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U.S to test bunker-busting 'shkval' missiles later this year

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posted on Jul, 14 2005 @ 02:13 AM
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US Close To Testing Massive "Bunker-Busting" Missile


Four prototypes of the new "bunker-buster" will be tested later this year by Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control of Dallas, Texas, which are working with US Navy scientists on behalf of the Pentagon's Threat Reduction Agency, it says.

The missile has a blunt nose that, combined with high velocity, creates a bubble of air in front of the weapon. The idea is that the bubble forces earth out to the sides as the missile descends, creating a cavity that the weapon can slide through.

The warhead could thus reach much deeper buried structures than conventional bunker-busters, the inventors hope.

The principle for the weapon comes from a new generation of high-speed torpedoes, which create a gas bubble around themselves called a supercavity.

"Lockheed Martin hopes the supercavitating missile will reach 10 times the depth of the current air-force record holder,

In addition, the new weapon could carry more explosives than its predecessors.

The BLU-133 needs a thick casing to resist friction, but a supercavitating missiles could have a thin casing, leaving more space for explosives or incendiaries.

The Pentagon wants an incendiary payload in order to incinerate chemical or biological weapons, the report says.


Link to entire article

Freakin sweet!




posted on Jul, 14 2005 @ 03:43 AM
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Interesting.

Though I doubt if it's going to work.

First off, shkval means 'squall' or small gale and is applicable only to the torpedo, not this new super penetrator.

Nor is the operative theory similar, IMO, because while air is almost infinitely compressable, water is entirely the opposite. Yet water, like any fluid under dynamic forces is supremely easy to displace and/or get to change phase state. So that once you start the process going, an supercavitating bubble is self propogating to the extent that it almost 'sucks the (underwater) projectile along'.

Earth shares only a few of these characteristics (it packs granularly rather than compresses like a fluid) and rock has almost none. So the physics of continued SC propogation will not be the same.

My bet is that you will likely get a small shock across the LE surface of the munition impacter shape which will subsequently 'pop' and disperse as both the munition and the (variable density) earth have a reactant effect on each other's inertial moment and fall angle so that the compression sphere also sheds energy unequally. You might use explosives or some kind of gas generator to reenergize the sphere but only at an exceptional penalty in both internal volume and probable round kineticism.

The result being a substantively unequal battle between the frontal area of the bomb and the total mass of the earth it is trying to displace off the supercavity. On simple energy coupled basis of inertia loss, the round is going to either 'bounce' off the renewed shock front, effecting it's digger efficiencies or lose it's own kinetite force more quickly than the dirt can be shifted away from the head of the bubble.

Under similar conditions and admittedly a LOT higher 'penetration velocity' Q; a meteor builds up a leading edge shockwave that either tumbles or outright compression shatters the projectile, not the target. At lower speeds, my bet is on the former in this instance, at which point the sheer loads across the HCLC 'enhanced' volume behind the thin case wall will cause a frange leading to deflagration or outright detonation of the principle warhead charge.

I also would have to see how big a front end they are talking about to contain/sustain this SC air drill within as the ratios of scale in my mind would make for a very draggy external carriage environment and a very tight internal volumetric occupancy.

God knows how high they plan on dropping this beast from to gain initial impact force but unless it's rocket accelerated (another chunk out of the munition internal filler volume and another stabilization-of-vector problem) I don't see it being terrible efficient at less than U-2 release heights. In any event, getting a full order of magnitude improvement in penetration means a 1,000ft penetration depth through vanilla dirt and a minimum /300ft/ of improvement through rock. And that is just not going to happen.


KPl.



posted on Jul, 14 2005 @ 04:50 AM
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slight technical problem: AIR DOES NOT CAVITATE!!!!



posted on Jul, 14 2005 @ 05:14 AM
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Uh...apparently the two of you have not read the article?


The missile has a blunt nose that, combined with high velocity, creates a bubble of air in front of the weapon. The idea is that the bubble forces earth out to the sides as the missile descends, creating a cavity that the weapon can slide through.

The warhead could thus reach much deeper buried structures than conventional bunker-busters, the inventors hope.

The principle for the weapon comes from a new generation of high-speed torpedoes, which create a gas bubble around themselves called a supercavity.

