A new Chinese Hypersonic weapon, and counters

Military aircraft - Post cold war aircraft, including for example B-2, Gripen, F-18E/F Super Hornet, Rafale, and Typhoon.
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jessmo112

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Unread post18 Oct 2021, 04:54

I noticed over the weekend that multiple media sources are discussing the test of a new Chinese Hypersonic weapon. (FOAB)

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone

https://www.foxnews.com/world/chinese-h ... telligence

To make a long story short the weapon uses a boost glide vehicle with a nuclear payload.
The weapon stays in the atmosphere and glides at hypersonic speeds allowing it to travel over the south pole rather than north bypassing early warning radars.

What are or options for stopping a weapon like this?
And as a side bar how does this change anything if the Subs still get to launch trident?

1. X-47Bs on patrol with advanced interceptors?

2. Move land based defenses south?

3. Sat weapons?

4. Some new kind of missile defense one the Southern border? Maybe a Sm-7‽
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zhangmdev

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Unread post18 Oct 2021, 10:26

No hypersonic vehicle can stay in the atmosphere and circle the globe, over the south pole or not. Jouralists these days are firmly in the business of writing science fiction. If such a weapon is launched into the polar orbit, then deorbited somethere before reaching the North America, It will be detected as soon as liftoff, its orbit and trajectory will be tracked, it will need more energy, carry less payload, and take longer time to reach its target than an ICBM does. So what is the benefit? Sneak attack? Are you sure the US will not retaliate?

Rocket, ICBM, orbital maneuver, reentry vehicle, skip-reentry, hypersonic glider, nuclear war, everything was developed and perfected about a half century ago. Journalists are hyping about something frighteningly new, but there aren't any.
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mixelflick

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Unread post19 Oct 2021, 13:37

Seems US intelligence is always, "caught off guard" by these Chinese developments.

I can't figure out if our intelligence services are that bad, it's dis/mis-information or what. And when they flew the J-20 prototype over Gates' head 10 years before "US Intelligence" estimated they could, I had the same questions.

Either fire these people and get someone in there that can do the job, or keep pushing the "bomber/missile/hypersonic gap" thing to get more funding. Unfortunately as we've seen recently, no amount of $ is going to fix things without leadership.

Too bad we can't buy that...
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zhangmdev

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Unread post20 Oct 2021, 01:45

What the intelligence community could have done is superfluous on this issue. Even if there is a clean picture about what China is doing, or is about to do, very little can be done about that. It is not like the US can sign a treaty with China to limit this kind of weapon.
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element1loop

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Unread post20 Oct 2021, 02:30

Chinese say it was a space plane (presumably a reusable prototype), not a hypersonic weapon, and missed its 'target' landing area by ~40 km. Which strongly suggests control mechanisms or guidance did not function from long before re-entry. It failed and crashed.
Accel + Alt + VLO + DAS + MDF + Radial Distance = LIFE . . . Always choose Stealth
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element1loop

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Unread post20 Oct 2021, 02:40

zhangmdev wrote:What the intelligence community could have done is superfluous on this issue. Even if there is a clean picture about what China is doing, or is about to do, very little can be done about that. It is not like the US can sign a treaty with China to limit this kind of weapon.


If it's skimming around the curvature inside the upper-most atmosphere it can be shot down by a SAM.

The dog-leg turn 'observation' drama can be explained very easily by vertical launch to the lower mid-stratosphere altitude, then reorienting to fire the next stage along a curvature skimming path, sans atmospheric resistance, for very rapid acceleration at that altitude..

This does not mean such weapons can perform further radical agile changes of direction, at sharp angles, in space, which of course would be total bollocks. Though someone is sure enjoying making-up such FUD to cash-in on it.
Accel + Alt + VLO + DAS + MDF + Radial Distance = LIFE . . . Always choose Stealth
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weasel1962

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Unread post20 Oct 2021, 04:57

Taking a step back, China's 1st operational hypersonic missile is the DF-17 which they mated the glide vehicle to an IRBM to achieve a decent range. Of course they could mate the glide vehicle to an ICBM to extend range. However China's existing ICBMs can barely reach all of the US. However FT has published a report that claims a hypersonic glide vehicle that circumvented the globe. Hmmmm...somebody needs to change the skeptical alarm batteries...

