrade them for prompt strike weapons down the road.”
From the Large surface Combatant RFI:

The ability of the ship's Vertical Launch System to accommodate longer and larger diameter missiles for increased speed and range of weapons.
Admittedly, the Navy is clear that subs are the first priority, but the ambition to deploy CPGS on surface vessels seems to be there. As I said previously I highly doubt any currently in-service or authorised DDG51 will ever carry a CPGS, hypersonic weapons maybe but only if/when they can shrink the package.
There's no mention of intermediate range CPGS there for a reason.
Wasn’t DARPAs Arclight a 2000 km range modified SM-2 with a 250 lbs warhead?
 

marauder2048

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Something in that class; TBG was supposed to have traceability back to VLS.
 

marauder2048

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Sorry. It was a reference to ArcLight.
 
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marauder2048

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What's Raytheon's role on IRCPS or LRHW?

And it's an AJRD booster for HCSW and (I think) ARRW.
 

sferrin

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Sorry. It was a reference to ArcLight.
Yeah, for some reason I was thinking it might have been the BGRV for ArcLight but then it says TBG right there on the picture. :oops:
 

bring_it_on

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There's no mention of intermediate range CPGS there for a reason.

Always thought the OpsFire would be the system that will be more suitable/optimized for VLS than CPGS or the Army LRHW effort. Time wise it isn't all that behind these initial programs.
 

marauder2048

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"Why and Whither Hypersonics Research in the US Air Force" by the USAF Scientific Advisory Board (page 69).

And details in the Appendix: page G-4.

Other less well-diagnosed experiments by Orbital Sciences Corporation that were presented to
the SAB committee indicated that they could deliver a 300-kg (660-lb) penetrator with an impact
velocity of 4,000 ft/sec into an earth granite target. The measured depth of penetration was 45 ft.
The penetrator that was recovered after the experiment indicated little erosion and loss of mechanical
strength, although the penetrator did appear to be slightly bent. The length of the penetrator
was 5 ft and the diameter was 9 inches, which gives L/D = 6.6. The areal mass M/A = 10.4 psi.
In another experiment, a 4-ft-long, 256-lb steel penetrator impacted granite at a velocity of 3,300 ft/sec.
The penetration depth was 31 ft in granite. The diameter of the penetrator was 6 inches, which gives
L/D = 8 and an M/A = 9 psi. The penetrator in these tests was a solid body with no interior space for a warhead.
In a practical device, such space would be required, which would weaken the mechanical strength
of the penetrator and reduce the penetration depth.
 

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sferrin

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Interesting video about a late 90's Mach 4 hypersonic penetrator test.
I think this was a Pershing II MaRV (Storm) test; 45 feet into granite @ 4000 fps.
There was another in the 80s 70s and it was a Sandia project. I used to have a book that mentioned it. Don't know whatever happened to that book.

Edit: here we go,

On the other hand, Congress in 1981
canceled development of the W86 nuclear
penetrator weapon for the Pershing II missile
system. Sandia had been selected by the
Army in 1975 to develop the earth penetrator
arming and fuzing and penetrator case along
with Sandia's traditional area of responsibility
for the warhead electrical system and flight
test telemetry. This project was conducted in
close coordination with the Army office at
Redstone Arsenal, which had responsibility
for Pershing II missile development, and
Martin Marietta, Orlando, the Army missile
system prime contractor. Fired from a mobile
launcher, the three-stage missile. and
associated reentry vehicle carried the earth
penetrator to an impact point on, or above,
the target. At target impact, the earth
penetrator separated from the reentry vehicle
and penetrated deep into the target before
detonating, The resulting underground
detonation was designed to produce larger
craters and target kill radii with smaller yield
on targets such as aircraft runways and
underground structures.

