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(CNN)   Your DOD unicorn project of the week: Mach 6 missile delivery platforms   (security.blogs.cnn.com ) divider line
    More: Stupid, hypersonic flight, anti-aircraft fire, spy planes, B-52  
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4714 clicks; posted to Main » on 14 Aug 2012 at 11:18 AM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-08-14 10:13:41 AM  
"On Tuesday, the unmanned 25-foot-long vehicle will be dropped off of the wing of a converted B-52 bomber off the California coast and try to fly for 300 seconds at science fiction-like speeds of Mach 6, over 4,500 mph - fast enough to fly from New York to London in less than an hour."

Not impressed:
images2.wikia.nocookie.net
 
2012-08-14 10:19:11 AM  
How much did this cost?
 
2012-08-14 10:19:23 AM  
Yeah. I hate aerospace research, too, subby.
 
2012-08-14 10:20:53 AM  

Aarontology: How much did this cost?

The Air Force conceived the X-51A program in 2004 and, according to the military analysis website Globalsecurity.org, the service has spent $140 million on the Waverider system. The Air Force will not disclose the actual cost of the program.


So, pick a number around $140 million, then add a couple hundred million to that and multiply the sum by 4.
 
2012-08-14 10:21:10 AM  

Aarontology: How much did this cost?


$140M so far. Pennies compared to a lot of their other projects, but still a large amount of money that could have been used for much better things right now.
 
2012-08-14 10:23:48 AM  

Shostie: So, pick a number around $140 million, then add a couple hundred million to that and multiply the sum by 4.


Welcome to Fartbongo's Pentagon!

Grand_Moff_Joseph: $140M so far. Pennies compared to a lot of their other projects, but still a large amount of money that could have been used for much better things right now.


Good point.
 
2012-08-14 11:20:14 AM  
At Lockheed, we never forget whose money we're stealing.
 
2012-08-14 11:21:41 AM  
Long like a missile and with just a few fins in the rear, the Boeing-built aircraft is not designed as a bed for a weapon, according to the Air Force


i830.photobucket.com
 
2012-08-14 11:21:49 AM  
Do we even have Mach 6 missiles? Even the AIM-54 topped out at Mach 5, IIRC.
 
2012-08-14 11:22:40 AM  

Perhaps Han Solo said it best in Star Wars when, describing his hyper-fast smuggling spaceship the Millennium Falcon, he said, "It may not look like much, but it's got it where it counts."


I thought Han referred to the ship as 'she', not 'it'.

Also he called Luke 'kid' at the end.

Nice "quote", Mr. Article Writer.
 
2012-08-14 11:24:01 AM  

Grand_Moff_Joseph: Aarontology: How much did this cost?

$140M so far. Pennies compared to a lot of their other projects, but still a large amount of money that could have been used for much better things right now.


www.needstolaugh.com

bathroomreader.com

www.comicbookmovie.com

i.imgur.com


/I think I've about run this in to the ground.
 
2012-08-14 11:27:30 AM  
The Air Force says the program was designed for each vehicle to be destroyed at the end of its flight test because of the cost that would be involved in recovering them.

Well, since a scram jet has no moving parts... But it's still a load of precision made aluminum and titanium, would it really break the budget to install an inflatable bouy and send some fisherman out to find it?

Heck, if you could find these things I bet they'd make for the ultimate episode of Pawn Stars.
 
2012-08-14 11:30:31 AM  
Sounds more like a Pegasus project to me. RD's name is all over Mach 6
 
2012-08-14 11:30:58 AM  

wildcardjack: The Air Force says the program was designed for each vehicle to be destroyed at the end of its flight test because of the cost that would be involved in recovering them that's what missiles do, and they're just lying when they say that's not what it's for.


FTFThem.

wildcardjack: Heck, if you could find these things I bet they'd make for the ultimate episode of Pawn Stars.


Depending on how destroyed they are, you'd probably get a better deal from China.
 
2012-08-14 11:33:28 AM  

Grand_Moff_Joseph: Aarontology: How much did this cost?

$140M so far. Pennies compared to a lot of their other projects, but still a large amount of money that could have been used for much better things right now.


In an ideal world, this project would replace the next generation of strike aircraft so we don't get a repeat of the F35 boondoggle in 2045. Instead we would just load up submarines and destroyers with a couple hundred hypersonic cruise missiles, thereby also eliminating the need to maintain 11 carrier battle groups. In an ideal world, this sort of technology would shrink the American military, increase our strike capabilities, and save money for taxpayers.

