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Tactical Propulsion (U)

Overview (U):

(U) The technologies in this subthrust address the needs of air-to-air and air-to-surface tactical missiles. The Tactical Propulsion Technology project addresses propellant development for current and future air-to-surface missiles. The project assesses potential propellant ingredients for their ability to improve missile performance and achieve other desirable qualities such as meeting Insensitive Munitions criteria and minimum smoke requirements.

Description (U):

(U) The Hybrid Propulsion Concepts project addresses the development of solid/semi-solid hybrid propulsion technologies primarily for use in air-to-air missiles but having application to other tactical missile missions. Hybrid propulsion was successfully developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s but was abandoned for a number of technical reasons including poor performance and the toxicity of the propellant ingredients used in the concepts. Many advances in propellant ingredients have been made since that time. The Hybrid Propulsion Concepts project has assessed, in a study, the potential application to Air Force missions where hybrid propulsion should be evaluated as a viable propulsion alternative to conventional solid or liquid rocket propulsion.

(U) The study indicated that there is significant potential for hybrid propulsion using current state-of-the-art propellant ingredients and technologies. NASA is currently involved with developing hybrid propulsion concepts for space launch boosters. The Air Force has determined to not become involved in this area due to the lack of funding and NASA's current involvement. The Air Force is focusing its effort instead on the application of hybrid propulsion to tactical missiles. Recent tests of hybrid fuels and oxidizers show there is great promise for this technology area. Significant strides have been made in the propellants area as mentioned earlier. The Propulsion Directorate is pursuing international cooperative research and development in this area to better leverage the resources available. Work will start in earnest on hybrid rocket engine components in FY98 as part of this international cooperative effort. The technology developed from this work could feed future missile programs in the 2005 - 2010 time frame.

(U) The Missile Component Integration project is pursuing solid propulsion technologies for air-to-air tactical missiles. This project seeks innovative technologies aimed at improving the performance of current and future solid rocket tactical missiles. Some of the technologies developed under this project would also have transfer to systems using hybrid propulsion technology. The technologies investigated under this project include propellants, advanced insulation, and nozzle materials and concepts.

(U) The Tactical Missile Development and Demonstration project is a 6.3 effort aimed a taking matured 6.2 work and demonstrating it in full-scale tactical demonstrators at representative tactical missile operating conditions. From this the technology will then be ready for a interested missile system program office such as AMRAAM or AIM 9-X to pick up and include in their missile system.

User Impact (U):

(U) None.

Programmatics (U):

(U) Concept/Technology.

Images (U):

(U) None.

Related Initiatives (U): None.

Related Requirements (U):None.

Related Categories (U):
Propulsion TechnologySpacecraft and Tactical Propulsion Technology
This Table Is Unclassified.

Road Map Placements (U):

This Table Is Unclassified.

Requirements, Funding and Additional Hotlinks (U):

RDT&E Budget Item Project 1011
Projects 0003,4373,6339,6340
Advanced Spacecraft Tech Funding
This Table Is Unclassified.

Lead Office (U):

(U) Air Force.

Point of Contact (U):

(U) Maj Mike LaPointe, NSSA, Open Phone: (703) 325-6422, DSN 221-6422.
(U) National Security Space Road Map Team, NSSA, Open Phone: (703)808-6040, DSN 898-6040.

Date Of Information (U):

(U) 16 July 1997

(U) Road Map Production Date: 12 July 1999

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