Pentagon wild-card warboffin agency DARPA has plunged back into the hypersonics fray with a vengeance, announcing plans to build a "recoverable" rocket plane capable of Mach 20 speeds within four years. Concept art showing the HTV-2's fairing opening after ascent through the atmosphere. Credit: DARPA A bit like this, but with …
But the important question --
Can they be launched from a carrier without a catapult?
(Sorry, Lewis... Couldn't resist!)
Re: But the important question --
What type of catapult? Magnetic rail gun as used here - http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/11/02/railgun_durability_milestone/ might work. But the acceleration needed might cause body organs to disembowel, grab a towel and find haven in a Bogon ship.
Didn't we do this already?
Why is DARPA so trailing-edge these days? We've already done the Space Shuttle and the X-37B, both of which are a "recoverable" rocket plane capable of Mach 20 speeds.
What's this thing got that X-37 doesn't? Besides pork?
haha no kidding
And wouldn't it just be cheaper to pay Scaled Composites to do one cheaper and better? It just seems to me that this is a way to pad the wallets of the fat boys in the private defense industry asking them to make stuff which will likely be overpriced and way too expensive to use and maintain. Oh.. that's right... we're support to support these huge government contractors who damn near never complete anything on time or on budget even when they're given years and billions to do it with when crumby little companies can pull off better, cheaper and safer tech on shoe-string budgets.
Re: Didn't we do this already?
You're missing the fact that the shuttle and X-37B do so by exiting the atmosphere, the same as an ICBM. I believe the intent here is to create a device that does so by not leaving the atmosphere. Achieving this feat while remaining in the atmosphere is considerably more difficult.
"several new technologies will be needed"
Just as well, I suppose, because if it walks like an ICBM and talks like an ICBM, it reads between the lines like a first strike ICBM.
With glide capabilities....
Who are they going to murder next?
Adding to the 50 million killed by US foreign policy thus far.
Re: An ICBM.....
>Adding to the 50 million killed by US foreign policy thus far.
Well I supposed we could be Britain and be so humane to our conquered colonies. As for 50 million Mao also killed that many but he did it will domestic policy instead of foreign. Neither is good but I know which one I would choose for my country.
Can't be stopped...
All very well, but can it be detected? Looks like it probably can. So under MAD, the only games-theory-sound response is to launch yours. Sure your cities will be smoking holes in the ground, but the other guy's cities will also be blown to crap a few hours later.
Ha! Still not as fast as Thunderbird 1.
Delivery System for Deep Penetration Bunker Busters????
At Mach 20 pointed straight down, a conventional explosive bunker buster (with added rocket motor) should have the impact force of a dinosaur erasing asteroid only a lot more concentrated. Should get at close to two miles below the surface through solid reinforced concrete and rock before it blows up, leaving a crater several miles across full of seething molten stone and no (outside) nukes involved. Can't speak for results from providing enough heat energy to make all of Irans existing enriched uranium go critical mass.
BOOM, Bada BOOM. Must see, TV
Rogue-nation head of state
Best not fit those warheads with A.I., else when they target them at a "rogue-nation head of state" it will turn back and land on the White house.
Re: Rogue-nation head of state
A truly intelligent warhead delivery system would try for a soft glide landing in a remote, forested mountain region. Then it could spend the rest of its existence contemplating the seasons and admiring the trees that grow around it.
Re: A truly intelligent warhead delivery system
A truly intelligent warhead delivery system would find a way to pit it's human enemies against each other. What kind of intelligent warhead would just blow itself up?
Sounds like the next advert for Ryanair.
«So we can probably all applaud the Integrated Hypersonics push
for different reasons.» While I'm sure you're clapping for a great variety of reasons, Lewis, I found nothing in your article which would impel me to do the same. But one thing about your contributions never fails to amuse - the extreme skepticism you purport to feel about all reports of man-made climate change, etc, seems to be totally blown away (pardon the pun) when you report on new DARPA toys. All good fun, innit ?...