Unfortunately, those ideal scenarios have no bearing or influence on reality.
 
2012-08-14 11:34:06 AM  
What is silly about this is that there is little in the way of potential commercial adaptation. Think about the thousands of airplanes in the air right now over the US. Planes traveling that fast would be problematic, sonic booms everywhere. Also, the acceleration required to get to 4000+MPH would put an incredible amount of g-forces on passengers and they would not like that.
 
2012-08-14 11:35:23 AM  

grinding_journalist: Long like a missile and with just a few fins in the rear, the Boeing-built aircraft is not designed as a bed for a weapon, according to the Air Force


These things don't need much of a real payload. Load it down with several hundred pounds of ball barrings or steel rods and just crash it into whatever building is offending you today. Bonus points for having it self-destruct a couple tens of meters before impact. An expanding cloud of hypersonic steel doesn't need an explosive. IIRC, we have/planned a system like that using old Minutemen rockets, but they look like ICBMs (since they are) and are thus unlaunchable (politically).
 
2012-08-14 11:35:40 AM  
I like this weapon. At those speeds all you have to do is deliver a dense projectile to the target. No explosives needed. You could deliver an astounding amount of force to the structure and it would literally disintegrate. Needs some tweaking but it has possibilities that don't turn the area into a wasteland. A green weapon if you will.
 
2012-08-14 11:37:00 AM  

Endive Wombat: What is silly about this is that there is little in the way of potential commercial adaptation. Think about the thousands of airplanes in the air right now over the US. Planes traveling that fast would be problematic, sonic booms everywhere. Also, the acceleration required to get to 4000+MPH would put an incredible amount of g-forces on passengers and they would not like that.


True. However, if they can use this as a stepping stone to a return to Concorde-like speeds (which seemed to be much more tolerable), that would be a huge boon to commercial air business.
 
2012-08-14 11:37:09 AM  

Jubeebee: Grand_Moff_Joseph: Aarontology: How much did this cost?

$140M so far. Pennies compared to a lot of their other projects, but still a large amount of money that could have been used for much better things right now.

In an ideal world, this project would replace the next generation of strike aircraft so we don't get a repeat of the F35 boondoggle in 2045. Instead we would just load up submarines and destroyers with a couple hundred hypersonic cruise missiles, thereby also eliminating the need to maintain 11 carrier battle groups. In an ideal world, this sort of technology would shrink the American military, increase our strike capabilities, and save money for taxpayers.

Unfortunately, those ideal scenarios have no bearing or influence on reality.


You forgot the part where we sell this very same technology to pretty much anyone who ponies up the cash. US taxpayers foot the bill for the research. Defense companies make a ton of money selling it to the US and abroad. We're no safer than we were. So let's gut Medicare, that will ensure our freedom.
 
2012-08-14 11:37:55 AM  
Well we need Mach 6 missiles because all of 'Mercas enemies are flying planes that can do Mach 5 and our old missiles just weren't up to the job anymore.

Seriously, what the heck are you going to shoot at that you need a Mach 6 missile for?

discaircraft.greyfalcon.us
 
2012-08-14 11:40:55 AM  

wildcardjack: Well, since a scram jet has no moving parts... But it's still a load of precision made aluminum and titanium, would it really break the budget to install an inflatable bouy and send some fisherman out to find it?


Just curious, but how do you imagine an inflatable buoy would aid in the recovery of this missile after it impacts the Pacific at Mach 6?
 
2012-08-14 11:45:03 AM  

Jubeebee: Grand_Moff_Joseph: Aarontology: How much did this cost?

$140M so far. Pennies compared to a lot of their other projects, but still a large amount of money that could have been used for much better things right now.

In an ideal world, this project would replace the next generation of strike aircraft so we don't get a repeat of the F35 boondoggle in 2045. Instead we would just load up submarines and destroyers with a couple hundred hypersonic cruise missiles, thereby also eliminating the need to maintain 11 carrier battle groups. In an ideal world, this sort of technology would shrink the American military, increase our strike capabilities, and save money for taxpayers.

Unfortunately, those ideal scenarios have no bearing or influence on reality.


Oh good. We'll be able to kill each other even faster in the future. Realistically I'll be dead by 2045 so I guess I'll go back to fapping and not giving a rat's ass.
 
