What will and will not be: US Air Force hypersonic weapons


Frisky beginning and inglorious end



Air Force want to get your own hypersonic weapon even more than the US Navy or US Army. One manifestation of this desire was the conclusion of a contract for the creation of a non-strategic hypersonic cruise missile Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon (HCSW). Recall that the corresponding agreement between the Air Force and the corporation was signed on April 18, 2018. The contract value amounted to 928 million dollars. It included “design, development, manufacturing, system integration, testing, logistics planning and ensuring the integration of all elements of airborne hypersonic non-nuclear non-strategic weapons into aircraft”.

“This step is one of two directions for creating prototypes of hypersonic weapons implemented by the Air Force to accelerate hypersonic research and development,” the bmpd blog quoted the US Air Force as saying. “The Air Force is creating prototypes to explore the possibilities for further development and to advance these technologies as quickly as possible.”

The intentions were more than serious, as well as the financing (it was necessary to take into account that this was just an early stage). They wanted to teach the HCSW missile to hit both stationary and moving ground targets. Cruising flight speed was to be 5 Machs or more. The complex was supposed to be able to act in conditions of counteraction of air defense and missile defense systems, as well as electronic suppression.

HCSW wanted to provide a combined inertial-satellite guidance system. As for the carriers, then among those saw "several types of fighters and bombers." There are not many options with strategic bombers - the US Air Force has three types of such machines at its disposal. These are the B-52H, B-1B and B-2 Spirit. As for fighters, the F-15E Strike Eagle fighter-bomber looked the best option, if we talk about a carrier of hypersonic weapons. This machine, we recall, was originally created to solve percussion problems, and it showed itself perfectly in this field.


However, now all this is already in the past. In February of this year, it became known that the US Air Force announced the folding of the Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon project. In March 2020, Lockheed Martin is supposed to protect the advance project, after which all work on the program will cease. The reason is trivial - there was not enough money.

In the dry residue


Thus, now the U.S. Air Force will finance only one project of hypersonic weapons - we are talking about the notorious Air Launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW) complex, which also appears under the designation AGM-183. This is an air-based aeroballistic missile equipped with a detachable hypersonic unit with a Tactical Boost Glide (TBG) engine and capable, according to previously presented data, of a speed of approximately 20 Machs. This is extremely large, even for modern hypersonic weapons.

Allegedly, in March 2019, they threw tests of the TBG engine, and on June 12, 2019 they underwent new tests, in which the strategic bomber B-52N performed a flight with a model of the product. According to media reports, the aircraft used was the B-52N-150-BW S / N 60-0036, which took part in many other tests.


No missile launches were carried out as part of the June tests: in fact, it was about the initial stage of the compatibility analysis of the B-52H bomber and the AGM-183 missile. Unknown is the type of warhead. Although a number of media points to the use of nuclear warheads, the example of the canceled Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon suggests rather the opposite.

Whatever the warhead, the complex is of great interest, primarily for potential opponents of the Americans. As far as one can judge, no one has such systems now (the Russian "Dagger" is a different type of weapon).

Recall that the creation of ARRW is carried out under a contract worth $ 480 million, issued to Lockheed Martin in August 2018. The work should be completed by December 2021: it will be conducted at an accelerated pace and, possibly, in the first half of the 2020s, the United States will receive a “full-fledged” air-based hypersonic weapon.

What will and will not be: US Air Force hypersonic weapons

This is what is known more or less accurately. If you “dream up,” you can imagine the integration of the AGM-183 into a wide variety of US air force systems, including fighter-bombers. And the gradual increase in the capabilities of the complex itself, including the flight range. However, on this path, Americans inevitably encounter difficulties that are relevant for absolutely any developer of hypersonic missiles: we are talking about controlling and pointing missiles at hypersonic speeds under conditions of superhigh temperatures. If the States can cope with such challenges, then the US Air Force’s arsenal can soon really replenish with deadly “conventional” weapons, which will be very, very difficult to counter.

