Hypersonic Test Vehicle Falcon goes missing on test flight, DARPA admits


Praxius
#1
Hypersonic Test Vehicle Falcon goes missing on test flight, DARPA admits | News.com.au

Quote:

THE US has admitted its top-secret military prototype "Falcon" glider went missing on its test flight last week.

US military scientists lost contact with the unmanned Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 (HTV-2) nine minutes into its inaugural test flight, AFP reported.

The HTV-2 was launched last week aboard a Minotaur IV rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, according to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

The HTV-2 is designed to fly through the upper reaches of Earth's atmosphere at speeds of up to Mach 20, providing the US military with a possible platform for striking targets anywhere on the planet with conventional weapons.

The test flight called for a 30-minute mission in which the vehicle would glide at high speed before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean, north of a US military test site at the Kwajalein Atoll.



The glider separated from the booster but soon after the signal vanished, a spokeswoman said.

"Preliminary review of data indicates the HTV-2 achieved controlled flight within the atmosphere at over Mach 20. Then contact with HTV-2 was lost," Johanna Spangenberg Jones, a spokeswoman for DARPA, said.

"This was our first flight (all others were done in wind tunnels and simulations) so although of course we would like to have everything go perfectly, we still gathered data and can use findings for the next flight, scheduled currently for early 2011," she said.

The test flight was supposed to cover a total of 4100 nautical miles (7600km) from lift-off and scientists had hoped to conduct some limited maneuovres, with the HTV-2 banking and eventually diving for its splash down.

US aerospace giant Lockheed Martin builds the hypersonic glider, which the military calls "revolutionary".

The hypersonic program appears to fit in with US plans to develop a way of hitting distant targets with conventional weapons within an hour, dubbed "prompt global strike".

According to a Pentagon fact sheet for the vehicle, "the US military seeks the capability to respond, with little or no advanced warning, to threats to our national security anywhere around the globe".

A hypersonic plane could substitute for a ballistic missile armed with a conventional warhead, as other countries might suspect the missile represented a nuclear attack.

"Aside from its speed, another advantage is that it would not be mistaken by Russia or China for a nuclear launch," said Loren Thompson, an analyst with the Lexington Institute who has done consultant work for Lockheed Martin.

The US Air Force has also looked at hypersonic vehicles for intelligence-gathering if spy satellites in low orbit were attacked, he said.

Well whoops... they never said they found it either.

Well besides the obvious joke of it perhaps going to warp and off to Klingon space, is anybody else bothered by the concept of the US having such a weapon that can launch and attack pretty much anywhere on the planet in about an hour?

By the way, here's what it looks like:

http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/...PA_2008_lg.jpg
 
CDNBear
#2
Quote: Originally Posted by Praxius View Post

By the way, here's what it looks like:

Nope.

Great article by the way.
 
Icarus27k
#3
Sure, the fact that this thing is weaponized is disturbing. What the hell are they thinking?

But still, it's a glider that travels at Mach 20. That's pretty cool. Something that shouldn't go really fast going really fast. Like Carol Channing being propelled to the speed of sound.
Last edited by Icarus27k; Apr 28th, 2010 at 10:12 AM..
 
TenPenny
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by Praxius View Post

Well besides the obvious joke of it perhaps going to warp and off to Klingon space, is anybody else bothered by the concept of the US having such a weapon that can launch and attack pretty much anywhere on the planet in about an hour?

Sure, it can land anywhere...but who knows where? If they could control it, that would be something!
 
Praxius
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by TenPenny View Post

Sure, it can land anywhere...but who knows where? If they could control it, that would be something!

Indeed... instead in their first flight, they lost it.... Now I bet the Mexicans have it and will now become the next world leader

But seriously, while this could be considered quite a threat to anybody on the other end of the stick, I'm sure a pile of new counter measures will come about from all sorts of countries and specialist..... but in the meantime, if it ever became practical for military use, I can't see too many people sitting easy with the US having such a weapon.

And not just the US... any country who had such a weapon is a tad unsettling.... no wonder why they decided to have their little PR campaign to scrap some nuclear weapons.... they won't need as many with such a device.
 
MHz
#6
So if they need an ICBM type of launch it get it to mach 20 first why not just put steerable conventional munitions on one of rockets and scrap the whole 'glider' thing?
 
Praxius
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by MHz View Post

So if they need an ICBM type of launch it get it to mach 20 first why not just put steerable conventional munitions on one of rockets and scrap the whole 'glider' thing?

That'd just be too easy, lol.... but also I guess these things are a smaller target and probably once they get it working right, it'd be more maneuverable compared to a long rocket.

