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US hypersonic weapons projects. (General)

DSE

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https://news.usni.org/2019/09/19/9-19-2019-hypersonic-weapons

Report to Congress on Hypersonic Weapons



September 19, 2019 6:21 AM


The following is the Sept. 17, 2019 Congressional Research Service report, Hypersonic Weapons: Background and Issues for Congress.
From the report:
The United States has actively pursued the development of hypersonic weapons—maneuvering weapons that fly at speeds of at least Mach 5—as a part of its conventional prompt global strike program since the early 2000s. In recent years, the United States has focused such efforts on developing hypersonic glide vehicles, which are launched from a rocket before gliding to a target, and hypersonic cruise missiles, which are powered by high-speed, air-breathing engines during flight. As current Commander of U.S. Strategic Command General John Hyten has stated, these weapons could enable “responsive, long-range, strike options against distant, defended, and/or time-critical threats [such as road-mobile missiles] when other forces are unavailable, denied access, or not preferred.” Critics, on the other hand, contend that hypersonic weapons lack defined mission requirements, contribute little to U.S. military capability, and are unnecessary for deterrence.
Funding for hypersonic weapons has been relatively restrained in the past; however, both the Pentagon and Congress have shown a growing interest in pursuing the development and near-term deployment of hypersonic systems. This is due, in part, to the growing interest in these technologies in Russia and China, both of which have a number of hypersonic weapons programs and are expected to field an operational hypersonic glide vehicle—potentially armed with nuclear warheads—as early as 2020. The United States, in contrast to Russia and China, is not currently considering or developing hypersonic weapons for use with a nuclear warhead. As a result, U.S. hypersonic weapons will likely require greater accuracy and will be more technically challenging to develop than nuclear-armed Chinese and Russian systems.
The Pentagon’s FY2020 budget request for all hypersonic-related research is $2.6 billion, including $157.4 million for hypersonic defense programs. At present, the Department of Defense (DOD) has not established any programs of record for hypersonic weapons, suggesting that it may not have approved either requirements for the systems or long-term funding plans. Indeed, as Assistant Director for Hypersonics (Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering) Mike White has stated, DOD has not yet made a decision to acquire hypersonic weapons and is instead developing prototypes to assist in the evaluation of potential weapon system concepts and mission sets.
As Congress reviews the Pentagon’s plans for U.S. hypersonic weapons programs, it might consider questions about the rationale for hypersonic weapons, their expected costs, and their implications for strategic stability and arms control. Potential questions include the following:
  • What mission(s) will hypersonic weapons be used for? Are hypersonic weapons the most cost-effective means of executing these potential missions? How will they be incorporated into joint operational doctrine and concepts?<./li>
  • Given the lack of defined mission requirements for hypersonic weapons, how should Congress evaluate funding requests for hypersonic weapons programs or the balance of funding requests for hypersonic weapons programs, enabling technologies, and supporting test infrastructure? Is an acceleration of research on hypersonic weapons, enabling technologies, or hypersonic missile defense options both necessary and technologically feasible?<./li>
  • How, if at all, will the fielding of hypersonic weapons affect strategic stability?<./li>
  • Is there a need for risk-mitigation measures, such as expanding New START, negotiating new multilateral arms control agreements, or undertaking transparency and confidence-building activities?
 

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jsport

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Would seem an Advanced Full Range Engine if it is similar to UK's Synergetic Air Breathing Rocket Engine (SABRE) being considered for manned craft as well as missiles would be a better joint effort. Services piecemeal approaches should sure prove they are not redunadant as they appear to be more contracrtor money trees. Ok, need to preserve the industrial base across contractors but the only missiles needing immediate deployment would appear to be the Operational Fires.
 

bobbymike

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Great news this will speed up R&D and deployment :rolleyes:

Hypersonic weapons light up DOD inspector general's radar, audits coming
The Defense Department's inspector general is planning this month to begin auditing hypersonic weapons research and development projects, a move that comes after Pentagon leaders announced plans to nearly double spending over the next five years on the new class of ultrafast weapons -- both offensive and defensive -- to more than $11 billion
 

In_A_Dream

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Great news this will speed up R&D and deployment :rolleyes:

Hypersonic weapons light up DOD inspector general's radar, audits coming
The Defense Department's inspector general is planning this month to begin auditing hypersonic weapons research and development projects, a move that comes after Pentagon leaders announced plans to nearly double spending over the next five years on the new class of ultrafast weapons -- both offensive and defensive -- to more than $11 billion
"Grandpa, what ended up bringing an end to the United States during the 2nd Cold War?"
"Audits, son, audits."
 

jsport

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unguided hypersonics programs need scrutiny
 

sferrin

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bobbymike

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I’m repeating myself but strap a BGV on the Aerojet Roadrunner II booster short term Mach 8.6 weapon
 

Moose

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Well...depends on the actual performance of the weapon. I'm not saying 2000km at M5.5 is anything to sneeze at, but I think AIAA are talking more about PGS-type performance which would be a bit more demanding.
 

