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Hypersonic Weapons

Khafee

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British-made hypersonic engine passes key milestone at Colorado test site
22 Oct 2019

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Britain's Reaction Engines says a key component of its Sabre hypersonic engine passed a critical cooling test at the Colorado Air and Space Port. (Reaction Engines)

LONDON — The key component of a British hypersonic, air-breathing rocket engine with the potential to fly aircraft and space vehicles at Mach 5 speed has been successfully tested at a site in the United States.

Reaction Engines said in an Oct. 22 statement that the precooler heat exchanger element of its Sabre (synergetic air-breathing rocket engine) had run at the equivalent of five times the speed of sound at its test facility at the Colorado Air and Space Port outside of Denver.

The ultra-lightweight precooler heat exchanger is the vital component that stops the engine overheating at high flight speeds.

The air-breathing rocket engine could be a game changer, with Reaction Engines and its backers targeting hypersonic combat jets, civil aircraft, reusable space vehicles and other platforms as potential applications.

BAE Systems, Reaction Engines, Rolls-Royce and Boeing’s venture capital arm HorizonX are all stakeholders in the company.

Reaction Engines has attracted development funding from the British government, the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the European Space Agency, among others.

The tests demonstrated the precooler’s ability to cool airflow at speeds significantly in excess of the operational limit of any jet engine-powered aircraft in history.

“Mach 5 is more than twice as fast as the cruising speed of the Concorde and over 50% faster than the SR-71 Blackbird aircraft—– the world’s fastest jet-engine powered aircraft," Reaction Engines said.

The Colorado tests were part of a DARPA project known as HTX, which was awarded to Reaction Engines in 2017 aimed at conducting high-temperature airflow testing in the United States.

“The company has successfully completed tests in the U.S. of its proprietary heat exchanger that exposed it to hypersonic conditions approaching 1,000 degrees centigrade (~1,800°F). This test program validated precooler performance under the high-temperature airflow conditions expected during high-speed flight, up to Mach 5,” the company said.

The heat exchanger performed its precooler function by quenching about 1,800-degree Fahrenheit temperatures in less than one-twentieth of a second.

The most recent trial followed U.S.-based tests in April that saw the precooler operate at about 788 degrees Fahrenheit — matching the thermal conditions corresponding to Mach 3.3 flight.

Richard Varvill, Reaction Engines’ co-founder and current chief technology officer, said in a statement that the latest test was a “momentous landmark.”

“The performance of our proprietary precooler technology was validated at hypersonic flight conditions and takes us closer to realising our objective of developing the first air-breathing engine capable of accelerating from zero to Mach 5,” he said.

The success of the recent test opens the way to a trial of a full Sabre core engine in the next 12 to 18 months, said a company spokesman. The firm is nearly done building a new facility in Westcott, southern England, which is to host the next phase of the engine testing.

Engineers are in the early stages of looking at what a bespoke platform to test the Sabre engine might look like. One option, expected sometime in the next decade, is a Hawk jet trainer-sized UAV with a delta wing, said the spokesman. An early application for the technology could operate on an existing turbojet.

Earlier this year the British Ministry of Defence announced funding for a program to improve performance of an existing combat jet by adapting precooler technology. The program will undertake design studies, research, development, analysis and experimentation relating to high-Mach advanced propulsion systems and will be led by Rolls-Royce, with Reaction Engines and BAE Systems as technology partners.

The then-chief of the air staff, Air Marshal Stephen Hillier, told a conference in London in July that the EJ-200 engine, which powers the Typhoon fighter, was one option under consideration.

Its use in a yet-to-be-launched, British, sixth-generation fighter program known as Tempest could be another potential application, he hinted.
 

UAE

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Russia is in a different league and can not compete with US.

