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Selva tells reporters "We have lost our edge in Hypersonics"

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posted on Jan, 31 2018 @ 11:00 AM
a reply to: mightmight

They threw this one right out there. They even tell you what they're working on. But so far I've only seen 1 or 2 mentions of it.

posted on Jan, 31 2018 @ 11:04 AM
a reply to: Zaphod58
Just tell us, if its in the budget no harm in pointing it out

posted on Jan, 31 2018 @ 11:06 AM

originally posted by: mightmight
I just dont subscribe to the wild theorys of more exotic explanations for the green.

And what exactly are the contents of those more wild & exotic theories?

posted on Jan, 31 2018 @ 11:07 AM
a reply to: mightmight

It's so much more fun to make you work for it though!

posted on Jan, 31 2018 @ 02:09 PM
a reply to: mightmight

Copper Coast turns up in an old thread.

0207424F COPPER COAST (may be related to hypersonic aircraft studies the Air Force conducted under the COPPER CANYON program a few years back. COPPER COAST now appears in the tactical budget documents as "evaluation and analysis program")

According to the thread it's eval and analysis..... wonder if they got something flying.

posted on Jan, 31 2018 @ 02:13 PM
a reply to: grey580

FYI, Copper Canyon was an attempt to do SSTO.

posted on Jan, 31 2018 @ 02:40 PM
a reply to: grey580

Yes but the alleged link between Copper Canyon and Copper Coast has never been proven as far as I know.

I wrote up my thoughts on Copper Coast some time ago, this is from a discussion with a forum member, most of it is probably wrong as these things go, but maybe someone will find it interesting:

Copper Coast (you probably know this) is SAP title going way back to the Reagan days, its in the oldest DOD budgets I can find on the Internet (FY1989).

In the Future Years Defense Program Structure DoD 7045.7-H (April 2004 version) its listed as an active Special Access Program – no manpower included. [if someone has the most recent version of DoD 7045.7-H available…]

In 1994, the great renaming happened. An odd dozen classified projects listed in the budgets were renamed but retained there PE Numbers. IMO this happened because someone look at how ‘Aurora’ blew up and got worried about what would happen when the public at large started noticing all those other juicy project names. Anyway, henceforth, Copper Coast was known as Evaluation and Analysis Program. A BS name if I ever heard one.

Its specifically listed as excluded from the USAF RDT&E Descripted Summaries due to classification, however information on funding is included and readily available through the DOD CFO archives.

As of FY2010 it has disappeared completely from the records, along with every other classified budget line item. Instead of specific PE numbers, a general Classified PE Number 999999 with a funding for USAF RDT&E of 11 billion in FY2008. As of FY2018 funding stands at 15 billion, an increase of 2 billion form FY2017.

The program is apparently live and well, showing up as ‘muh classified, cant talk about it’ USAF Justification book entries in the last years.

Anyway, Copper Canyon itself has a very interesting funding history. If you look through the available data this is how it looks like:

I don’t have any numbers from FY1994 or before which is unfortunate. FY1995-97 are not included but the funding amounts weren’t much different compared to FY98 on.

If we look at the graphs we see couple of things:

1) Funding was constant between the Nineties, averaging around 75 Mill US-$

2) Funding increased with FY2001. Notice this is not an increase due to 0911, there was already a planned budget increase to 200 mil for FY03 in February 2000.

3) Funding was very abruptly cut to almost zero between FY2005 and FY2008

4) Just before the great disappearance funding dramatically increased to never before seen levels beginning with FY2008

What does this tell us? Nothing. Everything. We can interpret this as we want. :-)

I go with this:
There has been speculation literally for decades that Copper Coast is linked to Copper Canyon. Copper Canyon of course was a classified DARPA research effort into hypersonics. More specifically, it was aimed at looking into SSTO and general hypersonics designs. It later sort of merged with the Transatmospheric Vehicle studies of the USAF Aeronautical Center and eventually morphed into the Advanced Aerospace Vehicle studies (rather black/grey) and NASP efforts (white world front). There was lots of other stuff going on with regards to NASP (Science Dawn, Science Realm, Have Region, Have Blinders) which i wont go into here. If you are interested, this is an awesome writeup about all this:

Sidenote: You can see were a certain user gets the ‚big cooperation from three contractors‘ boost glide program from. If its real, it began probably with the Have Region studies, was ‚cancelled‘ and got real black.
Also good luck with trying to find stuff on TSTO programs on the web. There is tons of info on US SSTO programs but way less on the far easier TSTO approach.

