estorilm
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Lockheed Martin wins second contract for hypersonic weapon

Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:57 pm

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2018/08/14/lockheed-nabs-another-big-hypersonic-weapons-contract
Not sure if there were any competitors, but in addition to the $928m April contract Lockheed secured for HCSW - they have now locked in an additional $480m for the air-launched ARRW variant. They mention IOC in 2021. :shock:

There's clearly a LARGE perceived threat with weapons of this classification from Russia and China, I'm guessing they probably know more than we do.
 
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TWA772LR
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Re: Lockheed Martin wins second contract for hypersonic weapon

Sat Aug 18, 2018 5:50 am

Would such a weapon have a warhead or would it be solely kinetic force from impact?
When wasn't America great?


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estorilm
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Re: Lockheed Martin wins second contract for hypersonic weapon

Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:40 pm

TWA772LR wrote:
Would such a weapon have a warhead or would it be solely kinetic force from impact?

I think it would still need some sort of warhead, just based on the speed of the object I doubt it would be able to contain enough super-high-density material like tungsten or depleted uranium to cause enough kinetic damage - it would be too heavy.

Unfortunately these things seem to be at the forefront of every major military's priority list right now, which means for every little bit of info we receive, there's probably truckloads of data and research / testing taking place as I type this.

It's also probably one of the most top-secret programs (of this priority level at least) in the defense world at the moment.

I still find it very interesting how serious this seems to be. It's not like the govt is admitting any sort of panic, but if you connect the dots (RAPID RFI, proposals, bidding, contract awards, huge budgets, multiple concurrent projects, a ridiculously fast-tracked IOC date, etc) you can tell that this is a MAJOR major issue behind closed doors.

I'd imagine analysts have deemed the threat from Russian and Chinese variants of this missile type to be far more capable than we're aware of. It makes sense though - neither country is capable of matching the air power, naval power, or even ABM capabilities of the US military - save money on all of those fronts and simply dump it into a single project that has a very high probability of success instead. It seems that's exactly what they've done.

I think these weapons will end up being classified as essentially "nuclear" by NATO, in their implementation and usage - even if they're "conventional" in their construction. The thought of fielding a weapon that can't be intercepted puts it into a totally different classification, and almost goes back to the MAD theory of nukes. Sure you can fire one at us - but retaliation via the same weapon will ensure your own destruction. Likewise, once they're built, I doubt they ever get used.
 
flyingcat
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Re: Lockheed Martin wins second contract for hypersonic weapon

Tue Sep 04, 2018 4:58 pm

We have to keep up with the Joneses. Of course the open question is how close are the Chinese and Russians to deployment on a tactical level.

There have been talks of eliminating part of the defense TRIAD. Could a Trident size hypersonic weapon replace all of our land based silos. It would save money, keep the Ohio replacement on track and allow for even more flexibility.
 
Ozair
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Re: Lockheed Martin wins second contract for hypersonic weapon

Tue Dec 18, 2018 8:26 pm

Some interesting developments with hypersonics and their proposed counter. The targeting difficulties of hypersoncis demonstrate why they are so attractive for future weapon systems. It will be interesting to see how the F2T2 aspects of the targeting cycle evolve to solve these issues and how many systems and capabilities are required to build the whole picture.

Perhaps instead of space based assets it would be worth investigating high altitude airships which seem an overall easier option (with some challenges such as long term power to overcome).

Counter hypersonic weapon possible by mid-2020s: DoD

The USA could have a counter hypersonic weapon developed by the mid-2020s.

However, creating a workable defense against hypersonic vehicles and missiles would require developing longer range radars and new space-based sensors to track and target an adversary’s weapons soon after they are launched, said Michael Griffin, undersecretary of defense for research and engineering, at a National Defense Industrial Association event on 13 December, according to a transcript and press release from the Pentagon.

The Department of Defense believes that the stage to knock out hypersonic weapons is during their relatively long cruise phase, in which they don’t change course abruptly. Hypersonic missiles during that stage are not particularly hard to intercept, but it would require an advanced warning, says Griffin.

Unfortunately, current US radars can’t see far enough.

“They need to see thousands of kilometers out, not hundreds,” he says.

The problem is compounded by the vastness of the Western Pacific Ocean and the lack of islands suitable to host radar installations.

“It’s not littered with a lot of places to park radars, says Griffin. “And, if you found some, they’d likely become targets.”

What’s more, hypersonic weapons are difficult to track via existing space-based sensors, he adds. Hypersonic weapons targets are 10 to 20 times dimmer than what the USA normally tracks by satellites in geostationary orbit, he says. And so, the USA would likely need to combine radar with a network of space-based sensors to effectively track and target an adversary’s hypersonic weapons.

“We can’t separate hypersonics defense from the space layer,” says Griffin.

The urgency in developing a defensive shield is driven by the fact that China is outpacing the USA in development of offensive hypersonic weapons. In August, the country reportedly conducted the maiden flight of a new hypersonic test vehicle, named Starry Sky 2, which boosts its speed by wave riding on its shockwaves. The vehicle reached Mach 5.5 for more than six minutes, and a topped out at M6, according to reports.

“In the last year, China has tested more hypersonics weapons than we have in a decade,” says Griffin. “We’ve got to fix that.”

If Russia – which is also developing hypersonic weapons – were to invade Estonia, or China were to attack Taiwan, it would be difficult to defend against their strike assets, he noted.

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... od-454445/
 
tommy1808
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Re: Lockheed Martin wins second contract for hypersonic weapon

Thu Dec 20, 2018 6:21 pm

estorilm wrote:
TWA772LR wrote:
Would such a weapon have a warhead or would it be solely kinetic force from impact?

I think it would still need some sort of warhead, just based on the speed of the object I doubt it would be able to contain enough super-high-density material like tungsten or depleted uranium to cause enough kinetic damage - it would be too heavy.


At hypersonic speeds a conventional warhead pretty much doesn't add to the missiles energy release upon impact. At around Mach ten 1Kg inert mass has about the same energy as the same mass in explosives.

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