Speed Kills: The Case For Hypersonic Weapons

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popcorn

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Unread post09 Jan 2016, 06:19

Well, there is an o erlap between ramjet and scramjet performance envelopes. Scramjets will power the hypersonic paeadigm.
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Unread post10 Jan 2016, 13:00

popcorn wrote:Well, there is an overlap between ramjet and scramjet performance envelopes. Scramjets will power the hypersonic paradigm.
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sferrin

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Unread post10 Jan 2016, 17:40

element1loop wrote:Which strongly suggests there's more to this story than provided specs capture. :wink:


Yeah, like the ATACMs booster accelerated the X-51 to Mach 4.8 and the thing barely had enough net thrust to accelerate to Mach 5.1. ASALM had a much smaller, integral booster, that got it to about Mach 2 where it accelerated at multiple Gs up to Mach 5.4.

element1loop wrote:Have you considered the Mach=5.1 is the average flight speed, not a peak speed?


No, because it wasn't.

element1loop wrote:An ASALM's 300 miles would make it look like a slacker for range compared to an X-51 doing that, I reckon.



Unlikely given that ASALM was faster than X-51.
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element1loop

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Unread post11 Jan 2016, 12:13

sferrin wrote:ASALM had a much smaller, integral booster, that got it to about Mach 2 where it accelerated at multiple Gs up to Mach 5.4.


I acknowledge your points, especially the booster size, but there are avenues to get beyond that. But also miniaturization will come as the tech matures. So I'm not so sure the booster size is a prohibitive factor (I'll clarify below), especially if a boost staged surface to air system like an SM6 replacement were desired. But there's still another way to get there.

The engine type is observed to work at almost twice the X-51's reported speed to date. And more practical fuel's combustion is currently being studied/experimented on. Apparently not going too well yet. The engine snuffed sooner than it ran out of fuel in test #4.

But if it had continued to burn as long as expected it could have gone much further than it did. Even so, Boeing puts range @ ~460 miles (740 km - not too shabby) for a test just under 70K feet. Apparently it's a pretty good glider even if it only reached max speed of M=5.1.

But if the the engine had run as long as expected, even at only Mach 5.1 it would have gone out to much higher radius.

And if you put it into a shallow climb as it accelerates, even if just to prevent it over-speeding (and over heating) in follow on tests, it will go out much further again. Looking at the X-51 it has a lot of leading edge features that suggest they're expecting it to go a lot faster at some point, if they can crack the use of a practical operational fuel, and maintain combustion until it's all used up.

So to my mind there's clear potential here from that alone, let alone if they can make it go much faster than Mach 5.1. I also wouldn't discount practicality of hypersonic tech by a long way yet, or view it as comparable or inferior to a ramjet missile's performance, let alone consider it's potential sub-par, in a practical weapon design.

Has a ramjet ever done Mach ~9.7? But the first X scramjet vehicle did.

And ASALM's propulsion had how many prior decades developing its tech, operating it and miniaturizing it to present-day AAM scale proportions?

Regarding that large booster issue, an SR-71's jet engines mechanically convert to ramjet operation, at speed and altitude, so can a single-use ramjet also convert cheaply and simply into a scramjet engine at Mach ~5, in a similar way?

I don't see why not, they are related, and very similar - far more so than a jet and ramjet transition.

If that can be done how big does a practical weapon's booster stage have to be, for a practical SAM or AAM? And how much can the whole thing be miniaturized?

Quite a lot more than an ASALM, I expect.

I don't see anything prohibitive here, if a common fuel for both RAM and SCRAM operation can be identified and combustion conditions mastered.
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eloise

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Unread post29 Oct 2018, 10:33

They can probably just put radar seeker on Blue/silver sparrow and you got yourself a hypersonic weapon
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garrya

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Unread post29 Oct 2018, 20:14

Did you know in the early 1970s, the USAF tested air-launching a Minuteman 1b ICBM from a C-5A Galaxy transport aircraft
MMIII_C5_airdrop(Oct_1974).jpg
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Unread post30 Oct 2018, 04:27

US DoD has done all kinds of crazy things with missiles, and some of the more impressive stuff happened as early as the 60's. My favorite is the Sprint ABM. Zero to Mach 10 in 5 seconds! The missile was supersonic before it left the launch silo, and it pulled 100g of acceleration.

I wonder if modern guidance systems could be accurate and compact enough to allow for something like a mini-Sprint with either a small frag warhead, or hit-to-kill capability for terminal defense against air-breathing hypersonic weapons.
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Unread post31 Oct 2018, 08:03

garrya wrote:Did you know in the early 1970s, the USAF tested air-launching a Minuteman 1b ICBM from a C-5A Galaxy transport aircraft
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That impressive but not as impressive as GAM-87 Skybolt
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China is currently testing ALBM too. The new missile is CH-AS-X-13
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