Japan tests missile scramjet with supersonic fuel burn rate

TOKYO ($1 = 136.09 Japanese yen) — Japan is preparing for the first flight tests of a scramjet engine, which will most likely be integrated into future hypersonic missiles of the Japanese army. The tests will take place on July 23 this year at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency test site. [JAXA] Uchinoura Space Center.

Photo credit: Atla

Japan is developing its own engine for its hypersonic missiles. According to experts, the future energy configuration that will propel rockets or other aircraft will burn fuel at supersonic speeds. “The goal of this research project is to acquire a model that estimates [the] in-flight combustion phenomenon in [the] scramjet engine, ATLA said, adding that the results will be compared to data obtained from ground-based wind tunnel tests.

The new hypersonic weapons of the Japanese army should improve its combat capability, efficiency, as well as guarantee the protection of the islands belonging to the territorial integrity of Japan. For example, BulgarianMilitary.com simply reminds that Japan and Russia are in a dispute over ownership of the Kuril Islands.

According to sources in Japan, the scramjet engine tests should also serve as the basis for building a numerical analysis of the model, which will most likely ensure future work on “data correction and prediction during actual flight”.

It was clear Japan would develop a similar type of engine as early as 2020 when Tokyo announced it was joining the race to develop hypersonic missiles, led by Russia, the United States, some European countries and China. The next tests of the Japanese engine are part of the Tokyo program for the development of hypersonic weapons: the hypersonic cruise missile [HCM] and the Hypervelocity Sliding Projectile, or HVGP.

Japan tests missile scramjet engine with supersonic fuel burn rate
Photo credit: ATLA / Japan MoD

The HCM is expected to have a range of over 1000 km according to open source data and a speed of over Mach 5-6. Japan indicates that two versions of this missile will be developed: air-launched and naval-launched. Some sources also say that this type of missile will also rely on a cumulative effect, ie. increase the effect of the explosion by concentrating it in a given point, thanks to the use of a conical recess charge.

This information confirms Tokyo’s plans – the development of various types of warheads and the development of missiles with solid fuel engines.

BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that the project to develop a hypersonic missile and a scramjet engine was not without pitfalls, including a hacker attack. On May 21, 2020, hackers attacked Mitsubishi Electric’s servers. The Japanese government launched an investigation to establish the hacking attack, but never let the public know if it was successful. [i.e. the Japanese hypersonic missile data was leaked] or not.

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