“To make excuses for the backlog”: how the US plans to create a hypersonic weapon within two years

American Lockheed Martin will develop hypersonic weapons for the U.S. air force. The company has signed a contract with the defense agencies of the United States in the amount of slightly less than $1 billion, said at the Pentagon. Under the agreement, production of hypersonic missiles AGM-183A must be established in 2022. Experts believe that it is likely to be similar to the Russian complex “Dagger”. However, they doubt that the Pentagon’s realistic.

«Оправдаться за отставание»: как США планируют создать гиперзвуковое оружие за два года

The American model of advanced hypersonic aeroballistic missile Lockheed Martin AGM-183A ARRW on the external sling of the strategic babygirlie USAF Boeing B-52H © US Air ForceАмериканская Lockheed Martin will receive nearly $1 billion to develop hypersonic complex called “Weapons of rapid response airborne” (Air Launched Rapid Response Weapon — ARRW, missile AGM-183A). This was reported on the website of the Pentagon. New weapons are planned to be placed aboard strategic bombers.

Under the contract in the amount of $989 million Lockheed Martin needs to work on the project ARRW, to test and prepare the rocket to industrial serial production.

It is planned that all construction work will be completed in 2021, and a year of a hypersonic weapon needs to obtain United States air force. Thus, all contractual obligations must be fulfilled before the end of 2022-th.

«Оправдаться за отставание»: как США планируют создать гиперзвуковое оружие за два года

Fighter jets for the U.S. air force “Eglin”, Florida Gettyimages.ru © Smith Collection/GadoСогласно information of the US defense Department, unit ARRW will be able to reach speeds of over Mach 5, which should allow him to overcome the missile defense system of the enemy.

“The place of performance work will be the city of Orlando, Florida. Expected completion date: December 31, 2022. The aggregate notional value of the contract: $988 832 126. To run in the 2020 financial year tasks related to research, development, test and evaluation, at the time of conclusion of the agreement in the amount of $23 000 000. Powers vested in the customer Center life-cycle management of U.S. air force, the airbase “Eglin”, Florida”, — stated in the message of the Pentagon.Also clarifies that this is not the first contract, Lockheed Martin and the US government programme to create hypersonic air-launched missiles. Previous work was carried out under the contract in the amount of $480 million, signed in August 2018. Under the terms of the contract, it was assumed that the development of weapons will be completed by 2021.

Last June, California passed the first aerodynamic test weight and sizes of model rocket AGM-183A ARRW at the strategic bomber Boeing B-52N. The aircraft, carrying a rocket on an external sling, took off from the airbase “Edwards”. According to experts, constructive AGM-183A is a solid aeroballistic missile with a detachable warhead, equipped with a rocket engine Tactical Boost Glide (TBG). The engine is being developed under the auspices of the office of advanced research projects Pentagon (DARPA) and US air force.

Similar to the “Dagger” and “Avant-garde”

On the establishment of hypersonic weapons the Soviet and American designers have thought in the last century. Then, the Soviet Union and the United States have started a number of pilot projects. So, the engineers from both countries worked simultaneously on the creation of aircraft-kosmoplanov vertical launch, which could develop hypersonic speed. However, the technology and materials of that time did not allow to realize such projects — too much stress on experiencing an object at hypersonic speed, experts say.

Decades later, the establishment of machinery of this type has become a real challenge. In 2018 during the message to the Federal Assembly, President Vladimir Putin announced the appearance in the Arsenal of the Russian army of a whole range of hypersonic weapons. It turned out that the aviation missile complex “Dagger” was replaced on an experimental combat duty in December 2017.

«Оправдаться за отставание»: как США планируют создать гиперзвуковое оружие за два года

Hypersonic missiles “Dagger” RIA Novosti © Ministry of defence Harukoi hypersonic complex “vanguard”, to run which used ballistic land-based missiles, was successfully tested in December 2018. The unit is capable of speeds at Mach 27 will be put on combat duty before the end of this year.

