Military Review

Lasers will come to the rescue: the Pentagon wants to increase the speed of hypersonic missiles using directed energy systems

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In the past decade, the most important areas of defense research in the United States have been hypersonic weapon and directed energy weapons. The Pentagon believes that the active introduction of these technologies can forever change the face of modern warfare.


Hypersonic weapons as a priority for the US Armed Forces


Now, according to The Drive author Brett Tingley, the research laboratories of the US Armed Forces are trying to combine the two areas of defense research to provide unprecedented speed for modern weapons. The US Department of Defense expects to combine advanced directed energy technologies with developments in the field of hypersonic aviation... The Pentagon views hypersonic technology as an important tool in the struggle for dominance in the arms race.

According to Tingley, hypersonic aircraft and missiles represent a real leap forward, as they develop speeds that are higher than those of the most advanced air defense systems. After all, it is one thing to intercept and destroy a ballistic missile that has a certain flight path, and quite another thing is to try to resist a missile flying at a speed of 5-6 times faster than the speed of sound, and even changing its trajectory during the flight. Therefore, the US military department pays so much attention to hypersonic technologies. In the future, hypersonic missiles will play a very important role in the competitive struggle between powers in strategic areas such as the Indo-Pacific region.

The need for hypersonic weapons began to be realized more and more clearly after the development of anti-missile defense systems by the likely enemy. The more sophisticated and effective missile defense systems become, the more you have to think about increasing the speed and maneuverability of missiles. The US Department of Defense is now investing huge amounts of money in the development of hypersonic technologies, and these investments, in our opinion, are quite justified.

The US Air Force and Lockheed Martin are currently working on the AGM-183A Rapid Response Aircraft Weapon (ARRW). We are talking about a hypersonic system capable of speeds up to Mach 20. The ARRW system has already been tested in manned flights on the B-52 Stratofortress and is expected to enter service in 2022.

Separately, the army and naval forces are working on their own hypersonic system. The Common Hypersonic Glide Body Vehicle, or C-HGB, was recently tested. A number of other initiatives are also underway, many of which are generally classified and unknown to the American public.



How directed energy will help hypersonic vehicles


One of the biggest obstacles to the development of hypersonic systems are thermal loads arising during high-speed flight. Extremely high levels of heat are generated due to friction against the shell of a high-speed aircraft. It also (friction) affects the speed. This, in turn, can significantly degrade the integrity of the airframe and damage its internal components.

Among the possible tools for minimizing heat generation, American engineers call the addition of shielding to the outer surfaces of the airframe. But this technology also has a side effect - its implementation will lead to an increase in the weight of the rocket, which means that the flight range, speed and maneuverability will decrease. Therefore, the implementation of the shielding technology must be carried out very carefully.

Another way to reduce heat loads is to change the geometry of the hypersonic vehicle itself. But here, too, not everything is so simple. Since numerous systems are integrated into the device, it carries a payload, and there are restrictions on changes in the geometry of the device. Therefore, American military engineers believe that the latest directed energy technologies can help in this direction.

Now in the United States, laser weapons are being actively tested - both installed on ships and integrated into aircraft. Directed energy can revolutionize high-speed aerospace propulsion and airframe design. So, since the 1980s. in the United States, research continues on "energy storage" to reduce drag. The concept involves emitting energy in the form of laser "fibers", electric arcs, directly in front of the airplane for air conditioning. Similar technologies have been tested in the past with the Lockheed A-12.

As a result of numerous studies, the military department has been able to achieve maximum portability of directed energy weapons. Ultimately, directed energy systems will become increasingly portable and can be used to reduce resistance or control air flow.

In 2021, the US Department of Defense is preparing to spend more than $ 71 billion on secret programs in this direction. Therefore, one can only imagine what types of hypersonic weapons and directed energy weapons are being developed and will be tested in the very near future.
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  1. bar
    bar 25 September 2020 10: 28
    +3
    the Pentagon wants to increase the speed of hypersonic missiles using directed energy systems

    Judging by this, with hypersonic striped ass full laughing
    1. hydrox
      hydrox 25 September 2020 11: 28
      +2
      Full of hypersound organism ?!
      Ay-yay, poor Mirians! How do they walk? This mushroom sound, go there, inside the body, shavels - and what, does it interfere with walking ??
      Poor, poor ... it also injects, oh-oh! ...
      Have you tried to relieve pressure?
      Or maybe put an enema off? Oooh, how it will fly!
      And if you also set it on fire ... laughing
  2. KVU-NSVD
    KVU-NSVD 25 September 2020 10: 35
    +2
    So, since the 1980s. In the United States, research continues on "energy storage" to reduce drag. The concept involves emitting energy in the form of laser "fibers", electric arcs, directly in front of the airplane for air conditioning.
    Judging by the terms of research at real costs without real results, the technology is not a fountain.
  3. Whirlwind
    Whirlwind 25 September 2020 10: 36
    0
    Ooooh, what a powerful Wishlist the states are growing ...
    1. NDR-791
      NDR-791 25 September 2020 11: 22
      +2
      In 2021, the US Department of Defense is preparing to spend more than $ 71 billion on secret programs in this direction.
      That's where the dog fumbled! Give pills for greed! Yes, more, more !!!
      1. Whirlwind
        Whirlwind 25 September 2020 13: 38
        +4
        During the pandemic, they poured a trillion dollars of "helicopter money" into the economy!
        During the Trump administration, the debt was raised by almost FIVE TRILLION !!
        Somehow it is necessary to dispose of this dollar paper .., there are no pioneers, there is no one to collect waste paper .., so the Pentagon is blown away.
  4. aszzz888
    aszzz888 25 September 2020 10: 48
    0
    The newest Russian missile system "Avangard" on tests reached a speed of Swing 27 (more than 32,2 thousand km / h),