Ray Reynolds, Heinz. Schmitt, Bill
Alzheimer, Don McCoy, Bill Patterson, and
Sam Jeffers were. among the Sandians
managing the engineering challenges posed
by the W86 Pershing II penetrator warhead
program. One challenge invo1ved ensuring
survival of the. penetrator case and
functioning of the arming, fuzing, warhead
electrical system and nuclear device during
the severe shocks and high deceleration
forces associated with earth penetration. The
firing command, which resulted in the firing
set initiating the nuclear device detonators
and initiating the neutron generators, was
generated during penetration by a depth-of-burial
fuze.

Another challenge involved the test and
evaluation program: characterization of
penetrator case, internal structures, and
internal functional hardware; and the
recovery of penetrators deeply buried below
the surface of the ground. Pershing II
penetration tests included sled track tests
Davis gun tests at the Tonopah Test and
White Sands Missile Ranges, and full missile
system flights into White Sands Missile
Range. Davis gun tests were fired into soil
and rock targets while the missile tests went
into soil targets layered with rock. After each
penetration test, large-scale mining and
excavation operations were conducted to
locate and recover the penetrators in order to
retrieve on-board telemetry data and to
postmortem the hardware. The program
successfully demonstrated that technology
would support providing a nuclear earth
penetrator for delivery by a missile system;
however, the Pershing II penetrator warhead
was never produced for stockpile use.

Capture1.PNG Capture2.PNG

 
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marauder2048

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Interesting video about a late 90's Mach 4 hypersonic penetrator test.
I think this was a Pershing II MaRV (Storm) test; 45 feet into granite @ 4000 fps.
There was another in the 80s and it was a Sandia project. I used to have a book that mentioned it. Don't know whatever happened to that book.

Gronlund mentions one (can't find her original source):

In the 1980s the United States developed and tested but did not deploy a nuclear EPW intended for the intermediate-range Pershing II missile.
This warhead, called the W86, was also a modification of the B61.12 It was about two meters long and 0.2 meters in diameter, and could penetrate
less than 10 meters of granite or hardened concrete.
 

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bobbymike

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House cut could derail Army, Navy plans to rapidly field new hypersonic weapons
A House-proposed cut to the Pentagon's fiscal year 2020 request for the Conventional Prompt Strike program -- the U.S. military's marquee hypersonic strike project -- would knock both the Army and Navy off schedule from current plans to deploy variants of the new ultra-fast, boost-glide weapon in 2023 and 2025 respectively.

:rolleyes:
 

RanulfC

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House cut could derail Army, Navy plans to rapidly field new hypersonic weapons
A House-proposed cut to the Pentagon's fiscal year 2020 request for the Conventional Prompt Strike program -- the U.S. military's marquee hypersonic strike project -- would knock both the Army and Navy off schedule from current plans to deploy variants of the new ultra-fast, boost-glide weapon in 2023 and 2025 respectively.

:rolleyes:

Actually since I can't read that particular article I looked up the general trend and it seems the main question is the leap from famine, (past DoD interest in hypersonic weapons) to obsession (current "we will field a weapon immeditatly") with little planned oversight or accountability in the development and deployment programs. The other concern is that the DoD is getting this money to deploy these weapons by axing and cutting maintenance and sustainment funding on current systems. In some cases good such as not continuing to procure M1 tanks the Army can't man or maintain, but in others not so good given reduced funding for on-going development and deployment programs and reducing funding for maintennance and upkeep of existing inventory.
(This specifically is due to the White House military budget cuts in the main spending proposal which cut R&D and future systems funding deeply. And ya, diverting funding for the Wall has not helped the situation at all either)

Most of the DoD proposed "development and deployment" funding has been moved to "research and development" funding as a line item. The idea being that they can't then simply toss money at the contractors and see what sticks which was the original 'plan' for development. The funding can always be switched back to "development and deployment" once Congress has been convinced that the programs have the proper oversight and accountability.

These are pretty much the same issues Congress has been having with the DoD hypersonic weapons program(s) since the early 2000s due to the services on-again/off-again interest in hypersonic weapons.

