• Hi Guest! Forum rules have been updated. All users please read here.

US hypersonic weapons projects. (General)

GeorgeA

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2006
Messages
784
Reaction score
36
I haven't heard anybody explicitly mention guidance method - the tests to date (2011, 2017) were against a static target. I strongly suspect that it will be INS/GPS only guidance, with the possibility of allowing for an update before the terminal dive. I think terminal guidance at these speeds makes for problematic material choices - ie, heat dissipation vs RF transparency. I think anything optical would be right out. That and the USN booster seems to be only 34.5 inches wide, which would indicate a very narrow glider (the the same one is used across the CPGS, LRHW, and HCSW programs). There probably isn't a lot of room for antenna in the nose.
This thread may provide information about some potential approaches to guidance for hypersonic vehicles, albeit for airborne targets.

 

fredymac

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Dec 14, 2009
Messages
1,512
Reaction score
80

Forest Green

CLEARANCE: Secret
Joined
Jun 11, 2019
Messages
405
Reaction score
108
I haven't heard anybody explicitly mention guidance method - the tests to date (2011, 2017) were against a static target. I strongly suspect that it will be INS/GPS only guidance, with the possibility of allowing for an update before the terminal dive. I think terminal guidance at these speeds makes for problematic material choices - ie, heat dissipation vs RF transparency. I think anything optical would be right out. That and the USN booster seems to be only 34.5 inches wide, which would indicate a very narrow glider (the the same one is used across the CPGS, LRHW, and HCSW programs). There probably isn't a lot of room for antenna in the nose.
The Pershing II already solved all those problems about 40 years ago.
 

sferrin

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
12,137
Reaction score
369
I haven't heard anybody explicitly mention guidance method - the tests to date (2011, 2017) were against a static target. I strongly suspect that it will be INS/GPS only guidance, with the possibility of allowing for an update before the terminal dive. I think terminal guidance at these speeds makes for problematic material choices - ie, heat dissipation vs RF transparency. I think anything optical would be right out. That and the USN booster seems to be only 34.5 inches wide, which would indicate a very narrow glider (the the same one is used across the CPGS, LRHW, and HCSW programs). There probably isn't a lot of room for antenna in the nose.
The Pershing II already solved all those problems about 40 years ago.

Yep. There are many guided RVs in service these days. (Just not in the US.)
 

Josh_TN

CLEARANCE: Restricted
Joined
Sep 4, 2019
Messages
34
Reaction score
9
I haven't heard anybody explicitly mention guidance method - the tests to date (2011, 2017) were against a static target. I strongly suspect that it will be INS/GPS only guidance, with the possibility of allowing for an update before the terminal dive. I think terminal guidance at these speeds makes for problematic material choices - ie, heat dissipation vs RF transparency. I think anything optical would be right out. That and the USN booster seems to be only 34.5 inches wide, which would indicate a very narrow glider (the the same one is used across the CPGS, LRHW, and HCSW programs). There probably isn't a lot of room for antenna in the nose.
The Pershing II already solved all those problems about 40 years ago.
Pershing II engaged static targets and spent far less time in atmosphere. I'm not saying terminal guidance is impossible, I just think the initial weapons deployed probably won't have it. All three services seem to be rushing hypersonics into service to have an initial basic capability with more complex weapons to come later. Perhaps we'll learn more as the testing commences in 2020.
 

sferrin

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
12,137
Reaction score
369
Pershing II engaged static targets and spent far less time in atmosphere. I'm not saying terminal guidance is impossible, I just think the initial weapons deployed probably won't have it. All three services seem to be rushing hypersonics into service to have an initial basic capability with more complex weapons to come later. Perhaps we'll learn more as the testing commences in 2020.
My money would be that there's 0% chance ANY of them wouldn't have terminal guidance. (Keep in mind that can include GPS/Inertial.)
 

Josh_TN

CLEARANCE: Restricted
Joined
Sep 4, 2019
Messages
34
Reaction score
9
My money would be that there's 0% chance ANY of them wouldn't have terminal guidance. (Keep in mind that can include GPS/Inertial.)
I guess I should specify active radar guidance as unlikely (my opinion). I agree there's a 100% chance of INS/GPS. But I'd love to be wrong - engaging moving targets would hold pretty much everything at risk.
 

Forest Green

CLEARANCE: Secret
Joined
Jun 11, 2019
Messages
405
Reaction score
108
Pershing II engaged static targets and spent far less time in atmosphere. I'm not saying terminal guidance is impossible, I just think the initial weapons deployed probably won't have it. All three services seem to be rushing hypersonics into service to have an initial basic capability with more complex weapons to come later. Perhaps we'll learn more as the testing commences in 2020.
And Pershing II was made using 1970s electronics and processors. All it potentially needs to engage moving targets is a mid-course update, the terminal seeker (e.g. radar) need not even be used and can be protected until the terminal phase. GPS/INS + datalink update will be sufficient until that point.
 

Lc89

CLEARANCE: Restricted
Joined
Aug 10, 2019
Messages
18
Reaction score
0
If the conventional prompt strike can hit any point on earth in less than an hour, does that mean it can be launched from a ship within American territorial waters? Could it be some kind of pocket ICBM?
 

bobbymike

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Joined
Apr 21, 2009
Messages
8,939
Reaction score
186
If the conventional prompt strike can hit any point on earth in less than an hour, does that mean it can be launched from a ship within American territorial waters? Could it be some kind of pocket ICBM?
While you technically can develop a missile with the range to launch from anywhere it appears the “nuke missile ambiguity test” is limiting current systems to shorter ranges up to intermediate (2nd possible reason for INF pullout in addition to Russian cheating accusations)
 

sferrin

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
12,137
Reaction score
369
If the conventional prompt strike can hit any point on earth in less than an hour, does that mean it can be launched from a ship within American territorial waters? Could it be some kind of pocket ICBM?
While you technically can develop a missile with the range to launch from anywhere it appears the “nuke missile ambiguity test” is limiting current systems to shorter ranges up to intermediate (2nd possible reason for INF pullout in addition to Russian cheating accusations)
To me that argument doesn't really hold up to scrutiny. There are many nuclear/conventional systems that have been used over the years without kicking off WWIII. Also, about half of China's missile force would fall into the "ambiguity" category and nobody seems concerned.
 