Operationally shooting down a hypersonic has its challenges. Normal SAMs aren't catered to handle hypersonics. US Aegis BMD deals directly with that, particularly baseline 9.2.1. MDA's looking at a test somewhere in FY 24 but possibly achieving this by FY 23. Successful test sends a simple response/message in itself. Will happen regardless of what China does.
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zhangmdev

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Unread post20 Oct 2021, 10:24

Soyuz reentry vehicle has guided and ballistic mode. In guided mode, the trajectory is shallower to reduce heating and deceleration, and it can control where to land. Apollo Command Module, and later Curiosity/Perseverance Mars entry vehicle has similar functions. Apollo CM can do strip reentry to prolong the down range for return mission from Luna polar orbit, but was never used. (China did performed strip reentry test years before.) Space Shuttle was designed to have 1,100 miles cross range capability, so it had very large delta wings. Simple capsule can maneuver very little in atmosphere. Space Shuttle took about half an hour from entry interface, touching the atmosphere, to touch down. Down range distance was about 5,000 miles, including a number of preprogramed S-turns. Decelerated from 17,500 miles-per-hour to close to 200 miles-per-hour. Shuttle was designed and tested before 1981, and was in service until 2011. Don't know about X-37b "space plane", but it has much smaller wings, so cross range won't be as great. Recent research was about hypersonic glide without traditional wings. Not an easy feat.

Reentry of Soyuz and Shuttle was visible to naked eye in space. Astronauts took photos of such events from hundreds of miles away. Thermal radiation was enormous. So much for the stealth operation. To make sure destroy your enemy thoroughly, LEO must be full of this kind of vehicles, a constellation of them ready to deorbit at a moment's notice. Which is obviously quite a silly proposition.

But why bother? As long as those Chinese elite park their dollars at the BVI and other overseas tax heavens, as long as those Chinese oligarchy are getting richer by listing on the Wall Street, as long as China is sending boatload of goods to the US in return for dollar, a preemptive nuclear strike launched by China will never happen.
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jessmo112

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Unread post21 Oct 2021, 01:11

Isn't the U.S. nuclear command ready for a decapitation strike anyway? How is this different from launching hundreds of ICBMs? The results will be the same!
A massive retaliatory strike from OHIO class subs ending china.
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Corsair1963

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Unread post21 Oct 2021, 03:53

jessmo112 wrote:Isn't the U.S. nuclear command ready for a decapitation strike anyway? How is this different from launching hundreds of ICBMs? The results will be the same!
A massive retaliatory strike from OHIO class subs ending china.


"MAD" is very much alive and well.........
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madrat

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Unread post22 Oct 2021, 13:25

China is highly vulnerable to the very weapon they tested.
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zhangmdev

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Unread post22 Oct 2021, 22:15

The specialist spacenews picks up the hype

https://spacenews.com/chinas-hypersonic ... echnology/

If you ask the "principal and co-owner of Innoveering, a company that specializes in propulsion technology used in hypersonic vehicles", and a DoD contractor, of course he will hype the heck out of it. The gist is "I don't know what happen, I don't have the data, but it could be some unknown technology far more advanced than Space Shuttle or X-37B, so advanced it is incomprehensible. But it could be just an X-37B copy, but hey, I cover my bases, and please give me more money to develop something similar, even if I have no idea how to do that." He will never say it is silly and pointless as a weapon.
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weasel1962

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Unread post18 Nov 2021, 01:54

Looks like the USAF thinks the chinese have managed to successfully integrate the former Soviet "fractional orbital bombardment system" with a hypersonic glide vehicle
https://thehill.com/policy/defense/5820 ... neral-says

I would retract my earlier doubts. Renders current ABM technology inadequate and retains the MAD status quo.

This would complicate a Taiwan response. Current assumptions are that mainland targets can be prosecuted without significant retaliatory civilian casualties. This would change the equation somewhat potentially complicating ROEs. If the chinese can improve the accuracy, that can render potential conventional first strike capabilities on port infrastructure or carriers at dock.
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element1loop

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Unread post18 Nov 2021, 03:54

weasel1962 wrote:This would change the equation somewhat potentially complicating ROEs. If the chinese can improve the accuracy, that can render potential conventional first strike capabilities on port infrastructure or carriers at dock.


Precision strike has been available via conventional hypersonic BM for at least 20 years. All that is changing is the flight profile. It's physically far easier to reach something skimming through the upper stratosphere 40 to 50 km up, than it is to hit an RV arcing through space well above 100 km up.

I know which one I'd rather have to intercept.
Accel + Alt + VLO + DAS + MDF + Radial Distance = LIFE . . . Always choose Stealth
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jessmo112

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Unread post20 Nov 2021, 08:11

Hypersonic interceptor incoming.

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/northrop ... 30599.html

What will this look like? Are we talking about a glide vehicle about the size of a sidewinder on the end of a booster? Will it be a space weapon? Opinions.
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