Josh_TN

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I think DF-17 probably fits the bill, and I believe it has been tested and claimed to have reached IOC. I can't vouch for those examples being operational missiles.
 

sferrin

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I think DF-17 probably fits the bill, and I believe it has been tested and claimed to have reached IOC. I can't vouch for those examples being operational missiles.
DF-17 has been around for some time but this is probably a new variant.


 

Josh_TN

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Can anyone explain the difference between ARRW and HCSW? They seem to fulfill the same role and both are boost/glide. I assume they employ different flight profiles or else different glide vehicles?

The Army's first experimental LRHW battery is supposed to be firing by 2023 as well, though that seems ambitious and actual production I assume will lag well behind that.

Does the USN have an IOC date for CPGS? Since the 'All Up Round' is supposed to be ready for army use by 2023, presumably the biggest bottleneck will be modifying a platform to put the missile on? It seems like only SSGNs would have sufficient room until Virginia Block V hits the water.
 

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Can anyone explain the difference between ARRW and HCSW? They seem to fulfill the same role and both are boost/glide. I assume they employ different flight profiles or else different glide vehicles?
I think HCSW is more of a tactical weapon with shorter range for carriage by fighters/fighter-bombers.
 

Moose

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Can anyone explain the difference between ARRW and HCSW? They seem to fulfill the same role and both are boost/glide. I assume they employ different flight profiles or else different glide vehicles?

The Army's first experimental LRHW battery is supposed to be firing by 2023 as well, though that seems ambitious and actual production I assume will lag well behind that.

Does the USN have an IOC date for CPGS? Since the 'All Up Round' is supposed to be ready for army use by 2023, presumably the biggest bottleneck will be modifying a platform to put the missile on? It seems like only SSGNs would have sufficient room until Virginia Block V hits the water.
There's not enough on HCSW to link to a page with a simple differentiation, but my reading is that it's aiming for a weapon a bit smaller than ARRW so that it can be carried on a fighter.
 

bring_it_on

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My understanding is that the HCSW is leveraging more mature technologies like the Common Glide Vehicle which is derived from the AHW and dates back to the Swerve. ARRW, on the other hand, leverages the BGV that was developed for DARPA's Tactical Boost Glide program and which expected to begin flight testing soon.
 

Josh_TN

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So HCSW likely uses the conical common glide body that the USN developed from the Army AHW/Sandia Labs SWERVE while ARRW and TBG use a lifting body like the Chinese DF-17 model? I assume the latter has longer range and better efficiency.
 

bobbymike

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AN/AWW-14(V)

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The MDA also awarded a $19 million contract to Aerojet Rocketdyne as a risk-reduction project for an axial upper stage of a hypersonic interceptor. The awards to Boeing and Aerojet are expected to open a series of risk-reduction projects as the MDA finalizes the architecture for the HDWS. Meanwhile, the agency is developing an initial requirements document for hypersonic defense and modifying existing components of the Ballistic Missile Defense System to support hypersonic threat track and warning.

The MDA previously confirmed that planned modifications include the THAAD interceptor. In 2015, Lockheed Martin unveiled a concept to develop a two-stage, extended-range version of THAAD. Lockheed described the THAAD-ER concept as a possible approach to be used in defeating the emerging class of offensive hypersonic missiles. But the MDA declined to answer whether the proposed modification is based on the four-year-old Lockheed proposal. “I’ve got nothing to provide you on that [question],” an MDA spokesman says.


:rolleyes: axial upper stage?

Lockheed Martin is working with Aerojet Rocketdyne on a concept for a two-stage rocket that would extend the range of a key regional missile defense system used by the U.S. Defense Department.

Mike Trotsky, vice president of air and missile defense business development at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control of Dallas, told reporters during a Jan. 7 conference call that the companies are designing a new booster rocket for Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System (THAAD) interceptor.

my proposal level

 
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AN/AWW-14(V)

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May be paywalled for a bit, but:


"By 2023, the U.S. Air Force plans to introduce the AGM-183A Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon and the Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon—which boast double-digit Mach numbers and a maximum range measured in the thousands of miles."
full text

Flight-test infrastructure within the U.S. Air Force is evolving as a new generation of faster and longer-range air-launched weapons approach a four-year surge of flight-test activity.

