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Hypersonic Missiles

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Re: Hypersonic Missiles
Post by TFLYTSNBN   » Thu May 16, 2019 11:59 pm

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Dilandu wrote:
TFLYTSNBN wrote:
Wrongo!

Tactical nukes were never truly useful except against concentrated forces. The most obvious targets were Soviet tank formations. Even then, mild dispersal seriously limited the effectiveness of tactical nukes and those pesky German towns were less than a kiloton apart.


Wrong again.

Tactical nukes are the quick & cheap way to deliver the amount of firepower comparable with several hours of artillery division fire in ONE moment. Which is invaluable on battlefield, because it did not left enemy time to react or counter. And forced dispersion basically means, that the opponent's troops are harder to control & coordinate. Which means, that their striking power is limited.

The NATO doctrine of Cold War wasn't about nuking Soviet tank battalions on the frontlines. It would simply be ineffective - tanks are rather nuclear-resistant. The main idea was, that tactical nukes could be used to quickly open breaches in Soviet defense positions, thus allowing NATO armor to launch flanking attacks. And the time was crucial for that. NATO commanders could not allow to waste time, penetrating the flanks of Soviet advancing armies by conventional means. Even short delay would allow Soviet commanders to pinpoint the direction of planned counterattack, and reinforce it.

The tactical nukes allowed armor to destroy opponent defenses very quickly, and advance through irradiated battleground - WHERE ENEMY INFANTRY COULD NOT STALL THE TANKS. With the advent of portable anti-tank missiles, it became too easy for entrenched infantry to stall the armor attack. And Soviet doctrine since World War 2 put heavy emphasis on protecting the flanks of advancing armies, so the opponent could not launch the counterattack. The tactical nukes were effective solution in such situation.


I will not quibble with the Cold War era, Soviet perspective on tactical nukes.

The major point is that current US doctrine does not envision employing tactical nukes on armor or infantry. Conventional, precision guided weapons have simply become so effective that escalation to nukes is to problematic to be desirable.

One quibble that I have with the Trump administration is that I oppose any proposal that would transform Trident SLBMs into "tactical" nuclear weapons. Trident II should be reserved as a deterrent or may be counterforce strikes against hardened Russian targets such as missile silos. For use against any of the emerging nuclear powers, I would prefer that the US develop some other delivery vehicle, either cruise missile or a shorter range ballistic missile, that is obviously NOT a Trident SLBM or Minuteman ICBM. I do not want Russia presuming that the US is attacking them if we have to attack North Korea, Iran or Pakistan. One possibility would be a smaller missile loaded into the VPM of the newer Virginia SSNs.
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Re: Hypersonic Missiles
Post by Daryl   » Fri May 17, 2019 12:55 am

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Whatever happened to the Neutron Bomb. Lethal radiation and high EMP, with less blast damage? Some said it was the ideal capitalist weapon, killing people while leaving property to be acquired.
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Re: Hypersonic Missiles
Post by Dilandu   » Fri May 17, 2019 3:55 am

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Daryl wrote:Whatever happened to the Neutron Bomb. Lethal radiation and high EMP, with less blast damage? Some said it was the ideal capitalist weapon, killing people while leaving property to be acquired.


It is not. It is mostly anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapon, because tanks are highly resistant to overpressure & aircrafts fly high enough to significantly reduce the blast wave effect. Also, neutron - enchanced radiation, to be exact - warheads were used in anti-ballistic missile defense. The idea was, that the powerful neutron burst would "activate" the nuclear fuel inside warhead, and it would fizzle instead of detonating.
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- Scarecrow from Oz; he was strawman before it became political.

P.S. - And he have Russian twin, to watch his back)
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Re: Hypersonic Missiles
Post by cthia   » Fri May 17, 2019 5:45 am

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cthia wrote:
TFLYTSNBN wrote:I am unimpressed.

We have had ICBMs for over half a century. RV velocity of Mach 20+. The US had precision guided manauverable reenty vehicles with an Earth pentrator warhead on the Pershing II back in the 1980s.

President Trump has provoked a shitstorm with a request for a LOWER yield warhead for the Trident II missile. I guarentee you that the low yield warhead is to arm a precision guided MARV that can destroy a hardened missile silo. It will be able to take out a silo with essentially zero, off site casualties from blast effects, thermal radiation or initial nuclear radiation, and minimal fallout.

Here is a very good analysis of current counterforce capability.

Web results
The New Era of Counterforce: Technological Change and the Future of Nuclear Deterrence - Belfer Center
PDFBelfer Center › isec_a_00273_LieberPress

I vividly remember a very hostile interview with the FBI after writing a paper with a similar analysis back in the 1980s.


A SCRAMJET powered hypersonic vehicle will mass several tons. To get intercontinental range you will have to deMIRV an ICBM, replacing ten warheads with only one warhead. Aircraft launched hypersonic vehicles will be much shorter range, will have to cruise at 100,000 feet altitude to avoid melting, can NOT be stealthy and will give defenses significant time to shoot them down.

This being said, hypersonic missiles will enhance certain capabilities. An example is giving the proposed F-15X and may be the proposed B1R the ability to provide 1,000 kilometer range, air to air fire support for F-22 and F-35. (Lauching a hypersonic missile from a B-52 requires a solid fuel rocket booster massing twice the missile. F-15X and B1R would require a much smaller booster or may be even no boister.)