By the way


Air Launched Rapid Response Weapon should become part of the American “hypersonic triad”, because, as we noted above, not only the Air Force, but the US Navy and Ground Army want to receive new hypersonic systems. “In general, we can expect,” said Viktor Murakhovsky, editor-in-chief of Arsenal of the Fatherland magazine, “that by the end of 2025 the United States will have two (most likely, maybe three) hypersonic products of operational-tactical and medium range, ready for mass production. The US is not currently developing hypersonic weapons with a nuclear warhead. "

Indeed, if we look at ground forces, we will see active work on the so-called Long Range Hypersonic Weapon or LRHW (previously also used the Hypersonic Weapons System designation), which is a mobile ground-based hypersonic complex. This will be a universal solid-propellant medium-range ballistic missile AUR (All-Up-Round), having a universal guided maneuverable planning hypersonic warhead of the Common Hypersonic Glide Body (C-HGB).


Recall also that the US Navy recently announced plans to equip Virginia-type multipurpose submarines with C-HGB hypersonic glider missiles. In total, the Pentagon intends to spend one billion dollars on research and development under the program in fiscal year 2021.
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  1. mark2 28 February 2020 18: 36 New
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    . “In general, we can expect,” said Viktor Murakhovsky, editor-in-chief of Arsenal of the Fatherland magazine, “that by the end of 2025 the United States will have two (most likely, maybe three) hypersonic products of operational-tactical and medium range, ready for mass production. The US is not currently developing hypersonic weapons with a nuclear warhead. "


    The article reads with the thought of "if." If they can, if it works out .... Wait and see. 5 years is a lot and a little.
  2. Whalebone 28 February 2020 18: 42 New
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    Until the physics of maneuverable atmospheric flight and guidance of the rocket at hypersonic speeds is explained to me, I will consider the term PR itself
    a tool not related to reality. If, what, he studied at the Physics Institute.
    1. Range 28 February 2020 20: 29 New
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      I’ll try, if you are ready to accept information that goes beyond the standard perception?
      Ball lightning is also an element of plasma and its flight is not predictable ... Hypersonic "shells" are also enveloped in plasma. Here in the office ... there is an answer ... And this is behind seven seals ... I wanted to pronounce instead of dots, and then I thought that it wasn’t worth it and so much already ... The whole question is how?
      1. Whalebone 28 February 2020 21: 06 New
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        The standard perception is physics, which I (and many others) have studied. I know (and understand) how an airplane, ICBM, UR, RCC flies, I know and understand how ICE, RD, TRD, etc. work. This does not contradict physical laws.
        1. Range 29 February 2020 00: 11 New
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          I also studied physics, but most often those who do not know that this is impossible make a discovery. Sometimes it is not knowledge that creates less obstacles than knowledge.
        2. Range 29 February 2020 03: 37 New
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          Well, "physicist", is an electron a wave or a particle?
          1. Range 29 February 2020 13: 04 New
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            Clear. The physicist is fake, only minuscule the might. Or an adherent of the sect of witnesses of the exam.
          2. Whalebone 29 February 2020 23: 26 New
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            An electron is an elementary particle. If you wanted to tinker about dualism, you were mistaken in the term.
            Without knowing physics, you cannot invent maneuvers in hypersound, even though you are Kulibin.
            Your understanding of the "fake" - ordinary rudeness to an unfamiliar person on a bare spot.
            I can’t put the minuses now, I have a negative rating, thanks to people like you. I myself have not put a single one, even frankly inadequate characters.
            So apologize, please, it will decorate you.
            1. Range 1 March 2020 00: 04 New
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              Now you can clearly see that you are a plywood physicist. So run in a liquid with a simple question. Ask physicists they will explain to you popularly. I don’t offer the Internet, it was so crap that you won’t get an answer there. In Physics, this is the most mysterious phenomenon.
              I never put cons to anyone, I just comment.
              Never been a minus one.
            2. Range 1 March 2020 00: 41 New
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              An electron is capable of refraction, interference and reflection (diffraction) and at the same time has mass and electric charge ... I am a specialist in process control systems and I am often attracted by Physicists to develop control systems for their installations. And in my student years, together with the teachers, they assembled a working plasma torch and I had to develop and debug a control system for it.
              So, unlike you, I'm in the subject.
              1. Whalebone 1 March 2020 10: 39 New
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                That is, the word "dualism" you did not read, in the pursuit of the sensation of exposing the pseudo-physicist?
                Let's not trump student regalia. You just apologize for rudeness and will be responsible for the topic branch.
    2. Kalmar 28 February 2020 23: 04 New
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      Quote: Whalebone
      Until they explain the physics of maneuverable atmospheric flight and guidance of the rocket at hypersonic speeds