Also, since it's a glider and has no propulsion of it's own, there's no real heat signature to track.
 
MHz
#8
Going Mach 20 through the atmosphere will create heat all by itself, like red hot iron temperatures and there is that little problem of hiding the rocket launch, let alone 30 if it is a large strike.
Catching it might be a tad difficult.

If it is shuttle like in appearance it is a modified clone of the Avro.
 
CDNBear
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by MHz View Post

If it is shuttle like in appearance it is a modified clone of the Avro.

...
 
eh1eh
#10
So the US can annihilate all life on the planet faster. Not really news except the faster thingy. I say hurry up and stop being wuusies. Kill us all now. That is the only use for such a weapon. They can already carpet bomb the population of Earth into submition. Not to mention nuke most of the globe in short order. Doing it at mach 20 seems redundant.
 
AnnaG
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by MHz View Post

Going Mach 20 through the atmosphere will create heat all by itself, like red hot iron temperatures and there is that little problem of hiding the rocket launch, let alone 30 if it is a large strike.
Catching it might be a tad difficult.

If it is shuttle like in appearance it is a modified clone of the Avro.

It said the Upper reaches of the atmosphere. Air friction will be low and 15,000 miles per hour is a lot less than meteorites landing at an average of 25 miles per second. The shuttles survive and they're doing about 18,000 MPH at atmosphere entry. There's no problem with heat.
It looks like the Avro like a Fokker Triplane looks like a dirigible.
 
MHz
#12
Low would still be enough to be picked up by somebody and that would eliminate the 'where did that explosion come from' question.
 
AnnaG
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by MHz View Post

Low would still be enough to be picked up by somebody and that would eliminate the 'where did that explosion come from' question.

After a couple decades of stealth stuff you think it'd be easy to detect it? lol As it is a F-22 has an electronic print like a biological bird. It'd be invisible to the naked eye because of the skin and its altitude (average of 125,000 feet). Good luck with detection.
 
Risus
#14
Looks good on the yanks...
 
MHz
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by AnnaG View Post

After a couple decades of stealth stuff you think it'd be easy to detect it? lol As it is a F-22 has an electronic print like a biological bird. It'd be invisible to the naked eye because of the skin and its altitude (average of 125,000 feet). Good luck with detection.

IR is somewhat different from bat radar plus how do you hide the rocket signature that can be picked up from space by several Nations. At Mach 20 who needs stealth, as it is at that altitude and that speed it seems to be easy pickings from either below or from above (Twilight Zone intro) lol Evasive maneuvers are somewhat limited in air when going that fast. Even with current missiles that only do Mach 5 add a little Kentucky windage an one dead bird is the result
Last edited by MHz; Apr 28th, 2010 at 06:05 PM..
 
AnnaG
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by MHz View Post

IR is somewhat different from bat radar.

Yeah, people tracking rockets doing mach 5 never lose them. lmao
Good luck, Pilgrim. A few seconds and it is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay out of your range.
Besides that, it'd be like trying to hit a needle with a needle at a pretty tall altitude. Good luck. http://www.g2mil.com/interceptor.htm
Last edited by AnnaG; Apr 28th, 2010 at 06:20 PM..
 
MHz
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by AnnaG View Post

Yeah, people tracking rockets never lose them. lmao
From 520 miles up satellites use IR radar to see storms that cover thousands and thousands of square km moving at maybe a couple hundred km per hour and you expect to spot a speck doing mach 20? Even at 1/20th the altitude? lmao Good luck, Pilgrim. A few seconds later and it is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay out of your range.

I sort of meant Military IR detection from the ground, preferably from 3 sensors several miles apart that is 'attached' to a targeting computer that is connected to a 'trigger'. Because of it's altitude that is very high it's travel as viewed from the ground would be something that crosses the sky at a rate not much faster that sky-lab of a fast jet a a lower altitude. Even a ICBM is an easy target because it comes from such a high altitude very little movement of the 'barrel' is needed. Trigger action is down to a nanosecond.
 
AnnaG
#18
"This remarkable feat has been described as "hitting a bullet with a bullet". In reality, a bullet travels only about Mach 2, so this (mach 5) is twice as difficult. In addition, each interceptor missile is a multi-stage rocket that cost millions of dollars."
Interceptor

It'd simply be a lot cheaper to not piss off the USA. Not like they can't trounce most countries as it is. And tell me which terrorist group can afford to spend hundreds of millions on intercepting rockets.
Add a couple heat flares for the falcon to toss out and your multimillion dollar rocket goes heading for a goose egg to blow up.
Last edited by AnnaG; Apr 28th, 2010 at 06:27 PM..
 
