US Hypersonics - Prompt Global Strike Capability

panzerfeist1

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Russia and China have not yet matched even the X-43 achievements at this stage. And that too is getting to almost a decade into the past in age.


“Developed by the NPO Mashinostroyenia Corporation and furnished with a solid propellant scramjet engine, Avangard has a claimed engagement speed of Mach 27 (32,202.36 kph). The HGV can reportedly be integrated as a multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicle (MIRV) with the Russian Strategic Rocket Forces' (Raketnye voyska strategicheskogo naznacheniya - RVSN) RS-18B/UR-100UTTKh SS-19 Mod 3 'Stiletto', R-36M2, and RS-28 Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).”

Cross Russia off your list.


US weapons manufacturer Raytheon and Northrop Grumman are developing a hypersonic missile that can travel at 4,600mph with an engine made by a 3D printer.

The project will utilize Northrop's scramjet engine technology, which uses the vehicle's high speed to forcibly compress incoming air before combustion to enable sustained flight at hypersonic speeds.

Although the group hope to reach speeds of 4,600mph (Mach 5), the top speed could actually be 16,000mph (Mach 24) according to theoretical estimates, reports the Telegraph.
 
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panzerfeist1

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You know Avangard isn’t air breathing like the X-43.

Scram and ramjets are all airbreathing and that is what the source has indicated which is refurbished with a scramjet by NPO. Also that is not the only source that suggested the Avangard has an engine https://ria.ru/20161028/1480214764.html. The X-43 after getting boosted to the max flight ceiling had its scramjet engine kick on next so it is possible that at lower altitudes where more oxygen is present for the scramjet to kick on for the Avangard. It is also probably the reason why it gets a +mach 7 over the HTV-2 when it descends with its engines to kick on later.
 

bobbymike

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You know Avangard isn’t air breathing like the X-43.

Scram and ramjets are all airbreathing and that is what the source has indicated which is refurbished with a scramjet by NPO. Also that is not the only source that suggested the Avangard has an engine https://ria.ru/20161028/1480214764.html. The X-43 after getting boosted to the max flight ceiling had its scramjet engine kick on next so it is possible that at lower altitudes where more oxygen is present for the scramjet to kick on for the Avangard. It is also probably the reason why it gets a +mach 7 over the HTV-2 when it descends with its engines to kick on later.
Avangard with not have a scramjet attached to it.

A small solid rocket to boost in the final phase of flight? I give little chance of that given the limited throw weight and tight confines of an ICBM nosecone.

Bottom line they have not yet demonstrated X-43 type flight to my knowledge which was the point of the first post in this string.
 

sferrin

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IAD is correct in surmization. The USA has never been behind any other nation in the field of hypersonics, not at any time, and is not behind today.

LOL! How many such weapons systems (not research vehicles) is the US fielding right now? Zero you say? How many are they even flight testing? Zero again you say? That alone puts them behind both Russia and China, both whom have either deployed or have in flight testing hypersonic weapons. (And no, we're not talking about ballistic missiles.)
 

greenmartian2017

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Please keep in mind that the Avangard system has many of the bells and whistles of US developments from the late 1960s and early 1970s on maneuverable RVs.
 

sferrin

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Please keep in mind that the Avangard system has many of the bells and whistles of US developments from the late 1960s and early 1970s on maneuverable RVs.

Yeah? Which of those are in service? Skybolt, the Atlas-launched BGRV, and others were sweet. None made it into service let alone are in service today.
 

panzerfeist1

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Avangard with not have a scramjet attached to it.

A small solid rocket to boost in the final phase of flight? I give little chance of that given the limited throw weight and tight confines of an ICBM nosecone.

Bottom line they have not yet demonstrated X-43 type flight to my knowledge which was the point of the first post in this string.

