from the how-big-was-the-target? dept.
Russia says it has successfully tested a new hypersonic anti-ship cruise missile in a move hailed by President Vladimir Putin as a "great event" for the country.
The military said on Wednesday that the Tsirkon missile was fired from the Admiral Gorshkov frigate in the White Sea on Tuesday morning in the Russian Arctic and successfully hit its target.
Valery Gerasimov, chief of the Russian military's General Staff, told Putin – who turned 68 on Wednesday – that it was the first time the missile had successfully struck a target at sea.
"The tasks of the launch were carried out. The test-fire was successful," he told Putin. Gerasimov said the missile hit its target 450 kilometres (280 miles) away in the Barents Sea and reached a speed of Mach 8 – eight times the speed of sound.
China and America have also been developing hypersonic missiles.
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Putin Hails Successful Test Of Russia's New Hypersonic Missile
China Tests Hypersonic Aircraft "Starry Sky-2"
General: U.S. Has No Defense Against "Hypersonic Weapons"
Hypersonic Cruise Missile Scores USD$175m DARPA Cash
Raytheon has scored nearly US$175 million to work on DARPA's ongoing research into hypersonics.
This time, it's not about a hypersonic plane: the program that got its contract announcement on the United States Federal Business Opportunities register today is for a hypersonic weapons system.
HAWC – the Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept – is a joint project with the US Air Force to "develop and demonstrate critical technologies to enable an effective and affordable air-launched hypersonic cruise missile", the DARPA project page says.
Raytheon's latest contract is for a scramjet HAWC, for which $3.4 million has already been committed.
While rocket-based systems routinely reach hypersonic speeds, a Mach 5 capable cruise missile would be faster to deploy and offer longer ranges than current military systems, DARPA reckons.
The next time you are on a long flight, just think that at Mach 5, you could take a lap around the Earth at the equator in 6.5 hours.
America's top nuclear commander described a grim scenario for U.S. forces facing off against a new breed of high-speed weapons that Russia and China are developing.
"We don't have any defense that could deny the employment of such a weapon against us," Air Force Gen. John Hyten, commander of U.S. Strategic Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday. This means that, as of now, the U.S. has to rely on deterrence against these so-called hypersonic weapons, he said.
Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., then asked the general to explain what a hypersonic weapon is and what it does. "A hypersonic threat is a system that starts out ballistic, so you'll see it like a ballistic missile, but then it depresses the trajectory and flies more like a cruise missile or airplane," Hyten said. "It goes up into the lower reaches of space and turns immediately back down and then levels out." At that point, Hyten said, the weapon will fly at very high speed, which is where the term hypersonic comes from.
"Both Russia and China are aggressively pursuing hypersonic capabilities," Hyten told Inhofe. "We've watched them test those capabilities."
China claims to have successfully tested its first hypersonic aircraft, a big step forward in aerospace technology that could intensify pressure on the US military. The China Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics (CAAA), based in Beijing and part of the state-owned China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, conducted the first test of the "Starry Sky-2" aircraft last Friday.
Hypersonic vehicles are not simply high-speed -- they travel at least at five times the speed of sound. That's fast enough to travel across the US in around 30 minutes. According to a CAAA statement released Monday, the Starry Sky-2 reached a top speed of Mach 6 -- six times the speed of sound, or 4,563 miles (7,344 kilometers) per hour.
The test was a "complete success," claimed CAAA, which posted photos of the test launch on social media platform WeChat. "The Starry Sky-2 flight test project was strongly innovative and technically difficult, confronting a number of cutting-edge international technical challenges." The CAAA did not indicate what the new aircraft or technology would be used for, other than to say they hoped to continue contributing to China's aerospace industry.
Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the following story:
Russian President Vladimir Putin has overseen a test of a new hypersonic missile, declaring that the weapon is impossible to intercept and will guarantee the country's security over the coming decades.
Speaking to Russia's military top brass on Wednesday after watching the live feed of the launch of the Avangard system from the defence ministry's control room, Putin said the test was a "great success" and an "excellent New Year's gift to the nation".
According to the Kremlin, the missile was launched from the Dombarovskiy missile base in the southern Ural Mountains and hit its target on a test site in Kamchatka, about 6,000km away.