Lockheed Martin hopes the supercavitating missile will reach 10 times the depth of the current air-force record holder, the huge BLU-113 bunker-buster, which can break through seven metres of concrete (22.7 feet) or 30 metresfeet) of earth," New Scientist says.



Furthermore.....these two sources are fairly credible. We are not talking Pravada or rense ,etc., etc.
:shk:





seekerof



posted on Jul, 14 2005 @ 05:27 AM
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supercavitation torpedos work on the principle that the design of the nose forces the pressure of the water to reduce (due to very high flow speeds) around the body. When the dynamic pressure falls below the vapour pressure of the water, the water is litterally torn apart to become vapour, the vapour forms a cavity in the water as the higher pressure water keeps it pressed against the body. This in turn reduces the drag of the torpedo allowing very high speeds.

In air however, as the pressure drops the gas can NOT turn to vapour, instead it is compressed and shock waves start to build up increasing the drag.

So to say they have developed free fall bombs that work on the same priciple as super cavitating torpedos is extreamly suspect, even if it is quoted in a reliable source.



posted on Jul, 14 2005 @ 05:46 AM
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Let me get this, your basically saying that Lockheed Martin is full of crap and has no clue to what they are talking about? DO you realize the hardware that this company has produced?

Ironic, huh?




seekerof



posted on Jul, 14 2005 @ 05:54 AM
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did i say lockheed martin had got anything wrong? doesnt mean the magazines have got i right though (wouldnt be the first time new scientist have been mistaken).

Ps your right lockhead to make some really funky kit!



posted on Jul, 14 2005 @ 01:07 PM
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Originally posted by paperplane_uk
slight technical problem: AIR DOES NOT CAVITATE!!!!


Did you read the article? They hope the air will help the missile cavitate through the ground. It will just start pumping out air before it hits the ground.



posted on Jul, 14 2005 @ 02:27 PM
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Lockheed are very specific that this is a supercavitating penetrator - look around and you can find the contract for it (hint - "stepped nose pin"). Their view is that supercavitation is a momentum rather than a hydrodynamic effect.

Nobody else in the field agrees with them. However, LM have built the thing and the others haven't.

The implications are interesting, to say the least.

btw is it conincidence that this week LM announce a bunker-busting missile with a rocket-assisted warhead that accelerates to mach 2 just before impact?



posted on Jul, 14 2005 @ 03:41 PM
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I don't believe that Lockheed actually called it "supercavitating". Whoever wrote the article did. The idea of



The missile has a blunt nose that, combined with high velocity, creates a bubble of air in front of the weapon. The idea is that the bubble forces earth out to the sides as the missile descends, creating a cavity that the weapon can slide through.



may work. The .50cal bullet does something somewhat like what this missiles is proposing. When someone is shot by a .50cal they get blown in half. It is not the bullet that does this but a cone of air around the bullet.



posted on Jul, 14 2005 @ 04:00 PM
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hmmmm .... I must admit atospheric cavitation does seem to be at odds with what I have heard as established conventional wisdom ... but who knows ...

yet from all of this a thought has occured to me in regards to penetration ...
I am thinking that it would be much simpler to use a series of timed impacts on the same spot to increase total penetration? I would think that relatively off the shelf technology could be used and that effective depth could be scaled by number of successive impacts?

LCKob



posted on Jul, 14 2005 @ 05:16 PM
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Originally posted by jetsetter
I don't believe that Lockheed actually called it "supercavitating". Whoever wrote the article did. The idea of


from the article
The missile has a blunt nose that, combined with high velocity, creates a bubble of air in front of the weapon. The idea is that the bubble forces earth out to the sides as the missile descends, creating a cavity that the weapon can slide through.



may work. The .50cal bullet does something somewhat like what this missiles is proposing. When someone is shot by a .50cal they get blown in half. It is not the bullet that does this but a cone of air around the bullet.


I disagree, jetsetter.
The article's use of the word "supercavitating" is correct, at least in principle.
Lockheed Martin has been working on supercavitation hardware for quite sometime. The US has been working on its own supercavitation programs, undersea and earth applications, since the early 90s.
As such, this missile would pretty much work on the same principle as the Rapid Airborne Mine Clearance System (RAMICS):


But Shkval is a slowcoach compared with what was to follow. By the time it had appeared in the early 1990s, the US had established its own supercavitation programme. To begin with, it concentrated on unpowered projectiles--underwater bullets. When conventional projectiles are fired into water, they are dragged to a halt before they have penetrated more than a metre or so. Researchers at the NUWC knew that supercavitating munitions ought to be able to go a lot further, and at very high speed too.

