Russian leaders, including President Vladmir Putin, vowed to adopt countermeasures for Moscow's strategic nuclear missile forces if the United States builds a national missile-defense shield. The Washington Times reported 30 July 2001 that Russia had conducted a test of a long-range missile with a new jet-powered last stage designed to defeat U.S. missile defenses. US intelligence officials viewed the launch as Russia's answer to U.S. plans to deploy a missile-defense system against long-range missiles.
The flight test of the road-mobile RS-12M Topol (NATO code SS-25 Sickle) intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) took place from a launch site in central Russia [probably Plesetsk] in mid-June 2001. It was tracked to an impact area several thousand miles away on the Kamchatka Peninsula. The missile's flight took an unusual path: Its last stage was a high-speed cruise missile that flew within the Earth's atmosphere at an altitude of about 100,000 feet.
It looked like the Russians were testing scramjet technology. A "scramjet," short for supersonic-combustion ramjet, is a high-powered jet engine capable of reaching speeds of five times the speed of sound Mach 5 or more. It is lighter than a space-borne re-entry vehicle because it does not need to carry its own oxygen.
The SS-25 flight test involved firing the road-mobile missile nearly into space and then having its last stage drop down to within the atmosphere and flying at supersonic speed to the Kamchatka impact range. The SS-25 ballistic missile has three stages and a post-boost vehicle carrying the warhead. It has a maximum range of more than 7,000 miles.
Sven Kraemer, a former White House National Security Council staff specialist on strategic missiles, said he was not aware of the SS-25 scramjet test, but said if it were true it would be an alarming development. It would indicate Russia is continuing to develop advanced strategic weapons. "If this is true, it demonstrates Russia's intense effort to very significantly upgrade its offensive capabilities even as it is doing the same in its strategic defense investments," Kraemer said in an interview with the Washington Times. Kraemer said that in addition to continued development of new strategic weapons, Russia has gone ahead with upgrading its nuclear-armed strategic defense system around Moscow and the construction of deep underground bunkers used to protect leaders and command forces in a nuclear war.
Keith Payne, a missile-defense expert who heads the National Institute for Public Policy, a defense think tank, said any Russian effort to counter US missile defenses with a scramjet missile or other techniques is misguided. "The missile-defense system we're talking about isn't designed to defeat Russian ICBMs," Payne said. "If the Russians want to put any countermeasures, I don't really care. It doesn't undermine what we're developing." Payne said the scramjet missile may be part of Russia's efforts to develop non-nuclear or conventional precision-guided long-range missiles. "The Russians put a lot of stock in that," he said.
In August 2001, at the MAKS air and space show in Moscow, the Zhukovskiy Flight Research Institute, LII, displayed a full-scale mockup of a winged HFL-VK experimental vehicle designed for test flights at hypersonic speeds. Launched by a Rockot booster, a scramjet-powered unmanned craft would reach a speed of 8-14 Mach (1 Mach is equal to the speed of sound) and fly at the an altitude of up to 100 kilometers -- faster and higher then most experimental vehicles in development around the world at the time. The HFL-VK is 8 meters long, has a wing span of 3.6 meters and a weight of 2,200 kilograms. After launch from Plesetsk onboard the Rockot, the HFL-VK plane was expected to land with a parachute in the Russian Far East.
In 2001 November an unannounced launch of the Topol-M missile toward Kura impact range on a "low" trajectory reportedly included a scramjet upper stage.
During the Security 2004 exercise, Russia conducted multiple launches of ballistic missiles including tests on 18 February 2004 of the RT-2PM Topol [SS-25 SICKLE] and UR-100UTTKh missiles. In apparent reference to the Topol launch, Colonel-General Yury Baluyevsky, First Deputy Chief of the General Staff, told reporters on 19 February 2004 that Russia had tested a highly maneuverable vehicle, potentially capable of penetrating antimissile defenses.
The Topol was originally designed to carry three warheads, but was "de-rated" to a single-warhead vehicle in compliance with arms-controls treaties. As a result the vehicle gained extra payload capacity, which allowed the integration of propulsion systems for the new type of warhead.
GLL-AP-02 is the Russian equivalent of America’s Boeing X-51 and China’s WU-14. It is the latest in a series of Gromov Flight Research Institute (LII) rocket-boosted hypersonic test vehicles, proceeding the GLL-VK and GLL-31 projects.
GLL-VK "Eagle" [Igla / Needle] hypersonic flying laboratory
At MAKS-99 exhibited not only production models and aircraft near future. Some of the exhibits are paving the way to the middle of the next century of aviation, when, according to forecasts, in some areas will be integrated aerospace engineering: aircraft will acquire previously unseen speed and altitude, and the spacecraft will gain the ability to perform controlled flight in the atmosphere. It reflects a trend presented at the MAKS-99 layout of research of hypersonic flying laboratory "Igla", designed for the study of the fundamental problems of creating aerospace and high-speed aircraft jet engines.
