Hypersonic Weapons and Rockets

India and Russia have agreed to develop and induct a new hypersonic version of their joint venture 174 miles-range BrahMos cruise missile by 2015.

The new missile will be known as ‘BrahMos-2’ and will have a speed of over 6 Mach (around 3,600 miles per hour) with a striking-range of 174 miles.

NASA Hypersonic Project
NASA has selected a Williams International high-speed turbojet as the turbine element of its Turbine Based Combined Cycle (TBCC) engine test rig, which will be used to evaluate technologies for potential future two-stage to orbit launcher concepts.

The TBCC is designed to integrate a turbine and ramjet/scramjet into a unified propulsion system that could be used to power the first-stage of a two-stage launch vehicle from a standing start on a runway to speeds in excess of Mach 7. The concept also is being evaluated by Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne as the ongoing Mode Transition (MoTr) program, which aims to fill the void left by the DARPA HTV-3X/Blackswift hypersonic demonstrator canceled in 2008. Unlike the NASA effort, MoTr is aimed at a propulsion system for potential high-speed strike/reconnaissance vehicles, and will include a running scramjet.

Blackbird Replacement?

Pratt & Whitney Co.’s rocket-motor division has been hired to work on a prototype for a combo jet turbine-ramjet propulsion system capable of moving a low-orbit military vehicle at hypersonic speeds.

Aerospace and defense giant Lockheed Martin Corp. signed a 10-month contract with Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne for preliminary design of a high speed accelerator for a turbine-based combined-cycle propulsion system, which could support flight up to Mach 6 — six times the speed of sound.

Pratt said such a vehicle could be used for strike and reconnaissance missions. A vehicle such as this sounds like a replacement for the old Blackbird recon plane