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Russian Hypersonic Missiles


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#21 glenn239

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 1053 AM

 

Right, AA cruisers and destroyers seem to be useless against hypersonics for the time being.  Maybe at some future date they can be retrofitted with updated systems.

In what way? a hypersonic missile cant sea skimming as low or be as stealthy (becuse of the massive air friction at low attitude) as a subsonic missile. The hypersonic missile can cover the distant faster, but it will alos be detected 

further out.

 

 

The missile is described as being like a meteor as it moves through the atmosphere, meaning that it is surrounded in a plasma turbulence that presumably absorbs radar and laser energy.  IR tracking, as you suggest, can be from thousands of miles but the warhead is agile, so difficult to target with current missiles.  The counter to these presumably may be to move more towards submersible fleet units (hypersonics are useless against subs) and smaller/unmanned cargo ships.  Retire most of the carriers and rely on land based air power and precision standoff missiles.


Edited by glenn239, 14 January 2020 - 1054 AM.

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#22 Burncycle360

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 1134 AM

 

 

Right, AA cruisers and destroyers seem to be useless against hypersonics for the time being.  Maybe at some future date they can be retrofitted with updated systems.

In what way? a hypersonic missile cant sea skimming as low or be as stealthy (becuse of the massive air friction at low attitude) as a subsonic missile. The hypersonic missile can cover the distant faster, but it will alos be detected 

further out.

 

 

The missile is described as being like a meteor as it moves through the atmosphere, meaning that it is surrounded in a plasma turbulence that presumably absorbs radar and laser energy.  IR tracking, as you suggest, can be from thousands of miles but the warhead is agile, so difficult to target with current missiles.  The counter to these presumably may be to move more towards submersible fleet units (hypersonics are useless against subs) and smaller/unmanned cargo ships.  Retire most of the carriers and rely on land based air power and precision standoff missiles.

 


Nah, thanks though.

There's only so many G's a missile traveling at those speeds can pull.  They will always be less agile than the SAMs going after them, among a variety of other disadvantages such as being essentially blind so long as they have their "plasma turbulence"

The net effect is the no-escape zone of your SAMs are significantly smaller, not that they cannot be stopped with existing technology.  Sort of like how stealthy aircraft aren't invisible to radar, they just reduce the range at which radar is useful, sufficiently to create gaps in the radar coverage.  It will necessitate a change in tactics, like additional use of screening ships further away to increase the opportunity to engage, but it certainly doesn't mean carriers and indeed surface fleets are essentially obsolete.  That's being a bit hyperbolic.


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#23 GARGEAN

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 1626 PM

Why people still assume that fast missiles should do some 45 degrees/second turns to be hard to intercept? Such missile can do a few degrees shift in immediate speed vector direction to pull those "muh huge Gs". And those few degrees will move predicted interception point at dozens km, if not more.

Plasma stealth is a meme tho indeed. At least it never proven not to be.

Edited by GARGEAN, 14 January 2020 - 1626 PM.

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#24 DB

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 1656 PM

I'm intrigued as to what mechanism is used to guide high hypersonic missiles to a moving target. For the high mach numbers (10 is being tossed around as if it's easy) seeing through the plasma in front is not easy for any sensor. I'm sure it's fine for the lower end - the mach 4-ish regime - but there's a reason why GPS and precise inertial system exist for ICBMs and it's not just old-fashioned thinking.


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#25 lastdingo

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 1811 PM

The Rafales need runways to take off from. I'd be surprised if any provision has been made for rapid dispersal.


Runways can be repaired easily, and Russia wouldn't have the missiles to hit them regularly at enough spots.
We have an airbase/airport shortage because Germany repurposed most WP Cold War-era airfields in East Germany, but that's not about combat aircraft being unable to take off. It's about us being forced to make use of far away airfields, with predictable effect non qty of aircraft in the air where it matters.
 

Cruise missiles are fine for non-hardened (...) targets. But for fortified targets not so much (...).


You appear to equate 'subsonic' with an inability to penetrate hardened targets.

