US Military looking at open ended hypersonic weapons development

The US military is looking at open-ended hypersonic weapons development.

There are already contracts for several air-launched hypersonic weapons, ground launched hypersonic weapons, submarine-launched hypersonic weapons and reusable hypersonic planes and drones.

Hypersonic weapons and vehicles can go faster than 5 times the speed of sound.

Russia and China have been able to deploy hypersonic missiles ahead of the United States despite decades of US research. Russia and China chose the simpler route of putting hypersonic weapons as warheads of rockets. The US had worked on hypersonic engines that had to work with turbines and ramjets.

Getting to hypersonic speed for airplanes required multiple engines to be combined to transition to and between different speeds.

The US Air Force is putting out a Hypersonic Weapon Multiple Award Contract.

The Department of Defense, United States Air Force (USAF), Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC), Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC), Armament Directorate, is currently conducting market research on hypersonic weapon rapid development, production, and sustainment. AFLCMC/EB is considering the viability of a multiple award Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity contract vehicle.

Qualified vendors must be skilled in design, qualification, and component/subsystem/system weapons testing. Qualified vendors must also be capable in all the following fields: hypersonic aerodynamics; aero-thermal protection systems; solid rocket motors; advanced hypersonic guidance, navigation, and control; component integration into an all-up round; mission planning; and platform integration.

30 thoughts on “US Military looking at open ended hypersonic weapons development”

  1. The reason missile technology matters is because it defines who you can engage. We can use WW2 era dumb bombs against 95% of the countries on Earth. What about the other 5%? Do we approve of the defense doctrine that totally ignores whether or not we can engage those other 5% of countries? Your suggestion is that we abandon the technology to pierce the defenses of peer nations and instead focus on the sub par defenses of our mud hut adversaries. The post cold war era would have been wise to heed that advice 25 years ago, but the irony is you always prepare to fight the last war. If we assume we’ll only ever be bombing mud huts, we could wind up woefully unprepared to face a technological peer. You can’t just assume we need volume over sophistication, and abandon all hope for a technologically superior air asset.

    Reply
  2. The reason missile technology matters is because it defines who you can engage. We can use WW2 era dumb bombs against 95{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} of the countries on Earth. What about the other 5{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12}? Do we approve of the defense doctrine that totally ignores whether or not we can engage those other 5{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} of countries? Your suggestion is that we abandon the technology to pierce the defenses of peer nations and instead focus on the sub par defenses of our mud hut adversaries. The post cold war era would have been wise to heed that advice 25 years ago but the irony is you always prepare to fight the last war. If we assume we’ll only ever be bombing mud huts we could wind up woefully unprepared to face a technological peer. You can’t just assume we need volume over sophistication and abandon all hope for a technologically superior air asset.

    Reply
  3. The reason missile technology matters is because it defines who you can engage. We can use WW2 era dumb bombs against 95% of the countries on Earth. What about the other 5%? Do we approve of the defense doctrine that totally ignores whether or not we can engage those other 5% of countries? Your suggestion is that we abandon the technology to pierce the defenses of peer nations and instead focus on the sub par defenses of our mud hut adversaries. The post cold war era would have been wise to heed that advice 25 years ago, but the irony is you always prepare to fight the last war. If we assume we’ll only ever be bombing mud huts, we could wind up woefully unprepared to face a technological peer. You can’t just assume we need volume over sophistication, and abandon all hope for a technologically superior air asset.

    Reply
  4. Mr Gaucho25, if we neglect funding the military, then we lagged behind China and Russia, and then for some flick of a coin they decided to attack USA because we’re now oil independent but militarily impotent, will your MSR block the incoming hypersonic missiles? Get your MSR funding somewhere else and leave the military alone. History will show that the weakest will be decimated. And while there are countries still immature and push for territories even though they already have enough (Russia’s the largest country and china have a lot of barren areas too), there will be future wars. And if we’re not ready, then we will be the conquered not the conquerors (well US is the “defender” of freedom – we can conquer countries but we “assist” – we released Iraq, Japan, Vietnam, maybe few more I missed – rather than annexed them right?).

    Reply
  5. Mr Gaucho25 if we neglect funding the military then we lagged behind China and Russia and then for some flick of a coin they decided to attack USA because we’re now oil independent but militarily impotent will your MSR block the incoming hypersonic missiles?Get your MSR funding somewhere else and leave the military alone. History will show that the weakest will be decimated. And while there are countries still immature and push for territories even though they already have enough (Russia’s the largest country and china have a lot of barren areas too) there will be future wars. And if we’re not ready then we will be the conquered not the conquerors (well US is the defender”” of freedom – we can conquer countries but we “”””assist”””” – we released Iraq”” Japan Vietnam”” maybe few more I missed – rather than annexed them right?).”””