--snip--

Even without reaching such dizzying speeds, supercavitating bullets are being put to good use. The navy would like to be able to clear mines at sea by simply shooting at them from the air, but conventional shells don't penetrate deep enough to reach most mines. So a group at the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, in China Lake, California, is blowing bubbles at them.

In the Rapid Airborne Mine Clearance System (RAMICS), projectiles are shot from a standard 20-millimetre Gatling gun. With their blunted cone-shaped noses, the laser-targeted bullets will be fired from more than 350 metres above the water, travel 12 metres through it and still be able to zap a mine. "We have to penetrate a steel wall and still have enough residual kinetic energy to ignite the explosive," says Doug Todoroff, project sponsor of RAMICS at the Office of Naval Research (ONR). The system has so far only been test fired on the ground, but next month it is scheduled for its first airborne demonstration, firing on a full-size live mine from a Cobra helicopter. Todoroff sees the project as a cost-effective way of neutralising a dangerously cheap weapon.

Supersonic Subs? Supercavitation.

Again, water and earth are different, but the method and principle behind this Lockheed Martin supercavitating missile project is realistic, factual, and achievable, and as such, is soon to be tested. I assure you, the principle of and for applied supercavitation is not solely restricted to a water or undersea environment. The information that I quoted above is a projectile shot from the surface, goes thru the air, and into the water. The Lockheed Martin bunker busting 'shkval' type missile/projectile is going to be fired from the air, travel thru the air, and into the earth. The principle is the same. What is different is that the principle has shifted environmetal application: water to earth.






seekerof

[edit on 14-7-2005 by Seekerof]



posted on Jul, 14 2005 @ 05:20 PM
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Yes, but more missiles hitting the same target or one missile hitting it once and doing the same job. Why have 3 bunker busters dropped to destroy one target when you can drop 3 of these to destroy 3 targets.

Pardon my master art but why can’t my depiction work?

external image



[edit on 14-7-2005 by WestPoint23]



posted on Jul, 14 2005 @ 05:41 PM
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And you work for Lockheed Martin, I see.

Send that piece of artwork to them and ask them.
I have never stated nor insinuated that I worked for them.
I will continue to put forth that the principle of supercavitation is the same, except that the environment has changed: a underwater application has now changed to a earth application.



seekerof



posted on Jul, 15 2005 @ 01:38 AM
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Supercavitating small-arms ammunition already exists - called the Superpenetrator, it's designed for shooting big game and goes through at least 200% more flesh than standard big game ammo.

See www.grosswildjagd.de...

However, the maker reckons it's a hydrodynamic effect.

The implications of the supercavitating bunker buster are significant though - if you can really improve penetration by a factor of ten simply by changing the nose shape, then how many air raid shelters and bunkers are now vulnerable? If the Germans has this one in WWII then few of the shelters in use in London would have been safe; and if the ALlies had it then the U-boat pens would not have lasted long.

btw, the idea of multiple impacts on the same point to increase penetration depth - 'laddering' - is not considered desirable because it requires multiple attacks at short intervals. Flying over a target four times multiplies the danger, as well as giving warning.



posted on Jul, 15 2005 @ 03:21 AM
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btw, the idea of multiple impacts on the same point to increase penetration depth - 'laddering' - is not considered desirable because it requires multiple attacks at short intervals. Flying over a target four times multiplies the danger, as well as giving warning.

Yes, that makes sense, but I was thinking more along the lines of one pass with multiple launches that play "follow the leader" at calculated intervals.

... but the advantage of a more conventional design is negated somewhat by extra mass penalties per target ... so ideally it would be great if this cavitation tech pans out.

LCKob



posted on Jul, 15 2005 @ 03:52 AM
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Wembley,

>>
Supercavitating small-arms ammunition already exists - called the Superpenetrator, it's designed for shooting big game and goes through at least 200% more flesh than standard big game ammo.
>>

All's this proves is that by making the 'flat' of a penetration point smaller than the principle caliber diameter of the round, you can achieve initial penetration of a first-layer BONE (brittle and thin) defense before stabilizing the round by the very effect of pushing equally like a snowplow scattering slush from both sides of the blade. The lack of deformation on the bullet is because the round has slowed down before assymetries of sheer force can act on the tip or the flanks of the projectile case.