That's inaccurate, for a shaped charge can be used as a precursor to weaken the passive protection (bunker walls) enough to allow the subsonic penetrator warhead to enter.

https://www.popularm...dlier-17046468/
https://www.wired.co...aytheons-sup-1/

 

I blogged about this repeatedly, including about the inventors, guess who.


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#26 Panzermann

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 1907 PM

Runways can be repaired easily, and Russia wouldn't have the missiles to hit them regularly at enough spots.
We have an airbase/airport shortage because Germany repurposed most WP Cold War-era airfields in East Germany, but that's not about combat aircraft being unable to take off. It's about us being forced to make use of far away airfields, with predictable effect non qty of aircraft in the air where it matters.

​

 

All the other commie countries have repurposed the old soviet and their own airfields as well. not only Germany.


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#27 KV7

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 2042 PM

I'm intrigued as to what mechanism is used to guide high hypersonic missiles to a moving target. For the high mach numbers (10 is being tossed around as if it's easy) seeing through the plasma in front is not easy for any sensor. I'm sure it's fine for the lower end - the mach 4-ish regime - but there's a reason why GPS and precise inertial system exist for ICBMs and it's not just old-fashioned thinking.

It seems that for ballistic and quasi-ballistic missiles, the final targeting solution is made before descent to eg. 20 000 m, and the trajectory inc. maneuvers are then preprogrammed and carried out under inertial guidance.

For DF-21 the target location at time of impact is estimated, and that is set as the aim point. Corrections are not possible in the last 10 seconds or so of flight.

 


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#28 lastdingo

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Posted 15 January 2020 - 0502 AM

 

I'm intrigued as to what mechanism is used to guide high hypersonic missiles to a moving target. For the high mach numbers (10 is being tossed around as if it's easy) seeing through the plasma in front is not easy for any sensor. I'm sure it's fine for the lower end - the mach 4-ish regime - but there's a reason why GPS and precise inertial system exist for ICBMs and it's not just old-fashioned thinking.

It seems that for ballistic and quasi-ballistic missiles, the final targeting solution is made before descent to eg. 20 000 m, and the trajectory inc. maneuvers are then preprogrammed and carried out under inertial guidance.

For DF-21 the target location at time of impact is estimated, and that is set as the aim point. Corrections are not possible in the last 10 seconds or so of flight.

At first I thought 10 seconds is too much, but this was interesting (albeit old):

 

 

(...) If the warhead shuts down its IR sensor as it passes 50 km altitude, it is about 22 seconds before impact.  It is too much to hope that the carrier can change its direction or even its speed in those few remaining seconds so the we can expect; the George H. W. Bush displaces 100,000 tons!  That means the warhead can “safely” extrapolate the position the carrier will be 22 seconds after its tracker shuts down.  During those 22 seconds, the Bush could travel 370 meters, which is about the length of the Bush (333 meters) (...)

https://www.armscont...early-thoughts/

(2010)

 

I was under impression that even a CVN could dodge well, even with the rule of thumb that speed drops to 50% of top speed after a 90° emergency turn and that speed is then sustainable for many full turns.

 

 

Whatever dodging is possible against such a fast incoming missile might be insufficient to bring a carrier out of the missile's area of dispersion.

I guess that means dazzling (IR) lasers and directional RF jamming are required for soft kill defence.


Edited by lastdingo, 15 January 2020 - 0503 AM.

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#29 Chris Werb

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 0423 AM

Runways cant be easily repaired within the first few critical days of a conflict. Anti runway munitions bury themselves deeply to create heave si vast amounts of material needs to be dug out. This process can be made hazardous with scatter able munitions. Then there is the issue as to whether the manpower, materials, equipment and expertise to repair actually exist. There is one such regular unit in the entire British armed forces. It's in Scotland. Then again, you only have to render the runway inoperable long enough for fixed wing to arrive with much cheaper and more numerous unpowered munitions that can thoroughly ruin the runway (so much that you would be better building one from scratch) and take out all of the other support facilities. We live in an era where one tactical aircraft sortie by something like an F15E can easily shut down an airfield for the duration of all but the most protracted conflict.
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#30 lucklucky

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 1753 PM

So start anti-missile zigzagging when a DF21 is detected like in the past torpedo or anti dive bomber.semi circles?


Edited by lucklucky, 17 January 2020 - 1803 PM.