Wait for @mtime7 I am sure he has a lot to answer.
 

mtime7

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don't watch CNN my american friend
----
Of course, we are in a different league.
Our weapons are better and cheaper ..
we suggest you buy Russian weapons to fight terrorism.
You can create a trading platform, like McDonald's, and we will sell you weapons.
:p
----
American, when will America create a rocket to deliver astronauts to a space station? :)
we have them, they are all museum pieces now. It's kind of like the nuclear powered cruise missiles, we retired those ideas in the 60s
 

mtime7

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.. other words, you don’t even have the technology of the 60s to send a person into space ..
:)
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maybe try to create an analogue of this device ..
how long will it take you? 10-100 years ?


we are leaving the small stuff to private industry and Russia, Space X a private firm should have their manned capsule ready early next year, in the US within 10yrs you should be able to just pull up to one of the spaceports, buy a ticket with your American Express card and go into earth orbit. Hey did you guys ever make it to the moon? I was reading Russia space history and I got around 1970 and had to put it down, it was just the same thing on every page, they go up, they come down, still going strong.
images
 

mtime7

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Robots!! ha ha ha

and that con man, is going to put Roscosmos out of business
 

mtime7

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I don't have any, don't you remember, I am illiterate.

You know they lost when they start trying to insult you
 

mtime7

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I don't think they allow cursing people on this site, no matter the language
 

Khafee

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The US Air Force wants to develop a hypersonic cruise missile
30 April 2020

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The X-51A Waverider, shown here under the wing of a B-52 Stratobomber, is a scramjet-powered hypersonic vehicle that demonstrated speeds in excess of Mach 5 in the early 2010s. (U.S. Air Force graphic)

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Air Force is seeking information from industry about hypersonic cruise missile technology, with the hopes of starting up a new prototyping program in the near future.

The service issued a sources sought notification on April 27 asking companies to submit information about air-breathing conventional hypersonic cruise missiles that could be launched from fighter jets and bombers.

The responses will help the Air Force determine whether to begin funding a new program of record and figure out how quickly it will be able to field the new weapon, said Air Force acquisition executive Will Roper.

“In the case of how fast we could go with the scramjet technology getting into cruise missile and missionizing it, I think we can go fast,” he told reporters April 30. “I don’t know how fast — that’s why we’re reaching out to the street. But given how far scramjet technology has matured, I’d expect that we’ll be able to go pretty quickly on this.”

According to the solicitation, the service would aim to conduct a preliminary design review in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021. The technologies offered should feature ramjet, scramjet or dual-mode propulsion — a major difference from the hypersonic weapons currently under development by the Defense Department, which are all boost glide missiles.

There are multiple advantages to fielding air-breathing and boost glide hypersonic weapons, Roper said. Boost glide missiles fly just below space, above the “thick atmosphere” where scramjet missiles would fly. That allows scramjet missiles to take on certain missions and targets that boost-glide systems cannot engage.

“In the world of competing technology, we can’t afford to have any blind spots or cede any ground. So we’re preparing to make sure we don’t cede ground on scramjet technology and hypersonic cruise missiles as a whole,” Roper said.

“We will have greater flexibility with this as a whole. That’s one reason we’re interested in accelerating the technology. It’s mature, it’s ready. It will give our operators greater flexibility.”


It will also allow the Defense Department to diversify the number of companies that can produce hypersonic weapons, he said.

“In the case of boost glide technology, a lot of our major programs in the department go to the same suppliers,” in part because those companies have pioneered materials and components that have not been replicated throughout industry, Roper said. “One of the reasons I’m excited about starting a hypersonic cruise missile program is that we will have different suppliers. It’s a very different technology.”

Roper said the hypersonic cruise missile effort would involve inputs from the Air Force Research Laboratory and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

In particular, DARPA’s Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept, or HAWC, effort could inform the new program. As part of the effort, a Raytheon-Northrop Grumman team and a Lockheed Martin-Aerojet Rocketdyne team are building scramjet-powered hypersonic vehicles.

“Scramjet technology has come a long way. I have been exceptionally impressed by what new manufacturing techniques are enabling,” Roper said. “I entered this job thinking scramjet will probably be a step behind boost glide. I am delighted to say that I was wrong. Scramjet is much more mature and ready to go than I originally thought.”

The Air Force may be embarking on a new hypersonic weapons program just months after canceling one of its two development efforts, the Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon, or HCSW. Although HCSW showed promise and was on track for flight tests, the service killed it the fiscal 2021 budget rollout this February in favor of the Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon.

