Author Topic: Hypersonic Strike Vehicle  (Read 12654 times)

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Offline tomahawk6

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Hypersonic Strike Vehicle
« on: March 21, 2014, 10:07:54 »
Might as well try and keep up with what the Chicom's are doing as we head into a period of smaller budgets which will shrink the USAF.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/mar/19/inside-the-ring-pentagon-goes-hypersonic-with-long/

Hypersonic vehicles can deliver nuclear or conventional payloads in precision strikes against increasingly hard-to-penetrate air defenses of countries like China, Russia and Iran, he said.

“We, the U.S., do not want to be the second country to understand how to have controlled scramjet hypersonics,” Mr. Shaffer told the Precision Strike Association’s annual review on Tuesday.



Offline S.M.A.

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US hypersonic weapon EXPLODES during flight
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2014, 14:20:15 »
Back to the drawing board?

Reuters

Quote
Experimental U.S. hypersonic weapon explodes during flight test

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A new hypersonic weapon developed by the U.S. military exploded shortly after lift-off from an Alaska test facility during a long-awaited flight test early Monday, the Pentagon said.

No one was injured in the incident, which occurred shortly after 4 a.m. EDT (0800 GMT) at the Kodiak Launch Complex in Alaska, said Maureen Schumann, spokeswoman for the U.S. Defense Department.

"The weapon exploded during takeoff and fell back down the range complex," Schumann said.

The weapon was developed by Sandia National Laboratory and the U.S. Army, as part of the military's "Conventional Prompt Global Strike" technology development program which is seeking to build a weapon that can destroy targets anywhere on earth within an hour of getting data and permission to launch.


(...EDITED)

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Offline Thucydides

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Re: Hypersonic Strike Vehicle
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2014, 15:59:11 »
Hypersonics have been something of a holy grail for decades. The X-15 rocket plane was a manned hypersonic aircraft which was very state of the art for its day (Of course, since Neil Armstrong was a test pilot for the X-15 program, it should give you an indication of when the "day" was). Convair proposed a hypersonic strike aircraft to be ferried to the edge of the USSR by a B-58 Hustler, the "Super Hustler" was supposed to penetrate Soviet airspace at Mach 4 to deliver a nuclear glide bomb. And the SR-71 carried a D-21 hypersonic drone for much the same reason (although the D-22 was primarily a camera carrying aircraft), but this combination suffered a catastrophic failure on launch.

Yet here we are in 2014 still without a practical hypersonic vehicle (except perhaps if you count a MAnoeuvrable Reentry Vehicle [MARV] gliding in from an ICBM launch). I think the real problem is that the R&D effort is stop and start because the expected benefits really don't outweigh the costs, which means each time you restart the program under whatever name de jour you spend a great deal of time reinventing the wheel as well, since all the engineers, test data and so on from the last round has been dispersed, is in the hands of rival contractors and so on.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: Hypersonic Strike Vehicle
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2018, 16:20:40 »
Hypersonics getting very big this year--big NORAD implicatons:

Quote
Hypersonics ‘highest technical priority’ for Pentagon R&D head

As China and Russia threaten to overtake the U.S. with new technologies, development of hypersonic capabilities is the “highest technical priority” for Michael Griffin, the Pentagon’s new undersecretary of defense for research and engineering.

“I’m sorry for everybody out there who champion some other high priority, some technical thing; it’s not that I disagree with those. But there has to be a first, and hypersonics is my first,” Griffin said at the McAleese/Credit Suisse conference Tuesday, in his first public comments since taking office 10 days ago.

The department will be looking to invest more in both offensive hypersonics capabilities and ways to defend against the threat, with new budget items likely to appear in the fiscal 2020 budget, Griffin said, adding that the goal is to leapfrog the work that China and Russia are doing in the hypersonic realm.

“I didn’t take this job so that we could regain parity with our adversaries. As I’ve taken to saying: ‘I want to see their hand and raise them one. I want to make them worry about catching up with us again,’ ” he said. “Any American, any ally or partner that we have who doesn’t see it that way, I don’t have time for you.”

The necessity, in Griffin’s mind, comes from the way hypersonic weapons can put at risk America’s ability to project power.

When the Chinese can deploy [a] tactical or regional hypersonic system, they hold at risk our carrier battle groups. They hold our entire surface fleet at risk. They hold at risk our forward-deployed forces and land-based forces [emphasis added],” Griffin said.

Without our ability to defend and without at least an equal response capability on the offensive side, then what we have done is we have allowed a situation to exist where our deployed forces are held at risk and we cannot do the same for them,” he continued. “And so our only response is either to let them have their way or to go nuclear. And that should be an unacceptable situation for the United States.”

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency budget for hypersonic weapons has increased steadily over the last two years, but more funding would inevitably be welcomed by supporters of the technology...

Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves, the director of the Missile Defense Agency, said the pace at which Russia and China are “researching, developing, testing, delivering weapons systems” requires his agency to take the hypersonic threat seriously [emphasis added]...
https://www.defensenews.com/pentagon/2018/03/06/hypersonics-highest-technical-priority-for-pentagon-rd-head/

More:

Quote
Inside the race for hypersonic weapons
A speech by Putin heats up a new global arms race
https://www.theverge.com/2018/3/6/17081590/hypersonic-missiles-long-range-arms-race-putin-speech

Plus:

Quote
U.S. Calls For Better Defenses As Putin Touts New Nukes
http://aviationweek.com/defense/us-calls-better-defenses-putin-touts-new-nukes

Mark
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« Last Edit: March 06, 2018, 16:42:02 by MarkOttawa »
Ça explique, mais ça n'excuse pas.

Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: Hypersonic Strike Vehicle
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2018, 15:38:03 »
Control on hypersonics' proliferation?

Quote
Hypersonic Missiles: A New Proliferation Challenge

hile the world bemoans the lack of inspired solutions for dealing with the North Korean missile threat, another danger looms under the public's radar: that of hypersonic missiles and their possible spread into international commerce.

Hypersonic missiles travel at a speed of one mile per second or more—at least five times the speed of sound. They are able to evade and conceal their precise targets from defenses until just seconds before impact. This leaves targeted states with almost no time to respond. Additionally, such weapons are capable of destroying targets without any explosives, using their kinetic energy alone. Hypersonic missiles require a reconsideration of traditional second-strike calculations, as they have the potential to decapitate a nation's leadership before it has the opportunity to launch a counter attack.

As a result, a state facing a hypersonic missile threat must make the best of a bad situation, effectively forced to choose the lesser evil. It could authorize the military rather than the national leadership to conduct retaliatory strikes, but this would raise the risk of an accidental conflict. It could spread out its forces, making them more difficult to attack, but also rendering them more susceptible to sub-national seizure through a greater number of access points. It could deploy its regionally-strategic forces upon receiving the first warning of an attack, which would make crises exceedingly unstable. Finally, it could launch a preemptive strike upon its enemy. All of these choices invite trigger-happy state behavior.

Given that the proliferation of current generations of ballistic missiles poses many of the same problems as the spread of hypersonic missiles, do the latter really present a unique challenge? For states without missile defenses, hypersonic missiles add relatively little in the way of a threat. However, an increasing number of states are procuring missile defense systems, particularly against regionally-ranged threats. These systems could be effectively neutralized by hypersonic missile technologies.

The United States, Russia, and China are leading the race to develop hypersonic missiles, with France and India close behind. Japan, Australia, and Europe are all developing the component technologies, in some cases for ostensibly civilian purposes. Within ten years, hypersonic missiles are likely to be deployed and potentially offered on the international market. Is there no way to avoid a world with widespread hypersonic forces?..

Richard Speier is a member of the adjunct staff at the nonprofit, nonpartisan RAND Corporation. While with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, he started the Office of Non- Proliferation Policy and helped design, negotiate, and implement the Missile Technology Control Regime.
https://www.rand.org/blog/2018/03/hypersonic-missiles-a-new-proliferation-challenge.html

Mark
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Offline tomahawk6

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Re: Hypersonic Strike Vehicle
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2018, 15:54:19 »
Control on hypersonics' proliferation?

Mark
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Fat chance.

Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: Hypersonic Strike Vehicle
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2018, 11:41:21 »
USAF moving fast on hypersonics:

Quote
Lockheed Under The Gun To Field Hypersonic Strike Missile

Insight into how urgently the U.S. Air Force wants to field a hypersonic strike weapon has emerged even as Lockheed Martin officially acknowledges the April award of a potential $928 million contract to develop the air-launched missile.

In a document justifying its decision to award a single contract to develop the Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon (HCSW) after only a limited competition, the Air Force says it plans to conduct the critical design review (CDR) just 24 months after contract award, at the end of fiscal 2019. Early operational capability of the Mach 5-plus missile on an existing fighter/bomber aircraft is scheduled for fiscal 2022.

The heavily redacted justification and approval document posted by the Air Force on June 4 also refers to a second hypersonic weapon, but the details have been removed. This is likely the Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW), an air-launched boost-glide missile that Lockheed Martin is already developing under an extension to its Darpa contract to build the Tactical Boost Glide (TBG) demonstrator.

HCSW is a solid-rocket-powered, GPS-guided missile, where ARRW is a rocket-boosted unpowered hypersonic glider. The Air Force document says, “In order to keep pace with our adversaries’ technology efforts, [redacted] programs were directed to proceed quickly to CDR. [Redacted] HCSW is intended to provide an alternative solution with an overall schedule/technical risk by focusing on highly mature technologies.”

The justification document then goes on to say, “This will result in [redacted, but likely the ARRW] CDR scheduled for the beginning of FY19, with HCSW following by the end of FY19. Collectively, the efforts ensure a capability fielding in the early 2020s.”

Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works is under contract to flight-test the 500-nm-range TBG demonstrator in 2019. The Skunk Works is also expected to flight-test Darpa’s scramjet-powered, 300-nm-plus Hypersonic Air-launched Weapon Concept (HAWC) missile demonstrator in 2019.

Because it is rocket-powered, HCSW presents lower technical and schedule challenges for accelerated fielding than the air-breathing HAWC [emphasis added], which is the follow-on to the Air Force Research Laboratory’s (AFRL) X-51A scramjet engine demonstrator that exceeded Mach 5 in a 2013 flight test...