    Reply
  6. Well if we will do what you’re recommending, then you missiles will arrive hours after Russia or China’s missiles have blown off major military facilities after they were struck by their hypersonic missiles. We still have those kind of missiles if you don’t know but we can’t be left behind by new, emerging technologies. If the #2 country can spend billions to produce these hypersonic missiles, then so can we. We’re not getting rid of our tomahawks but when this missile becomes obsolete, at least we should be at par with the latest ones. The logic of having volume vs quality is what made USSR match what US have a while ago. Where are they now? Still there with their volume but they’re now behind China. Now, for why the Axis lost? They got too greedy and wanted to conquer all. If they’ve kept a few conquered countries, then rebuild, expand and innovate (plus not touching Russia and Japan not bombing Pearly Harbor), world order could’ve been different. What do you think?

    Reply
  7. Well if we will do what you’re recommending then you missiles will arrive hours after Russia or China’s missiles have blown off major military facilities after they were struck by their hypersonic missiles.We still have those kind of missiles if you don’t know but we can’t be left behind by new emerging technologies. If the #2 country can spend billions to produce these hypersonic missiles then so can we. We’re not getting rid of our tomahawks but when this missile becomes obsolete at least we should be at par with the latest ones.The logic of having volume vs quality is what made USSR match what US have a while ago. Where are they now? Still there with their volume but they’re now behind China.Now for why the Axis lost? They got too greedy and wanted to conquer all. If they’ve kept a few conquered countries then rebuild expand and innovate (plus not touching Russia and Japan not bombing Pearly Harbor) world order could’ve been different.What do you think?

    Reply
  8. Mr Gaucho25, if we neglect funding the military, then we lagged behind China and Russia, and then for some flick of a coin they decided to attack USA because we’re now oil independent but militarily impotent, will your MSR block the incoming hypersonic missiles?

    Get your MSR funding somewhere else and leave the military alone. History will show that the weakest will be decimated. And while there are countries still immature and push for territories even though they already have enough (Russia’s the largest country and china have a lot of barren areas too), there will be future wars. And if we’re not ready, then we will be the conquered not the conquerors (well US is the “defender” of freedom – we can conquer countries but we “assist” – we released Iraq, Japan, Vietnam, maybe few more I missed – rather than annexed them right?).

    Reply
  9. Well if we will do what you’re recommending, then you missiles will arrive hours after Russia or China’s missiles have blown off major military facilities after they were struck by their hypersonic missiles.

    We still have those kind of missiles if you don’t know but we can’t be left behind by new, emerging technologies. If the #2 country can spend billions to produce these hypersonic missiles, then so can we. We’re not getting rid of our tomahawks but when this missile becomes obsolete, at least we should be at par with the latest ones.

    The logic of having volume vs quality is what made USSR match what US have a while ago. Where are they now? Still there with their volume but they’re now behind China.

    Now, for why the Axis lost? They got too greedy and wanted to conquer all. If they’ve kept a few conquered countries, then rebuild, expand and innovate (plus not touching Russia and Japan not bombing Pearly Harbor), world order could’ve been different.

    What do you think?

    Reply
  10. w­ww.youtube.c­om/watch?v=Q1Fi3BnwL94&t=609s How to produce methanol at a price competitive with gasoline from seawater using an MSR and turbo inductor pump.

    Reply
  11. w­ww.youtube.c­om/watch?v=Q1Fi3BnwL94&t=609sHow to produce methanol at a price competitive with gasoline from seawater using an MSR and turbo inductor pump.

    Reply
  12. I think Gaucho25 is referring to using an MSR (or gas cooled high temperature reactor) to make methanol from seawater to power a car/plane, not sticking a nuclear reactor in a car. You can burn methanol in an ICE, or split the hydrogen off onboard and use that in a fuel cell if you are worried about local pollution. See: w­ww.youtube.c­om/watch?v=Q1Fi3BnwL94&t=609s Seawater has a much higher CO₂ concentration than air (140 times is mentioned in that video). Recycling CO₂ rather than producing methanol from coal or gas gets rid of the Ogre of releasing CO₂ into the atmosphere. The big problem is doing this at a cost that is competitive with the cheap price of oil. John Bucknell reckons that you can use a helium turbo inductor pump to take the 700 degree outlet temperature of an MSR and raise that to 1000 degrees, at which point you can make hydrogen with around 50% efficiency (rather than 5% at 700 degrees). This enables methanol to be produced at a price on par with gasoline on a per MWhr basis. The helium inductor turbo pumps are a technology taken from nuclear rockets (John Bucknell designed the raptor engines at SpaceX).