A plausible SCRAMJET, Mach 10 capable, hypersonic missile is NOT going to be able to manauver as much as presumed. Even with a 20 g turn capability, the turning radius is going to be over 50 kilometers. A Mach 20 hypersonic vehicle would have a turning radius of 200 kilometer! If the hypersonic missile is compelled to evade an interceptor missile, it will not be able to hit its target. In the unlikely event that an interceptor can not outmanuver a hypersonic vehicle, put a low yield nuke on the interceptor missile like we had on the Falcon interceptor missiles back in the 1960s and the hypersonic vehicle is toast.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AIM-26_Falcon

I am not suggesting that hypersonic weapons are not an advancement over traditional ballistic missiles. However; they will not be quite so revolutionary.

ICBMs aren't generally used as tactical weapons and launched at the pride of the navy—aircraft carriers—possibly leveling the playing field and simultaneously threatening to reduce decades of investment to SL scrap.


TFLYTSNBN wrote:Good luck hitting a manuavering aircraft carrier with a Mach 20 MARV that has a turning radius of 200 kilometers that will have to evade ABM capable SAMs launched by escort ships.

I was under the impression they have the ability to fly very low, defeating radar. For whatever reasons, they are described as defeating current defenses, which includes SAMs, no?

If a railgun's maneuverable, radar guided, hypersonic "shells" can target warships, why can't hypersonic missiles?

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: Hypersonic Missiles
Post by Dilandu   » Fri May 17, 2019 7:04 am

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cthia wrote:I was under the impression they have the ability to fly very low, defeating radar. For whatever reasons, they are described as defeating current defenses, which includes SAMs, no?


No, they could not fly very low. The air friction would rise exponentially.

The main idea behind hypersonic missiles is that they move fast (i.e. they traverse the air defense radius very quickly, leaving only a very limited time to react), and they could maneuver in flight. Combining with their impressive velocity, their maneuvering ability made interception very complicated: the intercepting missile have quite hard time trying to predict the correct interception point.

If a railgun's maneuverable, radar guided, hypersonic "shells" can target warships, why can't hypersonic missiles?


Because railgun shells aren't radar-guided. They are radar-corrected, i.e. they are tracked in flight and correction commands are send onboard. They could not find the target by themselves - they need someone to observe the target & gave them instructions.

The missile must have means to find warship by itself, since on large distances outside guidance could not be guaranteed. So, it required the array of sensors, capable of working correctly through heated plasma around.
------------------------------

- Who would won in battle between strawman Liberal-Democrat and strawman Conservative-Republican?
- Scarecrow from Oz; he was strawman before it became political.

P.S. - And he have Russian twin, to watch his back)
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Re: Hypersonic Missiles
Post by Oakstone   » Fri May 24, 2019 12:24 pm

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During the cold war there was no single tactical nuclear doctrine that applied to all tactical nuclear weapons. Instead, each group of tactical nuclear weapons was designed for a specific purpose. The Nike-Hercules/W31 was strictly a surface to air weapon designed to deal with the large aviation formations that the Warsaw pact was expected to use early in a hot war - because the WP aviation assets outnumbered NATO aviation assets 7-1 and were not significantly technically inferior. The pershing I and II and Honest John/W31 were to hit staging points and major logistics centers to disrupt formations and supplies far from the front. The atomic demolition munitions were for either destroying bridges or other axis of advance to channel the enemy forces or delay them. The artillery shells were for use against formations attacking Nato defenses, because the artillery was really the only thing that could shoot and scoot. The last of the purpose-built US tactical nuclear weapons was dismantled in 2012.

The current so-called tactical weapons are B61 variants with adjustable yields (although taking a strategic nuclear weapon and degrading it is pretty much a waste, and the reduction in the number of delivery vehicles - aircraft - adds to the problem)
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Re: Hypersonic Missiles
Post by TFLYTSNBN   » Sat May 25, 2019 2:56 pm

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Dilandu wrote:
cthia wrote:I was under the impression they have the ability to fly very low, defeating radar. For whatever reasons, they are described as defeating current defenses, which includes SAMs, no?


No, they could not fly very low. The air friction would rise exponentially.

The main idea behind hypersonic missiles is that they move fast (i.e. they traverse the air defense radius very quickly, leaving only a very limited time to react), and they could maneuver in flight. Combining with their impressive velocity, their maneuvering ability made interception very complicated: the intercepting missile have quite hard time trying to predict the correct interception point.

If a railgun's maneuverable, radar guided, hypersonic "shells" can target warships, why can't hypersonic missiles?


Because railgun shells aren't radar-guided. They are radar-corrected, i.e. they are tracked in flight and correction commands are send onboard. They could not find the target by themselves - they need someone to observe the target & gave them instructions.

The missile must have means to find warship by itself, since on large distances outside guidance could not be guaranteed. So, it required the array of sensors, capable of working correctly through heated plasma around.



A very cogent explaination.

One detail is that a hypersonic missile with SFRAMJET propulsion is a lot more complex and fragile than an ICBM reentry vehicle or a projectile from a railgun.

The limited manuverability of a hypersonic weapon limits its ability to evade defenses while attacking a point target for either tactical or stratrgic uses. Nuclear attacks on cities is another matter.
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Re: Hypersonic Missiles
Post by TFLYTSNBN   » Wed Jun 19, 2019 12:07 pm

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It appears that the US was not so far behind after all.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/2 ... ic-missile
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