After dragging its heels for decades, the Pentagon has come under pressure to field hypersonic weapons quickly because of advances made by China and Russia, including the much-trumpeted initial deployment of Russia’s Kh-47M2 Kinzhal hypersonic strike missile on MiG-31s at the end of 2017 [emphasis added]...
http://aviationweek.com/defense/lockheed-under-gun-field-hypersonic-strike-missile

More on Russkies:

Quote
Russia has adapted 10 MiG-31 fighter jets to test Kinzhal hypersonic missile, minister says
https://thedefensepost.com/2018/05/05/russia-mig-31-jets-test-kinzhal-hypersonic-missile/

Mark
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Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: Hypersonic Strike Vehicle
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2018, 12:26:52 »
B-52 (B-52J?) for hypersonics--excerpts from major article:

Quote
The B-52 Looks Set To Become The USAF's Hypersonic Weapons Truck Of Choice
The rise of hypersonic weapons gives the bombers a new and highly critical mission that no other U.S. combat aircraft is as well suited to perform.

Though the U.S. Air Force plans to keep its B-52H Stratofortresses in front line service through at least 2050, its clear that the aircraft are becoming more vulnerable to increasingly advanced air defense networks and would have to rely heavily on long-range stand-off weapons during any potential high-end conflict. At the same time, the iconic bombers look set to get a new lease on life as the service’s principle platform for a slew of air-launched hypersonic weapons, a role that they are better suited to fill than any other existing American combat aircraft.

Earlier in August 2018, U.S. Air Force Colonel Lance Reynolds, the Program Manager for B-1 and B-52 Systems, briefed industry representatives on the status of both bombers during a meeting at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma. The B-1 and B-52 Systems division is part of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Bomber Development Branch, which is located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.

Reynolds’ presentation says that between the 2016 and 2022 fiscal years, the Air Force will conduct demonstrations of no less than seven different weapon systems, including various nuclear-capable strategic types, on the B-52, also known affectionately as the BUFF, for Big Ugly Fat Fellow. Of these, four are in-development hypersonic weapons. Broadly speaking, hypersonic weapons encompass unpowered and powered vehicles that fly at more than five times the speed of sound, or Mach 5...



Lockheed Martin has also been leading the work on both the TBG and HAWC. That same company has, unsurprisingly now secured the contracts to develop both the ARRW and a new air-breathing design called the Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon, or HCSW, which you’re supposed to pronounce as “hacksaw.”..

A weapon system that flies at a mile per second across a distance of 1,000 miles significantly reduces the time in the kill chain from when the U.S. military identifies the target to when it actually strikes it. For an opponent, this translates to a far shorter amount of time in which to spot the incoming threat and decide to either try and shoot it down or evacuate critical assets and personnel from a particular site. Nuclear- or conventionally-armed hypersonic vehicles therefore offer a game-changing option for conducting strikes with little warning against time-sensitive and other critical targets [emphasis added].

The extreme speed and range of hypersonic weapons also makes them especially applicable to non-stealthy launch platforms, such as the B-52s, since it would allow the bombers to remain far away from enemy air defenses when launching the weapons. In addition, the BUFF already has an established capability to carry oversize payloads over long ranges and each bomber, depending on the size of the Air Force's future ARRW and HCSW designs, could offer a significantly greater volume of fire over other available launch platforms. 

The B-52s could potentially hit targets deeper inside hostile territory by flying right to the edge of those defensive networks, as well. Bombers in general also offer the added flexibility of being able to remain on airborne alert near a certain region, acting as a potential deterrent to an outright conflict, and are easier to recall if necessary to de-escalate a situation. This also helps explain why the Air Force plans to keep the BUFFs in service until 2050, even as the service plans to retire the B-1 bomber and continues procurement of the B-21 Raider stealth bomber.

Combined with new fuel-efficient engines and other upgrades to the B-52’s conventional weapon and data sharing capabilities, sensors and defense systems, will be an especially cost effective launch platform for deploying these weapons. This may also explain why the service is looking to buy all-new under wing pylons for the BUFFs that can carry individual payloads weighing up to 20,000 pounds. It has already used B-52s to test various experimental hypersonic vehicles in the past, as has NASA.

An upgraded B-52J would probably be one of, if not the best possible choice for the hypersonics mission, while still retaining the ability to readily perform other conventional and strategic roles as necessary...
http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/23200/the-b-52-looks-set-to-become-the-usafs-hypersonic-weapons-truck-of-choice

Mark
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Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Hypersonic Strike Vehicle
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2018, 16:40:36 »
Not Hypersonic (Yet)











And an Israeli test



Quote
Only 2% to 10% of containers worldwide undergo inspection
Only 5% of all containers shipped to US ports are physically inspected. That figure is estimated to be lower in Europe! And people wonder why we’re having trouble eliminating drug trafficking!

https://www.icontainers.com/us/2016/11/11/friday-fun-fact-3-only-2-to-10-of-containers-are-inspected/
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Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: Hypersonic Strike Vehicle
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2018, 13:42:46 »
Also the matter of developing defences vs. hypersonics:
Quote
MDA Joins Tri-Service Hypersonic Weapon Program


Army Hypersonic Weapon: Sandia National Laboratory

The U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) has joined the Army, Air Force and Navy in a partnership formed to urgently develop a new hypersonic weapon within about three years, the Army confirmed to Aerospace DAILY Oct. 22.

MDA’s role in the Hypersonic Glide Body (HGB), which has not previously been disclosed, allows the agency to acquire a relevant missile to use as a target.

The Army’s Space and Missile Defense Command (SMDC) plans to stand up a new program office to manage development and production of the common HGB.

Asked by Aerospace DAILY to provide details about the new office, SMDC’s response revealed MDA’s involvement. The Army’s new program office will “work with the Air Force, the Navy and MDA on the development of a hypersonic glide body. The services and MDA will have an option to embed personnel in the office,” SMDC said.



SMDC referred questions about MDA’s involvement to the agency.

MDA’s original charter covered only ballistic missile defenses, but the emergence of maneuvering, hypersonic missiles as offensive weapons has broadened its focus.

In 2016, Congress directed MDA to stand up a new program of record focused on developing new defenses dedicated to hypersonic weapons. Agency officials have started working on designing a space-based sensor layer, which could be used to detect and track hypersonic missiles as they maneuver in the atmosphere.

The HGB represents the first major push by the U.S. military to match new hypersonic capabilities pursued by China and Russia. The common glide body—derived from a Sandia National Laboratories research vehicle—is being adapted for launch by Air Force B-52Hs, Navy ships and submarines and Army launchers.

The Air Force plans to field the new missile, which it calls the Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon, before 2022. The Army plans to deploy its version—called the Long Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW)—around the same time. The Navy’s version faces the most challenging launch environment, from a submarine
[emphasis added].

SMDC plans to stand up the program office in early 2019, to be led by a yet-unnamed major general, the command said.

SMDC held an industry day in early October for the acquisition of the LRHW. The acquisition strategy has not been finalized, but the industry day focused the Limited Operational Capability for the LRHW, SMDC said.
http://aviationweek.com/defense/mda-joins-tri-service-hypersonic-weapon-program

Mark
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Offline Thucydides

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Re: Hypersonic Strike Vehicle
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2018, 17:22:52 »
I'm somewhat surprised no one has brought this up yet, but the SpaceX launch platform (Falcon9 and Falcon Heavy) would make relatively good launch platforms for hypersonic glide weapons with global reach. The downside is, like 1950 era ICBM's, they are liquid fuelled, leaving a window when they are vulnerable on the ground, but a Falcon9 can carry 22,800kg to orbit (without returning the booster), so any number under that is the allowable payload for a suborbital boost-glide weapon.

The ability to carry a large payload of boost-glide weapons also means hard targets can be saturated with multiple warheads and a host of penetration aids to suppress the defences, or alternatively multiple weapons can be released during the boost phase to attack targets over a wide area.

On the other end, there are suggestions that hypersonic weapons are best tracked and attacked by small platforms in orbit. Once again, the low cost and heavy lift potential of the Falcon family allows the Space Force to place a large number of interceptor platforms in orbit at once.

Until a new solid fuel military rocket is developed, this might be the platform of choice for hypersonic attack and defence.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: Hypersonic Strike Vehicle
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2019, 11:54:33 »
Lots going on with US services, will see what comes out of it all:

Quote
New Long-Term Pentagon Plan Boosts Hypersonics, But Only Prototypes

Despite an accelerated and deep road map for U.S. hypersonic weapons technologies, the Defense Department’s fiscal 2020 budget request shows that the path beyond operational flight and weapons prototypes is still long and uncertain.

Between six and 10 hypersonic vehicle programs—depending on how they are counted—are funded in the budget request, says Mike White, assistant director for hypersonics to the undersecretary of defense for research and engineering. Moreover, the Pentagon plans to spend $10.5 billion over the next five years on hypersonic programs, including $2.6 billion in fiscal 2020. Both numbers represent a “dramatic” funding increase compared to the previous year’s long-term plan, White says.

That spending supports a broad range of hypersonic applications across all three legs of the Pentagon’s strategy, which includes fielding long-range strike weapons in the near-term, adding defensive interceptors in the midterm and developing manned vehicles in the distant future, he says. 

Although the plan is broad and deep, it remains limited so far to developing vehicles into operational prototypes. It is a designation that indicates a commitment to acquiring small batches of weapons. The Pentagon’s five-year spending plan still stops short of establishing a traditional program of record for a hypersonic vehicle [emphasis added]. A program of record would imply a long-term commitment to a specific technology, with an approved requirement and a funded plan to complete development and launch production and provide sustainment...

https://aviationweek.com/defense/new-long-term-pentagon-plan-boosts-hypersonics-only-prototypes

Mark
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Offline Technoviking

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Re: Hypersonic Strike Vehicle
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2019, 12:16:17 »
I'm somewhat surprised no one has brought this up yet, but the SpaceX launch platform (Falcon9 and Falcon Heavy) would make relatively good launch platforms for hypersonic glide weapons with global reach. The downside is, like 1950 era ICBM's, they are liquid fuelled, leaving a window when they are vulnerable on the ground, but a Falcon9 can carry 22,800kg to orbit (without returning the booster), so any number under that is the allowable payload for a suborbital boost-glide weapon.

The ability to carry a large payload of boost-glide weapons also means hard targets can be saturated with multiple warheads and a host of penetration aids to suppress the defences, or alternatively multiple weapons can be released during the boost phase to attack targets over a wide area.

On the other end, there are suggestions that hypersonic weapons are best tracked and attacked by small platforms in orbit. Once again, the low cost and heavy lift potential of the Falcon family allows the Space Force to place a large number of interceptor platforms in orbit at once.

Until a new solid fuel military rocket is developed, this might be the platform of choice for hypersonic attack and defence.
How practicable would it be to park a hypersonic glide weapon into a Geosynchronous orbit and then give it terminal guidance instructions when required?
So, there I was....