In Russia also developed hypersonic anti-ship missile sea-based “Zircon”, which will be armed, both underwater and surface ships of the Russian Navy. As noted on December 2, the meeting in defence of Vladimir Putin, of the Russian Navy in coming years should be to frigates and submarines, modified by the use of missiles “Zircon”.

The appearance of hypersonic weapons in the Arsenal of the Russian Federation became an unpleasant surprise for Washington, experts say. As mentioned in a September report by the congressional Research service of the United States, at the moment, the American side has no defense against hypersonic weapons possible opponents or their own programs for the creation of military equipment of this type.The report to Congress was submitted in connection with the request of the Pentagon additional funding for hypersonic research. According to the authors of the document, the us military will not be able to resist the Russian hypersonic weapons until the mid 2020-ies, although at present, researches in this area are engaged in the Navy, and the air force, and ground troops.

A different point of view has the Pentagon mark Esper, who expects that the U.S. military will be able to get hypersonic weapons “in the next couple of years.” The Minister said in an interview with Fox News.

A similar forecast was made in late November the head of the command of logistics of the U.S. air force, General Arnold bunch. Speaking at a press conference, he said that both types of hypersonic weapons, the development of which is supervised by the US air force, reached initial operational capability already in 2022-m. we are Talking about Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW) and other development — Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon (HCSW).

According to experts, if Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW) should become the Russian analogue “Dagger”, then HCSW can be a weapon similar to the Russian complex “Avangard”.

Political reasons

Note that currently, the most successful hypersonic project of the United States is a rocket X-51 Waverider, which was launched in 2003, the Boeing Corporation. The first successful test of the X-51 took place in 2013, when the missile has travelled the distance of 426 km, developing a speed of Mach 5.1. However, later on the fate of this development, the media reported very little.

«Оправдаться за отставание»: как США планируют создать гиперзвуковое оружие за два года

The Secretary of defense mark Esper Reuters © DoD/Lisa FerdinandoКак suggested in an interview with RT military expert Michael Tymoshenko, with a high probability of a new hypersonic missile AGM-183A is created on the basis of just X-51 Waverider.

“It is, apparently, to build the equivalent of our “Dagger” on the basis of the X-51 Waverider. The rocket was tested a few years ago, and then the developers are faced with the fact that the engine is too early fail — probably when the rocket went into more dense layers of the atmosphere. If this issue is not resolved, then the development will not move forward”, — said Tymoshenko.According to him, the development of which then reported to the Pentagon, was on a stage that could hardly be considered complete weapon.

A similar view is held by a member-correspondent of the Academy of military Sciences of Russia Alexander Bartosh. According to him, the development of such hypersonic systems requires very time-consuming, and even if the US have any base, then the time period of one to two years is not enough to modify the missile.

“Now the Pentagon calls so a short time of hypersonic weapons that these statements are reminiscent of the bluff. Of course, in the future the United States will probably be able to overcome its backwardness in the field of hypersonic, having a serious scientific and industrial base. But it takes at least five or six years,” said Bartos in conversation with RT.The main obstacle to American developers is still the lack of unique materials, able to withstand an emergency overload temperature and to transmit radio signals at hypersonic speed. This view was expressed in an interview with RT military expert Yuri Whips.

“Without this hypersonic craft will be impossible to manage, as a result, very severely affected the accuracy characteristics of the weapon. Another problem is the creation of the ramjet engine which could accelerate the aircraft to Mach 5 and more. Tests reported by the media, were unsuccessful. Overloading could not withstand not only the power plant but and navigation equipment”, — the expert added.

In his opinion, to catch up in this area, the United States will need about five to seven years.

“Most likely, the promise to complete work on military hypersonic rocket in 2021, voiced in the US, due to, among other things, political reasons. In the next year in the US elections, and the administration trump the need to justify to society because of the lag of Russia in the field of hypersonic weapons,” — concluded the Whips.
Hope Alekseev, Alexey Nakvasin, Elizaveta Komarova

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