MHz
#19
The Mach 5 ones are quite inexpensive and if the US is so good how did 911 even have a chance to happen? The US has to do business this way because the money is supposed to stay in the US. Take the defense budget and give it to the people they want to do business with and there would be no need to keep a military the size of the one the US has. That might put a lot of people on food stamps but at least it would be enough for food and shelter and even enough for leisure activities. Even in the good times past the 'workers' were a long way from being as well off as they could have been. Isn't that the American dream. their forefathers busted their nuts so their grand-kids could sit back and relax, as it is the company town is making a comeback and the lifestyle that went along with it. The owners will be living even higher on the hog.
 
AnnaG
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by MHz View Post

The Mach 5 ones are quite inexpensive

*shrugs* Go right ahead and build your superfantastic inexpensive interceptors then. I still say getting a rocket to hit the thing doing 15,000 MPH is bloody near impossible even without it carrying flares.
Quote:

and if the US is so good how did 911 even have a chance to happen? The US has to do business this way because the money is supposed to stay in the US. Take the defense budget and give it to the people they want to do business with and there woul

Irrelevant.
 
MHz
#21
Quote: Originally Posted by AnnaG View Post

*shrugs* Go right ahead and build your superfantastic inexpensive interceptors then. I still say getting a rocket to hit the thing doing 15,000 MPH is bloody near impossible even without it carrying flares.

All I was hoping for would some evidence as to where a 'sudden attack from space' actually came from. What other purpose could this be other than a first strike vehicle?
 
AnnaG
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by MHz View Post

All I was hoping for would some evidence as to where a 'sudden attack from space' actually came from. What other purpose could this be other than a first strike vehicle?

So far it seems to be just a toy.
 
Goober
#23
Quote: Originally Posted by Praxius View Post

Hypersonic Test Vehicle Falcon goes missing on test flight, DARPA admits | News.com.au



Well whoops... they never said they found it either.

Well besides the obvious joke of it perhaps going to warp and off to Klingon space, is anybody else bothered by the concept of the US having such a weapon that can launch and attack pretty much anywhere on the planet in about an hour?

By the way, here's what it looks like:

http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/...PA_2008_lg.jpg

Well if your name is Osama Bin laden - Yes -

If you attacked the US using limited biological - chemical or low level radioactive weapons- yes - Beats Nukes now does it not
Take out the whole leadership in on swoop over Tehran or some other place.
This policy has been talked about for quite some time and was announced a number of months ago.
 
MHz
#24
Quote: Originally Posted by AnnaG View Post

So far it seems to be just a toy.

A very expensive one at that.
 
Goober
#25
Quote: Originally Posted by MHz View Post

A very expensive one at that.

And when they work the bugs out - a great piece of kit for hitting heavily defended ( Air Defence areas - S300 types and otger types ) It will not be as easy to hit as you seem to think - Mach 20 -

Your comments on hitting an ICBM - well critical point for targeting is during that short period in the lift off and before it has a chance to deploy the multiple warheads and decoys carried - similar to hitting a bullet fired with another bullet - and hit it dead on in a short time frame - that is why the missile defense planned and canceled for Europe is more a defensive than an offensive weapon - easily overwhelmed if it ever got to the point of mass launches.

But they do have ships that are still testing an anti ICBM missile system.
 
MHz
#26
So what happens if an EMP is deployed in the general vicinity (50mi) before the warheads each go their own way? If you get one doesn't that set off a chain reaction if they are still in close proximity to each other. If nothing else their guidance systems would be cooked. Years ago the neutron bomb (EMP) was so small it was considered to be deliverable as a tank shell.

Subs already have that deployment capability, s300's, and more advanced systems, pretty much grounded low level attacks (under 50,000ft)
Last edited by MHz; Apr 28th, 2010 at 08:28 PM..
 
AnnaG
#27
Yeah, let's use nukes against conventionals.
 
MHz
#28
Would you rather take one the nose or have it go off in the country side? Conventual or otherwise.
 
lone wolf
#29
Quote: Originally Posted by MHz View Post

Would you rather take one the nose or have it go off in the country side? Conventual or otherwise.

...as long as it's YOUR countryside
 
MHz
#30
Quote: Originally Posted by lone wolf View Post

...as long as it's YOUR countryside

I meant better off target than dead center of a large city and if it could be taken out at a very high altitude that would also be better than at near ground level even in the countryside.