Offline SeaKingTacco

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Re: Hypersonic Strike Vehicle
« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2019, 13:00:51 »
I don't think anyone has ever tried to de-orbit something from a geo-synchronos orbit. It cannot be easy. In the first place, the object is orbiting at around an altitude of 32,000kms, which means it has an immense amount of kinetic energy that you have to get rid of somehow to get it to slow down enough to intercept the Earths atmosphere. That fuel bill cannot be cheap, if you want in done quickly. Plus your enemy will watch you do this foor hours, if not day. So much for surprise. Then you have the problem of getting it to a specific point on the Earths surface, probably with less than 10m accuracy. Again, not a trivial problem.

All told, there are probably easier ways to weaponeer something.

Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: Hypersonic Strike Vehicle
« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2019, 12:25:14 »
B-52 or B-1B (or both) for USAF boost-glide hypersonics?

Quote
Behold The First Flight Of A B-52 Bomber Carrying The AGM-183A Hypersonic Missile
The photographs from the first-ever flight test of the weapon offer the first look at its overall design.
...
https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/28576/behold-the-first-flight-of-a-b-52-bomber-carrying-the-agm-183a-hypersonic-missile

Air Force Touts B-1B Bomber's Potential To Carry Huge Hypersonic Missiles And External Stores
The B-1B may have to fight for its life in the not so distant future, but new upgrades could give it the ammo it needs to survive the budget ax.
...

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/29716/usaf-touts-b-1bs-potential-to-carry-huge-hypersonic-missiles-and-external-stores

Mark
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Offline tomahawk6

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Re: Hypersonic Strike Vehicle
« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2019, 21:42:03 »
Hypersonic weapons will revolutionize warfare and of course how to defeat them.

Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: Hypersonic Strike Vehicle
« Reply #16 on: October 01, 2019, 19:11:06 »
An analysis of boost-glide hypersonics (carried by ballistic missiles) from 2018:

Quote
Hypersonic Boost-Glide Weapons and Challenges to International Security
Hypersonic boost-glide vehicles present new iterations of old challenges to strategic stability.

Editor’s Note: The following is an edited and compressed version of remarks delivered by the author at a recent workshop in Geneva, Switzerland, hosted by the United Nations, on the international security implications of hypersonic boost-glide weapons.

I’ve been asked to address an important topic that is overdue for serious attention in the area of international disarmament studies and arms control. I’ll be building on the earlier presentation we received from on the state of long-range conventional weapon technology worldwide and focus mainly international security implications of hypersonic weapons, focusing primarily on the subgenre of hypersonic boost-glide weapons — HGVs, for short — which present, in my view, a pressing set of challenges.

HGVs have in recent years been associated with strategic disruption, which has prompted great interest in their potential. In 2013, Russian President Vladimir Putin, in an address to the Federal Assembly, described HGVs as having the potential to “negate all previous agreements on the limitation and reduction of strategic nuclear weapons, thereby disrupting the strategic balance of power.” The fundamental technology behind HGVs is decades old, but years of experience in materials science, weapons development, and growing concerns about missile defenses in some states has led to a recent push for deployable HGV payloads. Russia and China are at the vanguard with dual-capable systems (i.e., Avangard, DF-17, etc), while the United States continues on with its quest to field conventional-only systems for the prompt global strike mission.

The limited bit of good news with regard to HGVs is that many of the challenges they present to strategic stability between the great powers developing them in a serious way — today, China, Russia, and the United States — are effectively new iterations of old problems. Proponents of HGV technology have made the argument, too, that compared to other kinds of prompt-strike conventional weapons, HGVs can offer certain advantages and even offer stabilizing contributions over their counterparts. I will begin with a discussion of these advantages, mostly because the list here is quite short.

Proponents of investments in HGV technology — particularly in the United States Air Force — had made the argument that their unique flight profiles and, in particular, the nonballistic trajectory followed by the reentry vehicle would allow for easy discrimination. In the U.S. context, where these weapons have been strictly conceived of as conventional systems, this attribute was thought to contribute to stability and escalation ceilings. Assumptions in favor of this analytical conclusion are worth appreciating.

First, this assumed that prospective U.S. adversaries — including Russia and China — would have sophisticated enough early warning sensors to discriminate an HGV trajectory from a ballistic trajectory. Second, this assumed, too, that prospective adversaries might forgive — or at least overlook — the maneuverability characteristics that would allow an HGV payload to strike any number of targets once it had been detected. With regard to the assumption regarding sensors, it should be noted that China continues to lack the kind of sophisticated long-range over-the-horizon early warning system that would be required for HGV trajectory discrimination at present. (Investments are being made in this regard, however.)

The United States currently operates the most advanced space-based sensor layer, capable of detecting ballistic missile launches with a few seconds of booster ignition given sufficient altitude. What remains unclear is whether these geostationary orbit-based space-based infra-red sensors would be capable of discriminating and detecting the unique heat signatures generated by an HGV in the skip-glide phase of its flight from space. If the answer is no with existing geostationary space-based sensors, then HGVs will continue to pose a destabilizing challenge in their ability to bypass existing early warning systems. By the time terrestrial radars have detected an incoming HGV payload, it may be too late to queue ballistic missile defense systems for engagement or allow national leaders enough time to decide on retaliation, prompting all sides to seriously consider the adoption of dangerous LoW or LUA postures.

I want to interrogate too the often-stated point that one of the greatest challenges from HGV technology in their potential to disrupt the capabilities of existing missile defense systems. This point is commonly associated with HGV technologies. For instance, during his public introduction of the Avangard system in March this year, Russian President Putin described its terminal maneuverability as giving it a capability to become “absolutely invulnerable for any missile defence system.” These claims make for good public relations, but may not entirely be true.

It is conceivable that existing terminal missile defense systems capable of intercepting medium-range-class (MRBM-class) and intermediate-range-class (IRBM-class) ballistic targets could be developed further to manage terminal defense against HGV payloads. The U.S. THAAD, Patriot PAC-3, and MEADS systems could be iteratively improved to handle HGV targets. Similarly, China’s under-development DN-3 and Russia’s S-400 could be calibrated and tested against HGV targets.

The core problem posed by HGVs for existing missile defense architectures rests primarily in the sensor layer. The considerably lower altitude midcourse flight phase for most known HGV systems would considerably reduce the engagement time for ballistic missile systems. This would require tightened battle management system software. While MRBM- and IRBM-class targets can reenter at faster speeds than some HGV payloads and still be successfully intercepted by existing advanced terminal theater-range missile defense systems, it’s still not well-understood just what the outer limits on terminal maneuverability might be for systems like the DF-17, the Avangard, and the U.S. Advanced Hypersonic Vehicle (AHV).

The answer to this question has important implications for how we assess the international security implications of soon-to-be-introduced HGV systems. If they pose an unsurpassable challenge to current-generation terminal missile defense technologies, they stand to qualitatively shift the offense-defense balance in the favor of the attacker. (Ballistic missile reentry vehicles, including maneuverable reentry vehicles, meanwhile allow the attacker to quantitatively overcome even the most effective missile defense systems.)

For Russia and China, there will be an undeniable appeal to design intercontinental-range, nuclear-capable HGVs—especially if their concerns about U.S. midcourse defense aren’t assuaged. Both Moscow and Beijing doubt U.S. assertions that the Alaska- and California-based Ground-Based Midcourse Defense is designed to defend against “limited” ballistic missile threats from states like the DPRK and Iran. Intercontinental-range HGVs would reach their ballistic apogees out of the range of U.S. continental Ground-Based Interceptors and skip-glide at a low enough altitude to guarantee their ability to penetrate through to the U.S. mainland. This problem was identified by U.S. Statergic Command’s chief Gen. John Hyten: “We don’t currently have effective defenses against hypersonic weapons because of the way they fly, i.e., they’re maneuverable and fly at an altitude that our current defense systems are not designed to operate at.”

“Our whole defensive system is based on the assump- tion that you’re going to intercept a ballistic object,” he added, referring to the GMD concept. Even if terminal missile defense against HGVs becomes feasible, it will be infeasible for the United States to deploy terminal defenses to cover a sufficient swathe of its territory.

There is an added technical impulse here. For a given HGV, the greater the terminal maneuverability, the higher the tradeoff in terms of overall payload weight, on average. That should cause both Beijing and Moscow to favor low-yield, compact nuclear weapons over conventional payloads. (In China’s case, however, it would be difficult to justify a low/lower-yield HGV system as long as it continues to formally profess a no-exceptions no-first use posture.)

One final note on HGVs: Given the unproven nature of terminal HGV defense and the likely unsurpassable challenge of midcourse HGV interception, some have called for greater investment into boost-phase technologies to deal with the HGV challenge. Given the strategic depth available to the United States, Russia, and China by the sheer size of their territory, shore-based boost-phase systems or even persistent air-based boost-phase interceptor launchers, such as fighter aircraft or unmanned aerial vehicles, can be easily dealt with by moving launch sites further inland. That leaves open the possibility of space-based missile defense interceptors, which numerous studies have shown to be prohibitively expensive and deploy in numbers sufficient to counter the HGV challenge.

Dual-capable HGVs — that is to say HGVs capable of carrying both nuclear and conventional payloads — represent a particular concern. Chinese and Russian HGVs appear to currently fit into this category. The U.S. intelligence community has assessed that the DF-17’s HGV payload is designed to be dual-capable and the booster itself might be quite similar — or identical — to that used by the DF-16 medium-range ballistic missile. Similarly, Russia’s Avangard is rated by multiple sources as having a capability to deliver both conventional and nuclear payloads. The United States does not appear to be considering dual-capable HGVs at this time; all known U.S. HGV efforts in recent years have been focused strictly on conventional payloads.

In wartime, dual-capable systems raise the risk of inadvertent escalation. In the Pacific, in a U.S.-China conflict, U.S. military planners would have high incentives to disarm China of the conventional systems it might use to strike at U.S. base facilities in the region, which, if disabled, would significantly complicate the United States’ ability to sustain military operations west of the first island chain and toward the Chinese mainland. For Chinese planning purposes, HGV-capable systems like the DF-17 might come to adopt a primary mission in this kind of a scenario — particularly as long as the United States lacks a wide enough low-altitude sensor network in the region to make terminal point defense against HGV payloads viable.

If Beijing comingles nuclear-capable HGVs and conventional HGVs — or comingles People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force nuclear assets with conventional HGVs-bearing units — any U.S. conventional strike would easily be interpreted as an attempt at counterforce. Strictly, China’s no-first use posture would lead us to think that nuclear escalation would still be unwarranted, but a wide enough U.S. attack could threaten China’s retaliatory ability and, particularly given existing Chinese concerns about U.S. damage limitation technologies, including missile defense, use-or-lose incentives rise quickly, no-first use aside. Here, it should be underlined that Beijing’s dual-capable HGVs are not a unique challenge; its extensive range of comingled conventional and nuclear-capable missile and warhead units present a greater challenge.