Anyway, back to Copper Coast, as said it first appeared in the FY1991 RDT&E which goes back as far as FY1989. Its the oldest USAF R-1 document available of the internet that i’m aware off (if you get your hands on an older R-1 document…), so we cant really they when Copper Coast started unfortunately.

And there isnt much evidence that it relates to all this hypersonic stuff at all, so we might be chasing ghosts. But it wouldnt be the first time, that similar project names were used for follow on programs.

If we entertain this possibility (and its really just a theory) that Copper Coast is ‘something with hypersonics’, the funding history becomes interesting.
If we go really outthere for a second, we can even entertain the idea, that Copper Coast is the codename for an active military unit. The PE Code would match (the name probably not), but DoD 7045.7-H list it with no included manpower. Of course this might no mean anything either, manpower could just be billed someplace else. 70 mill a year is probably enough to fund a very small semi-operational fleet. I don’t believe this though, more on that further down.

So what happened when funding suddenly increased in 2000? Obviously, the Bush administration came in, overall DOD funding got increased even before 0911 and the wars.
Now I don’t know if the increase Copper Canyon got was just part of the rise all across the board or specific to the program. Its probably not a stretch to say that the Clinton admin wasn’t a great proponent of hypersonic programs. Any black “NASP/X-30” follow on (not necessarily from this track but let go with it) would be kept on the down low after Reagan era efforts died a quick death in 1993.

Interestingly enough with the incoming Bush admin James G. Roche was confirmed a Secretary of the Air Force in January of 2001. Roche was a Corporate Vice President of Northrop Grumman before his nomination. It’s the Secretaries job to manage the Air Forces RDT&E budget.
And more importantly, the Reagan era legend Edward C. Aldridge, Under Secretary of the Air Force, Director of the National Reconnaissance Office and later Secretary of the Air Force came back as Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, serving from 2001 to 2003. If there was evert a black high speed effort in the Eighties, this guy was responsible for it.
May not be related to the funding increase Copper Coast got, but interestingly none the less.

So funding picked up with Bush in office. IMO the sudden and rapid increase (almost 250% percent) points to an RDT&E effort, not and operational unit, no matter the PE number listing. But anyway, funding evaporated even more rapidly to basically zero four years later in 2005.
At the height of the Iraq war and record defense service spending mind you. The program stayed ‘dead’ until it came back with a vengeance, receiving way north of half a billion US-$ in FY2008. This has to be RDT&E. I just don’t see an operational unit being capable of blowing so much cash when they were down to the bones mere months before.

So whats the explanation for this radical fluctuation in funding? IF Copper Coast is the go to PE Line item code for ‘lets fund something hypersonic’ there is actually an explanation for all of this.


posted on Jan, 31 2018 @ 02:40 PM

Imagine it going something like this: Roche, Aldrige and good old Donald coming in in 2001, asking the Clinton guys (Lawrence Donley, Jacques Gansler and William Cohen respectively) about wtf happened with all ‘their’ clandestine Reagan era high speed efforts. Turned out nothing much happened besides the alleged leftover Mothership (and maybe Centennial if you want to believe) – ie nothing faster than ~ Mach 4. Anything left on the DOD side was poorly funded and NASA focused on X-33/Venture Star.

So time for some restructuring. The Northrop Guy Roche cancels (or ‘cancels’) Lockheeds X-33 and more than doubles funding on the DOD hypersonic effort.
Only to pull the plug in 2005 of course. Why? Well DARPA finally got on the train publicly with the very white FALCON project and (later) the short lived Blackswift.

And of course The Green Lady came in from the left side and reached operational capability in the same timeframe. Somehow. God knows where that one came from, you know about the ‘based on older design / shelved in warehouse somwhere’ from the Green Flame thread. So there was probably a lot of restructuring going on behind the scenes between long term research efforts, near term goals and short term operational needs.

Blackswift on the public side didn’t get to live and was “cancelled”. We know from intelgurls thread what that meant. But when was it “Cancelled”? In 2008, just after the Air Force was asking for money to build a prototype.
Its really the most obvious, going black cancellation ever.