No worries I will start mentioning U.S. projects here but with comparisons.

waverider.jpg

The avangard is estimated at 5.4 meters so in comparison to this waverider here there might be room for the warhead. Another consideration is we sort of have to thank them for the kholod project research. they are now making scramjets the length of 3 meters https://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/world/russia/gll-8.htm and that this comes along

IL-76 drones.jpg

From the looks of this its 6 meters in length but the rocket booster looks longer than the scramjet for drone testing for the IL-76 which sort of indicates that the scramjet is smaller than 3 meters. Another comparison is the HAWCs having an external carry while plans are put into place for another stealth aircraft to have internal carry hypersonic air to ground weapons which tells the requirement would be less than 4.6 meters and 1 meter diameter. So with all of this into consideration do you still dismiss janes article that NPO attached it a scramjet? the wave rider with included rocket booster puts it at a 24 foot length and there are scramjet designs that are in 3 meters that can attain the same speeds as the waverider at a smaller size.
 

GARGEAN

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Please keep in mind that the Avangard system has many of the bells and whistles of US developments from the late 1960s and early 1970s on maneuverable RVs.
Lol. Right. Those russkies can't do shit themselves, can only copy from americans.
 

greenmartian2017

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Sferrin your cynicism mystifies me. Your responses indicate that must think that development of maneuvering reentry vehicles (for ICBM warheads and similar) kind of, like, stopped in the early 1970s or something. It hadn't. In the public realm, the information indicates that there was a lot of money thrown at this during the Ronald Reagan administration. If my memory serves, there is even a photograph before an NSC meeting where such a thing was going to be discussed, and the full-scale model had a cloth draped over it for the photo session. That photo is extant somewhere on the interwebs. There were many tests of lifting-body-like RVs that had wide plane changes post-1970. (Under a lot of different project names.) Based on what I recall, a significant proportion of the RVs currently on MM III and SLBMs can do things, other than follow a straight launch arc.

So no, the USA is not behind China or the ex-USSR (under Putin, they are the ex-USSR) in relation to hypersonics.

In response to Gargean, you have no freeking idea how much copying was done. To give you some sort of public clue, I would suggest you get out a copy of this book that I am going to provide the title of, and read it all the way through (beware: very densely written). It's by Christopher Andrew and Vasily Mitrokhin: "The Sword and the Shield." (Published in the early 2000s.) I have recently got access to the (typescript versions--they are indeed in notebook form) copies of Mitrokhin's original notes, and I have been flabbergasted by what I read in there in regards to the Russians' capability at "five finger discounting" technologies from US defense contractors and subcontractors. It was voluminous, it was legion. And the amount of money that was spent to obtain this stuff was astronomical (bribery gets you everywhere, on top of paying for the documents themselves, or physical hardware examples). Overall, this allowed the Soviets to keep a very rough parity during the Cold War--but it was done at great cost to them. The inability to duplicate microminiaturized components on mass scale helped to do them in.

That is not to say that the Russians aren't good at cutting-edge aerodynamics theory (they are excellent), or aren't good at recognizing when something is significant. And yes, the Russians also are very good at looking at purloined technologies, and figuring out how to improve them over the examples that they have in hand.
 

seruriermarshal

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I believe they has used some Hypersonics RVs in Minuteman IIIs and Trident D5s .
 

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seruriermarshal

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Some RV
 

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sferrin

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seruriermarshal

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So no, the USA is not behind China or the ex-USSR (under Putin, they are the ex-USSR) in relation to hypersonics.

Which US weapons are as far along as Zircon, Avangard, DF-17, etc.
AHW

Yes, but no. The last test was years ago and failed due to a bad Polaris (yes, you read that correctly) booster.
And Intermediate Range Conventional Prompt Strike Flight Experiment
 

seruriermarshal

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Intermediate Range Conventional Prompt Strike Flight Experiment is from AHW :

In 2014, a booster explosion in an Army AHW test prompted the Pentagon to get the Navy involved in the project and modify the boost-glide AHW for submarine missile tubes.
...

Somewhat confusingly, although the AHW is an HGV mated to a ballistic missile, it would be launched from SSGNs and attack submarines, not only SSBNs. Vice Admiral Terry Benedict, director of the Strategic Systems Program, announced a successful first test of this project—the Conventional Prompt Strike Flight Experiment-1 (CPS FE-1)—on 30 October 2017, from a land-based facility in Hawaii.
 

Lc89

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Intermediate Range Conventional Prompt Strike Flight Experiment is from AHW :

In 2014, a booster explosion in an Army AHW test prompted the Pentagon to get the Navy involved in the project and modify the boost-glide AHW for submarine missile tubes.
...