Both ARRW and HCSW are boost-glide weapons made by Lockheed, but the Air Force decided to pursue ARRW because it was more affordable and could be carried in larger quantities by the B-52 and F-15 aircraft, Roper said.
 

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USAF expands hypersonic efforts with plans for another prototype
4th May 2020 - 12:00 GMT | by Jason Sherman in New York

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The USAF has announced plans to commence a hypersonic cruise missile prototype programme on behalf of the DoD, in an effort to foster a scramjet industrial base and diversify the fledgling portfolio of ultra-fast manoeuvring weapons beyond the current hypersonic boost-glide programme.

On 28 April, the air force published a notice announcing plans for a ‘future hypersonic weapon’ programme, asking industry for proposals to support the goal of a new air-breathing weapon powered by a supersonic combustion ramjet — or scramjet — that could be ready for preliminary design review by Q4 in FY2021.

‘We’re excited about the potential to start that programme,’ Dr Will Roper, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, told reporters on 29 April. ‘Scramjet is much more mature and ready to go than I originally thought, so we’re preparing to begin a hypersonic cruise missile programme.’

The latest development comes as the USAF narrowed its hypersonic boost-glide prototyping efforts from two to one in February, favouring the smaller of the two candidate weapons: the Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon.

‘We will leverage work that is currently ongoing in DARPA as well as our own research laboratory,’ Roper explained, referring to the Hypersonic Air Breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC). ‘And the goal is to do what we did with boost-glide technology: get technology out of our laboratories and to help industry start to get ready for production.’

He added that recent advances in scramjet design and fabrication inform his confidence about launching a new programme.
‘I expect that we’ll be able to go pretty quickly on this,’ Roper said. “I don’t expect to be wrong on that.’

‘Scramjet is much more mature and ready to go than I originally thought’
Dr Will Roper, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics
On 20 April the Pentagon unveiled a collaborative research project, begun in 2019 with Norway, to prototype advanced technologies needed for a hypersonic cruise missile. The Tactical High-speed Offensive Ramjet for Extended Range (THOR-ER) is exploring advanced solid-fuel ramjet technologies.

Mike White, the Pentagon’s assistant director for hypersonics, said an air-breathing weapon has the potential to be smaller, more affordable, fit on a wider range of platforms and also accommodate a seeker.

‘So, one of the big values it brings to the table is load out and the ability to deliver weapons to the theater,’ White told reporters in February. ‘So, instead of having a small number of weapons on the bomber platforms, we can put weapons -- large numbers on the bombers as well as the fourth- and fifth-gen fighters.’
 

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Army to Speed Up Testing of Planned Hypersonic Missile
5 Aug 2020
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A common hypersonic glide body (C-HGB) launches from the Pacific Missile Range Facility during a Defense Department flight experiment, Kauai, Hawaii, March 19, 2020. (U.S. Navy/Oscar Sosa)

The lieutenant general overseeing the Army's hypersonic weapons program said the service will soon accelerate testing of the ultra-fast missile effort to compete with Russia and China in the race to field the deadly new technology.

In a joint effort with the Navy, the Army has been designing the Common-Hypersonic Glide Body, which will be used by all U.S. services, and is preparing to transition it to the defense industry, which will mass produce the technology.

The Army will soon begin ramping up the testing schedule so it can field the first operational hypersonic missile battery by fiscal 2023, Lt. Gen. Neil Thurgood, director of Hypersonics, Directed Energy, Space, and Rapid Acquisition, said Wednesday during a Defense News space and missile defense webinar.

"The flight test program is very aggressive, and we need to be aggressive in order to keep on case and be competitive with our near-peer competitors, namely Russia and China," he said.

Following a successful test in March, "we will actually accelerate our program; our next flight test will be mid-year of 2021, followed very quickly by two shots later in 2021," Thurgood said, adding that, until now, tests had been completed every three years.

The Pentagon's hypersonics effort is under real pressure to create a new class of ultrafast, maneuverable, long-range missiles capable of flying at five times the speed of sound. The Defense Department made hypersonic technologies a priority, nearly doubling its long-term investment, with almost $5 billion more in fiscal 2020 funding for hypersonics development alone in the next five years.