Anyway, Copper Coast already got its dramatic funding increase in February 2007 for FY 2008. So the timelines don’t quite match, but the numbers line up: the Air Force requested 750 mill for the prototype in FY09, Copper Coast went from 2.5 mil to 650 mil in FY2008 and to 794 mil in FY2009. This definitely looks like a long term research effort moving to prototype engineering which usually comes in at two or three billion if you add it all up.
So i can see that initially (2000 to 2004) Copper Coast was pushing R&D for a high speed vehicle, but funding was pulled temporarily when DARPA went ahead with the white FALCON Project. However they decided to reclassify the development of the high speed aircraft, since they were ready for prototyping and funding was moved back to the Copper Coast PE Code.

Of course the story ends with everything getting moved into PE999999 with FY2010, would have certainly been interesting to see how funding levels developed.

Sorry for the long writeup, not much there to be honest, but Copper Coast is definitely one of the more interesting classified PE line items out there.
edit on 31-1-2018 by mightmight because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 31 2018 @ 03:13 PM
a reply to: mightmight

This was interesting enough.

Thanks for the write up!

posted on Jan, 31 2018 @ 03:58 PM
a reply to: mightmight


i've always wondered about President Reagan and his diary entry about being able to get 300 people in to LEO, or being told that it was at the time he wrote it possible.

TSTO to me seems like the logical way to go, don't get me wrong a SSTO would be impressive, but i think it would be hard to hide the launch even if it was coming off a runway.

I saw a nasa powerpoint about Russia's AJAX program and it seemed to be very mature.

i would say with a lot of confidence there is at least 2 very high speed aircraft and one of them can get to LEO.

like a orange star stepping across the sky, maybe that's where the COPPER name comes from.

posted on Jan, 31 2018 @ 04:59 PM
Buuuut.. But... But.. USA has rail guns already. Laser weapons to shoot down missiles. They can't have everything. God forbids it.

edit on 31-1-2018 by makemap because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 31 2018 @ 05:07 PM
a reply to: makemap

And so too do the Chinese it seems.

posted on Jan, 31 2018 @ 05:10 PM
a reply to: anzha

OMG WW3 is going to be super nasty now. I don't think we are just going to get wounded by rail guns. Just wait till a rifle version comes out.

posted on Jan, 31 2018 @ 06:38 PM
Rail guns arent getting anywhere yet until they shrink down the power moment they need a couple of semi trailers for the power source still..
Bourke is a proven design plus they have a few of them to play with..

posted on Jan, 31 2018 @ 06:41 PM
a reply to: Blackfinger

Not only that, they still can't hit the RoF the Navy wanted.

posted on Jan, 31 2018 @ 06:58 PM
a reply to: Zaphod58

Heard mixed things on the ROF. The problem isn't the rate per se as the barrel wear (I was told). The navy has basically said fsck it and is working on 'easily' replaced barrels in the interim.

Power cells are not really the problem also. The pulsed power modules are necessary if you cannot supply the necessary power in one fell swoop. The Zumies can. The Burkes can't. Amusingly, you could drop a separate dedicated powerplant in an Independence (that mission bay is HUGE for the small tonnage of the ship) and easily keep the 40 kt speed. You'd have to repurpose the foredeck, but...

posted on Jan, 31 2018 @ 07:04 PM
a reply to: anzha

That's more or less what I've read on the ROF too. I was pretty surprised to see the Navy say it will probably never see active service though.

posted on Jan, 31 2018 @ 07:27 PM
a reply to: Zaphod58

We'll see. The biggest problem I think they have is the power generation because they are doing the Burke F3s rather than continuing the Zumwalts. It would have been natural to do a Zumie F2 with the railguns, but the Burkes just don't have the juice. And the idiots in charge are talking about a new destroyer or cruiser in the 2030s.


If the Chinese are successful, we'll see things get changed. I hope.

posted on Jan, 31 2018 @ 07:29 PM
a reply to: anzha

I thoroughly enjoyed when they said they were doing a cruiser replacement that might not be a cruiser.

posted on Jan, 31 2018 @ 07:45 PM
a reply to: Zaphod58

the only part of the navy that doesn't make me terrified these days are the bubbleheads. And they merely make me nervous.

Good job on the pivot to the Virginias. Even a good upgrade path. Columbias look promising if a touch less than I would hope. SSGNs, not a bad idea, but...the next gen attack sub makes me concerned. Mostly about time line and the concern about some of the rumors of just updating the Virginias. ugh.

Retasking the Zumies to being strike ships just is...ugh. Magazine's too small, ya squids!

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