Randy
 
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fredymac

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Actually since I can't read that particular article I looked up the general trend and it seems the main question is the leap from famine, (past DoD interest in hypersonic weapons) to obsession (current "we will field a weapon immeditatly") with little planned oversight or accountability in the development and deployment programs. The other concern is that the DoD is getting this money to deploy these weapons by axing and cutting maintenance and sustainment funding on current systems. In some cases good such as not continuing to procure M1 tanks the Army can't man or maintain, but in others not so good given reduced funding for on-going development and deployment programs and reducing funding for maintennance and upkeep of existing inventory.
(This specifically is due to the White House military budget cuts in the main spending proposal which cut R&D and future systems funding deeply. And ya, diverting funding for the Wall has not helped the situation at all either)

Most of the DoD proposed "development and deployment" funding has been moved to "research and development" funding as a line item. The idea being that they can't then simply toss money at the contractors and see what sticks which was the original 'plan' for development. The funding can always be switched back to "development and deployment" once Congress has been convinced that the programs have the proper oversight and accountability.

These are pretty much the same issues Congress has been having with the DoD hypersonic weapons program(s) since the early 2000s due to the services on-again/off-again interest in hypersonic weapons.

Randy
The total hypersonics budget is single digit $billions and recent. Somehow this is causing all the grief in the decades long problems of sustaining older weapon systems and usually pegged to priority of operations (including Afghanistan/Middle East).

The only program I've seen where the DOD actually states we are defunding other projects is Future Vertical Lift. There may be others but in this case, you can actually find the DOD making the case and not someone casting their own political interpretation. Throwing the wall into this is absurd.

I too did a quick search and the only thing I found was also paywall restricted (Inside Defense). The tiny amount they mentioned said it was a 20% cut. Not a transfer from one spending category to another.
 

marauder2048

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Actually since I can't read that particular article I looked up the general trend and it seems the main question is the leap from famine, (past DoD interest in hypersonic weapons) to obsession (current "we will field a weapon immeditatly") with little planned oversight or accountability in the development and deployment programs. . The funding can always be switched back to "development and deployment" once Congress has been convinced that the programs have the proper oversight and accountability.

These are pretty much the same issues Congress has been having with the DoD hypersonic weapons program(s) since the early 2000s due to the services on-again/off-again interest in hypersonic weapons.

Randy
This doesn't follow; the very same Congress presided over a rapid statutory expansion of Other Transaction Authority and encouraged its use;
Unsurprisingly, many development and production contracts for hypersonics are being executed under OTA in part because the industrial base
to support it so narrow. And munitions typically don't exhibit the O&S tails that tanks do.
 

sferrin

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NeilChapman

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I wonder what the 20,000lb class weapons are.


In June 2018, the Air Force announced it was looking to purchase new pylons for the B-52 to carry multiple, unspecified 20,000-pound class weapons.
It was reported that they wanted to carry the 22,000lb MOAB. It would also likely mean multiples of the new missiles in the pipeline. That may include an air launched version of the SM-6 Block 1B in development.
 

DSE

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Bad link, but new news....? Recent Google search came up with this.

Air Force Research Lab preparing for second hypersonic ... - Jane's 360
https://www.janes.com/.../air-force-research-lab-preparing-for-second-hype...


6 days ago - AFRL achieved over 13,000 pounds of thrust from a scramjet engine during testing at Arnold Air Force Base, Tennessee. The 5.5 m-long Northrop Grumman ...
That Jane's link is bad but AvWeek had it too.
I wasn't pointing out this initially reported test, but a possible follow-on implied by the title of the Jane's article which may have been pulled. Air Force Research Lab preparing for second hypersonic
 

bobbymike

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Now that’s news I like get the day started right!! :)
 

bobbymike

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From Inside Defense rest behind paywall

Air-drop requirement drives Air Force to unique hypersonic glide body design
The Air Force is developing its own variant of a hypersonic glide body that pairs an aeroshell common to Army and Navy hypersonic programs with an Air Force-unique substructure needed to withstand conditions when dropped mid-air from a fast-moving aircraft, according to the service
 

DSE

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GOA Science & Tech Spotlight: HYPERSONIC WEAPONS
 

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