By 2023, the U.S. Air Force plans to introduce the AGM-183A Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon and the Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon—which boast double-digit Mach numbers and a maximum range measured in the thousands of miles. About 40 hypersonic flight tests, including prototypes of new Army and Navy hypersonic weapons, are scheduled over the next four years.

- RQ-4s selected as hypersonic test monitors
- Wave gliders emerge as option for overwater tracking and scoring

As those weapons are evaluated, the Air Force also plans to introduce the Lockheed Martin AIM-260 Joint Advanced Tactical Missile by 2022, which features “significantly greater” range than the Raytheon AIM-120 advanced medium-range air-to-air missile. The Long-Range Standoff missile also will enter development in 2021. And the suffix “extended range” is being added to a host of air- and ground-launched missiles in the U.S. military’s stockpile.

For each such weapon, the Air Force must develop a concept and infrastructure to monitor and relay telemetry data from the missile over the full length of the flightpath, including the ability to terminate the test if a safety issue develops.


As the U.S. Air Force plans to begin flight testing of the AIM-260, which is the replacement for the Raytheon AIM-120 (pictured), operational testers are considering new technologies to monitor and score overwater tests, including using wave glider vehicles. Credit: Christopher Okula/U.S. Air Force

The Defense Department has conducted hypersonic flight tests before, but the volume of planned testing over the next four years adds another challenge. The flight tests for DARPA’s Falcon Hypersonic Test Vehicle-2 program seven years ago was supported by dozens of assets, including ships and patrol aircraft stretching far out into the Pacific Ocean.

But that approach is “incredibly expensive,” says Maj. Gen. Christopher Azzano, commander of the Air Force Test Center (AFTC).

The Air Force has developed a new concept to provide the same telemetry relay capability using a small number of high-altitude unmanned aircraft systems, rather than multiple aircraft at lower altitudes and ships.

“What we’re looking at now is an airborne array of RQ-4s that would enable us to do the same thing with far fewer platforms and fewer people, while still covering the same space,” Azzano says.


The AGM-183A is the first of a battery of hypersonic weapons expected to enter flight testing within months. A U.S. Air Force B-52 (pictured) performed a captive-carry test in June with an AGM-183A Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon. Credit: U.S. Air Force

The new approach relies on antenna technology that can transmit telemetry data amid the sustained heat and pressure of hypersonic flight, where skin temperatures of the glide body or missile escalate up to 3,600F (2,000C).

The Air Force is also considering other applications of unmanned technology for long-range flight tests. The AFTC is an enterprise that includes: a wind tunnel complex at the Arnold Engineering Development Center in California, a flight-test center at Edwards AFB, California, and a weapons and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance test center at Eglin AFB, Florida. The facilities at Eglin include the Gulf Test and Training Range. The 400-nm length of the range is not long enough to support hypersonic weapon testing, but it may serve as a test site for new solid rocket motors and booster rockets developed for hypersonic weapons.

“I need to be able to relay telemetry, I need to have flight termination, I need to do scoring eventually out in the open ocean for where a weapon would impact,” says Brig. Gen. Scott Cain, commander of the 96th Test Wing at Eglin. “There are actually technology development programs going on to do just that."

One technology cited by Cain is an unmanned vehicle called a wave glider, which uses the energy from ocean waves to generate power. It uses that generated power to produce thrust, allowing the vehicle to remain in a specific location for weeks or months.

“If you put the right measurement devices on them, that’s essentially the concept,” Cain says.

The Gulf Test and Training Range is also expanding, with plans to install instrumentation from the Florida Panhandle to the Florida Keys. The Air Force has run fiber-optic cable about halfway down the west coast of Florida so far, Cain says.

“We’ve started an underwater survey to the Keys to look at where the Gulf Range extension goes next,” Cain says. “As the range increases, we’re going to use the whole 400-plus miles of the range more frequently.”
 

Josh_TN

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Seems more likely 2023, with at least several programs reaching some kind of IOC or experimental operational status. Which will still be likely only parity with peers, although with superior deployment options compared to even peers in terms of global reach.
 

seruriermarshal

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Seems more likely 2023, with at least several programs reaching some kind of IOC or experimental operational status. Which will still be likely only parity with peers, although with superior deployment options compared to even peers in terms of global reach.
I say that we 'll see many US Hypersonic weapon test late 2019 .
 

sferrin

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I'll be surprised if we see ANY.
 

