According to Riley (2003), the next generation of hypersonic military weapons systems will be powered by supersonic combustion ramjet engines (scramjets). Research is currently being conducted into applying scramjet technology to military strike weapons; high precision, long range weapons used to attack high value targets.
This thesis aims to parameterise a hypersonic guided missile in order to explore some of the scaling relationships that are required for a feasibility study or preliminary design study of a high speed precision strike weapon.
This thesis considers two hypersonic missile configurations. Arrangement #1 consists of a scramjet cruise engine accelerated from Mach 1 to 10 by a large solid rocket booster. Arrangement #2 consists of a small solid rocket booster that accelerates a dual-mode ramjet/scramjet engine from Mach 1 to Mach 2.5. The dual-mode engine operating in ramjet mode accelerates the missile from Mach 2.5 to Mach 7.56, switches to scramjet operation and continues to accelerate to Mach 10, allowing cruise in scramjet configuration.
Arrangement #2 configurations are smaller and facilitate internal carriage within the next generation of strike fighter aircraft; however, the complex dual mode propulsion system switching between ramjet and scramjet modes come at a considerable cost for a single-use strike weapon. This thesis investigates the relationships associated with different engine combinations by scaling up the booster in Arrangement #2, systematically replacing more and more of the dual-mode engine until it reaches Arrangement #1 configuration.
The weapon system is parameterised in terms of size, weight, length and maximum range. The implications of these relationships on potential future operational employment are considered. Assessments of the performance characteristics, vulnerabilities, various trends and dependencies of the system are expressed in terms of the above parameters. The conclusion comments on the system’s suitability for operational use in a military environment, as well as recommending areas for future study. The study is presented in a way that allows it to form part of a feasibility study or preliminary design study of a high speed precision strike weapon.