Monday, January 26, 2009

Danger Room - killer zombie" QF-4 Phantom

Danger Room - Wired Blogs: "killer zombie" QF-4 Phantom. It's an obsolete jet, resurrected as an unmanned drone for test-firing missiles.
Navy Turbocharges Its Missiles

HsadThe Navy is developing a new type of rocket engine to make missiles faster and more deadly.

A while back, we reported on the "killer zombie" QF-4 Phantom. It's an obsolete jet, resurrected as an unmanned drone for test-firing missiles. Now we know a bit more about the super-fast weapon fired by the killer zombie.

The Higher Speed Antiradiation Demonstrator (HSAD) is another project to upgrade the AGM-88 HARM missile, used to knock out enemy air defense radar. HARM is a modular weapon, with separate warhead, seeker, controls and propulsion. That means different elements can be upgraded separately. HSAD replaces the existing rocket motor with a "turbocharged" version.

The program has been quietly progressing since 2002, when the Navy decided to develop a missile based on new propulsion technology. Work is being carried out at the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division at China Lake, CA.

The goal is to test a new propulsion system that can provide "additional range and average velocity to a next generation Anti-Radiation Missile," Jerry Kong, the Navy's HSAD program manager, tells Danger Room. To make it happen, his team is building a hybrid propulsion system called an "Integral Rocket Ramjet" -- also known as a "ram-rocket."

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