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#31 lastdingo

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 1810 PM

Maybe, but this would only reduce the probability of hit. It may be completely insufficient if there's a salvo incoming.

 

 

I suppose the USN would be well-advised to not send a carrier battlefleet (and it would be THE carrier battlefleet, not split up) before it can provide it with many modified cargo ships that look to missiles as carriers do.

 

Yet in the end, all measures that merely reduce the probability of hit will run against the inescapable fact that missiles are cheap compared to ships, and the PLAAF could simply set up quantity production of 5,000 missiles of different types and that would still cost less than a single new CVN costs the USN these days.

 

The state of naval warfare may be that at the high end of hot conflict against prepared great powers, land-based aviation and missiles would make use of the sea surface unacceptably expensive to the enemy, and within 1,000+ nm of the coast. The USN carrier fleets of WW2 dominated by massing air power locally, and approach that would not matter nowadays in the age of mid-air refuelling. Their basically unthreatend land attack profiles of Korea, Vietnam and Iraq may be utterly misleading regarding a 2020's Pacific War.

 

I don't think that the Chinese stand a good chance against the USN yet. They do not appear to really work towards a fleet battle. They appear to work towards being respected and able to project military power to Africa.


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#32 lucklucky

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 1937 PM

Yes it was more in jest than a true question. I too think it does not cut it , For example what if the missile ejects sensors that transmit tracking data to the missile.


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#33 a77

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Posted 19 January 2020 - 0230 AM

Yes it was more in jest than a true question. I too think it does not cut it , For example what if the missile ejects sensors that transmit tracking data to the missile.

So you shall eject somthing at mach 10, slow it down and stabilize it, deploy a sensor and start scaning the area before the msisile pass the target area.

 

Tom Clancy is not a good sorce, but he did have the USSR swarm of sea skimming missles to send up one misile high to extend the radar horizon and send back target date to the the rest of the swarm before it was destroyed. I think its a realistic idea... but not at the USSR 1980s computer tecnology.


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#34 GARGEAN

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Posted 19 January 2020 - 0451 AM

Tom Clancy is not a good sorce, but he did have the USSR swarm of sea skimming missles to send up one misile high to extend the radar horizon and send back target date to the the rest of the swarm before it was destroyed. I think its a realistic idea... but not at the USSR 1980s computer tecnology.

You do realize that this is exactly how most of soviet AShMs worked, lol?
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#35 KV7

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Posted 19 January 2020 - 0834 AM

One could use a cluster munition with multiple long rods and in doing so dramatically increase the probability of a hit and the number of hits. Eg use 50 * ~ 8 kg rods dispersed over a circle about 300 meters in diameter. If your ship is eg. hit by about ten of them, one or more of them is going to hit something critical and/or start a fire.


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#36 lastdingo

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Posted 20 January 2020 - 0840 AM

https://en.wikipedia...reentry_vehicle


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#37 KV7

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Posted 20 January 2020 - 0910 AM

This is an expensive and not much better solution to the targeting problem though - the problem is not hitting multiple targets, but blanketing an area in which the target very likely is, extrapolating from the last lock perhaps 20 seconds ago, which will be some roughly kidney shaped patch of sea. Using multiple maneuvering warheads to do this just gives you a  slightly more efficient pattern (very slightly as a circle/oval is almost perfect anyway).


Edited by KV7, 20 January 2020 - 0917 AM.

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#38 DB

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Posted 21 January 2020 - 1126 AM

Single carrier vehicle version of the classic crowbars from space idea. Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, rather than Clancy, but who knows what would work?

Consider also Starstreak's submunitions as s starting data point, perhaps.
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#39 Burncycle360

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Posted 01 February 2020 - 1025 AM

Russia's "star-wars" to make the US go bankrupt trying to avoid a capability gap?

Russian Navy's top officer admits the country's hypersonic Zircon cruise missile is suffering 'childhood diseases' and is still years away from entering service

https://www.dailymai...d-diseases.html


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#40 DB

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Posted 06 February 2020 - 1238 PM

I think there may be an element of that. On the other hand, demonstrating capabilities without disclosing how many if any you're fielding is all part of the game
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