Josh_TN

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I'll be surprised if we see ANY.
I think ARRW and HCSW are said to possibly see a test by end of year, but whoever said that didn't want to commit to it - I take that as more likely 2020. Serious testing starts next year, with over a dozen planned, and something like fourty by 2022.
 

Ronny

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Is there any chance SiaW become hypersonic ?
 

Ronny

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May be paywalled for a bit, but:
"By 2023, the U.S. Air Force plans to introduce the AGM-183A Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon and the Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon—which boast double-digit Mach numbers and a maximum range measured in the thousands of miles."
Isn't HCSW supposed to be a smaller scramjet missile carried by fighters? how can it achieve double digit Mach number ?
The award follows a $928 million contract awarded to Lockheed in June for the Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon (HCSW), a separate approach to a hypersonic missile system. Lockheed's Missiles and Fire Control division got the ARRW work, and Lockheed Space is working on HCSW. "Hypersonic" refers to air vehicles traveling in the Mach 5-plus regime.
The ARRW is a system of the "boost-glide" type wherein an aerodynamic shape is accelerated to hypersonic speed by a rocket booster. The booster then falls away, allowing the shape to coast and maneuver at hypersonic speed to the target. The Air Force said the ARRW and HCSW are "unique capabilities for the warfighter and each has different technical approaches." A service spokeswoman elaborated that the "two systems offer different flight profiles and payload size, offering complementary capabilities." Both would be air-launched.
 
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TAOG

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May be paywalled for a bit, but:
"By 2023, the U.S. Air Force plans to introduce the AGM-183A Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon and the Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon—which boast double-digit Mach numbers and a maximum range measured in the thousands of miles."
Isn't HCSW supposed to be a smaller scramjet missile carried by fighters? how can it achieve double digit Mach number ?
The award follows a $928 million contract awarded to Lockheed in June for the Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon (HCSW), a separate approach to a hypersonic missile system. Lockheed's Missiles and Fire Control division got the ARRW work, and Lockheed Space is working on HCSW. "Hypersonic" refers to air vehicles traveling in the Mach 5-plus regime.
The ARRW is a system of the "boost-glide" type wherein an aerodynamic shape is accelerated to hypersonic speed by a rocket booster. The booster then falls away, allowing the shape to coast and maneuver at hypersonic speed to the target. The Air Force said the ARRW and HCSW are "unique capabilities for the warfighter and each has different technical approaches." A service spokeswoman elaborated that the "two systems offer different flight profiles and payload size, offering complementary capabilities." Both would be air-launched.
HCSW is not a scramjet missile. It is also a rocket-power boost-glide hypersonic weapon but has different flight path and glide vehicle design compared to ARRW. (ARRW and TBG use the winged glider while HCSW uses biconic glider which is derived from Navy's CPS project and Army's LRHW project. )

The scramjet-power missile is HAWC project.
 

Ronny

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HCSW is not a scramjet missile. It is also a rocket-power boost-glide hypersonic weapon but has different flight path and glide vehicle design compared to ARRW. (ARRW and TBG use the winged glider while HCSW uses biconic glider which is derived from Navy's CPS project and Army's LRHW project. )

The scramjet-power missile is HAWC project.
Would you mind giving some citation? I am curious because several source I have seen said that HCSW is a hypersonic cruise missile with engine
The Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon (HCSW) will be an air-launched missile but the company revealed little more about its technology. John Snyder, vice president of Air Force Strategic Programmes said: “Our goal is rapid development and fielding of the HCSW system, and this contract is the first step in achieving that goal. Design, development, production, integration and test experts from across Lockheed Martin will partner with the Air Force to achieve early operational capability and deliver the system to our warfighters.”

First Director of the Israel Missile Defence Organization in the Israel Ministry of Defence Uzi Rubin said: “Lockheed Martin has been asked to design a cruise missile that flies inside the atmosphere at hypersonic speed. This is a tremendous challenge.”

“Going from point A to B it [the missile Lockheed has been tasked to develop] has to have an engine that pushes it through the atmosphere all the time. So a hypersonic cruise missile has to have an engine that can power to five times the speed of sound. This type of engine is a tremendous challenge. The only kind of engine that might work in this type of system is a hypersonic ramjet. It’s very complicated technology; it’s not simple and not developed yet.” says Rubin.
 

bring_it_on

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Would you mind giving some citation? I am curious because several source I have seen said that HCSW is a hypersonic cruise missile with engine
Just do a quick search here. I think you may be confusing HCSW with HAWC. The latter is a DARPA run scramjet missile demonstrator while the former is an Air Force program to field the common boost glide system as an AL application.
 
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