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Weapons take a long time

Deploying ground-launched Tomahawks is not very revolutionary; what is game-changing is the ability of the SM-6 to defeat incoming hypersonic glide missiles. The SM-6 Block IB has a redesigned body and larger Dual Thrust Rocket Motor, which can help propel the medium-range air defence missile to reach hypersonic speeds.

‘Hypersonic’ merely means faster than Mach 5, but in a modern sense when talking about hypersonic missiles we normally mean a missile which attacks at hypersonic speeds in a glide in the upper atmosphere, and which can manoeuvre as it does so.

Now, whether it was this specific programme or some other development path I don’t know. But 25 years back we were making hafnium carbide for the interior coating of such missile engines. About the only “chemical” that could deal with the temperatures.

The joy was that we were using a lab in Moscow to make it for the US research effort…..

12 thoughts on “Weapons take a long time”

  1. @Ottokring: Probably not a joke. The US navy (and possibly the UK one as well) runs on a Microsoft product that’s nicknamed Windows for Warships. The first few releases had the unfortunate tendency to end up in the Blue Screen of Death rather more often than is good for mid-battle.

  2. AtC probably Vista these days 🙂

    The subs that carry cruise missiles have this. There was a news item( which was tinged with controversy ) where a matelot was launching missiles with one of those roller ball mice/keyboards that one finds in data centres.

    The controversy was that a Sky reporter tried to make it look more dramatic and got a “Fire One!” staged scene from the crew. A BBC reporter then grassed him up, because a missile is fired with a mouse click. It all ended rather tragically, as I recall.

  3. The joy was that we were using a lab in Moscow to make it for the US research effort…..

    There’s a theory but no more than a theory that a lab in Wuhan has also been used for a US research effort.

  4. Imagine if the United States had made friends with Russia, instead of making a thousand colour revolutions bloom on their borders.

    The West would be strengthened by the vast resources of the world’s biggest country, and the Chinese Communist Party would currently be energy constrained and bricking it, instead of confidently looking forward to replacing the United States as Hegemon of Asia.

    Looking at a map, forcing the Red Chinese and Putinist Russians to become bezzies 4 lyfe wasn’t the greatest strategic decision, was it.

  5. Ah now come on Steve. Under Boris the Booze, there was very considerable rapprochement with Russia. Vlad saw all this as an insult on Russia’s er… potency and started rearming and flexing the muscles in Chechnya and Georgia etc. Membership of Nato has always been on offer.

  6. Otto – started rearming and flexing the muscles in Chechnya and Georgia etc

    Which is our business, how?

    Were you feeling dangerously undefended before NATO decided to offer nuclear war guarantees – on our behalf – to the likes of North Macedonia?

    “We have to fuck with Russia, and their negative reactions prove we must continue fucking with Russia” has been our policy for 30 years. Its main achievements include strategically welding Russia to China, and poverty, decline and irrelevance for Europeans and Brits.

  7. “There’s a theory but no more than a theory …”

    There was a fully fledged conspiracy to accuse those people of being conspiracy theorists. I liked the irony but nobody else seemed much bothered.

  8. Looking at a map, forcing the Red Chinese and Putinist Russians to become bezzies 4 lyfe wasn’t the greatest strategic decision, was it.

    Victoria Nulands family history and generational obsession took priority.

  9. Is the halfnium carbide coated against oxidation? It seems like nothing would stop diffusion of oxidants at rocket engine temperatures. But I suppose its working lifetime is less than 60 seconds

  10. China and Russia hate and despise each other. The current war is not going to change that.

    Xi’s China wants to be a big swinging dick in the Stan’s. So does Russia. It isn’t going to end well.

    The idea that we are forcing them together is laughable. It’s like saying China’s growing power will force North and South Korea to be mates.

  11. Imagine if the United States had made friends with Russia, instead of making a thousand colour revolutions bloom on their borders.

    The US doesn’t want to be friends with anyone. They want to dominate them and use their countries as forward operating bases for their military.
    See how many there are all over and the countries that are ‘evil’ and ‘dangerous’ are the ones that *gasp* don’t want to host US military bases or be forced to use the dollar to buy oil.
    And how many do we have in the US…?
    It’s all going to come crashing down soon as the US debt trajectory is going the wrong way – nearly $34 trn federal government debt alone (will be before Jan), over $100trn in total. Or the US is going to start a war to distract from their colossal financial mismanagement.

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