      As far as I understand, guidance rests on the notorious plasma cocoon. There were notes that the parameters of this plasma can be controlled to one degree or another, creating unique “windows” suitable for radar operation.

      In terms of maneuvering, I suppose, the main difficulty seems to be that the rudders of the rocket corny will not withstand overloads at hypersonic speeds. Here, you can probably look towards UVT or additional shunting engines.

      It is clear that all this is a theory. How close it is to practice (at least for someone) and, especially, to mass production is a big, big question.
      1. Whalebone 29 February 2020 23: 39 New
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        I’ll give a comment on both comments - the representative of the Moscow Region is unlikely to be able to explain in principle. This can be done by scientists who come up with two things: a sufficiently long flight (say 10 minutes) with a surface temperature of 6000K. And the second - aerodynamic maneuvers with superloads that occur at real hyper speeds. It’s not even about the rudders - the rocket itself and its contents are corrupted. About control through a plasma cocoon, too, is still at the level of fiction. Therefore, my assumption that there is no atmospheric hypersound on the final trajectory has not been and never will be.
        Only on accelerating, quasi-ballistic in the stratosphere practically. Then the BB detaches, plans and brakes, releases the rudders and flies already 3-4M before hitting the target.
    3. LifeIsGood 29 February 2020 22: 33 New
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      Here the question is different ... but with what fright should I even explain this? No, seriously, or are you waiting for the representative of the Moscow Region to come out with diagrams, formulas, etc. and everything will explain to everyone how it works, and then put it on the Internet?
      Does it fly and hit the target? YES. That is the whole answer.
      And how and why this is already forgive our business.
      1. Whalebone 29 February 2020 23: 40 New
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        C is higher. I believe in fairy tales from childhood. And in propaganda all the more.
        1. LifeIsGood 1 March 2020 11: 26 New
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          Hmm ... your position is just brilliant. "If I don’t understand it all lies and propaganda".... And do not care that this information may be secret ... no !!! You should come and explain!
          There is nothing more to say here ...
          1. Whalebone 1 March 2020 13: 47 New
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            There is no secret physics in the 21st century. There may be classified materials (not very long), specific technologies (they will become unclassified even faster), but science is the property of at least the professional community, and it is impossible to keep secret from it.
  3. Mountain shooter 28 February 2020 18: 44 New
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    “Zircon”, “Zircon” - this is where our advantage should manifest itself ... If we take it into service - even our RTOs will be adversary afraid. And the usual "Varshavyanka" ... And these ... let them saw ... they have dimensionless ...
  4. Bagatur 28 February 2020 19: 44 New
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    Sooner or later, the US will have hypersound! Not as soon as they want, but not as far in the future as they think in Russia!
  5. Chaldon48 28 February 2020 19: 53 New
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    I wonder what height rockets will fly at a speed of 20 Machs and how will they maneuver?
    1. L-39NG 28 February 2020 21: 38 New
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      There are physicists and there are politicians. TV propagandists will answer your question.
    2. voyaka uh 29 February 2020 12: 59 New
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      1) fly at 20 MAX - in space
      2) maneuver - no way
  6. rica1952 29 February 2020 11: 52 New
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    For more than 65 years, American and Russian designers and materials scientists have been struggling to create a hypersonic aircraft. So far there is no real result. Even there is no real scramjet. And rocket launchers understand this. For our media with USE graduates, this task has already been solved and we won all the adversaries, well, what can we do such times such morals.
  7. voyaka uh 29 February 2020 12: 58 New
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    From the CR with ramjet engine refused all. Too complicated.
    And we went along a simple path - a bunch: BR for the start + glider planning
    from a height of about 80-100 to heights of about 40-50 km. And then cool
    diving towards a target.
    First, Russia and China, and after America made similar devices.
    In Russia, in the nuclear version, in America - in the usual.
    1. Whalebone 29 February 2020 23: 43 New
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      This is no hypersonic missile, of course. This is a planning BB, which is not entirely clear how to aim at a moving ship. And the three absence above the water of TerkKom, how to carry out route correction, capture and target identification.
  8. Old26 29 February 2020 15: 52 New
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    Whatever the warhead, the complex is of great interest, primarily for potential opponents of the Americans. As far as one can judge, no one has such systems now (the Russian "Dagger" is a different type of weapon).