[...] When first presenting it, the Russian president said the new missile system has an intercontinental range and can fly in the atmosphere at 20 times the speed of sound, bypassing the enemy's missile defence. He emphasised that no other country currently has hypersonic weapons.
Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the following story:
UK company Reaction Engines has tested its innovative precooler at airflow temperature conditions equivalent to Mach 5, or five times the speed of sound. This achievement marks a significant milestone in its ESA-supported development of the air-breathing SABRE engine, paving the way for a revolution in space access and hypersonic flight.
The precooler heat exchanger is an essential SABRE element that cools the hot airstream generated by air entering the engine intake at hypersonic speed.
"This is not only an excellent achievement in its own right but one important step closer to demonstrating the feasibility of the entire SABRE engine concept," said Mark Ford, heading ESA's Propulsion Engineering section.
The Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine (SABRE) is uniquely designed to scoop up atmospheric air during the initial part of its ascent to space at up to five times the speed of sound. At about 25 km it would then switch to pure rocket mode for its final climb to orbit.
In future SABRE could serve as the basis of a reusable launch vehicle that operates like an aircraft. Because the initial flight to Mach 5 uses the atmospheric air as one propellant it would carry much less heavy liquid oxygen on board. Such a system could deliver the same payload to orbit with a vehicle half the mass of current launchers, potentially offering a large reduction in cost and a higher launch rate.
From The Guardian: Russia has deployed world's first manoeuvrable hypersonic cruise missile.
Russia has deployed its first hypersonic nuclear-capable missiles, with Vladimir Putin boasting that it puts his country in a class of its own.
The president described the Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle, which can fly at 27 times the speed of sound, as a technological breakthrough comparable to the 1957 Soviet launch of the first satellite.
[...] The strategic missile forces chief, Gen Sergei Karakaev, said during the call that the Avangard had been put on duty with a unit in the Orenburg region in the southern Ural mountains.
Putin unveiled the Avangard and other prospective weapons systems in his state-of-the-nation address in March 2018, saying its ability to make sharp manoeuvres on its way to a target would render missile defense useless. "It heads to target like a meteorite, like a fireball," he said at the time.
The Russian leader said the Avangard had been designed using new composite materials to withstand temperatures of up to 2,000C (3,632F) which can be reached while travelling at hypersonic speeds. The missile can carry a nuclear weapon of up to 2 megatons.
In the US drive to acquire an operational hypersonic weapon, after the Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon (HCSW) programme was canceled in February due to budget issues, Lockheed Martin had been pushing ahead with the AGM-183A Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW), with its first captive-carry test held in June 2019.
The US Air Force and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) have completed successful captive-carry tests of two hypersonic weapon variants designed by Lockheed Martin and Raytheon, the organizations announced in a press release on 1 September.
A captive-carry flight test is when missiles remained attached to a test aircraft for the duration of the flight. The method offers an opportunity to accumulate data about how the design, as well as the aircraft carrying it, will perform subsequent free-flight tests.
[...] Both companies, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon, have designed the scramjet-powered hypersonic missiles as part of the Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC) program run by the Air Force and DARPA, writes Defense News.
"Completing the captive carry series of tests demonstrates both HAWC designs are ready for free flight," said Andrew Knoedler, DARPA's HAWC program manager, making no mention of the location of the tests or the aircraft used.
The success of the recent tests put the US Air Force one step closer to achieving a long-cherished goal of fielding a hypersonic cruise missile.
Russia said on Monday it had successfully tested a Tsirkon hypersonic cruise missile, a weapon President Vladimir Putin has touted as part of a new generation of missile systems without equal in the world.
[...] Russia's Defence Ministry said the Tsirkon missile was launched from the Admiral Groshkov frigate in the White Sea.
The Ministry said the missile flew at seven times the speed of sound and successfully hit a target more than 350 kilometres away on the coast of the Barents Sea.
[...] Mr Putin has said Tsirkon would be capable of flying at nine times the speed of sound and have a range of 1,000 kilometres.
[...] The Russian navy has conducted several previous test launches of the new missile, including one on Mr Putin's birthday in October, and officials said the tests were to be completed later this year.
Russia intends to arm its cruisers, frigates and submarines with the Tsirkon, one of several hypersonic missiles under development in Russia.