US accelerating hypersonic weapons development to catch up with China, Russia
by Staff Writers
Washington (Sputnik) May 11, 2018
The US Air Force has launched an ambitious campaign to expedite development of a hypersonic weapon amid concerns expressed by US officials that China and Russia are leaving the US in the dust in this category of weapons development.
"I am working with the team on acceleration and I am very confident that a significant acceleration is possible," Will Roper, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology and logistics, told Warrior Maven May 8.
The service is willing to move forward with an effective "90 percent" solution instead of waiting many more years for a "100 percent," the acquisitions official told the news outlet. Still, he "was clear not to pinpoint an as-of-yet undetermined timeline," Warrior Maven reports.
A hypersonic weapon or vehicle is one whose speed exceeds five times the speed of sound, or upwards of 3,800 mph, a limit that present propulsion technology can barely reach. The fluid dynamics of air at those speeds behave radically differently than at the slower speeds at which most missiles and jet aircraft travel, presenting unique problems for designers.
Roper said the USAF is developing a prototype for an air-launched "boost glide" weapon that accelerates into space before using the force of gravity to hit targets at higher speed on its descent. Further, engineers are developing a second demonstrator for a future "Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon" that relies on more mature technology. The Air Force is collaborating with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency on both projects.
"The two systems have different flight profiles, payload sizes and provide complementary offensive capabilities," the spokeswoman told Warrior Maven.
The race to develop hypersonic weapons was highlighted earlier this year by the commander of US Strategic Command, United States Air Force General John Hyten, who told lawmakers in March that "We don't have any defense that could deny the employment of such a weapon against us."
Hyten also remarked that Moscow and Beijing "continue to move fast" in the area of hypersonic weapons development, specifically, hypersonic glide vehicles.
Source: Sputnik News
Reduce, Reuse, Rockets?
Los Angeles CA (SPX) May 07, 2018
Conor Cimo can trace his interest in engineering back to his second-grade classroom in a Chicago suburb where he watched in awe as an F16 fighter aircraft broke the sound barrier. The video was presented by his friend's father during a career day as an example what engineers are capable of. Or perhaps it was his grandfather that sparked the interest, an eclectic engineer who had a yard peppered with aircraft engines and a barn filled with an entire broken-down airplane, towering stacks of old news ... read more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.