2012-08-14 11:45:54 AM  

Grand_Moff_Joseph: Endive Wombat: What is silly about this is that there is little in the way of potential commercial adaptation. Think about the thousands of airplanes in the air right now over the US. Planes traveling that fast would be problematic, sonic booms everywhere. Also, the acceleration required to get to 4000+MPH would put an incredible amount of g-forces on passengers and they would not like that.

True. However, if they can use this as a stepping stone to a return to Concorde-like speeds (which seemed to be much more tolerable), that would be a huge boon to commercial air business.


IIRC scramjets really only function once they get over a certain speed (around MACH 3, I think?) so not really practical for commercial use, sadly.
 
2012-08-14 11:49:38 AM  

zarberg: Grand_Moff_Joseph: Endive Wombat: What is silly about this is that there is little in the way of potential commercial adaptation. Think about the thousands of airplanes in the air right now over the US. Planes traveling that fast would be problematic, sonic booms everywhere. Also, the acceleration required to get to 4000+MPH would put an incredible amount of g-forces on passengers and they would not like that.

True. However, if they can use this as a stepping stone to a return to Concorde-like speeds (which seemed to be much more tolerable), that would be a huge boon to commercial air business.

IIRC scramjets really only function once they get over a certain speed (around MACH 3, I think?) so not really practical for commercial use, sadly.


Ah, I see. Just brainstorming here...what about a hybrid engine then? Part fuel based, part scramjet - won't burn as much fuel as a Concorde, but uses scram(ish) components to boost speeds to comparable levels.
 
2012-08-14 11:52:35 AM  

NephilimNexus: Well we need Mach 6 missiles because all of 'Mercas enemies are flying planes that can do Mach 5 and our old missiles just weren't up to the job anymore.

Seriously, what the heck are you going to shoot at that you need a Mach 6 missile for?

[discaircraft.greyfalcon.us image 400x260]


You don't shoot this at aircraft. You shoot it at ground targets from 1000 miles away, and it impacts in a little more than 13 minutes. Theoretically, you don't need overseas bases, aircraft carriers, or even overflight permissions. Just a submarine in international waters and some intelligence/surveillance (like maybe the X-37 space plane) spotting your target.

It's not a bad idea in theory, and it's not bad to experiment with the technology, but it'll become a clownshoes shiatshow before long.
 
2012-08-14 11:54:21 AM  

Jubeebee: Grand_Moff_Joseph: Aarontology: How much did this cost?

$140M so far. Pennies compared to a lot of their other projects, but still a large amount of money that could have been used for much better things right now.

In an ideal world, this project would replace the next generation of strike aircraft so we don't get a repeat of the F35 boondoggle in 2045. Instead we would just load up submarines and destroyers with a couple hundred hypersonic cruise missiles, thereby also eliminating the need to maintain 11 carrier battle groups. In an ideal world, this sort of technology would shrink the American military, increase our strike capabilities, and save money for taxpayers.

Unfortunately, those ideal scenarios have no bearing or influence on reality.


Actually, you'd just store them on an airforce base in Kansas, and when need demanded slam 5000 lbs of steel into whatever was annoying you at 6000+ mph. With that kind of KE explosives are redundant. We'd still, unfortunately, need aircraft carriers and destroyers for other missions.
 
2012-08-14 11:58:13 AM  
When you absolutely, positively want them dead NOW
 
2012-08-14 11:58:49 AM  

advex101: I like this weapon. At those speeds all you have to do is deliver a dense projectile to the target. No explosives needed. You could deliver an astounding amount of force to the structure and it would literally disintegrate. Needs some tweaking but it has possibilities that don't turn the area into a wasteland. A green weapon if you will.


The Navy's Rail Gun doesn't need a warhead for similar reasons.
 
2012-08-14 12:03:06 PM  
Transporting people on an "airplane" going mach 6? What could possibly go wrong?
 
2012-08-14 12:04:16 PM  

NephilimNexus: Well we need Mach 6 missiles because all of 'Mercas enemies are flying planes that can do Mach 5 and our old missiles just weren't up to the job anymore.

Seriously, what the heck are you going to shoot at that you need a Mach 6 missile for?