    INTERFAX - The newest Russian missile system "Avangard" on tests reached speed Swing 27,

    As VVP said in a conversation with gunsmiths on the day of their professional holiday, "such a complex has already been put into service."
    Merikatos can only catch up and invent all sorts of rubbish, like with Obama we got their Merikatos technologies. Question: why still do not they have such a weapon, did they forget to keep copies for themselves? laughing
    1. hydrox
      hydrox 25 September 2020 11: 36
      +4
      Well nafig!
      They simply cannot restore the drawings that the Russians stole along with the technological equipment and a whole bucket of flash drives - after all, they took out a whole container ship - and no one even jumped the boat to prevent the theft of the World's dignity and the symbol of exclusivity - they stole everything! laughing
      1. aszzz888
        aszzz888 25 September 2020 12: 24
        +1

        hydrox (hydrox)
        Today, 11: 36
        NEW

        +1
        Well nafig!
        They simply cannot restore the drawings that the Russians stole along with the technological equipment and a whole bucket of flash drives - after all, the whole container ship was taken out - and no one even got a boat to prevent the theft of the World's dignity and the symbol of exclusivity - stole everything! laughing
        We are like that, walking - walking like that! wink
    2. voyaka uh
      voyaka uh 25 September 2020 13: 32
      +1
      Any warhead ICBM in space reaches 22-27 MAX.
      And when it gets into the atmosphere, it slows down on it.
  5. Operator
    Operator 25 September 2020 10: 54
    -1
    What the hell is directed energy when the Russian Avangard and Zircon are quite capable of hypersonic flight due to heat-resistant construction materials?

    If the United States does not have such materials and is not foreseen, then there is nothing to chatter and ring with another part of the body. laughing
  6. rocket757
    rocket757 25 September 2020 11: 02
    0
    In 2021, the US Department of Defense is preparing to spend more than $ 71 billion on secret programs in ...

    They will strive to become more dangerous and even more dangerous!
    So it was, so it will be .... fortunately, others do not stand still either, the "competition" will be tough.
  7. iouris
    iouris 25 September 2020 11: 07
    +1
    Interesting. However, we must wait until November 7th. Whose street will the big party be on? Trump does not admit defeat, and Biden categorically does not admit it (his grandfather is old - he doesn't care). Lithuania and Poland will not recognize the election results either and will support the "people". Full-scale modeling was carried out in Belarus.
  8. voyaka uh
    voyaka uh 25 September 2020 11: 19
    -1
    Interesting idea: laser directed forward at the head of the rocket.
    Preparing air before a hot rocket passes through it.
    1. dzvero
      dzvero 25 September 2020 12: 17
      +3
      And then the question arises - will the rocket have enough power-to-weight ratio? The radiation should be not sickly and one battery is not enough ...
      1. voyaka uh
        voyaka uh 25 September 2020 13: 30
        +1
        I don't think there is a battery for the laser. They made a powerful electric discharge with a capacitor,
        that accelerated the laser. The laser should work for a very short time when the missile
        at the terminal site in a dense atmosphere.
        1. g1washntwn
          g1washntwn 25 September 2020 13: 57
          +1
          Quote: voyaka uh
          The laser must operate for a very short time when rocketing at a terminal site in a dense atmosphere

          Is it a kind of laser target illumination, on the contrary, does the missile / warhead unmask itself to enemy anti-missiles?
          1. voyaka uh
            voyaka uh 25 September 2020 15: 04
            +1
            Unmasking? laughing The warhead in a cocoon of plasma and without any laser glows in the atmosphere so that both people and optical devices go blind.
        2. rice
          rice 25 September 2020 16: 40
          0
          Quote: voyaka uh
          The laser must work for a very short time

          But this is "kirdyk" for maneuvering. what
    2. g1washntwn
      g1washntwn 25 September 2020 12: 40
      +3
      Work towards an aerial analogue of a torpedo cavitating in water is nothing new. Scientists looked at the process of life of a lightning discharge, first a breakdown channel arises and a discharge already goes through it, that is, a plasma tunnel through which they dream of launching an ammunition, but there is an order of energies. Most likely, we are talking about controlling a plasma cocoon around an aircraft, and not a plasma hyperloop for missiles. It is strange that the Americans are only now talking about this. By the way, I did not find any information on the A-12, the copies that flew such technology did not use (on habu.org, history does not confirm on each board). Either this is a notion, or the author has some sources of his own (I suspect - Trump's tweet, but I will be grateful for the link).
      1. Nikolaevich I
        Nikolaevich I 25 September 2020 18: 22
        0
        Quote: g1washntwn
        Most likely we are talking about controlling the plasma cocoon around the aircraft.

