The U.S. air force announced the collection of experimental proposals for significant improvement of aviation rockets of class “air-air” medium-range missiles. As writes Fligtglobal, new technical solutions will be used in the construction of aircraft missiles that will eventually replace the ageing AIM-120 AMRAAM and emerging AIM-260 JATM. Among the issues the military ideas — missiles with a monocoque fuselage.
Aircraft missiles over the past decades performed according to the traditional scheme of a cigar with small wings and stabilizers. Such a scheme is considered suitable for placement of motors, control electronics, explosives and a guidance system (if so equipped). In addition, this scheme is considered to be the most advantageous from the point of view of aerodynamic drag experienced by the munition as when flying under the wing on the suspension, and independent flight to the target.
The monocoque fuselage aircraft, which most of the lifting force generated on the fuselage. This scheme allows to significantly reduce the load on a conventional wing, and in the case of high speed aircraft and not to exclude from the wing design. In addition, the carrier of the fuselage allows to some extent to reduce drag of the aircraft and slightly increase the internal volume of the fuselage.
According to the acting assistant Secretary of the U.S. air force for science, technology and development Yvette Weber, the development of aircraft missiles, according to the scheme “lifting fuselage” will allow you to create ammunition with greater range and more effective placement of the engines inside the fuselage. While potentially missiles with a monocoque fuselage may be less manoeuvrable than classic aircraft missiles with a cylindrical fuselage.
At the end of March 2020, the U.S. air force launched the program Future Hypersonics Program, which aims to develop an aircraft two-stage hypersonic missiles. According to military requirements, the first acceleration stage of the rocket should be solid. It will accelerate the munition to the speed at which it will be possible to enable hypersonic air-breathing engine. The rocket will carry a conventional warhead. New hypersonic missile to be developed under the program Future Hypersonics Program should be designed for launch from fighter or bomber.