[discaircraft.greyfalcon.us image 400x260]


Not talking about air-to-air or surface-to-air missiles. They're talking about mach 6 weapons aiming at surface targets in order to get through an enemy's anti-missile shields. If we can launch a nuke from a missile cruiser to Shanghai before they can respond, there's less chance for retaliation or interception. Could also work for conventional explosives, but that seems cost-ineffective.
 
2012-08-14 12:04:54 PM  

Jubeebee: Grand_Moff_Joseph: Aarontology: How much did this cost?

$140M so far. Pennies compared to a lot of their other projects, but still a large amount of money that could have been used for much better things right now.

In an ideal world, this project would replace the next generation of strike aircraft so we don't get a repeat of the F35 boondoggle in 2045. Instead we would just load up submarines and destroyers with a couple hundred hypersonic cruise missiles, thereby also eliminating the need to maintain 11 carrier battle groups. In an ideal world, this sort of technology would shrink the American military, increase our strike capabilities, and save money for taxpayers.

Unfortunately, those ideal scenarios have no bearing or influence on reality.


Yeah, but not for the reasons you think.
 
2012-08-14 12:06:22 PM  

karl2025: NephilimNexus: Well we need Mach 6 missiles because all of 'Mercas enemies are flying planes that can do Mach 5 and our old missiles just weren't up to the job anymore.

Seriously, what the heck are you going to shoot at that you need a Mach 6 missile for?

[discaircraft.greyfalcon.us image 400x260]

Not talking about air-to-air or surface-to-air missiles. They're talking about mach 6 weapons aiming at surface targets in order to get through an enemy's anti-missile shields. If we can launch a nuke from a missile cruiser to Shanghai before they can respond, there's less chance for retaliation or interception. Could also work for conventional explosives, but that seems cost-ineffective.


Thanks, but no. That's not the calculus for nuclear missiles.
 
2012-08-14 12:07:36 PM  
advex101
I like this weapon. At those speeds all you have to do is deliver a dense projectile to the target. No explosives needed. You could deliver an astounding amount of force to the structure and it would literally disintegrate. Needs some tweaking but it has possibilities that don't turn the area into a wasteland. A green weapon if you will.


What kind of damage could something like this do just by flying very low over a target area? Would there be enough shock wave to knock down buildings and remove the air from the offender's lungs?
 
2012-08-14 12:12:53 PM  

Shostie: Yeah. I hate aerospace research, too, subby.


OK, beside _____________ and _____________ and ________________ and____________and____________and________________and ____________ and__________, what the bloody hell has aerospace research ever done for us!
 
2012-08-14 12:13:53 PM  

Grand_Moff_Joseph: Endive Wombat: What is silly about this is that there is little in the way of potential commercial adaptation. Think about the thousands of airplanes in the air right now over the US. Planes traveling that fast would be problematic, sonic booms everywhere. Also, the acceleration required to get to 4000+MPH would put an incredible amount of g-forces on passengers and they would not like that.

True. However, if they can use this as a stepping stone to a return to Concorde-like speeds (which seemed to be much more tolerable), that would be a huge boon to commercial air business.


Yeah, but I thought that the Concorde was shut down partially in part because it was massively expensive to operate and profit margins were thin.
 
2012-08-14 12:23:50 PM  

JackieRabbit: Shostie: Yeah. I hate aerospace research, too, subby.

OK, beside _____________ and _____________ and ________________ and____________and____________and________________and ____________ and__________, what the bloody hell has aerospace research ever done for us!


Aero research has done massive amounts of good for humanity, no doubt. I just hate to see cool research efforts being wasted on trying to find faster ways to blow shiat up.
 
2012-08-14 12:24:50 PM  
This country spent 9 billion on POTATO CHIPS last year. Fark you Subby.
 
2012-08-14 12:26:12 PM  

Endive Wombat: Grand_Moff_Joseph: Endive Wombat: What is silly about this is that there is little in the way of potential commercial adaptation. Think about the thousands of airplanes in the air right now over the US. Planes traveling that fast would be problematic, sonic booms everywhere. Also, the acceleration required to get to 4000+MPH would put an incredible amount of g-forces on passengers and they would not like that.

True. However, if they can use this as a stepping stone to a return to Concorde-like speeds (which seemed to be much more tolerable), that would be a huge boon to commercial air business.

Yeah, but I thought that the Concorde was shut down partially in part because it was massively expensive to operate and profit margins were thin.


