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Post: “It was destroyed within an hour.” What weapons did the Pentagon rely on?


MOSCOW, October 2 – RIA Novosti, Andrey Kots. The Pentagon is trying to create a weapon without which even the most modern air defense systems are powerless. Recently, the American military-industrial concern Raytheon received a contract for almost a billion dollars to develop and test the HACM hypersonic air-launched cruise missile. Promising ammunition is expected to enter service with the Air Force as early as 2027. About the HACM project and other US hypersonic developments – in the material of RIA Novosti.

for fighters

It’s no secret that Americans are catching up in the field of hypersonic weapons. This is known for a squeak in both the White House and the Pentagon. The main geopolitical rivals of the US are far ahead. Russia has adopted ship-borne hypersonic Zircon, aerobalistic Kinzhal and strategic Avangard. China – medium-range solid-fuel missile DF-17. Some of these systems have long passed the baptism of fire. In particular, in March, the Russian Air Force destroyed an underground ammunition depot in Ukraine’s Ivano-Frankivsk region with Kinzhal.

Several programs are implemented simultaneously in the USA. Of the most promising projects – HACM (Hissonic Assault Cruise Missile). This is an air-launched hypersonic cruise missile with a ramjet engine, capable of accelerating in the upper atmosphere to six thousand kilometers per hour. The range is unknown, but the Americans emphasize that on this indicator they will surpass the longest-range air defense systems of Russia and China.

“We see tactical aircraft, especially warplanes, as the main carriers of HACM. The new weapon will allow our commanders to plan combat operations much more flexibly. will solve the tasks.

American fighter aircraft F-35A Lightning II - RIA Novosti, 1920, 28/09/2022
American fighter aircraft F-35A Lightning II

Brown did not specify which plane was in question. Apparently, these are the fifth generation F-35 and F-22 fighters. The Pentagon believes that they are the least vulnerable to air defense of a potential enemy. However, their secrecy has never been tested in real combat by modern anti-aircraft missile systems.

The HACM project is a delicious bite for the American defense industry. Last June, the Pentagon signed three 15-month contracts with Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Rautheon to develop hypersonic cruise missile concepts. The latter was chosen for the construction of prototypes. US allies are also participating in the program. Australia in particular has promised to provide infrastructure for testing.

failed tests

HACM is one of the two leading hypersonic aviation programs, which should result in the creation of combat models. There is also an ARRW aeroballistic missile with a glider from Lockheed Martin. It is estimated that this product can reach speeds of over Mach 20 and reach 900 kilometers. The missile is designed to destroy rapidly changing ground targets, ships and targets. The main carriers of the ARRW are the B-1B strategic bombers.

Promising missiles were scheduled to be put into service as early as 2022. However, test failures pushed the deadlines to the right. In 2021, the US Air Force conducted three rocket booster tests on a prototype of a promising rocket. All failed. During the first flight tests in April, the product did not leave the aircraft. In July, the rocket engine did not turn on. Failed to restart ARRW in December.

The tests ended successfully only in May 2022. Additional tests are coming, which means that the missile will not enter service in the near future. However, the US Air Force requested funding for the first 12 ARRW missiles. According to Pentagon officials, production will be fast as many elements are created using 3D printing technology.

option for the army

There are plans for hypersonic and other branches of the US Armed Forces. Thus, a long-range hypersonic missile system LRHW (Long Range Hypersonic Weapon) is being created for ground forces. There will be several main products. The main thing is the AUR (All-Up-Round) missile with the C-HGB (Common Hypersonic Glide Body) warhead in the transport and launch container. A mobile launcher and a mobile battery command post are also in development.

The first prototype of a long-range hypersonic weapon (LRHW) - RIA Novosti, 1920, 28/09/2022
First Long Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW) prototype

C-HGB belongs to the class of hypersonic gliders. The launch vehicle accelerates it to operating speed, after which an independent glide flight begins. According to the Pentagon, the C-HGB block will be able to get at least Mach five. More precise values ​​are not called. According to Breaking Defense, citing a representative of the US Army, the range will exceed 2775 kilometers.

This makes it possible to attribute the LRHW complex to the class of medium-range missiles, which until recently was banned by the INF Treaty. They want to deploy the first battery in combat units as early as 2023. In the future, Lockheed Martin specialists plan to develop the option of launching from ships and submarines. It is expected to enter service in 2025.

underwater launch

The main competitor of the ship-based LRHW in the US Navy is the Conventional Rapid Strike (CPS) program, Hypersonic instantaneous spherical attack missiles. As stated by the US Navy, this product will allow the military to hit any target on the planet in less than an hour after receiving the appropriate order.

New missiles will be installed on Virginia-class nuclear submarines. The Pentagon hopes to receive the first serial samples by 2024, nuclear submarines will be converted for them by 2028. Up to 65 CPS will be deployed on each Block V series submarine. In addition, these missiles are considered the main missiles for the latest Zumwalt class stealth destroyers.

But here, too, the American gunsmiths faced a number of problems. In June, the US Navy failed tests – the product could not be launched from the carrier due to engine failure. This is the second failure – the first was in October 2021, when a prototype rocket crashed into the sea for unknown reasons shortly after launch.

Source: Ria

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