Somewhat confusingly, although the AHW is an HGV mated to a ballistic missile, it would be launched from SSGNs and attack submarines, not only SSBNs. Vice Admiral Terry Benedict, director of the Strategic Systems Program, announced a successful first test of this project—the Conventional Prompt Strike Flight Experiment-1 (CPS FE-1)—on 30 October 2017, from a land-based facility in Hawaii.
Here is an article of what happened in those days.
 

sferrin

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Yeah, a failed test half a decade ago of a test vehicle (not something meant to enter service) is a bit less than a bona fied weapons program in the midst of testing / early deployment as the Russian & Chinese programs are. The notion we're ahead of them is laughable.
 

Desertfox

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It is all relative. The US hypersonics programs are more advanced technologically, but the Chinese and especially the Russian programs are closer to deployment. Think of it as the 2016 Tesla 3 (US) vs the 2016 Chevy Volt (China/Russia), the Tesla 3 was arguably more advanced and capable, but the Volt was already in production and had longer range.

BTW the AHW derived IR-CPS was successfully tested in October 2017:
 

panzerfeist1

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The French seem pretty decent in ramjet technology and have a scramjet missile in development under their belts so I would try not to exclude them from hypersonic developments as well, that aside I would like to seem some scramjet/ramjet models from the U.S. besides the wave-rider missile to see how much we have improved. I am assuming that scramjet missiles are more difficult targets than HGVs to intercept. HAWC is a good example, but I would love to know the size of such a missile.
 

Grey Havoc

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On another note:
 

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DARPA Hints At Future Platform For Army’s Mobile Hypersonic Launcher

The 10-wheel-drive Logistics Vehicle System Replacement has emerged as a new candidate for the Army’s mobile launcher for hypersonic weapons....

In the near term, the Army plans to deploy the LRHW with a booster and glide vehicle derived from the CPS Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator (HTD). The glide vehicle is a derivative of the Advanced Hypersonic Weapon (AHW) demonstrated by the Army in 2011; the Navy demonstrated an adaptation in 2017. Another version of the AHW glider, which is itself derived from the Sandia Winged Energetic Reentry Vehicle, forms the basis for the Air Force’s HCSW. Meanwhile, the Army and Navy intend to use a common booster for the hypersonic glider, but it is classified. The Navy plans to begin testing the new HTD in the latter half of the year.
“This HTD will further mature the hypersonic technology and provide upgrades to key components to make the system more survivable and effective,” a spokesman for Army headquarters tells Aviation Week.


The 10-wheel-drive Logistics Vehicle System Replacement has emerged as a new candidate for the Army’s mobile launcher for hypersonic weapons. Credit: Cpl. Paul Peterson/U.S. Marine Corps

Underscoring the Army’s urgency to field the follow-on LRHW, management for the HTD has transitioned from the research-oriented Space and Missile Defense Command to the Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office, a high-ranking officer says.
Whereas the LRHW will be deployed with proven technologies, the goal of OpFires is to push the boundaries of rocket propulsion, using liquid and hybrid prop.ellants, variable-thrust nozzles, pulse motors and reignitable propellants to vary the thrust and range of the booster.
A member of the Dynetics-led-team tells Aviation Week that it has tested a subscale, throttleable rocket motor designed by California-based Exquadrum, whose CEO Kevin Mahaffy, notes: “We can throttle our solid rocket motor (SRM) and turn it off when we reach the right weapon-release conditions. From ignition on, we can throttle the SRM or completely turn it off.”


1560274690435.png
 

trose213

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Thoughts on the possibility of using the HAWCs as an AAW, especially focused on larger targets?
 

Josh_TN

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It only seems necessary for the US to develop a hypersonic warhead if current ballistic missiles are not up to the task of deterrence. That seems like a hard sell right now; neither Russia or China have significant ABM defenses (outside Moscow). Also it isn't clear that China is developing a nuclear boost glide warhead, although Russia is known to operate one in very small numbers.

The US still seems in the early stages of hypersonic research and infrastructure development. Further testing and improvements should allow a break out capability to be quickly realized in the future if necessary. Any future ballistic missile (GBSD) should be designed with a glider payload in mind as a future option, but I don't think this is particularly hard to do - Avangarde flies on a Soviet vintage booster.
 

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