US Military Updates & Discussions

BMD

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WHAT ARE THE ARMY LRPF SYSTEMS?​

The U.S. Army’s top modernization priority since 2017, LRPF consists of four signature programs being developed under the direction of the Army Futures Command (AFC) cross functional team (CFT) for LRPF. These programs are: Extended-Range Cannon Artillery (ERCA); Precision Strike Missile (PrSM); Strategic Long-Range Cannon (SLRC); and the Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW). Other LRPF initiatives include conversion of a Navy Standard Missile (SM)-6 battery by 2023 and Tomahawk missiles to engage moving targets, both on land and at sea, at ranges from 500 to 1500 km.12

The LRPF CFT Director, Brigadier General John Rafferty, describes the approach his team uses in its assessment of viable options by answering three questions: 1) Does it meet requirements for range and precision, i.e., Can we do it?; 2) Does operational analysis demonstrate payoff, i.e., Should we do it?; and 3) What is the operational feedback from warfighter exercises regarding doctrine and organizational structure, i.e., How should we do it? The operational analysis must be rigorous and be able to hold up under scrutiny from the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE) office, which will be influential in the determination of which systems merit support from a limited pool of DoD resources.13

ERCA. The ERCA is intended to hit point targets 70 kilometers away—more than twice the 30 kilometer range of the M-109A7 155 mm howitzer. It consists of the rocket-boosted XM1113 shell and a longer howitzer barrel (58 caliber versus the current 30 caliber) adapted to the current M-109A7 Paladin system, which increases the projectile’s velocity before exiting the muzzle. Plans call for an 18-gun battalion to enter service in 2023.14

PrSM. The PrSM is a surface-to-surface, all-weather, precision-strike guided missile, fired from both the M270A1 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) and M142 High-Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS).15 As the replacement for the MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS), PrSM doubles ATACMS’ current rate-of-fire with two missiles per launch pod. It is designed to attack threat air defense systems, missile launchers, command and control (C2) nodes, troop assembly/staging areas and high-payoff targets throughout the battlefield at ranges of more than 500 kilometers.16

SLRC. Perhaps the most controversial of the LRPF systems, the Army is examining the feasibility of developing a cannon that can fire a projectile at hypersonic speeds up to 1,000 miles to engage air defense, artillery and missile systems and C2 targets.17 The SLRC is comprised of a cannon, prime mover and trailer; it also has projectiles that are capable of delivering massed fires at strategic ranges.18 The SLRC battery will include four cannons and heavy equipment transporters for the battery’s other equipment.19

LRHW. In 2019, OSD directed the Army to develop a hypersonic weapon system. (Hypersonic weapons can fly at five times the speed of sound and operate at varying altitudes, making them much more difficult to intercept than missiles that have a ballistic trajectory.) Through a joint agreement on design, development, testing and production with the Navy, Air Force and Missile Defense Agency, the Army is working to field hypersonic weapon systems using a Common Hypersonic Glide Body (C-HGB). The Navy leads design of the C-HGB; the Army leads production and building of a commercial industrial base. This approach enables the services to leverage one another’s technologies, while tailoring them to meet specific requirements for air, land and sea.20 The Army plans to field a prototype long-range hypersonic weapon battery by FY2023.21
 
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BMD

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BMD

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BMD

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US Army gets one step closer to medium-range hypersonic missiles​


NEWSARMYPRESS RELEASES
ByColton Jones


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The U.S. Army has moved a step closer to fielding the newest medium-range hypersonic missile system that can penetrate modern enemy air defenses and rapidly engage time-sensitive targets.
According to a recent press release from the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the program of new hypersonic missile systems called the Operational Fires (OpFires), has successfully executed its first flight test at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.
The OpFires system achieved all test objectives, including first ever use of a U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) logistics truck as a medium-range missile launcher, missile canister egress, stable flight capture, and use of U.S. Army inventory artillery fire control systems to initiate the test mission. Lockheed Martin built the system, which includes a Northrop Grumman rocket motor, and conducted the test.

The test demonstrated integrated technology maturation of key enabling components including the first stage rocket motor, missile canister, and missile round pallet (MRP). The MRP is designed for use with the load handling system available on USMC and Army logistics vehicles, eliminating the need for a bespoke OpFires transporter erector launcher (TEL).
“This is a promising step toward a TEL on-demand capability for accurately firing medium-range missiles from highly agile, readily available logistics trucks that are already in both the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps inventory,” said Lt. Col. Joshua Stults, the DARPA program manager for OpFires. “Our successful agile hardware development approach prioritizes full-scale flight testing that will inform further design maturation this year.”

The primary goal of OpFires is the development and demonstration of a ground-launched two-stage propulsive system capable of employing hypersonic (greater than five times the speed of sound) payloads from ubiquitous U.S. military trucks (the Palletized Load System family of vehicles) that can penetrate modern air defenses and precisely strike time-critical targets. Compatibility with existing command and control, vehicles, logistics infrastructure, and operating environments ensures that OpFires is highly mobile and rapidly deployable.
“The OpFires program is a great example of how DARPA, in partnership with industry, is helping the Department of Defense facilitate rapid development and testing of advanced hypersonic technologies to accelerate the delivery of transformational warfighting capabilities,” said Michael White, principal director for hypersonics in the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering.
The OpFires program will complete an integrated system critical design review in 2022.
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BMD

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Hybrid vehicles are honestly stupid. I mean, only an idiot would want a battery in his vehicle.
Fuel logistics are complicated, as evidence by Ukraine War. I think the idea is have portable nuclear reactors and use these for charging.

 

Domobran7

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Fuel logistics are complicated, as evidence by Ukraine War. I think the idea is have portable nuclear reactors and use these for charging.

I was talking about the tendency of batteries to catch fire when shot. Although that might be a problem specific to lithium batteries, but then I am unsure any other battery types have the energy density good enough for that role.

Honestly, if you could somehow make nuclear reactors small enough to drive vehicles, that would be perfect.
 

BMD

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I was talking about the tendency of batteries to catch fire when shot. Although that might be a problem specific to lithium batteries, but then I am unsure any other battery types have the energy density good enough for that role.

Honestly, if you could somehow make nuclear reactors small enough to drive vehicles, that would be perfect.
There are lots of things that tend to catch fire in IFVs when hit. Is a lithium ion battery more or less likely to catch fire than fuel for instance? Or ammo for that matter?
 

Domobran7

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There are lots of things that tend to catch fire in IFVs when hit. Is a lithium ion battery more or less likely to catch fire than fuel for instance? Or ammo for that matter?
Far more likely than fuel, in most cases. Also, lithium apparently reacts with water to create a flammable gas.

And yes, it was a major factor in batteries not yet being in widespread use:
Despite their technical and operational advantage, the major obstruction to the wide adoption of lithium batteries is the risk of fire and explosion. Widely used in military applications for almost two decades and in the emerging electric vehicle sector, lithium batteries are still considered by armies as safety hazard. The caution is due to the high-profile reports of battery thermal runaway in cell phones, tablet computers and sometimes also in cars. Moreover, in military applications, batteries are subject to combat related risk such as bullet penetration where the vehicle must ensure a safe recovery of its crew from the threat zone.

So far, vehicles that use such batteries often mount them externally.
 

BMD

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Far more likely than fuel, in most cases. Also, lithium apparently reacts with water to create a flammable gas.

And yes, it was a major factor in batteries not yet being in widespread use:


So far, vehicles that use such batteries often mount them externally.
Negligible, if you've been hit by a projectile and penetrated, either will go up.

So it sounds like they've fixed the problem anyway.