Shortly before the May holidays, the world's leading media, referring to each other, reported on the successful testing of a hypersonic missile in our country. The fact that the development of such a particularly promising weapons are conducted in the United States, Russia, China and, it seems, in India, for several years been described in many publications. And in all there were noted, but no one has yet overcome, scientific and technological difficulties for high-speed developers weapons.
It became clear that success in this matter can be achieved only where they can simultaneously solve a whole range of problems: they will create materials resistant to ultra-high temperatures, high-energy fuel, fundamentally new ways to control a hypersonic aircraft (LA) and so on. However, official reports that somewhere have achieved such integrated solutions, none of these countries have been reported until recently. Although occasionally there was information about the testing of experimental hypersonic aircraft. As a rule, unsuccessful, at the same time not confirmed directly and not refuted by the military departments that are the customers of such weapons.
And suddenly, at once, a lot of media outlets declared Russia the leader in the high-speed race. While the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, and this time again, refrained from any official comments on this account. But did something convince both domestic and foreign news agencies in the reality of the Russian hypersonic breakthrough?
AMERICANS HAVE CONTINUOUS PROBLEMS
Back in July, 2015, I had the occasion to hear myself as one of the top leaders of the Russian Armed Forces commented on the comment that Russia does not have an adequate response to the approach of elements of the American missile defense system to its borders: “We have something to answer, and how to respond. I think in the near future the Americans will understand the futility and meaninglessness of everything that they do. " The General, with an ironic smile, asked then not to rush to replicate this information: “Let them be well spent,“ building a “fence from the antimissile system” and doing absolutely unnecessary work. ”
Just in those days, news agencies unanimously reported on the development work carried out in our country to develop and create a hypersonic aircraft, called the “4202 object”. It was argued that this aircraft at a cruising speed exceeding 5 – 7 times the speed of sound (5 – 7 Mach numbers) will be able to perform maneuvers in pitch (vertical plane) and yaw (horizontal plane). Recall that the speed corresponding to 1 Mach will be approximately equal to 330 m / s or 1224 km / h, that is, the speed of sound in air. With such high speed and maneuverability, any missile defense system, even having managed, let's say, to detect the device, still does not have time to react to it and at least try to destroy it. True, the proven capabilities of the "4202 object" a year ago were not reported.
And last Tuesday, the commander of the Strategic Missile Forces, Colonel-General Sergei Karakaev, directly stated: “Threats for the Strategic Missile Forces by the European missile defense segment are limited and do not currently lead to a critical reduction in the combat capabilities of the Strategic Missile Forces. This is achieved both by reducing the section for dispersing the ICBMs and by means of new types of military equipment with a difficult-to-predict flight path. ”
It seems that the embarrassment happened with the long, persistent and costly promotion of the American missile defense project for Europe was finally realized in the USA. As the head of the Missile Defense Agency, James Syring, announced a week earlier, in the near future the United States intends to spend 23 million dollars to develop laser weapons, which are still designed to protect the country from hypersonic missiles. The barrage of global missile defense in the current situation seems to be ineffective. Congressman Trent Franks, an active supporter of the “changing paradigm” of modern war, expressed his extreme concern about the development of hypersonic weapons by countries such as Russia and China: “The hypersonic era is approaching. The United States should not only compete in this area, but also achieve superiority, because our enemies are serious about improving technology and developing them effectively. ”
But for the time being, America cannot boast of notable success in the development of its own hypersonic weapon. The scant information about experimental hypersonic LA trials conducted in the United States testified to their actual failures. Since 2010, three have spent them. And after the last partially tested hypersonic X-51A Waverider in 2014, which was declared “partially successful”, all information about the continuation of the project was completely classified. And now, in the Western and Russian editions, only limited data is “walking” that American companies and military experienced three HyFly missiles capable of flying at more than 6 Mach numbers (about 7 thousand km / h) and HTV-2 gliders accelerated seems to be up to 20 mach numbers. During this project, the developers faced the effect of shielding radio signals with a plasma film formed on the surface of the rocket body during a hypersonic flight in the atmosphere and, in effect, making it uncontrollable. Radio signals can not break through to the rocket from the outside, or from it to the outside. And it seems that the Americans have not managed to solve this problem so far. As, however, and a number of others, too.
Otherwise, how to explain the fact that a month ago the American edition of Aviation Week reported that the US Air Force Research Laboratory in the near future will launch a new project, whose main task will be to study the behavior of aircraft at hypersonic speed. The project will be called HyRAX (Hypersonic Routine and Affordable Experimentation - regular and affordable experimenting with hypersound). The project will study the materials and design of aircraft, suitable for flying at hypersonic speed, handling and engines.
