[FoRK] "Two faces of the Tea Party"

J. Andrew Rogers andrew at ceruleansystems.com
Sun Jun 27 14:40:33 PDT 2010

On Jun 27, 2010, at 1:55 PM, mdw at martinwills.com wrote:
> The F-22 is designed to fight in high-g, high speed environments.  Have
> you thought through what you are writing?  There is no such thing as a
> stealthy bomb shroud and especially in excess of 1000 kts or pulling 6
> g's. The majority of the stealth in F-22 is radar absorbing materials and
> odd angles when mechanically available.  A 200 - 1000 bomb CANNOT BE MADE
> STEALTHY unless carried internally.  

Think more like an externally attachable and fully stealthed bomb bay. The bombs would be completely enclosed in a structure composed of the same design and material as the rest of the aircraft. For all intents and purposes, the bombs would be carried internally. The major downside is loss of maneuverability.

> I have friends "in the know", who are working on these platforms for the
> firms doing the development for the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy, and they are
> closer that you might think. (a rail gun prototype was tested in 2006 by
> the Navy).

I have no idea what the state of this program is; minor issues can stall production for decades. My point was that the naval system is huge, the production version won't fit on a tactical battlefield platform. The Army is going with small, lightweight rocket motors that can drive a hypersonic tungsten rod at tactical ranges with modestly lower energy levels. One is disposable, the other reusable.

The Navy railgun is spec-ed to eventually deliver 64 MJ of kinetic energy over long range and requires a destroyer to house the infrastructure. 

The Army missile is spec-ed to eventually deliver 10 MJ of kinetic energy over short range and weighs 50 pounds.

> This has been under development since the Reagan administration.  It was
> one of the concepts for the Star-Wars initiative.  They are currently
> being developed under "black budgets" and they already have a space based
> working prototype they tested in 1996.

These are different than the ones originally developed for space-based SDI, though the work started at around the same time. I remember initial versions of the motors being tested in the early 1990s. The space-based ones were liquid fueled. They also had a more traditional acceleration time, not the "hypersonic in milliseconds" required for an Army platform.

What they are building here is man-portable hypersonic guided missiles. Naturally "man portable" only applies to weight, the back blast on these missiles is so ferocious that you have to armor the shooter. 

More information about the FoRK mailing list