Indeed, we've known that short angle, 'blunt', weapons are superior armor crackers since the end of the middle ages when we switched from long, sharp-tipped, slashing swords to short, spikelike, thrusting tools (there's a German implement in particular, called a 'sword-pike' or something like that which is effectively a two handed metal pole which is wielded like a cross between a bastard sword and a half pike).

These being characterized by thick, heavy, _dense_ shafts with a low overall penetration area shaped like an onion or facetted flat (must 'catch' on the initial target impact rather than skitter).

Yet the fact remains that the reason conventional bullets snake is becuase changes in tissue density and angle of impact as the round decellerates causes differential resistance along the curve of the ogive.

Putting a blunt, hard, tip on the bullet keeps it straight but only because you are snowplowing at _greater overall resistance_ through the soft tissue.

While major change in repeated hard:soft:hard material densities will snap or 'imbed' the thicker tip, just like a pilum bending in wooden shield.

If the guy had shot that elephant through a major bone (femur, or vertebra) and then had the round exit through this and clip a rib or clavicle or pelvis, on it's way into the bleedable soft tissues; I might believe in SC as penaid through the (90% water) extended tissue kills he advertises.

As is, you are digging through a constant-hard-harder-hardest material variation ten times stronger than bone and 20 times less apt to phase change than water. For which random rock fragment or deliberate IRC type layering will never _stop increasing_ penetration difficulty.

And so the total caliber of the penetrating device /does/ matter. Because 'the earth will not liquifacate' in a gas behind the prerequistely _narrow = weak_ subcaliber shank behind which (presumeably) Lunchmeat Inc. (major sellers of Baloney) is putting a gas generator discharge vent of some kind to maintain this so called cavitation wake that will 'shield' the rest of the round.

Now, realize that a typical BLU-109 will go about 2 to 2.5 meters through reinforced concrete. And about 5-7 meters through dirt. And the BLU-116 is only a bit better for want of sectional density increases due to sleeving.

And they want me to bilieve that an airdelivered munition is going to do an OOM worth of 'better' using /air/ to go through a solid?!? Nuh Uh.

Not without boosting (which increases sheer as well as direct loads for an offcenter impact) or LOT bigger warhead case overall (so that the case walls can themselves be thicker).

>>
However, the maker reckons it's a hydrodynamic effect.
>>

Maybe it is. Through tissue.

>>
The implications of the supercavitating bunker buster are significant though - if you can really improve penetration by a factor of ten simply by changing the nose shape, then how many air raid shelters and bunkers are now vulnerable? If the Germans has this one in WWII then few of the shelters in use in London would have been safe; and if the ALlies had it then the U-boat pens would not have lasted long.
>>

Function kills are easy to achieve, even today, if you have the time and impulse SAR to mapout all the exit/entrance effects. OTOH, if it's a 'hurry up' TCT attack to suppress a nuclear capability, your Enemy's best bet is to put ten times ten TEL decoys out in his back forty while parking the 'real deal' in a mass of metal and concrete mass shadows that is a parking garage above ground.

FWIW, it is always going to be easy to layer multiple air and water voids, use 'A-Frame' technology to tilt the munition. Lateralization off a center shaft (also called 'populating' for what it does to increase the apparent size of a complex and make it hard to determine verticality of slanted tunnel branches). And apply rebar and steel plating the slow and/or smash the round to the point where it won't go anyfurther.

In this, most above ground HAS's have been vulnerable to attack since the late 80's when we had enough penetrator mod GBU-10/24/27 to get a steep impact angle and precise targeting. Of course the -reason- you have a HAS is as much to -contain- the secondary effects (of exploding airplanes on a ramp full of undamaged ones) damage and force your enemy to waste PGMs on 20-40-60 individual point targets to get all of your airpower

We typically prefer to simply crater the exits from the shelter complexes as a whole and the middle two thirds of each runway so they can't fly.

While the idea of barning up submarines is to hide their presence OR absence and make it easier to remission them, 'private like'.

Leadership targets are dicey because it is quite possible to leave yourself with limited ways to shut off the war as you destroy high level command, encryption and comms all at once. And because dispersal to low-conspicuity 'can I live in your basement?' locations is still the preferred option in non-nuclear scenarios.