Early in a crisis or during a war, it would be nearly impossible for the United States to communicate to Chinese leaders — or for Chinese leaders to take seriously — any U.S. assurance that conventional strikes were not designed to disarm China of its strategic deterrent. None of the possible solutions to this problem are particularly appealing. One would be for China to maintain its existing posture, but pursue a large nuclear buildup, ensuring it would have a larger strategic retaliatory capability. Another could be for China to maintain its existing force structure, but shift its posture explicitly to adopt launch under attack (LUA) or even launch on warning (LoW).
https://thediplomat.com/2018/11/hypersonic-boost-glide-weapons-and-challenges-to-international-security/

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Offline Baz

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Re: Hypersonic Strike Vehicle
« Reply #17 on: October 01, 2019, 20:05:46 »
Hypersonic weapons will revolutionize warfare and of course how to defeat them.

I'm not a fan of the use of the term revolution when applied to military technology.  Very few things have revolutionized warfare; an example of the application if that word for me would be air power.

The reason I say this is we were told information warfare and ISR would revolutionize warfare, and then promptly started throwing away concepts like command and control, surveillance, reconnaissance, and tactical use of force because of that.  Only now are we robustly learning that nothing has really changed and the core concepts of warfare are the same.

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Re: Hypersonic Strike Vehicle
« Reply #18 on: October 21, 2019, 12:37:00 »
Are we thinking about the uncontrollable?

Quote
Quote
Unstable at speed: hypersonics and arms control

Hypersonic systems are now transitioning from the laboratory to weapons inventories, including in China, Russia and the United States. If the risks of crisis instability and further proliferation are to be managed, arms-control measures need to be considered, writes Douglas Barrie.

China’s DF-17 is likely to be the first hypersonic boost-glide system to enter military service, but other hypersonic weapons will soon follow, both unpowered and powered. If the proliferation of such systems and its impact are to be managed, arms-control measures will be needed. However, demanding enough within a stable security architecture, arms control is far more difficult when the supporting structures are already collapsing, as shown by the failure of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty; arguably it also becomes the more valuable.

For decades an expensive laboratory pastime, hypersonic glide vehicles and hypersonic cruise missiles are no longer tomorrow’s weaponry. For hypersonic glide systems that day is now, and in a period when major-power consensus on security has collapsed. The timing is not propitious.

High-speed weapons

The military attraction of high-speed weaponry in compressing the time taken from flash to bang is easily grasped. It increases the survivability of the weapon and decreases the target’s ability to react. Even if the opponent can react, engaging a high-speed weapon that is manoeuvring in the upper atmosphere is demanding (though not impossible).

The hypersonic flight regime is considered to begin at Mach 5. The first generation of glide-vehicle weapons may be sub-Mach 10, while for cruise missiles, the first-generation systems in states’ inventories may be in the Mach 5–7 range.

The DF-17 was shown in mock-up form during China’s 70th anniversary parade on 1 October 2019, while the transporter-erector-launcher vehicle for what was called the CJ-100 missile was also displayed. The CJ-100 appears to be comparatively high-speed, high-altitude land-attack cruise missile. It is not known whether this weapon has a high supersonic speed (around Mach 4) or whether it can achieve even higher speeds. The operational statuses of the DF-17 and the CJ-100 remain to be ascertained; however, China claims both are in service with the People’s Liberation Army.

Beijing’s ambitions are matched by those in Moscow and Washington, with glide-vehicle and air-breathing-propulsion approaches being vigorously pursued. Russia’s Avangard boost-glide system is nearing service entry and could enter the armed forces’ inventory in 2020. A Mach-5-plus cruise missile is also being tested by Moscow. The United States, meanwhile, has a slew of high-speed-weapons projects being pursued by the air force, navy and army, while France and India are also undertaking hypersonic-weapons design work [emphasis added].

Operational use

The roles envisaged for these systems are numerous, but this is also part of the problem from an arms-control perspective. The boost vehicle for Russia’s Avangard uses an intercontinental ballistic missile and would therefore seem to have a ‘strategic’ role in terms of Russia’s nuclear-weapons doctrine. The Chinese DF-17, however, is based on a medium-range ballistic missile and would therefore have only a ‘theatre’-level role in any China–US military confrontation, although it would have a longer-range ‘strategic’-level capability against regional opponents such as India or Japan.

While the assumption is that the Avangard would be nuclear-armed, there is greater ambiguity concerning the DF-17. Statements coming from China suggest it is fitted with a conventional warhead. However, such a system invites a dual (conventional and nuclear) capability.

Deterrence

Ambiguity is a feature of deterrence. A lack of certainty should foster caution but could risk miscalculation or pre-emption. Present hypersonic developments compound this ambiguity, with nations pursuing both tactical and strategic roles for such weapons. Current development paths may invite worst-case scenario assumptions on the part of an opponent.

Faced with the compressed decision timelines created by an incoming hypersonic weapon and uncertainty regarding the nature of the payload and the scale of the attack, the intended target may assume the worst. Indeed, high-speed weaponry could bring about a return to a ‘launch on warning’ doctrine on the part of some of the major powers. The Russian regime’s world view already includes the threat of a decapitating attack by the US through Prompt Global Strike using long-range precision weapons. The addition of hypersonic weapons to the United States’ inventory will only fuel these concerns, whether they are justified or not.

However, the proliferation of hypersonic weapons is unlikely to mirror that of current-generation subsonic cruise missiles, since the costs of entry and accords like the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) will act as barriers to prospective operators. Nevertheless, given the current impetus behind developing hypersonic technology, its entry into the inventories of the major powers is inevitable.

From an arms-control perspective, there will likely only be a limited number of countries that will field hypersonic glide vehicles or hypersonic cruise missiles. While any arms-control agreements would eventually need to be multilateral to be fully effective, the number of signatories to a hypersonics treaty would be nowhere near as large as, for instance, the MTCR. And even a bilateral accord between the major powers would be good place to begin.

This analysis originally featured on the IISS Military Balance+, the online database that provides indispensable information and analysis for users in government, the armed forces, the private sector, academia, the media and more. Customise, view, compare and download data instantly, anywhere, anytime. The Military Balance+ includes data on ballistic- and cruise-missile holdings by type in armed forces worldwide.
https://www.iiss.org/blogs/military-balance/2019/10/hypersonics-arms-control

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Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: Hypersonic Strike Vehicle
« Reply #19 on: October 21, 2019, 12:45:36 »
Meanwhile US Army and hypersonics--result of end of INF Treaty:

Quote
Hypersonic Weapons Reclaim The U.S. Army’s Long-Range Offense

The Army Tactical Missile System (Atacms), a surface-launched guided missile with a design range limited by a now-defunct treaty to 300 km (186 mi.), once met the U.S. Army’s definition for “long-range precision fires” (LRPF).

Not any longer.

By the middle of the next decade, the Army plans to field an Atacms replacement—the Precision Strike Missile—with a theoretical range of 700-800 km, a cannon-fired projectile with 1,600 km range and a Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW) with an unclassified range described only as “thousands of kilometers [emphasis added].”

It is a projected arsenal that assumes the Army can shed its post-World War II reliance on the Air Force for attacking targets at any range beyond 300 km. Indeed, Army planners assume an adversary’s anti-access/area-denial (A2/AD) complex of command centers, communications nodes, radars and mobile launchers will keep out the Air Force’s existing fleet of stealth fighters and bombers [emphasis added]. 

“Our access really is challenged. And our aircraft have become incredibly vulnerable,” says Brig. Gen. John Rafferty, the Army’s LRPF commander. “I think there is a realization across the joint force that surface-to-surface fires by themselves don’t eliminate the A2/AD complex, but they enable the Air Force and the maritime component to penetrate and then disintegrate the A2/AD complex.”

In this vision of a future conflict, the Army’s future “strategic fires battalions” will fire an opening salvo of LRHWs costing millions of dollars each at hardened bunkers and over-the-horizon radars, along with a barrage of projectiles priced in the hundreds of thousands of dollars each from a future “Strategic Long-Range Cannon.” The projectiles would be aimed at mobile launchers and communications centers, Rafferty says. Only then will the Air Force and Navy aircraft be able to penetrate into previously denied airspace to hunt for less well-defended targets.

The Army launched the LRHW prototype program in September by selecting Huntsville, Alabama-based Dynetics to build 20 hypersonic glide bodies. These products will be split between the LRHW, the Navy’s Intermediate-Range Conventional Prompt Strike and the Air Force’s Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon (HCSW). All three programs are based on the same biconic glide body. The Army and Navy versions also will share a common, two-stage, 34.5-in.-dia. missile stack, while the HCSW will be boosted by a smaller, single-stage motor.

Despite the triservice push to fund prototypes, the Army is the only service that has committed to fielding operational hypersonic weapons [emphasis added]. Until last year, the Army planned to deploy a single LRHW in a fixed-site launcher by 2023 as a limited response to the planned deployments in 2020 of Russia’s Avangard and China’s DF-17 boost-glide weapons, says Robert Strider, deputy director of the rapid capability and critical technologies office (RCCTO). Now the Army plans to field a battery of six LRHWs and three transporter-erector launchers in four years...
https://aviationweek.com/defense/hypersonic-weapons-reclaim-us-army-s-long-range-offense

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Offline tomahawk6

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Re: Hypersonic Strike Vehicle
« Reply #20 on: October 21, 2019, 13:59:32 »
The Russians violated the INF agreement and to avoid being ar a disadvantage the US withdrew to make intermediate range weapons.

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Re: Hypersonic Strike Vehicle
« Reply #21 on: October 25, 2019, 15:40:34 »
Now USAF hypersonics:

Quote
Hypersonics Pitch Day: Air Force Woos Startups
The nine startups are pitching everything from composite materials to small propulsion units that can enable hypersonic (i.e. faster than Mach 5) flight.

Hypersonics and “pitch days,” two of the hottest concepts at the Air Force right now, will come together for the first time Nov. 7. Air Force experts will judge products and ideas from startup firms related to solving key challenges to hypersonic flight, such as Mach 5-plus propulsion and new materials that can withstand extremely high temperatures.

Lt. Gen. Duke Richardson, military deputy to Air Force acquisition czar Will Roper, will oversee the panel of judges who pick the winner of a same-day contract of up to $750,000 to jumpstart their work, according to an Oct. 18 announcement from Air Force Materiel Command’s 96th Test Wing. The pitch day will be held at the Doolittle Institute in Niceville, Fla.

“Fielding hypersonic weapons is a top priority for our warfighters. The Air Force is leading the
way, and we can use all the help we can get from innovative companies,” Richardson said.
“That’s one reason why this pitch day is so exciting.”