Forest Green

CLEARANCE: Secret
Joined
Jun 11, 2019
Messages
405
Reaction score
108

bobbymike

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Joined
Apr 21, 2009
Messages
8,939
Reaction score
186
If the conventional prompt strike can hit any point on earth in less than an hour, does that mean it can be launched from a ship within American territorial waters? Could it be some kind of pocket ICBM?
While you technically can develop a missile with the range to launch from anywhere it appears the “nuke missile ambiguity test” is limiting current systems to shorter ranges up to intermediate (2nd possible reason for INF pullout in addition to Russian cheating accusations)
To me that argument doesn't really hold up to scrutiny. There are many nuclear/conventional systems that have been used over the years without kicking off WWIII. Also, about half of China's missile force would fall into the "ambiguity" category and nobody seems concerned.
And I totally agree a study by NAS years ago said a simple coastal launch with the radically different flight profile would “solve” the ambiguity question I was simply pointing to, IMHO, current weapons development efforts.
 

Lc89

CLEARANCE: Restricted
Joined
Aug 10, 2019
Messages
18
Reaction score
0
The LRHW of the army and the CPS of the navy are the same missile right? And that the only thing different is the launching platforms (Tractors with semitrailers for the army, submarines, ships and airplanes for the navy)?
 
Last edited:

Josh_TN

CLEARANCE: Restricted
Joined
Sep 4, 2019
Messages
34
Reaction score
9
CPGS and LRHW are the same missile. The USN test in 2017 went 2000+ miles; it looks like the new missile will be a IRBM ranged system that likely will be based on the SSGNs. As such they're normal deployments likely put most of the world's land mass in range.
 

Josh_TN

CLEARANCE: Restricted
Joined
Sep 4, 2019
Messages
34
Reaction score
9
I meant the normal deployments of SSGNs. LRHW deployment options have not been discussed and many countries would not want to host the system.
 

Lc89

CLEARANCE: Restricted
Joined
Aug 10, 2019
Messages
18
Reaction score
0
CPGS and LRHW are the same missile. The USN test in 2017 went 2000+ miles; it looks like the new missile will be a IRBM ranged system that likely will be based on the SSGNs. As such they're normal deployments likely put most of the world's land mass in range.
If by chance Bin Laden had been killed by the American army with an LRHW, the missile would not have been launched from the territory of the United States (Texas or Georgia for example) but closer, for example from a base in Europe (United Kingdom, Germany or Italy) to hit its compound in Pakistan?
 

Josh_TN

CLEARANCE: Restricted
Joined
Sep 4, 2019
Messages
34
Reaction score
9
No one has discussed LRHW deployment; the initial battery will be for testing purposes with some functionality. It seems doubtful most countries would allow it to based from their territory, as it would likely generate pushback from Russia or China. I believe one of the high ups in NATO already declared that Western Europe has no interest in hosting intermediate ranged weapons.
 

bring_it_on

I really should change my personal text
Joined
Jul 4, 2013
Messages
1,947
Reaction score
30
The US has limited number of troops forward deployed and clearly not enough against a major scenario against China for example or even a skirmish where it brings its full capability to bear. That does not prevent the US from preparing for such a thing. While these missiles may not be permanently based in foreign countries having them and having the flexibility to deploy them in short order is a pretty significant conventional deterrence in my opinion. But I agree, the major bulk of this capability would have to come from the sea and from the air. However, having land based battalions, capable of deploying both long range Hypersonic Missiles and Medium ranged gun based rounds is a pretty good capability to invest in..and not just in a Pacific scenario..

The Army is exploring what a strategic fires battalion might consist of, perhaps one LRHW battery and one SLRC battery, and is also considering what formation such a battalion might belong to, possibly a multidomain task force or a theater fires command, he said. ..
 

Josh_TN

CLEARANCE: Restricted
Joined
Sep 4, 2019
Messages
34
Reaction score
9
Guam would recommend itself. Based on the 2017 CPGS Ex1 test, a range of at least 2300 miles is possible. That would put the SCS and some of China’s coastline in range even without a foreign deployment. From there deployment throughout the region could be expedited during times of tension. In Europe the U.K. probably makes the most sense (were they willing) for political and range reasons - most other countries probably wouldn’t allow it and the range seems optimal for holding Russian targets at risk while not putting them within easy range of short ranged rockets and aircraft. Of course there are serious political consequences to consider with any forward deployment.
 

bobbymike

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Joined
Apr 21, 2009
Messages
8,939
Reaction score
186
Converted LHAs big enough and mobile. Although I’m not deluding myself that it would actually happen notwithstanding my constant Tweeting to SecDef Esper :D
 

bobbymike

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Joined
Apr 21, 2009
Messages
8,939
Reaction score
186
Converted LHAs big enough and mobile. Although I’m not deluding myself that it would actually happen notwithstanding my constant Tweeting to SecDef Esper :D
What are LHAs?
Do you mean that the army thought of putting an LRHW battery on an amphibious assault ship of the navy if that were realized?
No it’s my fantasy platform. You have these big flat decks you could install 100s of VLS cells on, you wouldn’t have to rely on allies and could move them where you needed them
 
Top