Will ‘Free Media’ of the West tells its readers, low-and-dirty facts? Not if it matters.
Or take another instance.
Russia and India are already testing a new supersonic cruise missile, which is pretty cool, we guess. But going Mach 2 or thereabouts isn’t all that fast these days. Everything has to go faster. That’s why the two countries are also developing a hypersonic missile capable of traveling more than five times the speed of sound. Problem is even building the engines, let alone missiles, is extremely hard to do.
If it works, the missile — called the BrahMos 2 — is expected to travel up to Mach 7 from sea-, land- and air-launched platforms. And it’s supposed to be ready for flight tests in 2017
Sivathanu Pillai, CEO of India-based BraHmos Aerospace said in Moscow on Wednesday. Pillai also suggested the missile already exists, and that BrahMos has conducted ”lab tests [of the missile] at the speed of 6.5 Mach.”
It will be interesting to see the extent to which Brahmos 2 might draw on previous Russian hypersonic research and development.”
There’s the sheer heat generated by traveling at such speeds. And getting a scramjet into missile-form is even harder. You’d need sophisticated guidance tools, sensors and navigation equipment to keep it in the air and to its target, while also making it small enough to launch from a conventional aircraft. And you still have to solve the propulsion problems.
Just ask the Pentagon. Its experimental pizza-shaped hypersonic weapon capsule, Falcon, failed its test in August before plunging into the Pacific Ocean. The Air Force’s scramjet — the X-51 WaveRider – has a better record, but was bruised by a test last summer when its engine failed. The Air Force is pressing on, however, with a new hypersonic missile for its stealth fighters. The Army’s Advanced Hypersonic Weapon has also been successfully tested, but it’s nowhere close to a deployable weapon.
Hypersonic and scramjet research in the United States also goes back to the early days of the Cold War. But it wasn’t until 1991 when Russia became the first country to successfully test a scramjet. More tests followed, and with the help of NASA, Russia successfully flew a hydrogen-fueled scramjet at up to Mach 6.4 over Kazakhstan in 1998. In 2001, U.S. defense analysts took notice of a mysterious ultra-high-speed Russian missile test suspected of being powered by a scramjet. The first successful solo American scramjet tests didn’t occur until the 2000s, though they were some of the first tests to use engines that operated entirely as scramjets. The earlier Russian tests were hybrid ramjets — slightly different, with oxygen only moving at subsonic speeds inside the engine.
Also, don’t think it’s a coincidence that Russia now wants a hypersonic missile of its own. Nor are cruise missiles the only area where Russia is afraid of falling behind even more than they already are.
via Russia Preps Mach 7 Missiles — With India’s Help | Danger Room | Wired.com.
Now the supersonic missile will be upgraded to a hypersonic bolt.