“Pitch days” for startup firms, ubiquitous in the Silicon Valley venture capital environment, have become a staple of Air Force efforts to rapidly ingest new technologies, software, data processes and manufacturing tools into service systems development. The first such event was held in March in New York; after the hypersonics day, the next will be “Space Pitch Day” in San Francisco on Nov. 5-6. Of the some 11 total now planned, topics include: “Joint Strike Fighter Pitch Day: Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Data Analytics” and “Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) and Special Forces (SOF) Pitch Day.” The dates for future events are announced only once they are scheduled.

A crucial hub in the process is AFWERX, the organization launched by the service in 2017 to foster innovation within the Air Force, and link with innovators in industry, academia and think tanks. AFWERX vetted the companies pitching on hypersonics via their 19.2 Open Innovation Small Business Innovation Research call.

The nine startups on hypersonics are pitching everything from composite materials to small propulsion units. The companies are: GoHypersonic Inc.; UES, Inc.; Powdermet Inc.; Ursa Major Technologies, Inc.; Spectral Energies, LLC; Goodman Technologies LLC; Advanced Silicon Group; Fourth State Communications, LLC; and FAAC, Inc. Videos on each and their offerings are available on the Doolittle Institute website.

Winning pitch day tech will support the two major Air Force boost-glide hypersonic prototype efforts now underway: the Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon and the Air Launched Rapid Response Weapon (AARW).

Lockheed Martin, which perhaps not coincidently is the prime for the F-35 that will eventually carry hypersonic missiles, is building two prototype weapon systems: with a $928 million contract awarded in April 2018 for the Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon; and a $480 million contract for the AARW. Both are expected to reach early operational capability by 2022.

DoD has myriad hypersonics projects underway, and is attempting to coordinate early foundational work across service and with agencies such as DARPA. One key linchpin among the services is the Common Hypersonic Glide Body, built byDynetics, which won a $351.6 million contract in August to build at least 20 glide bodies for the Army and the Navy
[emphasis added]. Some components will be used by the Air Force as well. That said, the Air Force, Army and Navy programs are separate rather than under a joint program office, as my office-mate Sydney explained in detail back in March.
https://breakingdefense.com/2019/10/hypersonics-pitch-day-air-force-woos-startups/

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Re: Hypersonic Strike Vehicle
« Reply #22 on: October 25, 2019, 18:35:58 »
How does one aim one of these weapons at a moving target, like an aircraft carrier?

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Re: Hypersonic Strike Vehicle
« Reply #23 on: October 25, 2019, 18:49:01 »
How does one aim one of these weapons at a moving target, like an aircraft carrier?

Not sure, but I think it is fired into the right area and then has terminal guidance with target discrimination.

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Re: Hypersonic Strike Vehicle
« Reply #24 on: October 31, 2019, 18:58:22 »
Start of a major article:

Quote
An ‘Arms Race in Speed’: Hypersonic Weapons and the Changing Calculus of Battle

Speed. Since nations first went to war, speed has been a key factor in combat, particularly at the very onset of battle. The rapid concentration and employment of force can help a belligerent overpower an opponent and avoid a costly war of attrition, an approach that underlaid Germany’s blitzkrieg (lightning war) strategy during World War II and America's “shock and awe” campaign against Iraq in 2003.

The X-51A, shown as an artist's concept, is an experimental, scramjet-powered hypersonic aircraft that achieved speeds of over Mach 5 in a 2013 test. (Graphic: U.S. Air Force)

The X-51A, shown as an artist's concept, is an experimental, scramjet-powered hypersonic aircraft that achieved speeds of over Mach 5 in a 2013 test. (Graphic: U.S. Air Force)
Speed is also a significant factor in the nuclear attack and deterrence equation. Following the advent of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) in the late 1950s, which reduced to mere minutes the time between a launch decision and catastrophic destruction on the other side of the planet, nuclear-armed states have labored to deploy early-warning and command-and-control systems capable of detecting a missile launch and initiating a retaliatory strike before their own missiles could be destroyed. Preventing the accidental or inadvertent onset of nuclear war thus requires enough time for decision-makers to ascertain the accuracy of reported missile launches and choose appropriate responses. This is an imperative reinforced by several Cold War incidents in which launch detection systems provided false indications of such action but human operators intervened to prevent unintended retaliation.

Today, speed will alter the calculus of combat and deterrence even further with the imminent deployment of hypersonic weapons—maneuverable vehicles that fly at more than five times the speed of sound (Mach 5 and higher). China, Russia, and the United States are testing hypersonic weapons of various types to enhance strategic nuclear deterrence and strengthen front-line combat units. Existing ICBM reentry vehicles also travel at those superfast speeds, but the hypersonic glide vehicles now in development are far more maneuverable, making their tracking and interception nearly impossible. Such dual-use vehicles, capable of carrying nuclear or conventional warheads, are also being fitted on missiles intended for use in a regional context, say, in a battle erupting in the Baltic region or the South China Sea. With the time between launch and arrival on target dwindling to 10 minutes or less, the introduction of these weapons will introduce new and potent threats to global nuclear stability.

Hypersonic weapons are said by proponents to be especially useful at the onset of battle, when they can attack an opponent’s high-value targets, including air defense radars, fighter bases, missile batteries, and command-and-control facilities. The incapacitation of those facilities at an early stage in the conflict could help smooth the way for follow-on attacks by regular air, sea, and ground forces. Yet, as the same facilities are often tied into a nuclear-armed country’s nuclear warning and command systems, attacks against them could be interpreted by the target state as the prelude to a disarming first strike and trigger the early use of its own nuclear weapons.

From an arms control perspective, the deployment of hypersonic weapons raises a host of additional concerns...
https://www.armscontrol.org/act/2019-06/features/arms-race-speed-hypersonic-weapons-changing-calculus-battle

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Offline Underway

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Re: Hypersonic Strike Vehicle
« Reply #25 on: November 01, 2019, 15:53:35 »
How does one aim one of these weapons at a moving target, like an aircraft carrier?

It's a tough problem.  The missile moves so fast how do you steer it with any accuracy into a target?  Heck how do you have sensors that can pull good information out of a radar return when your sensor is moving at that speed?

I suspect just use nukes and all you need to get is close.  Alternatively you can go the gets there fast, then slows down for terminal/targeting route, or gets there slow and uses hypersonic for the terminal phase to avoid defensive fire.

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Re: Hypersonic Strike Vehicle
« Reply #26 on: November 01, 2019, 17:39:56 »
How does one aim one of these weapons at a moving target, like an aircraft carrier?

Offer poor pilots extra danger pay? :)
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Offline Thucydides

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Re: Hypersonic Strike Vehicle
« Reply #27 on: November 01, 2019, 20:50:24 »
Once a target has been localized, weapon moving at hypersonic velocity will cover 1600m per second or greater. The kill chain is to generalize the location of the target, launch the weapon, guide it into the target box and allow the weapon to make terminal adjustments. An aircraft carrier moving at 30 knots will be essentially stationary compared to the incoming hypersonic weapon.

A similar calculus can be made for virtually any sort of target. Indeed the only target which could evade a hypersonic missile would be another hypersonic vehicle or a satellite in Low Earth Orbit
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Re: Hypersonic Strike Vehicle
« Reply #28 on: November 03, 2019, 17:19:56 »
How does one aim one of these weapons at a moving target, like an aircraft carrier?

30-40 kts is pretty much standing still when your traveling 3,000-5,000 mph.  A CVN travelling at ‘advertised’ speeds travels it own length in the same time that a hypersonic weapon has covered 23nm, so ‘in the right area’ combined with a ‘ terminal tweak’ is Likely to be a pretty solid ouch...

Regards
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Offline tomahawk6

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Re: Hypersonic Strike Vehicle
« Reply #29 on: November 03, 2019, 18:18:52 »
Certainly one would need gps to target a CVN ?

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Re: Hypersonic Strike Vehicle
« Reply #30 on: November 03, 2019, 18:59:54 »
Certainly one would need gps to target a CVN ?

Why?

Not trolling- I just want to see where you are going with this line of thinking before I respond again.

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Re: Hypersonic Strike Vehicle
« Reply #31 on: November 03, 2019, 20:49:14 »
We are close to OPSEC territory I suspect but the same ability for precision artillery fire I would guess applies to hitting a target at sea. Of course if your warhead is nuclear you dont have to be too accurate.

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Re: Hypersonic Strike Vehicle
« Reply #32 on: November 03, 2019, 21:44:35 »
Ok, got ya.

There are methods of guidance that do not rely on GPS.  I can think of a half dozen ways of getting a hypersonic weapon to it's target that do not rely on a onboard, terminal sensor (which I cannot puzzle out how to make work, given the velocities involved.

You are correct- nuclear weapons mean you only have to be close. However, to use a nuclear weapon against a USN carrier risks escalation that could involve the entire retaliatory weight of the US nuclear arsenal. In other words, you are risking the extinction of the entire human race, if you go that way.

Offline tomahawk6

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Re: Hypersonic Strike Vehicle
« Reply #33 on: November 03, 2019, 22:55:30 »
Ok, got ya.

There are methods of guidance that do not rely on GPS.  I can think of a half dozen ways of getting a hypersonic weapon to it's target that do not rely on a onboard, terminal sensor (which I cannot puzzle out how to make work, given the velocities involved.

You are correct- nuclear weapons mean you only have to be close. However, to use a nuclear weapon against a USN carrier risks escalation that could involve the entire retaliatory weight of the US nuclear arsenal. In other words, you are risking the extinction of the entire human race, if you go that way.

Any attack by PRC on US warships will probably escalate based on the nature of the attack. Non nuclear may keep it in that realm. Several years ago the PRC took a USN spy plane claiming it entered Chinese air space, Eventually the incident was deescalated. No one wants a shooting war.

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Re: Hypersonic Strike Vehicle
« Reply #34 on: November 04, 2019, 15:53:17 »
Ok, got ya.

There are methods of guidance that do not rely on GPS.  I can think of a half dozen ways of getting a hypersonic weapon to it's target that do not rely on a onboard, terminal sensor (which I cannot puzzle out how to make work, given the velocities involved.


There are plenty of missiles out there that still use inertial guidance (open source) to get their way to a target.  If they know where they started from a GPS only adds accuracy in the flight path.  This is 70's technology.  However the sensors to calculate how fast you are going (as traditional wind speed measuring devices don't work that well), steering at that speed (vectored thrust?  Surely control surfaces won't work well) and any even minor error in targeting will result in massive accuracy errors.  For example a 1 degree difference at a nautical mile is 35 yards off the target.  This missile travels at multiple miles a second.  You have a targeting error of 1 degree you might be past the target well before you can correct the flight path!  Not saying it cant be done but unique problems to be sure.