And you'd be correct - that was a big part of the cancellation. The plane was a bit ahead of its time. However, the real failure was to stop researching ways to make supersonic air travel more practical and affordable. Had research continued, we likely could have figured some of that out by now, and perhaps cut the operating cost by large enough margins to make it useful again.
 
2012-08-14 12:29:03 PM  
I think i've said this before but these will be the next drones. No forward operating base required, they'll launch out of the desert somewhere in Nevada, be piloted by a guy in a cube, and be loitering above the battlefield in a couple of hours. No more large deployments and all the politics that goes along with them required.
 
2012-08-14 12:30:37 PM  
Psst. Peacehawk subby...

Experimental flight test vehicles are often unmanned in order to reduce risk to human life in the event of a catastrophic failure.

/The more you know...
 
2012-08-14 12:38:58 PM  

grinding_journalist: Long like a missile and with just a few fins in the rear, the Boeing-built aircraft is not designed as a bed for a weapon, according to the Air Force


[i830.photobucket.com image 363x310]


You missed the very next few words, "but it is testing the technology to build future weapons around."

In other words, you can't strap bombs to this vehicle, its just for testing, but they will certainly build weapons around the engine technology.
 
2012-08-14 12:41:08 PM  

Grand_Moff_Joseph: JackieRabbit: I just hate to see cool research efforts being wasted on trying to find faster ways to blow shiat up.


"Life, which you so nobly serve, comes from destruction, disorder and chaos."
pdxretro.com
 
2012-08-14 12:41:57 PM  
upload.wikimedia.org

Unmanned? Lame.
 
2012-08-14 12:45:16 PM  

Grand_Moff_Joseph: JackieRabbit: Shostie: Yeah. I hate aerospace research, too, subby.

OK, beside _____________ and _____________ and ________________ and____________and____________and________________and ____________ and__________, what the bloody hell has aerospace research ever done for us!

Aero research has done massive amounts of good for humanity, no doubt. I just hate to see cool research efforts being wasted on trying to find faster ways to blow shiat up.


What do you think the space program has always been about? It was always about ballistic missiles to deliver nuclear payloads faster and more accurately than the other guy and to weaponize space for the same purpose. Yeah, it has its down side.
 
2012-08-14 12:58:55 PM  
Actually, the technology can be developed as a part of a multiple stage system for launching of satellites.

I give you:
Link
and
Link
 
2012-08-14 01:06:34 PM  

Grand_Moff_Joseph: JackieRabbit: Shostie: Yeah. I hate aerospace research, too, subby.

OK, beside _____________ and _____________ and ________________ and____________and____________and________________and ____________ and__________, what the bloody hell has aerospace research ever done for us!

Aero research has done massive amounts of good for humanity, no doubt. I just hate to see cool research efforts being wasted on trying to find faster ways to blow shiat up.


Jet engines, the modern understanding of aerodynamics and a lot of materials science used in modern aircraft was developed for/by the military. For this kind of stuff the military involvement is kind of a necessary evil.
 
2012-08-14 01:42:49 PM  
blog.markloiseau.com

Meh. let's light em up old school.
 
2012-08-14 01:59:00 PM  

Tickle Mittens: Jubeebee: Grand_Moff_Joseph: Aarontology: How much did this cost?

$140M so far. Pennies compared to a lot of their other projects, but still a large amount of money that could have been used for much better things right now.

In an ideal world, this project would replace the next generation of strike aircraft so we don't get a repeat of the F35 boondoggle in 2045. Instead we would just load up submarines and destroyers with a couple hundred hypersonic cruise missiles, thereby also eliminating the need to maintain 11 carrier battle groups. In an ideal world, this sort of technology would shrink the American military, increase our strike capabilities, and save money for taxpayers.

Unfortunately, those ideal scenarios have no bearing or influence on reality.

Actually, you'd just store them on an airforce base in Kansas, and when need demanded slam 5000 lbs of steel into whatever was annoying you at 6000+ mph. With that kind of KE explosives are redundant. We'd still, unfortunately, need aircraft carriers and destroyers for other missions.


I can't remember which Shadowrun book it was outlined in, but something like this led to the rise of global multinationals and the relative downfall of civilian governments. The multinats had a bunch of orbiting rods they would drop on or near uncooperative governments. No explosives or chemical weapons, just impact force.
 
2012-08-14 02:17:06 PM  
Now we just need to start work on these:
images.wikia.com
 
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