The increased funding follows advancements made by adversaries such as Russia, which claims to have unveiled a hypersonic glide vehicle capable of traveling more than 20 times the speed of sound.

Over the next 12 to 14 months, the Army will transfer the high-priority glide-body work from government laboratories to Dynetics Technical Solutions, the firm selected last August to produce the first commercially manufactured set of prototype Common-Hypersonic Glide Body systems.
"We have to transition the technology ... from the government labs to our commercial industrial partners who can build this kind of weapon system in quantity," Thurgood said.

Over the past year, teams from Dynetics have been based at Sandia National Laboratories, training to build the glide bodies.

The Army has a plan to select and train a second firm if demand goes up for more glide bodies, Thurgood said.
"At the same time, we are about 14 months away from getting our first set of support equipment to the first unit, so it's happening very, very quickly," he added.

If all goes well, soldiers from the unit scheduled to receive the first hypersonics battery -- consisting of four trucks with launchers, hypersonic missile rounds, and a command-and-control system -- will participate in the flight test scheduled for the fall of 2021, Thurgood said.
"It is our intent to use those flight tests not just for engineering work but also for training work for our soldiers," he said.

In a parallel effort, the Army is also working to develop the training and tactics units will need to take this new weapon system into the fight, Thurgood added.
"It's not sufficient to show to a unit and give them a piece of kit; we have to give them the training that goes with it, we have to give them the doctrine that goes with it, the leadership training, the policy -- all of those things have to be provided in parallels to just providing them kit," he said.
 

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Check Out This B-52 Stratofortress Carrying Two AGM-183 Hypersonic Test Missiles
The USAF just completed the last captive carry flight of what's slated to become the service's first hypersonic weapon. Launch tests are next.
BY TYLER ROGOWAYAUGUST 9, 2020
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The age of hypersonic combat is fast approaching. Case in point, an Edwards Air Force Base test B-52H Stratofortress just carried out its last captive carry test flight for the service's new AGM-183 Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW). The next phase will be actual test launches of the extreme-speed, air defenses-busting, tactical boost-glide hypersonic missile system.

The B-52 involved in the tests, 60-0050 "Dragon's Inferno," has been seen with increasingly elaborate modifications associated with the ARRW test program. These include a number of apertures for filming test launches, which are painted in customary day-glow orange that is a staple of the Air force's flight test community. The aircraft has flown with a captive carry AGM-183 airframe on numerous occasions, but this is the first time we have seen the B-52 outfitted with a pair of the missiles, one of which appears to be more advanced than the previously seen test missile airframe and has a gray overall scheme.



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The mission saw the B-52 do laps with a chase F-16 over the barren desert north of Edwards AFB before breaking off and heading out over the vast range complexes off the Southern California Coast.

Other captive carry test missions of new hypersonic missiles have not gone as smoothly in the past. During a similar mission for the Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC), an air-breathing missile concept which has been shrouded in more secrecy than the boost-glide AGM-183, the missile fell off the B-52. Thankfully, nobody was hurt in the mishap, but it is a reminder that things can go seriously wrong even on a non-launch test mission of a new advanced missile capability.

Regardless, during the ARRW's final captive carry mission, which a number of aircraft trackers, including our photo contributor Matt Hartman, were watching closely via publically available aircraft tracking apps, the Air Force tested the missile's ability to communicate telemetry and GPS data to ground stations on the sprawling Point Mugu Sea Range. It served as a dry run of sorts for a test of ARRW's booster later this year.

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Lt. Col. Michael Jungquist, 419th Flight Test Squadron Commander and Global Power Bomber Combined Test Force Director stated the following in an Air Force release:

“The event this week demonstrated the ability to communicate with the prototype weapon; the entire team is excited to take the next step and begin energetic flight test of our first air-launched hypersonic weapons... These weapons will enable application of conventional firepower anywhere in the world at eye-watering speed.”