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Re: Hypersonic Strike Vehicle
« Reply #35 on: November 04, 2019, 17:59:32 »
We had the same principle with the Nike Herc Missile. It was designed to stop waves of Russian bombers with a nuke warhead.

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Re: Hypersonic Strike Vehicle
« Reply #36 on: November 04, 2019, 19:25:30 »
For some types of targets, the hypersonic vehicle might have a fragmenting warhead, releasing a cloud of flechettes. Since Kinetic energy is 1/2 MV^2, even small darts will have a great deal of striking power and energy. For an aircraft carrier, they would "scour" the flight deck, destroy any fittings they strike (like radar antenna) and penetrate into the ship's internal structures. It might actually be more difficult to do damage control with dozens of holes ripped through multiple compartments than a single strike, even if it is a massive one.

This sort of "scouring" attack would also be useful for distributed targets like airfields, industrial facilities, rail yards and so on. Even near misses by unitary warheads would be much like the "Grand Slam" earthquake bombs of WWII, causing immense damage through heaving the ground and undermining structures. How this would work on a ship at sea is problematic, but it certainly worked against the Tirpitz moored in Norway in 1944. Certainly any ships in harbour would be at risk, and sinking supply ships would be almost as useful as sinking the capital ships, especially in the longer term.

But there are indeed many ways to guide a hypersonic missile in the terminal phase of the attack, and it is likely there will be several different methods on board a missile to help penetrate jamming and other defenses. A latticework vane or fin on the missile is the most likely form of guidance, used extensively on Russian missiles and on the SpaceX Falcon boosters as they return from suborbital flight (at close to the sorts of speeds expected of hypersonic weapons).

Click on this image: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b2/Vympel-R-77-maks2009.jpg for an idea of what it might look like

Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

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Re: Hypersonic Strike Vehicle
« Reply #37 on: November 04, 2019, 21:59:50 »
But there are indeed many ways to guide a hypersonic missile in the terminal phase of the attack, and it is likely there will be several different methods on board a missile to help penetrate jamming and other defenses.

And I'm sure that Huawei will have the contract for that :)
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Re: Hypersonic Strike Vehicle
« Reply #38 on: November 12, 2019, 12:12:57 »
What might Russian, Chinese and US hypersonics be good for, as seen by each country? Excerpts from lengthy piece and conclusion:

Quote
...
Are these weapons and their employment simply an evolution of existing missiles? Or a revolution that threatens to upset the balance of power? The answer still depends on decisions yet to be made. Russia appears closest to fielding hypersonic missiles, as it aspires to deploy the Avangard glide vehicle before the year is out. The United States has ambitious goals for accuracy and precision, but its most viable programs are not expected to reach operational capability until 2022. Meanwhile, China has been characteristically vague on their hypersonic weapons while still letting it be known that they are firmly committed to their development...

A trio of questions needs to be considered: What audience can hypersonic weapons be leveraged against, what tactical utility do they provide, and what strategic objectives can be advanced by using them or threatening to use them? Framing the discussion in this way is useful for delving deeper into why nations are pursuing hypersonic weapons as well as making initial assessments on how they may be operationalized. The propositions below are not exhaustive; they are meant to provoke discussion. They pair a particular application with a particular country, but there is nothing stopping Russia, China, or the United States from taking advantage of any application discussed below...

Hypersonic weapons may lead to a revolution in warfighting if countries produce them at scale. Mass production and deployment of reliable designs would mean that these weapons are no longer a niche capability targeted against a limited number of valuable targets. Rather, inflicting near-instantaneous effects over a multitude of primary and secondary targets could help realize current fears of increased crisis pressures and faster escalation dynamics. In fewer numbers, there may be evolutionary changes at the tactical and operational levels of war without drastically threatening the strategic balance of peer adversaries. In this case, they may herald another iteration of stability-instability dynamics, where states take advantage of high-end warfighting capabilities to enable grey zone aggression. Whether revolution or evolution, hypersonic weapons alone are not the challenge. They will contribute to a 21st-century combined arms dilemma that includes other new technology like cyber activities, advanced anti-submarine warfare, and space operations as well as traditional, but indispensable, maneuver forces like infantry battalions, warships, and air superiority fighters.

Alan Cummings is a Master’s candidate at Tufts’ Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy focusing on nuclear strategy and emerging technology. He served over 10 years on active duty with the U.S. Navy before transitioning to the Navy Reserve, and was recently a research assistant with the Center for Global Security Research at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The views expressed here are his own and in no way represent any institution with which he is affiliated.

(This work was performed under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory under Contract DE-AC52-07NA27344. The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States government or Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC. LLNL-JRNL-786217.)

https://warontherocks.com/2019/11/hypersonic-weapons-tactical-uses-and-strategic-goals/

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Re: Hypersonic Strike Vehicle
« Reply #39 on: December 18, 2019, 15:14:34 »
US hypersonics and missile defence vs. them:

1) Hypersonic Hype Hits Testing Hurdle In 2020

Quote
Hypersonic missiles became a household word in 2019. The U.S. taxpayer is now about to find out whether the maneuvering Mach 5+ weapons are worth all the hype—or the cost.

The focus on testing of U.S. hypersonic weapons comes none too soon, as strategic rivals forge ahead. Russian Strategic Missile Forces expect to activate the first battery of Avangard intercontinental ballistic missiles tipped with a nuclear hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV) by the end of December, fulfilling a patient, 15-year development program.

Previewing a likely deployment by the People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force next year, China rolled out at least 16 DF-17 missiles with conventional HGVs during the National Day Parade on Oct. 1.

    ARRW and HCSW are set for 2020 flight tests
    “Range Reapers” and “Range Hawks” join test fleet

If everything goes according to the current plan, the first U.S. HGV will enter service in about 2-3 years, starting with the Air Force’s Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon (HCSW) and Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW) in 2022, followed by the Army’s Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW) and the Navy’s Intermediate-Range Conventional Prompt Strike (IR CPS) a year later. Air-launched scramjet-powered weapons—the Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC) could enter service at some point between the fielding dates for the HCSW and ARRW, but the precise timing has not been released.

In 2020, the focus of the Pentagon’s $10 billion bet on HGVs, scramjets and hypersonic defensive systems will enter a new phase. Over the next four years, the three armed services plan to conduct a total of 40 hypersonic weapon flight tests, with the first two in 2020 [emphasis added].

That is the plan anyway. It has been over two years since the Pentagon completed the last flight test of a hypersonic weapon—a Navy evaluation of the forerunner of the IR CPS and LRHW configuration for the HGV and two-stage missile stack. Despite the recent international interest, designing a successful maneuvering hypersonic weapon remains one of the most challenging assignments for aerodynamics and propulsion engineers.

Not surprisingly, U.S. test schedules have continued to slip. The original schedule for DARPA’s Tactical Boost Glide (TBG) program called for a first flight test by the end of June 2019, but unspecified technical difficulties caused a delay to the end of the year.

The Pentagon’s overlapping hypersonic programs are also prone to creating confusion. TBG shares a similar profile to ARRW. In fact, the TBG is itself testing two HGVs: one designed by Lockheed Martin, the other by Raytheon. The follow-on ARRW prototyping program also is split between Lockheed and Raytheon HGVs, although the only hypersonic weapon with an official designation so far—AGM-183A—belongs to the Lockheed version of ARRW.

Whether launched from air, ground or sea, the next round of testing is about to begin. If the first TBG flight test is completed by the end of 2019, the first AGM-183A ARRW and HCSW tests should occur by the end of 2020. Then the Pentagon plans to ramp up flight testing to unprecedented levels, even surpassing Russia and China.

“The hypersonics flight-test rhythm has increased to two events per year starting in fiscal 2020 and will continue to accelerate up to 20 events a year,” the Army said in a Nov. 27 acquisition notice...https://aviationweek.com/defense-space/hypersonic-hype-hits-testing-hurdle-2020

2) MDA Kickstarts New Way To Kill Hypersonic Missiles

Quote
It looks like the military is taking a regional approach to hypersonic missile defense, while it continues to pursue a space sensor layer for homeland defense.

The Missile Defense Agency held a closed-door meeting today at its Alabama headquarters with defense industry reps to talk through ideas for knocking hard-to-kill hypersonic missiles out of the sky.

The classified meeting will begin laying out the basics for what’s being called the Hypersonic Defense Regional Glide Phase Weapon System. While details of the program were scarce, its name may provide some clues.

It’s clear “they’re going after the regional as opposed to the homeland mission,” Tom Karako, director of the Missile Defense Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said. The lack of a space-based sensor layer likely makes this the more achievable play in the short-term, he said, since these weapons can be forward deployed on ships or overseas bases to target shorter-range weapons [empasis added].

The new effort adds to the panoply of hypersonic defense programs the Pentagon is scrambling to get off the ground as quickly as possible in the face of real advances by China and Russia to field such weapons.

Short or long-range, hypersonic weapons, which travel at Mach 5 or above pose a tough challenge for the Pentagon as it tries to come up with ways to defeat them.

“If war breaks out tomorrow, we’re probably not going to kill hypersonic boost glide missiles,” the Pentagon’s research and development chief, Mike Griffin, said earlier this year.

“We don’t have any defense that could deny the employment of such a weapon against us,” Gen. John Hyten, then commander of the Pentagon’s Strategic Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee in March, 2018. Hyten has since been sworn in as the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, putting him in a position to begin to push for just such programs.

As with the newest program, the Pentagon’s efforts have been clouded in secrecy as the military figures out a way to talk about the problem, and what they’re doing about it. That makes it hard to figure out just how far away the US is from fielding either offensive or defensive weapons [emphasis added]...
https://breakingdefense.com/2019/12/mda-kickstarts-new-way-to-kill-hypersonic-missiles/

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Re: Hypersonic Strike Vehicle
« Reply #40 on: December 18, 2019, 19:46:42 »
On the other hand--start and end:

Hypersonic missiles: Three questions every reader should ask

Interest in hypersonic weapons is taking off. The United States has for decades supported a modest research effort in such weapons, but now, spurred along by Russia and China, it’s ramping up efforts. Russian President Vladimir Putin used his 2018 address to the nation to announce the development of a hypersonic glider that he claimed would be able to get through all US defenses, and that weapon assumed combat duty this month. Meanwhile, even a cursory scan of the academic research literature shows a healthy presence in this field at Chinese universities, and the hypersonic DF-17 missile was all the rage at that country’s 70th anniversary parade in October. Michael Griffin, head of the Pentagon’s research and engineering, has stated that hypersonic weapons, and defense against them, were the military’s highest technical priorities.