At the first stage of the project, the laboratory intends to conclude at least two contracts with US companies to develop an aircraft that would be capable of long flights with hypersonic speed. The second phase of the project will include the construction and flight tests of a hypersonic device. The device itself should be relatively cheap and reusable. Thanks to HyRAX, researchers expect to get enough data to successfully design hypersonic aircraft. In the meantime, the progress achieved in the design does not start.
WE MADE IT
And in Russia, as we see, the situation with hypersound is the exact opposite. 21 April Interfax, citing a source familiar with the situation, circulated information about the successful test of a prototype hypersonic aircraft designed to equip existing and future intercontinental ballistic missiles. From the Dombarovsky test site in the Orenburg region, the RS-18 ICBM (according to the Western classification - “Stilet”) was launched, equipped with a working model of the combat unit in the form of a hypersonic aircraft. Tests recognized successful.
In the Ministry of Defense, as usual in such cases, they did not comment on these reports. The rocket and space industry, in turn, did not confirm or deny the launch information. However, the former secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences Andrei Kokoshin, who had long been engaged in armament issues directly at the Ministry of Defense, in connection with the launch, said: “I think the creation of such a hypersonic maneuvering unit is a means of overcoming those missile defense systems that can occur even through 20– 30 and over years. While this is a demonstration of technical capabilities, which is also very important for ensuring strategic stability. The stage of mass deployment of these funds will come later. "
The Americans have already tried to launch their hypersonic missiles from an airplane. These launches are recognized as "partially successful." Photos from www.af.mil
Two days later, the reputable magazine National Interest published an article stating that Russia conducted state tests of a hypersonic missile called the Zircon. The publication emphasizes that work in the United States on hypersonic rocket technology has not even come close to the serial production of such aircraft. At the same time, in a National Interest article, analyst Dave Majumbar, referring to the Russian media, notes that the serial hypersonic missiles that are part of the 3K22 Zircon complex will be first placed on the currently undergoing modernization of the Admiral Nakhimov heavy nuclear missile cruiser (TARK) ( project 1144 "Orlan"). Return to battle fleet This ship is due in 2018. In addition, after the completion of modernization in 2022, another nuclear-powered cruiser, Peter the Great, project 1144, will also be equipped with these missiles. The fact that Zircon is ready for testing was reported in mid-March 2016.
A statement made by the Deputy Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation, General of the Army Dmitry Bulgakov in the middle of February of the current year is very much combined with these data. He announced the adoption of the Deciling-M fuel for the supply of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, which will be used in jet engines of new hypersonic strategic missiles. Tell me, is it necessary to finance, produce and start supplying such fuel to the troops if hypersonic missiles have not yet been created and will not be mass-produced in a short time?
Again, the engine for hypersonic aircraft ... In the Serpukhov branch of the Military Academy of the Strategic Missile Forces named after Peter the Great created a power plant for a promising aerospace aircraft, which will be used both in the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and in the civilian sphere. A representative of the Academy told reporters last year at the exhibition "Innovation Day of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation - 2015". According to him, NPO Molniya is now developing a research project on a hypersonic aerospace plane, but they do not yet have their own propulsion system, and the academy has invited production workers to work together. But it is not only in these two organizations that they hover above the power plant of a high-speed aircraft.
Scientists of the Moscow Aviation Institute (MAI) have developed a combustion chamber for a hypersonic engine. About what the dean of the department “Engines” MAI Alexey Agulnik also reported at 2015 at the scientific-practical conference “Aerodynamics, thermodynamics, burning in a gas turbine engine and a ramjet jet engine” held in Novosibirsk. Agulnik told the following: “The combustion chamber is made of carbon materials, for the first time in the world for such materials it has a rectangular cross section and not a round one. The fact that we, after 110 seconds, after testing the camera, did not see any serious damage, gives us great hope. ”
Well, according to official information received by the media from LII to them. M.M. Gromov, a flying laboratory is being created there on the basis of the Il-76 transport aircraft to conduct experiments with a hypersonic aircraft detachable from the carrier aircraft. According to the Director General of the LII, Pavel Vlasov, the GLL-AP hypersonic flying laboratory is being developed with the aim of creating an experimental base for conducting flight studies of a demonstration high-speed, straight-through jet engine integrated with an experimental hypersonic aircraft (EGLA). Demonstrator hypersonic air-jet engine (scramjet) is created by experts of the Central Institute of aircraft engine building (CIAM) them. P.I. Baranov.
