Military Review

The second test launch of the AHW device ended in an accident

On Monday, the US Missile Defense Command, in conjunction with the Strategic Command, conducted a test launch of an advanced AHW hypersonic weapon (Advanced Hypersonic Weapon - "Perspective Hypersonic weapon"). The development of this product is carried out within the framework of the so-called. lightning global strike strategies. The goal of this project is to create a promising percussion tool capable of destroying a given target anywhere in the world within a few dozen minutes. Great hopes are placed on the AHW project, since it is he who is proposed as the basis for advanced weapons.

The AHW test product was launched on August 25 from the testing ground on Kodiak Island near Alaska. A prototype of a promising weapon was to fly to the Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific Ocean. He was given about half an hour to overcome 6,2 thousand kilometers. However, the product did not reach the destination. According to official data, shortly after the launch, some problems were discovered, due to which they had to issue a command to self-destruct the device. The flight lasted only four seconds. The exact causes of the accident are not yet known. At the same time, detailed information on the course of testing is also missing for reasons of secrecy.

Now American experts are analyzing the available information and trying to find out the causes of the accident. For obvious reasons, the public should not wait for an early announcement of the results of the investigation. The collected data will be used in further work on the project, and their publication is unacceptable because of the secrecy of the project.

The recent launch of the AHW prototype became the second in the course of the project. The first test launch of a hypersonic aircraft took place in November 2011. The device started from the Hawaiian Islands and fell around the atoll of Kwajalein, flying around 3,7 thousand km. The launch was considered successful, but then, as now, the details of the work were not announced. The information collected during the first test flight made it possible to make the necessary adjustments to the project and prepare a second launch that took place a few days ago.

Information on the following tests is missing. Earlier it was claimed that the test test plan is formed as work progresses. Almost three years have passed between the first two launches, which were spent on new research and design work. Most likely, the following tests within the AHW project will take place no earlier than 2015-16. In addition, it should be borne in mind that the recent accident will affect the timing of the project and lead to their shift to the right.

Known information about the AHW project is extremely scarce. It is known that the goal of this project is to create a promising percussion system capable of destroying targets at a distance of several thousand kilometers and flying towards them at a speed 5-10 times the speed of sound. Other details of the project are still unknown.

According to some data, at present the Pentagon is financing the development of a shock system based on a launch vehicle and a hypersonic aircraft with the possibility of equipping it with a warhead. A booster rocket must output a hypersonic device to a given height and accelerate to a certain speed. After separation from the carrier, the AHW product must fly to the set target at hypersonic speed. The flight speed of this device should reach 8-10 thousand kilometers per hour or more.

Information about the combat equipment of advanced weapons is not available. A relatively small unit of conical shape can receive both nuclear and conventional warheads. In addition, we can not exclude the possibility of creating a munition, hitting the target at the expense of its energy. Given the estimated speed of the product, such a method of hitting targets looks quite real and viable.

Such architecture and characteristics of the shock system will allow strikes against targets within a radius of several thousand kilometers, and will also provide flying time of no more than tens of minutes. In this way, it is proposed to ensure that the requirement to strike a given target is fulfilled within an hour and a half after the corresponding order. An interesting feature of advanced weapons is the requirement relating to the flight trajectory. According to these parameters, the AHW system should not be similar to ballistic missiles, so as not to provoke an unacceptable reaction from third countries.

The AHW project is far from real use, but American experts already know what the ideal hypersonic weapon of the future should be. To fulfill the requirement of attacking a target anywhere in the world within an hour after an order, such a shock system must accelerate to a speed of about 21000-22000 km / h and have a range of at least 23-24 thousand km. Nevertheless, the creation of such shock tools is still a matter of the distant future. Calculations show that the skin of an aircraft with such characteristics will heat up to 1900 ° C, which imposes serious restrictions on the materials used. No less difficult is the creation of means of acceleration of the aircraft to the required speeds.

The AHW project is one of the first steps towards the creation of a full-fledged combat system based on a hypersonic aircraft. The requirements for this weapon are high, which is why its creation faces serious difficulties. A few days ago, such difficulties led to the accident and the destruction of the next prototype. It will take some time to investigate the incident and finalize the project, during which there will be no new development progress reports. The future prospects of the AHW project are not yet completely clear, but the United States has the intention to complete it and use the information and experience gained to create full-fledged combat systems.

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  1. Mad dok
    Mad dok 28 August 2014 09: 34
    Reminds an article about a Chinese hypersonic submarine ..
    1. Turik
      Turik 1 September 2014 10: 52
      Can someone explain to me how such a hypersonic missile differs from an ordinary ballistic missile with an adjustable trajectory?

      That one even has a speed 3-4 times greater: 6-7 km / s.
      1. gridasov
        gridasov 1 September 2014 11: 06
        There is nothing complicated! Somehow everything is so easily scattered by such statements, the speed is 3-4 times higher. You know that already at 3M there are complex physical. processes in which the temperature of the hull rises to such levels that in itself threatens to destroy the rocket hull. But there are areas where this temperature is higher by orders of magnitude at the same speed. Temperature is not a static definition or physical. concept. Temperature This is a derivative of the change in the properties of the medium during certain algorithmic processes of interaction between the surface of the outlet and the medium itself. Temperature is, first of all, the processes of formation of magnetic force flows, which have their own laws.
        1. Turik
          Turik 1 September 2014 12: 09
          I'm talking about a ballistic missile!

