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

US hypersonic weapons projects. (General)

fredymac

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Dec 14, 2009
Messages
1,532
Reaction score
87

Forest Green

CLEARANCE: Secret
Joined
Jun 11, 2019
Messages
425
Reaction score
118
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
12,198
Reaction score
393
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
41
Reaction score
10
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
12,198
Reaction score
393
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
41
Reaction score
10
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
425
Reaction score
118
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
29
Reaction score
6
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
9,031
Reaction score
205
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
12,198
Reaction score
393
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
425
Reaction score
118

bobbymike

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Joined
Apr 21, 2009
Messages
9,031
Reaction score
205
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
29
Reaction score
6
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
41
Reaction score
10
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
41
Reaction score
10
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
29
Reaction score
6
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
41
Reaction score
10
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
1,954
Reaction score
35
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
41
Reaction score
10
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
9,031
Reaction score
205
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
 

Lc89

CLEARANCE: Restricted
Joined
Aug 10, 2019
Messages
29
Reaction score
6
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?
 

bobbymike

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Joined
Apr 21, 2009
Messages
9,031
Reaction score
205
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
 

Josh_TN

CLEARANCE: Restricted
Joined
Sep 4, 2019
Messages
41
Reaction score
10
https://www.moog.com/content/dam/moog/literature/Space_Defense/Defense_Literature/Moog-DefenseOverview-Brochure.pdf

An interesting diagram from actuator manufacturer Moog, showing us a comparatively small looking (compared to ARRW/LRHW), two-staged booster, tipped with the common glide body. Could this be a glimpse of HCSW’s design?View attachment 620526
That looks roughly like the picture the USAF released for ARRW, only the captive carry test item seemed to lack fins.
 

Lc89

CLEARANCE: Restricted
Joined
Aug 10, 2019
Messages
29
Reaction score
6
I had read that the aeronautics will use a different C-HGB than the one navy and army will use, but that it will share 70% of the components. I do not understand whether it is agm 183a or Hacksaw, because the first missile is an evolution of the TBG, or perhaps they refer to the Arrow itself.
 

Josh_TN

CLEARANCE: Restricted
Joined
Sep 4, 2019
Messages
41
Reaction score
10
TBG appears to use a more modern and experimental glide body compared to the SWERVE based design that is being addapted to the first generation of weapons (this seems to include HCSW, CPGS, and LRHW). I believe that ARRW is actually employing the glider from TBG, but I've seen contradictory statements with regards to ARRW and HCSW flight profile and glider. About all I know for sure about ARRW is the rough size and dimensions from the released photo; I've no idea what HCSW looks like. It is suprising that most material indicate HCSW is the low risk project with the SWERVE glider and ARRW is the more technologically sophisticated system, even though it appears ARRW is ahead of HCSW in testing and has already by type classified as AGM-183. I assume as both programs progress the differences in the two missiles will be more clear.
 

Lc89

CLEARANCE: Restricted
Joined
Aug 10, 2019
Messages
29
Reaction score
6
TBG appears to use a more modern and experimental glide body compared to the SWERVE based design that is being addapted to the first generation of weapons (this seems to include HCSW, CPGS, and LRHW). I believe that ARRW is actually employing the glider from TBG, but I've seen contradictory statements with regards to ARRW and HCSW flight profile and glider. About all I know for sure about ARRW is the rough size and dimensions from the released photo; I've no idea what HCSW looks like. It is suprising that most material indicate HCSW is the low risk project with the SWERVE glider and ARRW is the more technologically sophisticated system, even though it appears ARRW is ahead of HCSW in testing and has already by type classified as AGM-183. I assume as both programs progress the differences in the two missiles will be more clear.
Then there was also this article that talks about an air launch test for the CPS. But which plane could launch such a big missile? Not the super Hornet for sure.
 

In_A_Dream

CLEARANCE: Restricted
Joined
Jun 3, 2019
Messages
33
Reaction score
5
Then there was also this article that talks about an air launch test for the CPS. But which plane could launch such a big missile? Not the super Hornet for sure.
Maybe that's what they'll modify the Bone for, to be a variable Hypersonic Launch Platform.
 

Lc89

CLEARANCE: Restricted
Joined
Aug 10, 2019
Messages
29
Reaction score
6
Then there was also this article that talks about an air launch test for the CPS. But which plane could launch such a big missile? Not the super Hornet for sure.
Maybe that's what they'll modify the Bone for, to be a variable Hypersonic Launch Platform.
That's strange. Thus it'd become the Hacksaw, no longer the CPS. Although I think an air-launched version of navy fighters would be very convenient, unless it is really an unreduced version. In that case only the P8 Poseidon could carry it.
However, are you sure that Arrow is more advanced technology? The contract for Hacksaw was worth 928 million dollars. The ARROW contract instead on the 400 million dollars.
 
Last edited:

Josh_TN

CLEARANCE: Restricted
Joined
Sep 4, 2019
Messages
41
Reaction score
10
I don't think the USN will deploy an air launched hypersonic, but they might benefit from testing that involves air launching. It might be less expensive to test gliders with an air launch as opposed to using a full booster stack. As such they would probably borrow or modify a large multi engined aircraft for the role.

IMO the B-1s will never be modified for hypersonics (or even external ordnance carry). The B-52 can do that job and the B-1 fleet needs desperately needs to focus funds on making aircraft mission capable; those planes are clapped out.
 

In_A_Dream

CLEARANCE: Restricted
Joined
Jun 3, 2019
Messages
33
Reaction score
5
I don't think the USN will deploy an air launched hypersonic, but they might benefit from testing that involves air launching. It might be less expensive to test gliders with an air launch as opposed to using a full booster stack. As such they would probably borrow or modify a large multi engined aircraft for the role.

IMO the B-1s will never be modified for hypersonics (or even external ordnance carry). The B-52 can do that job and the B-1 fleet needs desperately needs to focus funds on making aircraft mission capable; those planes are clapped out.
Never know :) depends on how things escalate with China.
 

bring_it_on

I really should change my personal text
Joined
Jul 4, 2013
Messages
1,954
Reaction score
35
Looking at the trajectory of capability and quantity the Chinese are putting out both in their near abroad and eventually globally, it does not take a whole lot of imagination to come up with a scenario where ALHWs are a key part of the USNs conventional capability in the post 2030 timeframe.
 
Top