Customers for "Needles" were the Russian Aviation and Space Agency and the Ministry of Science and Technology, developing its Central Institute of Aviation Motors (CIAM), Tchaikovsky Baranova and Flight Research Institute named after MM Gromova. Air-Space Plane was 8 meters in length, and should achieve speeds of 6-14 M (ie 6-14 times greater than the speed of sound). The limit for the current fighters is less than 3.5 M. The flight height "Needles" was 26-50 km (now - less than 40). The duration of autonomous flight was 7-12 min.
Designing a ramjet - is not easy. In particular, on the ground or on a standard pilot jet is impossible to verify many of the technical solutions, which are based on the engine for hypersonic aircraft. To overcome this problem, and built "needle". Its ramjet thrust 14.7 tons (more than one engine Su-27) should operate for 50 seconds and achieve a top speed. For self-takeoff "Eagle" is not intended - it's output in the upper atmosphere provides a booster light class.
Due to the nature of the ramjet airflow "Needles" is not, as in a conventional airplane, separate unit - the engine and fuselage are integrated design. On special wedges at the bottom of the fuselage are shocks. Their task - to compress the air and send it to flow into the engine. In fact, they perform the function of a conventional turbojet compressor.
According to the deputy head of the department of hypersonic propulsion CIAM Vyacheslav Semenov, with the current level of funding "Eagle" will take off in 4-5 years. Meanwhile, in a number of spending on research in the field of hypersonic increasing.
At the MAKS-99 was first introduced to the layout of research of hypersonic flying laboratory "Igla" ("Issgedovatelyaskii Giperzvukovoi Letatelyania Aparrat" "Research hypersonic vehicle"), designed for the study of fundamental problems of creating aerospace and high-speed aircraft jet engines. The information on it has been presented at the MAKS-97.
Customers "Needles" - the Russian Aviation and Space Agency and the Ministry of Science and Technology. Develop its CIAM them. PI Baranova, NGOs Engineering , Automation Design Bureau and the French company Aerospatiale . Work carried out in the framework of R & D in the Russian aerospace aircraft (RARS).
GLL-BK is designed for testing and aerodynamics of hypersonic aircraft with thermal protection in Exposure to extreme aerodynamic to -quality (Kmax = 3,15 for M = 6). In the long term aerospace aircraft have to eliminate the major drawback of launch vehicles: the oxidizer needed for combustion of the fuel in engine, they carry with them. Meanwhile, a significant portion of the flight takes place in an atmosphere where the most effective oxidizer - oxygen - is enough. When using it, designers can reduce the launch weight of the aircraft by tens of percent, saving the weight of the payload. Turbojet (THD) aircraft to fly at hypersonic not suitable. There are more effective for these speeds design - ramjet engine (ramjet). There the air is blown into the combustion chamber is not compressor, but due to the incoming flow. Such a scheme has a lower weight in it few moving parts, but it is effective only at speeds greater M = 2-3. CIAM carries out work in the field of development and flight testing of hydrogen scramjet (scramjet). Unlike conventional ramjet, in which fuel combustion takes place in supersonic flow, which is much more efficient, but also more complicated.
On the ground, or on a standard pilot jet is impossible to verify many of the technical solutions, which are based on the engine for hypersonic aircraft. To overcome this problem, and built a flying laboratory "Igla". The ramjet thrust of 14.7 tons should operate 50 seconds and achieve a top speed. It is a Tri-modal scramjet. Work on the flight Mach number range from 6 to 14.
"Needle" is not intended for self-takeoff - it's output in the upper atmosphere provides a booster light class "Rokot". Working with hypersonic aircraft "Eagle" will be a new stage, after working off the scramjet to GLL " cold ." Due to the nature of the working process ramjet "Needles" is not, as usual, a separate unit - the engine and fuselage are integrated design. Special profile of the bottom surface of the fuselage creates a seal jump. Their task - to compress the air and send it to flow into the engine. In fact, they perform the function of a conventional compressor turbojet engine.
The first flight GLL-VC was initially planned in 2005. The program is designed for 10 starts, which are 30 to 50 million dollars. CIAM was actively searching for potential investors. Required investment: $ 10 million. Potential sales:. 75 million dollars as specific consumer call: RSA (Russian Space Agency), ESA (European Space Agency), NASA (USA). Payback period:. 1 year the most active such work is carried out in the United States. The first program in this area - NASP - showed that a number of problems of technological plan for the real machine can not be solved.
|Developers||CIAM, LII, NPOmash|
|type||hypersonic flying laboratory|
|Dimensions & Weight|
|maximum aerodynamic efficiency, Kmax||3.15|
|Starting weight, kg||2200|
|Engine Thrust, kgf||14700|
|stock liquid hydrogen on board kg (n)||18 (300)|
|Flight data (calculated)|
|Speed||??range, M = 6 ... 14|
|Flight altitude, km||20 ... 100|
|Dynamic pressure, kPa||12 ... 70|
|Autonomous flight time, min||7 ... 12|
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|