>>
btw, the idea of multiple impacts on the same point to increase penetration depth - 'laddering' - is not considered desirable because it requires multiple attacks at short intervals. Flying over a target four times multiplies the danger, as well as giving warning.
>>

And you should know as well as anyone that the 'average' we are getting for even vanilla JDAM is 2.6 meters. Which means that there is no reshoot as these weapons are (target aimpoint) functionally identical to an LGB.

Absent the designation interrupt as the impact plume falls out.

i.e. if you /want/ to fly 8 F-16s or 4 Strike Eagles or 1 B-2 to within 10nm of target. You can 'ladder' 16 hits with no repass and only minimal munition impact separations needed.

We even have the MEF fuzing to count floors.

The real problem is that it's just not efficient to try because subsurface targets are a lot harder to kill than is commonly accredited.

In late summer 1944, the Brits dropped 26 Tallboys, each roughly 18ft long, on the pens in Brest or Le`Orient. 9 hit. 5 penetrated the FIRST roof. None of the subs were damaged. And these were structures with dual tiered IRC poured by slave conscripts with no motivation to do quality work and only a total thickness of (3.6 + 1.6) 6.2 meters.

Comparitively (Modern Marvels 'Bunkers' documentary recollection), during OIF we blasted something like 10 different bunker complexes including two 'super 2000' C2 facilities which Saddam had only just had completed under his so called 'palaces'.

Not a one was killed. Though a few had their exits sealed.

And this in a land where you cannot dig below about 140ft before hitting the shallow water table /anywhere/.


KPl.



posted on Jul, 15 2005 @ 08:46 AM
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You make some good points, CH1466, I suspect you've been this way before...

Norbet Hansen, the SuperPenetrator maker, really does reckon that his design has reduced drage not increased, and goes through three times as much resin (or flesh) as other bullets. ((Of course with normal bullets the challenge is usually to get them to slow down rather than zipping through)).

Lockheed do reckon you can get incredible improvements through the stepped pin nose design, and they really do mean a factor of ten. I'd like to see it, and presumably so would the people paying for the thing.

And I agree that the difficulty of actually destroying an underground facility is understated because of its ptnential size and complexity. I do get the impression that this gadgets are supposed to be working with DARPA's CUGF (counter underground facility program) which will use whizzy sensors to spy out the exact configuration and pinpoint the WMDs. Again, I'd like to see it.

The BLU-113 is such a monster that you can't carry many. But a large number of small supercavitating munitions would allow you to cause underground destruction over a much wider area.



posted on Jul, 15 2005 @ 09:07 AM
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But is is NOT supercavitation!!!!

While they may have designed the nose of these bombs to help shift air and/or earth out of the way. They are still not using supercavitation.

For the last time:

Cavitation is when the dynamic pressure at any point in a liquid becomes lower than the vapour pressure of that liquid, The liquid vapourises to it gaseous state and forms a small bubble or 'cavity' in the liquid. Supercavitation is when a larger area (i.e surrounding a projectile) of the fluid has its dynamic pressure lower that the liqids vapour pressure. In this condition instead of many small cavities forming at each point, they join together to make one large cavity (known as a 'supercavity'). If your object is placed in this supercavity it will be only in contact with the liquid vapour in the cavity (except for a small area on the extreme nose). The drag caused by the vapour is much less that that caused by the liquid, allowing for higher speeds.

While i dont doubt that Lockheed have put a lot of research into developing new nose shapes for projectile, much of which may be inspired by their research into supercavitation. The projectiles you describe are not supercavitating, because at no point are the travelling through a Liquid.


so as i said they cant be supercavitating because AIR DOES NOT CAVITATE!!!

Ps. Anybody idea at what pressure earth can be turned into a gaseous state???

[edit on 15-7-2005 by paperplane_uk]



posted on Jul, 15 2005 @ 10:33 AM
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I think whats getting missed here is the sheer velocity of the weapon. Air doesnt compress well or cavetate, but it does need to get out of the way. And we are talking about a projectile thats travelling many hundreds of feet per second, possibly a couple of thousand feet per second. The air bubble in front of it creating the cavity only needs to exist a fraction of a second to beat the current penetrators in depth.

So even if the cavity doesnt stand up, it stands up long enough to achieve a better depth than no cavity at all, like todays penetrators.




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