    On the basis of what does the author draw a similar conclusion? In the case of the American missile AGM-183A, and in the case of our missile complex "Dagger" there are aeroballistic missiles. Moreover, taking into account the type of carrier, its speed and the height of the product’s discharge, we can clearly say that the flight range of OUR rocket is greater than that of the American one (according to some data, its range is 800 km). A possible difference between the two systems is that the Americans have a detachable warhead (TBG), our product based on the Iskander is most likely an inseparable warhead, although this is not 100% accurate information. Based on what then does the author conclude that the "Dagger" is a weapon of a different type ??

    Allegedly, in March 2019, they conducted a throw test of the TBG engine

    Dear author. Throwing are tests of the product itself, and not the engine. Initially, ground fire tests of the engine are carried out, then flight tests as part of the product. But not throwing engine test

    Quote: mark2
    The article reads with the thought of "if." If they can, if it works out .... Wait and see. 5 years is a lot and a little.

    That which will be beyond doubt. But they, like us, have all the work going with varying success. How much time it will take them to put hypersonic weapons on the database - no one can tell.

    Quote: Whalebone
    Until the physics of maneuverable atmospheric flight and guidance of the rocket at hypersonic speeds is explained to me, I will consider the term PR itself
    a tool not related to reality.

    In order to explain this to you, you need to know the engine parameters of such a product, the presence or absence of control surfaces ... In addition, what kind of weapon are we talking about. About aeroballistic missiles and non-powered hypersound or cruise missiles and a hypersonic ramjet engine. But in any case, the flight of such a product is controllable (ANN, at least). But it’s hard to tell how the guidance (or more precisely homing) of these products goes without knowing which GOS is used.

    Quote: voyaka uh
    1) fly at 20 MAX - in space
    2) maneuver - no way

    With the first answer, Alexey, I agree. But regarding the second - I do not agree. It’s just that we have developed a stereotype that maneuvering is something “sharp” to disrupt, for example, anti-aircraft missile guidance (or anti-missile). But after all, the ability to conduct a lateral maneuver (moreover, quite smooth) is also maneuvering ...

    Quote: voyaka uh
    From the CR with ramjet engine refused all. Too complicated.
    And we went along a simple path - a bunch: BR for the start + glider planning
    from a height of about 80-100 to heights of about 40-50 km. And then cool
    diving towards a target.
    First, Russia and China, and after America made similar devices.
    In Russia, in the nuclear version, in America - in the usual.