The IL-76MD LL aircraft is scheduled to dismantle one D-30KP engine (internal on the left wing console), and an experimental hypersonic aerial vehicle (EGLA) will be installed instead of it on the external suspension. During the test flight, AEGRA will separate from the IL-76 and go off on its own.
If, however, we add information from reliable sources in the military-industrial complex to the listed developments, that Russia has found a way to use plasma film around hypersonic aircrafts as a radar, then we can safely say: the problems of flight controllability at speeds above 5 Max, the creation of high-energy fuel, are successfully solved materials for the manufacture of special engines. This fact is confirmed, for example, by Boris Obnosov, Director General of the Tactical Missile Armament Corporation (KTRV). According to him, KTRV, ensuring the coordination of work in the field of hypersound, works closely with the Moscow Institute of Heat Engineering, the State Rocket Center. V.P. Makeeva (Miass, Chelyabinsk Region), Raduga Enterprise, Mashinostroyeniye, many academic institutions and other organizations. A powerful scientific and production cooperation arose that is capable of achieving truly breakthrough solutions. “We have a good promotion on hypersonic topics,” stated Obnosov.
WHO HAS MORE OPPORTUNITIES
And indeed, progress in the development of Russian hypersonic weapons was noticeable.
So, the first test launch of the newest heavy liquid rocket “Sarmat” from the mine installation is planned to be carried out in the second half of 2016. A launch in the series of ICBM "Sarmat" is planned to 2020 year. “Approximately serial deliveries will begin in 2018 – 2019,” Deputy Defense Minister Yury Borisov told reporters. As you know, the ICBM RS-28 "Sarmat" developed by the State Rocket Center. V.P. Makeev and the production of the Krasnoyarsk Machine-Building Plant should completely replace the heavy Ukrainian-made ICBMs from the R-36М “Voevoda” (according to the NATO classification - SS-18 “Satan”).
Former chief of the 4 Central Research Institute of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, Major General Vladimir Vasilenko, noted that the development of a new heavy strategic missile in Russia would restrain US plans to deploy a global missile defense system. According to the expert, such a property of a heavy ICBM, as the multidirectionality of the azimuths approaching the target, forces the opposing side to provide circular missile defense. “And it is much more difficult in an organization, especially in finance, than a sectoral missile defense. This is a very strong factor, - said Vasilenko. “In addition, the huge supply of useful combat loads on heavy ICBMs allows it to be equipped with various means of overcoming missile defense, which ultimately satiates any missile defense, both its information tools and percussion.” And one of such means of overcoming, as many experts now indicate, will be a hypersonic combat unit. Actually for this, on the eve of the May holidays, a test launch of the RS-18 ICBM with hypersonic equipment was conducted.
The same "4202 object" is planned to equip the mobile ground-based missile systems (PGRK) RS-24 "Yars", which are now consistently re-equip one RVSN connection after another. That is, the Strategic Missile Forces will be able to launch hypersonic warheads from both the mines and the PGRK.
And "4202 objects" will start in the layout of the Zirkon missiles from the Husky nuclear submarines. The development of these promising nuclear submarines is scheduled for completion in 2018 year, said Igor Ponomarev, vice president of USC for military shipbuilding.
It will be able to carry hypersonic warheads and the P-30 "Bulava" - the latest Russian three-stage solid-fuel rocket, designed to arm the promising nuclear-powered submarine strategic rocket carriers of the 955 "Borey" project. Up to ten hypersonic maneuvering nuclear units of individual guidance can be carried by each Bulava and hit targets in a radius of up to 8 thousand km.
And of course, air-based cruise missiles on the Tu-160M and Tu-95M strategic bombers will also be equipped with “4202 objects” ...
In recent years, the United States commercially confidently threatened the world with its concept of a global lightning strike, which implies that precision instruments must be capable of massively striking targets in any country declared an enemy of America within an hour. The development of hypersonic rockets is one of the cornerstones of this concept. Only now the United States is not the leader in gaining real opportunities for a global lightning strike.
"The US program, which deals with hypersonic gliders, can be called modest," said former Pentagon analyst Mark Schneider. - I would be surprised if we deploy at least one. And even if we do, it is likely to be non-nuclear. Russian hypersonic devices are likely to be able to carry a nuclear charge, as this is the norm for Russia. ” The expert claims that the American hypersonic program is inferior to the Russian and scale, and technological characteristics.