    Reply
  13. I think Gaucho25 is referring to using an MSR (or gas cooled high temperature reactor) to make methanol from seawater to power a car/plane not sticking a nuclear reactor in a car. You can burn methanol in an ICE or split the hydrogen off onboard and use that in a fuel cell if you are worried about local pollution. See:w­ww.youtube.c­om/watch?v=Q1Fi3BnwL94&t=609sSeawater has a much higher CO₂ concentration than air (140 times is mentioned in that video). Recycling CO₂ rather than producing methanol from coal or gas gets rid of the Ogre of releasing CO₂ into the atmosphere.The big problem is doing this at a cost that is competitive with the cheap price of oil. John Bucknell reckons that you can use a helium turbo inductor pump to take the 700 degree outlet temperature of an MSR and raise that to 1000 degrees at which point you can make hydrogen with around 50{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} efficiency (rather than 5{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} at 700 degrees). This enables methanol to be produced at a price on par with gasoline on a per MWhr basis.The helium inductor turbo pumps are a technology taken from nuclear rockets (John Bucknell designed the raptor engines at SpaceX).”

    Reply
  14. Hey! Vuccckle now tells us what article someone replies to us about. Even if the associated link is still a complete failure. Makes it easier to find, anyway. On topic, I’ll note that coal→oil was not successful in keeping the wehrmacht with enough fuel to function. But that a modern attempt would probably have less USAF and RAF air raids blowing it up regularly, so that could help.

    Reply
  15. Hey! Vuccckle now tells us what article someone replies to us about. Even if the associated link is still a complete failure.Makes it easier to find anyway.On topic I’ll note that coal→oil was not successful in keeping the wehrmacht with enough fuel to function. But that a modern attempt would probably have less USAF and RAF air raids blowing it up regularly so that could help.”

    Reply
  16. Coal + H₂O + heat → CO + CH₄ + CH₃OH + … (water shift reaction) (those three) + pressure + heat + catalysts → C₄ thru C₁₃ oxygenated hydrocarbons Now, we’re clearly not getting rid of The Ogre (CO₂) or coal for that matter. But we are producing syngas, then synfuel from it, maximizing the use of outside (nuclear?) energy as a stored-chemical energy option. I know. Not very sexy. The Germans used it a lot in WW2, as did the South Africans. No petroleum, and the Allies were pretty set on disrupting their supply chain. Just saying, [b]Goat[/b]Guy

    Reply
  17. Coal + H₂O + heat → CO + CH₄ + CH₃OH + … (water shift reaction)(those three) + pressure + heat + catalysts → C₄ thru C₁₃ oxygenated hydrocarbonsNow we’re clearly not getting rid of The Ogre (CO₂) or coal for that matter. But we are producing syngas then synfuel from it maximizing the use of outside (nuclear?) energy as a stored-chemical energy option. I know. Not very sexy.The Germans used it a lot in WW2 as did the South Africans. No petroleum and the Allies were pretty set on disrupting their supply chain. Just saying[b]Goat[/b]Guy”

    Reply
  18. How about a few billion to develop MSR and end the worlds dependence on oil? Yep we can blow each other up more efficiently while the earth bakes in green house gasses. What a bunch of BS.

    Reply
  19. How about a few billion to develop MSR and end the worlds dependence on oil? Yep we can blow each other up more efficiently while the earth bakes in green house gasses. What a bunch of BS.

    Reply
  20. w­ww.youtube.c­om/watch?v=Q1Fi3BnwL94&t=609s

    How to produce methanol at a price competitive with gasoline from seawater using an MSR and turbo inductor pump.

    Reply
  21. I think Gaucho25 is referring to using an MSR (or gas cooled high temperature reactor) to make methanol from seawater to power a car/plane, not sticking a nuclear reactor in a car. You can burn methanol in an ICE, or split the hydrogen off onboard and use that in a fuel cell if you are worried about local pollution. See:

    w­ww.youtube.c­om/watch?v=Q1Fi3BnwL94&t=609s

    Seawater has a much higher CO₂ concentration than air (140 times is mentioned in that video). Recycling CO₂ rather than producing methanol from coal or gas gets rid of the Ogre of releasing CO₂ into the atmosphere.