    Not certainly in that way. Most likely, all countries decided to first create weapons using "non-motor hypersound," that is, using a ballistic missile as an accelerator. This is an easier option. And as for the GZPVRD - there are possible problems, including and problems associated with the operating time of such an engine. . Nevertheless, we continue to test Zircon. Americans - also did not refuse such developments
    1. voyaka uh 29 February 2020 21: 05 New
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      "less" Zircon "we continue to experience" ////
      ----
      Judging by the complete absence of photos of Zircon (although it is already being tested
      from the ship), we can assume that this is also an aeroballistic missile without direct-flow
      engine. It is his absence that is the secret of the project smile
    2. Whalebone 29 February 2020 23: 50 New
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      Thanks for the detailed answer. But from each iron for 2 years already sounds about a "hypersonic cruise anti-ship missile." And the majority of the ignorant seriously imagine KR flying 20 m above the sea with M10, or even faster. At the same time, it is actively maneuvering.
  9. Senior manager 29 February 2020 16: 11 New
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    Personally, I’m worried about the promise - planning hyper-trawl-wali. what height should this BG be lifted to, with what fuel supply in order to get 20 max? Specialists, hike, ride on our ears. Physics of the school curriculum - section - kinetics. The farther, the more tiring.
    1. Whalebone 29 February 2020 23: 51 New
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      With this question, I started the thread)
  10. Old26 29 February 2020 23: 56 New
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    Quote: voyaka uh
    Judging by the complete absence of photos of Zircon (although it is already being tested
    from the ship), we can assume that this is also an aeroballistic missile without direct-flow
    engine. It is his absence that is the secret of the project

    I myself am enraged by the lack of photos. Special differences from the same American X-51 are unlikely to be. But this is hardly an aeroballistic missile. Launcher 3C14 dimensions are about 72-75 cm in diameter and about 7 meters long. . But from 7 meters it is necessary to subtract the length of the starting accelerator. so it’s unlikely that a missile with a length of 7 meters, a diameter of 75 cm, can have a range of 400 to 1000, and possibly more kilometers (voiced). Physically, this is highly unlikely if it is ajrobalistic. Most likely, all the same with a hypersonic ramjet ...

    Quote: St. Propulsion
    Personally, I’m worried about the promise - planning hyper-trawl-wali. what height should this BG be lifted to, with what fuel supply in order to get 20 max? Specialists, hike, ride on our ears. Physics of the school curriculum - section - kinetics. The farther, the more tiring.

    Well, a speed of 20M is possible somewhere in the vicinity of the Karman line. that is 100 km. But there only a block can fly, the accelerator of which is an intercontinental rocket capable of developing such speeds. In the atmosphere at altitudes of 40-50 km, the product will be able to fly at speeds of 10-14M. The lower the lower the speed
    1. Whalebone 1 March 2020 13: 56 New
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      That is, in the dimensions of the Caliber, a two-stage BR with a controlled BB and given characteristics such as 15M and 1000 km can not be done? The first TT step casts for 20 km, accelerating to 4-5M, then the scramjet and 7-8M in the plasma cloud and critical surface temperature, with correction according to ANNs, and after fuel is generated, braking and controlled diving to the target with optical guidance?
  11. Old26 1 March 2020 16: 02 New
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    Quote: Whalebone
    That is, in the dimensions of the Caliber, a two-stage BR with a controlled BB and given characteristics such as 15M and 1000 km can not be done? The first TT step casts for 20 km, accelerating to 4-5M, then the scramjet and 7-8M in the plasma cloud and critical surface temperature, with correction according to ANNs, and after fuel is generated, braking and controlled diving to the target with optical guidance?

    Unlikely. In the length of the TPK (8,9 m), it is necessary to place a PAD (to eject the product of their TPK), a solid propellant booster engine + a hypersonic missile itself. For the same Americans, the X-51 has a length of about 7,5 meters without an accelerating block, a speed of more than 5M and a range of about 750 km. It is possible to place a solid fuel stage in a volume of 8,9 m (TPK length) and 0,75 m diameter (TPK diameter) that accelerates the second (hypersonic step) to a speed of at least 4-5 M, but the dimensions of the hypersonic stage itself, which will reach speeds of 9M and a range of 1000 km (voiced by the media) are unlikely. Here or or. Either the accelerator will not reach 4-5M or the hypersonic stage will not have a range of 1000 km.