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The idea behind ARRW is to push an air-launched hypersonic weapon capability from concept to reality as fast as possible in order to keep up with what has become an all-out hypersonic weapons race primarily between the U.S., China, and Russia. The Air Force is set to initially buy eight AGM-183s, four for testing and four for spares, some of which are likely to turn into the force's very first operational hypersonic weapons if they all are not needed for the test effort.

It remains unclear what the range of ARRW will be or its top speed, but seeing as the system will benefit from being launched tens of thousands of feet in the air, with its ballistic missile-like booster getting it up to very high speed before releasing its glide vehicle payload, ranges well in excess of 1,000 miles have been discussed as have speeds that go far beyond the Mach 5 hypersonic threshold.

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While the ARRW program is moving ahead, costs have soared by nearly 40 percent. Still, the Air Force seems to see the AGM-183 as a must succeed initiative so that it can add a hypersonic weapon into its quiver as quickly as possible. Doing so would not only offer a breakthrough capability, but it would give other more advanced hypersonic weapon concepts time to mature.

As it sits now, the Air Force could declare the AGM-183 operational by sometime in 2022 if everything goes as planned, and that is a very big if. Flight tests will prove just how mature this technology actually is. So, for better or worse, the Air Force and testers at Edwards AFB will learn relatively soon just how realistic their near-term hypersonic weapon dreams actually are.

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Contact the author: [email protected]
 

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Russia’s Avangard Glide Vehicle ‘More Deterrent Weapon Than Nuclear Bomb’, Chinese Media Claims

12.09.2020
by Oleg Burunov

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© Photo : Ministry of Defence of the Russia Federation

Late last year, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu confirmed that the country’s first Strategic Missile Forces regiment armed with the nuclear-capable Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle had entered combat duty.

Although the US remains the country with the most comprehensive air defence system in the world, even this missile shield is unable to intercept Russia's Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle, the Chinese news outlet Sina reports.
The vehicle’s characteristics, especially its strike speed and resistance to interception, “make the Avangard missile a more deterrent weapon than a nuclear bomb”, Sina claimed.
The news outlet added that by showcasing the Avangard, Russia is sending a message to the US that “the existing American air defences are useless when it comes to intercepting Russian missiles”.

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Avangard hypersonic missile system
©Photo : Russian Defence Ministry

The remarks came a few days after The Washington Post (WaPo) published excerpts of veteran American journalist Bob Woodward’s soon-to-be-released book on the Trump presidency, in which the reporter specifically cited POTUS as mentioning what he described as an “incredible” US nuclear weapons system.
“I have built a nuclear - a weapons system that nobody’s ever had in this country before [...]", Trump told Woodward, adding that the US has “stuff” Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping “have never heard about before”.
Even though Trump did not elaborate, some quickly suggested that POTUS was probably referring to the W76-2, a new low-yield nuclear warhead designed to fit on the US Navy’s Trident D-5 submarine-launched ballistic missiles.

The WaPo report followed Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov noting last week that it was Washington’s move to modernise low-yield nukes, not Russia’s actions, that is destabilising the global nuclear deterrent. Antonov was responding to US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence Robert Soofer, who earlier declared that Russia was initiating an arms race in the sphere of non-strategic weapons.
Earlier in September, Soofer said that bipartisan support for the creation of the W76-2 remains “divided”, as he outlined the US’ Nuclear Deterrence Strategy, which “places a premium on ensuring the survivability of nuclear forces that can threaten the adversary”.

Avangard Missile Enters Service

In late 2019, Russian Strategic Missile Forces commander Col-Gen Sergei Karakaev confirmed that the first Avangard-armed missile regiment had been stationed at the Yasnensky missile compound in the Orenburg region, about 1,200 km southeast of Moscow.

The statement was preceded by Russian President Vladimir Putin telling the country’s Federation Assembly in February 2019 that the significance of creating the Avangard hypersonic glide vehiclecan be likened to the creation of the Earth’s first artificial satellite.

Presenting the Avangard missile during his Federation Assembly address the year before, Putin said that the missile is capable of changing course mid-flight, thereby avoiding being tracked and intercepted.
He noted that the speed of the missile, which “flies like a meteorite or a fire ball”, was in excess of Mach 20 and that it is capable of penetrating any existing missile defence system.
 
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