        I remember that at the end of the last century, in connection with SDI, a lot of projects were proposed in the USSR as an answer to Chamber ... Washington! There was a project in which it was proposed to create plasma formations in front of the aircraft or the enemy warheads ... It was argued that this "plasma formation" changed the air resistance in such a way that the aircraft, once in the "plasma", instantly experienced such a sharp change in loads that " into the gap "! (In general, he said what was remembered since then ...). I won't tell you about all of Odessa, but journalists wrote a lot about this ... ("Fishermen were making noise about this news for a week in the port ...") But then everything calmed down, as it often happened at that time! Either it turned out to be too difficult, or vabche "voluntarism" ...! (I remember that at that time a certain tovarisch appeared who ate a ton of fly agarics on the "plasma"! He offered both "ethno", and plasma (,, beam ,,) "blaster", and "plasma" stealth ...! At the end after all, he was declared either a "city madman" or a "pseudoscience adventurer" ...!)
  9. The eye of the crying
    The eye of the crying 25 September 2020 11: 34
    -1
    In 2021, the US Department of Defense is preparing to spend more than $ 71 billion on secret programs in this direction.


    Sounds like a frank tale.
    1. YOUR
      YOUR 25 September 2020 13: 14
      +1
      Exactly. this is about 10% of the entire military budget. Much too much.
  10. Undecim
    Undecim 25 September 2020 14: 10
    +6
    The concept involves emitting energy in the form of laser "fibers", electric arcs, directly in front of the airplane for air conditioning.
    It is difficult to find a more ignorant presentation of the question. The author apparently translated the article Blasting The Air In Front Of Hypersonic Vehicles With Lasers Could Unlock Unprecedented Speeds, posted on Warzone, with the help of a google translator. And since the author, apart from ignorance of the language, also has absolutely no idea what the article is about, then his electric arcs and laser fibers condition the air in front of the plane.
    In fact, this process has nothing to do with conditioning.
    In normal, technical language, this is called the contribution of energy to the gas flow through laser, microwave, barrier or surface discharges. When energy is absorbed in a supersonic flow, a region of low density is formed, which significantly affects the rearrangement of the flow structure and the flow regime around the body.
    If we talk about lasers, then when exposed to intense laser beams in an absorbing
    hot local areas or channels with low density are formed in the gas flow. In addition, with the help of directed electromagnetic energy, in particular - laser radiation, it is possible to influence the bow shock wave in hypersonic vehicles.
    In addition to the thermal effect on the flow, the use of magnetohydrodynamic effects is also possible.
    Work on the use of electromagnetic discharges in various applications of gas and aerodynamics has been carried out for a long time in many countries, including in Russia at the Joint Institute for High Temperatures of the Russian Academy of Sciences and at the Ioffe Physicotechnical Institute, and are covered in sufficient detail in special literature. There is no sensation here, systematic scientific research is underway. Only scribblers who need a hype are sensational.
    The site should take a more responsible attitude to such issues and not spread "knowingly false" information. They will laugh at the "air conditioning".
    1. Pane Kohanku
      Pane Kohanku 25 September 2020 14: 28
      +3
      The site should take a more responsible attitude to such issues and not spread "knowingly false" information. They will laugh at the "air conditioning".

      .... You will not win, Victor Nikolaevich ... what
      1. Undecim
        Undecim 25 September 2020 14: 40
        +2
        At least I'll keep warm.
        1. Pane Kohanku
          Pane Kohanku 25 September 2020 14: 52
          +1
          At least I'll keep warm.

          and that is true! hi
  11. Respect
    Respect 25 September 2020 17: 27
    +2
    Let them catch up .. Although I think they have such a thought, wouldn’t it be better to change the power in Russia? The costs are 100 times less than the development of hypersound competing with Russian developments.
    It is not for nothing that this pressure began on Russia from all sides.
    A new stage begins in the history of Russia .. to survive!
  12. lvov_aleksey
    lvov_aleksey 25 September 2020 23: 39
    0
    Let the children in parliament be told their tales about the laser, and to put it simply, coherent waves require a large source of energy, except for the Nuclear Source there are no other analogues of a fast burst of energy. These Stars and Stripes want to raise nuclear reactors into space ????)))))))))))
  13. lvov_aleksey
    lvov_aleksey 25 September 2020 23: 40
    0
    Quote: Respekt
    Let them catch up .. Although I think they have such a thought, wouldn’t it be better to change the power in Russia? The costs are 100 times less than the development of hypersound competing with Russian developments.
    It is not for nothing that this pressure began on Russia from all sides.
    A new stage begins in the history of Russia .. to survive!

    they need our technology, and then they don't care about politicians