Interest from the press has followed. Scan Google News for the word “hypersonic,” and three times as many hits come up in the last two years as in the previous two-year period. Several reports have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Economist, and other leading general-interest publications, plus many more examples in the trade press.

One thing that jumps out from almost all of these pieces is a glaring lack of normal journalistic skepticism (with a few admirable exceptions). Indeed, some major pieces are downright fawning. The authors readily accept advocates’ claims that hypersonic weapons will move at blinding speeds, have extended range, be easily maneuverable, and strike targets with high precision without considering the engineering challenges or inherent physical limitations that will make this combination of capabilities difficult—if not impossible.

Why do reports on hypersonic weapons generally range from kid-glove treatment to cheer-leading? There are a few different things going on here. Hypersonic vehicles are really impressive and it is easy to be dazzled by their performance (or, more precisely, the performance that is claimed for them). After all, who doesn’t love Formula 1 racecars, speedboats, and anything else that moves fast? Aircraft that can fly through the air with such speed that bits of it start to glow red have an intrinsic appeal.

Analysts should, of course, see past the dazzle. But that reveals another great challenge for reporters covering this topic: the dearth of outside expertise or contrary views. Virtually anyone in the United States who has a solid technical understanding of hypersonic aerodynamics is working for the Defense Department, one of the national laboratories, a contractor working for Defense, or is a university researcher supported at least in part by Defense Department grants.

To be clear, this does not mean that the people doing this work and claiming great virtues for hypersonic vehicles are shills for something they know is nonsense. Quite the opposite. Why would anyone devote their life to hypersonic research if they did not think the work was more than simply intriguing but also important? And those with hands-on experience tend to be very forthcoming about the technical challenges. These are honest believers, but the funding realities tends to create enthusiasts rather than skeptics. There are a mere handful of people in the United States who have some scientific and technical understanding of hypersonic vehicles who are not working directly or indirectly for the military—and that means a very limited set of contrary views.

An early lack of naysayers almost always occurs when some new idea or proposed system first appears. A new idea gets pushed forward by enthusiasts and advocates and it takes a while for the analytical community to scratch its collective head and come back with: “Wait a second…”

...it’s clear that much of the motivation for the US hypersonic weapons program is mainly a reflexive response to Russian and Chinese developments: If they do it, then we should too. US government officials have been quite explicit that the American effort is intended, in part, to avoid falling behind in this “race” with Russia and China. Yet, the strategic challenges of each country are radically different. Russian leaders have said explicitly that their hypersonic efforts are in response to US missile defenses and US abrogation of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, and they might be telling the truth. Of the three countries, the United States is, indeed, working hardest on ballistic missile defenses. When looking out at the threats in the world, Russia and China have very different views than does the United States. There is no reason for the United States to go on autopilot and mirror-image their moves with regard to hypersonic weapons.

Perhaps this whole idea will collapse under its own weight, but not before the United States has spent several billion dollars. That’s why the analytical community shouldn’t wait. It’s bad to be cynical but good to be skeptical. Those who write about this new weapon should stop and take a breath—and ask hard, honest questions.
https://thebulletin.org/2019/12/hypersonic-missiles-three-questions-every-reader-should-ask/#

But might not hypersonics, esp. stealthy cruise missiles, be just the ticket for decapitation of most of an enemy's key C4ISR facilities? Amongst other things.

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Re: Hypersonic Strike Vehicle
« Reply #41 on: February 17, 2020, 12:57:32 »
Congressional Research Service on Prompt Global Strike, hypersonics and nuclear weapons:

Quote
Report to Congress on Conventional Prompt Global Strike and Long-Range Ballistic Missiles

From the report

Members of Congress and Pentagon officials have placed a growing emphasis on U.S. programs to develop hypersonic weapons as a part of an effort to acquire the capability for the United States to launch attacks against targets around the world in under an hour. Conventional prompt global strike (CPGS) weapons may bolster U.S. efforts to deter and defeat adversaries by allowing the United States to attack high-value targets or “fleeting targets” at the start of or during a conflict. Congress has generally supported the PGS mission, but restricted funding for several years. Recently, efforts to develop a long-range prompt strike capability, along with other efforts to develop extremely fast hypersonic weapons, have garnered increased support.

CPGS weapons would not substitute for nuclear weapons, but would supplement U.S. conventional capabilities. Officials have argued that the long-range systems would provide a “niche” capability, with a small number of weapons directed against select, critical targets. Some analysts, however, have raised concerns about the possibility that U.S. adversaries might misinterpret the launch of a missile with conventional warheads and conclude that the missiles carry nuclear weapons. The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) is considering a number of systems that might provide the United States with long-range strike capabilities.

The Air Force and Navy have both pursued programs that would lead to the deployment of conventional warheads on their long-range ballistic missiles. During the 2000s, the Air Force and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) sought to develop a hypersonic glide delivery vehicle that could deploy on a modified Peacekeeper land-based ballistic missile, but test failures led to the suspension of this program; research continues into a vehicle that might be deployed on air-delivered or shorter-range systems. In the mid-2000s, the Navy sought to deploy conventional warheads on a small number of Trident II submarine-launched ballistic missiles, but Congress rejected the requested funding for this program. Since then, the Pentagon has continued to develop a hypersonic glide vehicle, now known as the Alternate Reentry System, which could be deployed on long-range missiles. At present, it seems likely that this vehicle could be deployed on intermediate-range missiles on Navy submarines, for what is now known as the Prompt Strike Mission. Congress may review other weapons options for the deployment of hypersonic weapons, including bombers, cruise missiles, and possibly scramjets or other advanced technologies.

The Pentagon’s FY2021 budget request continues to show significant increases in funding for the Navy’s Conventional Prompt Strike (CPS) program. In FY2019 this program, which was funded through a DOD-wide account, received $278 million. The Navy received $512 million for this program in FY2020 and requested $1.008 billion for FY2021. The budget request shows continuing increases in funding over the next five years, with $5.3 billion allocated to the program between FY2021 through FY2025. This shows the growing priority placed on the program in the Pentagon and the growing interest in Congress in moving the program forward toward deployment.

When Congress reviews the budget requests for prompt global strike and other hypersonic weapons programs, it may question DOD’s rationale for the mission, reviewing whether the United States might have to attack targets promptly at the start of or during a conflict, when it could not rely on forward-based land or naval forces. It might also review whether this capability would reduce U.S. reliance on nuclear weapons or whether, as some critics have asserted, it might upset stability and possibly increase the risk of a nuclear response to a U.S. attack. At the same time, Members of Congress and officials in the Pentagon have both noted that Russia and China are pursuing hypersonic weapons, leading many to question whether the United States needs to accelerate its efforts in response, or whether an acceleration of U.S. efforts might contribute to an arms race and crisis instability...
https://news.usni.org/2020/02/17/report-to-congress-on-conventional-prompt-global-strike-and-long-range-ballistic-missiles-2

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Re: Hypersonic Strike Vehicle
« Reply #42 on: February 18, 2020, 19:07:58 »
More on US Navy's plans, wants conventionally-armed hypersonics on its SSNs–but how will the target know they're not nuclear armed?

Quote
Navy Confirms Global Strike Hypersonic Weapon Will First Deploy on Virginia Attack Subs

The Navy intends to deploy its conventional prompt strike hypersonic weapon on Virginia-class attack submarines, after previous discussions of putting the weapon on the larger Ohio-class guided-missile submarine (SSGN), according to budget request documents…

On the Conventional Prompt Strike, the Navy wants to invest $1 billion for research and development.

“The CPS program develops warfighting capability to enable precise and timely strike capability in contested environments across surface and sub-surface platforms,” reads the budget documents.
“The Navy’s CPS program will design a missile comprised of a Common Hypersonic Glide Body (C-HGB) and a 34.5 inch two-stage booster. The program is pursuing an [initial operational capability] of FY 2028 in which the missile will be fielded on a Virginia class submarine with Virginia Payload Module.”..

The conventional prompt global strike capability would allow the U.S. to hit any target on the planet with precision-guided weapons in less than an hour. Similar to nuclear weapons, part of that prompt strike capability would rely on multiple ways to launch the missiles from ships, submarines or ground launchers around the globe…
https://news.usni.org/2020/02/18/navy-confirms-global-strike-hypersonic-weapon-will-first-deploy-on-virginia-attack-subs

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Re: Hypersonic Strike Vehicle
« Reply #43 on: March 03, 2020, 05:56:57 »
Post:

Quote
Pentagon Going Hyper over Hypersonics
https://mark3ds.wordpress.com/2020/03/03/pentagon-going-hyper-over-hypersonics/

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Re: Hypersonic Strike Vehicle
« Reply #44 on: March 06, 2020, 15:40:22 »
Post based on reports by Congressional Research Service, International Institute of Strategic Studies--big NORAD implications as alluded to by CDS Gen. Vance in speech to CDAI conference (https://cdainstitute.ca/jonathan-vance-speaks-at-2020-ottawa-conference/):

Quote
Hypersonics? What Are They Good For? What About Arms Control?
https://mark3ds.wordpress.com/2020/03/06/hypersonics-what-are-they-good-for-what-about-arms-control/


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Re: Hypersonic Strike Vehicle
« Reply #45 on: March 13, 2020, 15:40:33 »
Now Japan:

Quote
Japan unveils its hypersonic weapons plans



Japan has outlined its research and development road map for its homegrown, standoff hypersonic weapons, confirming that it is seeking an incremental growth in capability and providing more details about the kinds of threats it is targeting with this new class of weapon.

In a Japanese-language document published on the Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Agency website, the government said two classes of standoff hypersonic systems will be deployed — the Hypersonic Cruise Missile (HCM) and the Hyper Velocity Gliding Projectile (HVGP).

The former will be powered by a scramjet engine and appears similar to a typical missile, albeit one that cruises at a much higher speed while capable of traveling at long ranges.

The HVGP, on the other hand, will feature a solid-fuel rocket engine that will boost its warhead payload to a high altitude before separation, where it will then glide to its target using its altitude to maintain high velocity until impact.

The agency also provided more details regarding warhead payloads, with different warheads planned for both seaborne and land targets. The former will be an armor-piercing warhead designed specifically for penetrating “the deck of the [aircraft] carrier,” while a land-attack version will utilize a high-density, explosively formed projectile, or EFP, for area suppression.

Area suppression effects for the latter will be achieved via the use of multiple EFPs, which are more commonly known as a shaped charge. An EFP is made up of a concave metal hemispherical or cone-shaped liner backed by a high explosive, all in a steel or aluminum casing. When the high explosive is detonated, the metal liner is compressed and squeezed forward, forming a jet whose tip may travel as fast as 6 miles per second.