    The big problem is doing this at a cost that is competitive with the cheap price of oil. John Bucknell reckons that you can use a helium turbo inductor pump to take the 700 degree outlet temperature of an MSR and raise that to 1000 degrees, at which point you can make hydrogen with around 50% efficiency (rather than 5% at 700 degrees). This enables methanol to be produced at a price on par with gasoline on a per MWhr basis.

    The helium inductor turbo pumps are a technology taken from nuclear rockets (John Bucknell designed the raptor engines at SpaceX).

    Reply
  22. Here’s an idea, instead of a hypersonic missile, ten supersonic, or 100 subsonic missiles, targeting 10 ships/facilities or converging on one target from different directions? It should be about cost effectiveness, not missile measurement. How many 500 mile range missiles could you carry in a B-52 bomb bay, and loiter for hours? I envision a simple mechanism that would drop them from the open bay one, or two at a time from a rectangular array rack, not the silly rotary magazine used now. Emphasis would be on cheap, simple, light, and lots of them. The strategy the US pursues now, is how the Axis powers lost the war. Superb weapons, much better than the enemy’s weapons, but not nearly enough of them. With unmanned aircraft, and missiles, you don’t even have the bottleneck of pilots. There’s not any good reason not to field lots of cheap because of mass production ones. The warhead should be the single most expensive part.

    Reply
  23. Here’s an idea instead of a hypersonic missile ten supersonic or 100 subsonic missiles targeting 10 ships/facilities or converging on one target from different directions? It should be about cost effectiveness not missile measurement. How many 500 mile range missiles could you carry in a B-52 bomb bay and loiter for hours? I envision a simple mechanism that would drop them from the open bay one or two at a time from a rectangular array rack not the silly rotary magazine used now. Emphasis would be on cheap simple light and lots of them. The strategy the US pursues now is how the Axis powers lost the war. Superb weapons much better than the enemy’s weapons but not nearly enough of them. With unmanned aircraft and missiles you don’t even have the bottleneck of pilots. There’s not any good reason not to field lots of cheap because of mass production ones. The warhead should be the single most expensive part.

    Reply
  24. Hey! Vuccckle now tells us what article someone replies to us about. Even if the associated link is still a complete failure.
    Makes it easier to find, anyway.

    On topic, I’ll note that coal→oil was not successful in keeping the wehrmacht with enough fuel to function. But that a modern attempt would probably have less USAF and RAF air raids blowing it up regularly, so that could help.

    Reply
  25. Coal + H₂O + heat → CO + CH₄ + CH₃OH + … (water shift reaction)
    (those three) + pressure + heat + catalysts → C₄ thru C₁₃ oxygenated hydrocarbons

    Now, we’re clearly not getting rid of The Ogre (CO₂) or coal for that matter. But we are producing syngas, then synfuel from it, maximizing the use of outside (nuclear?) energy as a stored-chemical energy option.

    I know. Not very sexy.
    The Germans used it a lot in WW2, as did the South Africans.
    No petroleum, and the Allies were pretty set on disrupting their supply chain.

    Just saying,
    [b]Goat[/b]Guy

    Reply
  26. How about a few billion to develop MSR and end the worlds dependence on oil? Yep we can blow each other up more efficiently while the earth bakes in green house gasses. What a bunch of BS.

    Reply
  27. Here’s an idea, instead of a hypersonic missile, ten supersonic, or 100 subsonic missiles, targeting 10 ships/facilities or converging on one target from different directions? It should be about cost effectiveness, not missile measurement.
    How many 500 mile range missiles could you carry in a B-52 bomb bay, and loiter for hours? I envision a simple mechanism that would drop them from the open bay one, or two at a time from a rectangular array rack, not the silly rotary magazine used now. Emphasis would be on cheap, simple, light, and lots of them.
    The strategy the US pursues now, is how the Axis powers lost the war. Superb weapons, much better than the enemy’s weapons, but not nearly enough of them. With unmanned aircraft, and missiles, you don’t even have the bottleneck of pilots. There’s not any good reason not to field lots of cheap because of mass production ones. The warhead should be the single most expensive part.

    Reply

Leave a Comment