          Why the hell do you need a hypersonic speed of 2 km / s, if existing ballistic missile models reach a speed of 8 km? And their trajectory can be adjusted within wide limits.
      2. Reasonable
        Reasonable 2 September 2014 16: 33
        The speed is the same.
        1 m / s = 3,6 km / h
  2. Ayujak
    Ayujak 28 August 2014 10: 17
    The Russian missile defense system does not give them rest. This is from a series of satellites with lasers. The idea is doubtful. They don’t expect that they can defeat with one rocket ?! To penetrate the missile defense you need a massive salvo. And it will be very noticeable. What are they counting on? Another waste of billions from the budget and increasing its external debt. It would be better spent on their poor and homeless. More benefit would be.
    1. Assistant
      Assistant 29 August 2014 11: 23
      They don’t expect that they can defeat with one rocket ?!

      They expect to use several high-precision individual guidance missiles on each AHW. In general, for the time being, on such devices only the technologies of the suborbital way of flight are being worked out. And here so far there are too many unresolved issues in areas from aerodynamics to electronics.
  3. Aaron Zawi
    Aaron Zawi 28 August 2014 10: 21
    I think many more failures await them, BUT if the US does not stop then in a few years it may well reach a working model.
    1. gridasov
      gridasov 30 August 2014 19: 55
      No strength to watch and listen to the stupidity of amateurs. Neither Americans nor Russians will come to a stable working process because all issues are resolved at the level of aerodynamic processes, and the reality of completely different physical laws. It’s like in a hadron collider - the higher the energy density for accelerating the so-called particles, the higher the probability of breakdown of inductors to Earth. And the issues are resolved very simply. But the mind is not enough.
  4. Victor1
    Victor1 28 August 2014 10: 29
    sooner or later, a solution will be found and this system will work, I think by that time our people will be ready to withstand this system.
  5. Master_Lviv
    Master_Lviv 28 August 2014 11: 15
    The S-500 is ALREADY ready to shoot down such "products".
    1. Assistant
      Assistant 29 August 2014 11: 29
      The S-500 is ALREADY ready to shoot down such "products".

      And do S-500 radars operate confidently in the upper boundary of the dense layers of the atmosphere? If so, then it remains only to be proud of the Russian designers, because ensuring reliable operation near the interface is always a big problem with radio and echolocation devices. And AHW along this border runs almost the whole way.
  6. Mountain shooter
    Mountain shooter 28 August 2014 13: 55
    Shoot down these man-made meteorites will not be easy. A difficult task for our scientists and engineers.
    There is something to puzzle over. But I think they will. And as always "asymmetrical" and unexpected for everyone.
  7. snz
    snz 28 August 2014 16: 00
    our scientists will change the Earth’s gravitational field a little bit at night and there will be a picturesque Great American Strait in the place of the United States of America. Then peace in the whole world will reign.
    1. Ayujak
      Ayujak 28 August 2014 22: 09
      Why so litter our Earth? Yes, and it is troublesome. With gravity and anti-gravity, jokes are bad. You can create an analogue of a neutron bomb. More efficient. Such bombs can clean the territory of USA. But, in general, this is not the right approach. In the states you need to remove only the top. That is, cut off the rotten head. The bulk of the population is just as zombied by the media as dill. All can be cured. No need to destroy. After all, there are also old people, women and children.
  8. Fantazer911
    Fantazer911 28 August 2014 17: 58
    While there is time before the finished sample, so let ours smash one's head to solve this issue and contrast a more tenacious sample and product.
  9. Fantazer911
    Fantazer911 28 August 2014 17: 58
    While there is time before the finished sample, so let ours smash one's head to solve this issue and contrast a more tenacious sample and product.
  10. Stalingradec
    Stalingradec 28 August 2014 18: 57
    Strongly recalls the idea of ​​the Austrian engineer Senger proposed by him at the end of the Second World War.
    Having dispersed, in theory, to a speed of 6000 meters per second and rising to a height of 260 kilometers, a Senger rocket due to a flat bottom should make several jumps, pushing off from the dense layers of the atmosphere, as a flat pebble launched from parallel to the surface of a reservoir is repelled from water. As the jumps increase, the speed of the rocket decreases, as does the flight altitude of this aircraft. According to the calculations, the ninth, last point of the trajectory was supposed to be 16800 kilometers from the launch point, and the flight altitude was 40 kilometers. Flying further at this altitude, a bomber missile could fly even up to 23000 kilometers, after which a section of a sharp decrease in speed and altitude began. After another 500 kilometers, the flight speed drops to the mark of 140 kilometers per hour, so that the aircraft could land on a strip of a fairly average airfield.
  11. yarilo-ya
    yarilo-ya 28 August 2014 23: 32
    seems damp yet
  12. studentmati
    studentmati 1 September 2014 23: 59
    The sad thing is that immigrants from the USSR applied their mathematical knowledge to these developments ...