Japan’s road map also revealed the country is taking an incremental approach with regard to designing the shapes of warheads and developing solid-fuel engine technology, with plans to field early versions of both in the 2024 to 2028 time frame. They are expected to enter service in the early 2030s [emphasis added]...
https://www.defensenews.com/industry/techwatch/2020/03/13/japan-unveils-its-hypersonic-weapons-plans/

Mark
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Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: Hypersonic Strike Vehicle
« Reply #46 on: April 08, 2020, 16:21:46 »
Dig this loadout (lots of further links at original):

Quote
Air Force Wants To Use External Pylons To Arm The B-1B Bomber With 31 Hypersonic Missiles
The configuration would revolutionize the B-1's standoff strike capability and it would keep the jet relevant as it enters the twilight of its career.

A top U.S. Air Force officer has detailed plans to add the AGM-183A Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon, as well as the Hypersonic Air-Breathing Weapon Concept, both of which are hypersonic missiles, to the B-1B Bone bomber's arsenal. He also curiously talked about the potential for these aircraft to carry a conventionally-armed version of the future Long Range Stand Off stealthy cruise missile, something Congress effectively canceled last year.

U.S. Air Force General Timothy Ray, head of Air Force Global Strike Command, which oversees all of America's bomber fleets, gave an update on future B-1B loadouts in a recent interview with Air Force Magazine. Last year, the service highlighted work to expand the bomber's ability to carry hypersonic weapons and other new stores, both internally and externally. This all also comes amid already controversial plans to retire 17 of its 60 remaining Bones in the 2021 Fiscal Year and has severely scaled back the activities of the fleet as a whole, prohibiting crews from flying at low altitudes and restricting total annual flight hours, which you can read about more in this past War Zone exclusive.

"My goal would be to bring on at least a squadron’s worth of airplanes modified with external pylons on the B-1, to carry the ARRW [Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon] hypersonic cruise missile," General Ray told Air Force Magazine. He added that the service had contemplated several options for integrating the AGM-183A onto the bombers, "but we believe the easiest, fastest, and probably most effective in the short term will be to go with the external pylons."

At present, B-1 squadron typically has 18 aircraft, according to Air Force Magazine. Ray appears to have misspoken in describing ARRW, which is pronounced "arrow," as a "cruise missile." The AGM-183A has an unpowered hypersonic boost-glide vehicle as its warhead. The weapon's rocket booster lofts that vehicle to an appropriate speed and altitude, after which it then glides down along a level trajectory within the Earth's atmosphere to its target. The weapon's high speed and unpredictable flight path make it difficult for opponents to detect and track, which makes it hard to move critical assets out of the target area, if at all possible, or otherwise take shelter before the strike hits, or even attempt an intercept...

The Air Force is also looking at the B-1B as a potential platform to carry the Hypersonic Air-Breathing Weapon Concept, or HAWC. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has been leading the development of this powered hypersonic cruise missile, though the Air Force Research Laboratory has also been involved. Air Force Magazine says that the Bones, using external pylons and common rotary launchers in their internal bomb bays, could potentially carry a mix of up to 31 hypersonic missiles in total [emphasis added].

Interestingly, General Ray also raised the possibility of adding a conventionally-armed variant of the Long Range Stand Off (LRSO) stealthy cruise missile, which is presently in development, to the B-1B's arsenal in the future. “Right now, we’re not asking for that, based on the prioritization of the nuclear piece, … but there’s things that could change in the future [emphasis added],” he told Air Force Magazine.

This is curious because Congress specifically eliminated its requirement for a conventional version of the LRSO in the annual defense policy bill, or National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), for the 2020 Fiscal Year, which President Donald Trump signed into law in December 2019. The law's language did not expressly prohibit the Air Force from pursuing this capability on its own, but removed an immediate legal demand for the service to do so.

Ray said that there could be a demand for this weapon based on a desire for "an even longer-ranged cruise missile with conventional capability" and because the AGM-86 series is "aging out on us." However, the Air Force has already retired the conventional AGM-86C/D variants and has initiated the development of an "extreme range" variant of the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile cruise missile, also known as the AGM-158D or JASSM-XR.

The exact range capability the Air Force is seeking from JASSM-XR is unknown, but it is said to be in excess of 1,000 miles, which would already give it a substantially greater range than the AGM-86C/D [emphasis added]. In addition, the service is hoping to have this missile, which will leverage existing work on the JASSM, including the AGM-158B JASSM-Extended Range (JASSM-ER) version, out of development by 2023, with the first examples hopefully entering service relatively soon thereafter. The nuclear-armed LSRO is not supposed to reach initial operational capability until at least 2030...
https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/32940/air-force-wants-to-use-external-pylons-on-b-1b-bomber-to-arm-it-with-31-hypersonic-missiles
 

Mark
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Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: Hypersonic Strike Vehicle
« Reply #47 on: April 15, 2020, 14:56:35 »
Post based on reports by Congressional Research Service, International Institute of Strategic Studies--big NORAD implications as alluded to by CDS Gen. Vance in speech to CDAI conference (https://cdainstitute.ca/jonathan-vance-speaks-at-2020-ottawa-conference/):

Mark
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Hypersonics testing ramping up (further links at original):

Quote
Hypersonics: 5 More Army-Navy Flight Tests By 2023
The first four flight tests – one a failure -- took nine years. The next five will take less than three years.

“We need to accelerate the pace of testing,” the Army’s three-star director of hypersonics says. “Fourth quarter FY23 is when the Army builds [this weapon]; that time is coming really fast. [And] we’re lucky, because when we woke up on the 27th of December and the Russians publicly declared that they had fielded a similar capability, that really put us on a path to accelerate.”

Last year, Lt. Gen. Neil Thurgood took over the Army’s reorganized and renamed Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO), which is now responsible for both offensive hypersonic missiles and missile defense lasers. What kind of acceleration is he talking about?

The weapon that evolved into the Common Hypersonic Glide Body – so-called because it will go on both Army land-launched missiles and Navy submarine-launched ones – has had just four flight tests in nine years. The first, successful flight was in 2011. It took three years to get to the second test, in 2014, which produced no useful data because the booster rocket failed and the glide body never detached. The second successful test took another three years, to 2017; the third test, last month, another three years.

But looking forward, “our next flight test will be in third quarter ’21. Then we have additional flight tests in first quarter ’22,” Thurgood told me. “We have five more flight tests – at least five more flight tests – before we build in fourth quarter ’23.”

Tests will not only come closer together. They’ll also become more demanding.

“We are working to make it more accurate and survive in a more stressful environment,” said Thurgood’s deputy for hypersonics, Robert Strider. “With every test that we do, we’re increasing the test envelope to make sure that it will work as designed [read on]...”
https://breakingdefense.com/2020/04/hypersonics-5-more-army-navy-flight-tests-by-2023/


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Re: Hypersonic Strike Vehicle
« Reply #48 on: April 15, 2020, 15:00:28 »
Good thing they aren't making PPE.  :(

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Re: Hypersonic Strike Vehicle
« Reply #49 on: April 25, 2020, 13:38:49 »
Start of a post:

Quote
Pentagon Going Hyper over Hypersonics, Part 2

Further to this post (note others linked to at end),

Quote
Hypersonics? What Are They Good For? What About Arms Control?

the Pentagon does seem to be going into hyperdrive over this new class of missilery, hang any arms control implications (note general preference for air-breathers)–at Breaking Defense:

Hypersonics: DoD Wants ‘Hundreds of Weapons’ ASAP
“We want to deliver hypersonics at scale,” said R&D director Mark Lewis, from air-breathing cruise missiles to rocket-boosted gliders that fly through space.

The Pentagon has created a “war room” to ramp up production of hypersonic weapons from a handful of prototypes over the last decade to “hundreds of weapons” in the near future...
https://mark3ds.wordpress.com/2020/04/25/pentagon-going-hyper-over-hypersonics-part-2/


Mark
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Re: Hypersonic Strike Vehicle
« Reply #50 on: April 29, 2020, 10:37:28 »
USAF air-breathers:

Quote
USAF Kicks Off Early Study For Hypersonic Cruise Missile

The U.S. Air Force has taken the first step in an acquisition process that could lead to an air-launched hypersonic conventional cruise missile.

A “sources sought” notice published April 28 on the federal government’s procurement web site kicks off a market research study for the “future hypersonics program.”

The Air Force seeks responses from companies involved in the integration of a Weapon Open System Architecture-based, solid-rocket boosted missile with an air-breathing propulsion system in the second stage.

Lockheed Martin and Raytheon are developing competing demonstrators of such a hypersonic cruise missile under the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC). Flight testing of both versions of HAWC are expected to start later this year.

Another possible competitor for an Air Force cruise missile program could be Boeing. The company’s X-43 and X-51 vehicles demonstrated the viability of scramjet-powered air vehicles.

The market research study follows a series of comments since last June by senior Air Force and defense officials supporting an acquisition program for a hypersonic cruise missile.

Interest in air-breathing hypersonic propulsion appeared to fade when rocket-boosted gliders became the Defense Department’s top priority in 2017. The Defense Department funded operational prototyping programs for three different rocket-boosted gliders, but only the HAWC demonstrator in the scramjet propulsion category. 

As late as December 2018, Mike Griffin, director of Defense Research and Engineering, said scramjet-powered cruise missiles were less mature than rocket-boosted gliders.

But wind tunnel test data and rig testing in the first half of 2019 appeared to change the interest level. By June, Will Roper, assistant secretary of the air force for acquisition, technology and logistics, said cruise missile technology had made significant progress. In January, two of Griffin’s subordinates, Mark Lewis and Mike White, confirmed they were building an acquisition program for a hypersonic cruise missile.

Arguments in favor of air-breathing hypersonic technology have expanded beyond the maturity of scramjet propulsion systems. According to Lewis, Mach 5-plus cruise missiles offer greater flexibility and affordability. As they are smaller than rocket-boosted gliders, they are generally cheaper to build and more can be loaded into the weapons bay of a bomber. The typically belly-mounted inlet of a cruise missile also allows the nose to be used to store a seeker [emphasis added].

The market research study proposes a fast schedule for missile development. A preliminary design review is targeted for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021, less than 18 months away.
https://aviationweek.com/defense-space/missile-defense-weapons/usaf-kicks-early-study-hypersonic-cruise-missile

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Re: Hypersonic Strike Vehicle
« Reply #51 on: May 20, 2020, 10:53:36 »
Eight stories From FlightGlobal:

Quote
Hypersonic missiles special
https://www.flightglobal.com/flight-international/hypersonics-missiles-special/138274.article

Mark
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