16 mars 2020 | International, Aérospatial

Japan unveils its hypersonic weapons plans

By: Mike Yeo

MELBOURNE, Australia — Japan has outlined its research and development road map for its homegrown, standoff hypersonic weapons, confirming that it is seeking an incremental growth in capability and providing more details about the kinds of threats it is targeting with this new class of weapon.

In a Japanese-language document published on the Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Agency website, the government said two classes of standoff hypersonic systems will be deployed — the Hypersonic Cruise Missile (HCM) and the Hyper Velocity Gliding Projectile (HVGP).

The former will be powered by a scramjet engine and appears similar to a typical missile, albeit one that cruises at a much higher speed while capable of traveling at long ranges.

The HVGP, on the other hand, will feature a solid-fuel rocket engine that will boost its warhead payload to a high altitude before separation, where it will then glide to its target using its altitude to maintain high velocity until impact.

The agency also provided more details regarding warhead payloads, with different warheads planned for both seaborne and land targets. The former will be an armor-piercing warhead designed specifically for penetrating “the deck of the [aircraft] carrier,” while a land-attack version will utilize a high-density, explosively formed projectile, or EFP, for area suppression.

Area suppression effects for the latter will be achieved via the use of multiple EFPs, which are more commonly known as a shaped charge. An EFP is made up of a concave metal hemispherical or cone-shaped liner backed by a high explosive, all in a steel or aluminum casing. When the high explosive is detonated, the metal liner is compressed and squeezed forward, forming a jet whose tip may travel as fast as 6 miles per second.

Japan's road map also revealed the country is taking an incremental approach with regard to designing the shapes of warheads and developing solid-fuel engine technology, with plans to field early versions of both in the 2024 to 2028 time frame. They are expected to enter service in the early 2030s.

The agency expects both systems to navigate via satellite navigation with an inertial navigation system as backup. Japan is seeking to establish a network of seven satellites to enable continuous positioning for its self-defense forces, which will enable it to provide continuous navigation data without relying on foreign satellites.

Warhead guidance is achieved via either radio-frequency imaging converted from doppler shift data — which the government agency said will be able to identify stealthy naval targets in all weather conditions — or an infrared seeker capable to discriminating specific targets.

Japan has been conducting R&D into various areas related to hypersonic weapons for a number of years, although most of it was to benefit other fields like satellite navigation and solid-fuel rockets.

More work remains, however, in areas like hypersonic guidance systems, warhead and missile-body thermal shielding, and hypersonic propulsion systems in order for Japan to be able to field a viable standoff hypersonic weapons capability.

https://www.defensenews.com/industry/techwatch/2020/03/13/japan-unveils-its-hypersonic-weapons-plans/

Sur le même sujet

  • NATO wants a say in 5G standardization talks

    23 mars 2022 | International, C4ISR

    NATO wants a say in 5G standardization talks

    For the past several years, the agency has been conducting internal technical assessments to evaluate the potential of 5G for military applications.

  • Sikorsky to upgrade HH-60W helo to improve on 2012 baseline capabilities

    16 février 2021 | International, Aérospatial

    Sikorsky to upgrade HH-60W helo to improve on 2012 baseline capabilities

    by Gareth Jennings The US Air Force (USAF) is to contract Sikorsky to upgrade its HH-60W Jolly Green II combat search and rescue (CSAR) helicopter to improve on the 2012 requirements baseline. The service disclosed on 11 February that the manufacturer is to bring the capabilities of the Combat Rescue Helicopter (CRH) up to today's specifications, ahead of the commencement of full rate production in fiscal year 2022. “The current system specification reflects a 2012 requirements baseline which was defined and frozen prior to the 2014 CRH contract awarded for the engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase,” the USAF said in its sole-source justification document posted on the beta.sam.gov US government procurement website. “During the last five years of EMD execution, the original CRH requirements baseline has evolved as a result of changes in threat conditions and evolving mission requirements. The response to this operational need is the driver for the continuance of new capability development and integration into the CRH baseline.” In response to this requirement, the USAF is to award Sikorsky a USD980.7 million contract over a five-year ordering period, with the work itself to run for seven years. News of the planned award came some 16 months after the USAF issued a request for information (RFI) on 1 October 2019 to assess the ability of companies and industry at large to perform development, integration, verification, production, and installation of a broad spectrum of capability upgrades for the CSAR helicopter, which at that time had only recently been cleared to enter into low-rate initial production (LRIP). https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/sikorsky-to-upgrade-hh-60w-helo-to-improve-on-2012-baseline-capabilities

  • GE Aerospace sees supply constraints persisting next year

    19 juin 2024 | International, Aérospatial

    GE Aerospace sees supply constraints persisting next year

Toutes les nouvelles