Lockheed wants to build a mach 6 SR-72

Unfortunately unmanned. I doubt it will happen as it just doesn’t seem to have a role that can’t be fulfilled cheaper by satellites and stealth drones. Still “it can take off from California and be over north korea in and hour and half”… Woah!

They’re saying if it got funded could be airborne by 2018 which is a fairly impressive timeline for such a cutting edge plane.

This story broke about a year ago. Just Lockheed trolling for tax dollars.

Yes but I believe they’ve released more details on how the hybrid engine would work and the potential development schedule .

But can it slow down enough to do anything useful once it gets there? A conventional airplane can take off from South Korea and be over the North in minutes. And we’ve already paid for it.

Yes, this is a technology development program being sold as an operational one just to get funded. Not at all a new corporate strategy, not at all, and not even something criticism-worthy. It’s just how the game is played.

They’re building a Mach 6 Prius? :smiley:

When a defense contractor announces a vastly extravagant program nobody, anywhere asked for, I get suspicious.

Lockheed lost all credibility when it joined with Boeing to form United Launch Alliance which sucks money from DOD to buy Russian rocket engines to build Atlas and Atlas-era rockets to launch military payloads at prices several times Space-X’s price.

  • OR -

What LSLGuy said. Trolling for more money

Is anyone thinking this plane they’re “trying to build” is the “Aurora” they presumably already have?


I think its what they should be building, instead of the B-2.1. Probably fine for a bomb truck, but no stealth and subsonic speed is going retrograde. The future of aviation in the USAF and USN at some point, should be moving to exo-atmospheric. ICBM’s were fine, but the latter part of the century is going to make them obsolete.


I’m too lazy to search, but:
Forget “last year” - I think that is the same “Hypersonic Super-Duper Commie Killer” that has been recycled every 10 years or so.

Hell, I’d almost bet that the original artwork on the thing was done with paint and brush.

It will be operational just as soon as they get their container sized fusion reactor down to a suitcase volume.

What do you reckon will make them obsolete?

Just occurred to me;will the skin of this hyperplane be coated with space shuttle tiles as insulation against atmospheric friction?

Almost certainly not. The tiles were a success thermodynamically, but an abject disaster in all other regards. Fragile, maintenance intensive, and very high drag.

Drag didn’t much matter for the Shuttle where the whole point was to use up the excess speed & altitude of orbit any way they could do it survivably. For a powered aircraft that’s intended to cruise in the atmosphere, high drag is a killer.

Abm technology for one, and this hypersonic airframe configured as a bomber. ICBM silo’s don’t move, so once you lose the over the horizon warning of an incoming strike, all your left with is your sub based SLBM’s, and air/ground launched cruise missiles.

Its not that they won’t work, its more like a cost/risk analysis for a next generation missile may not get past the finance ministry. So Russia can deploy railroad cars that pop up with missiles, and you have to guess where they are, but they are also venerable to ABM defences, and eventually the system gets too expensive to maintain for no real gain.


Why don’t they just build an Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator?

Martian patents are valid for much longer than those on Earth, and Marvin ain’t selling.

Who will get to Mach 6 first, Lockheed Martin or Gillette?

Are they still actively tooting fusion?
More seriously:
Shooting a recon missile/suborbital satellite sounds a lot more achievable/efficient than having a Mach 6 recon plane. Do any countries still use suborbital spy satellites?

As for bombing, what kind of payload can we expect from a purported SR-72? How would that compare to stationing missiles within an hour’s flight from potential targets? Are there any important locations the US can’t get within 1000km of?

What are the advantages/synergies and disadvantages of designing a platform to do both recon and bombing?

What exactly is a “suborbital spy satellite”? (Apart from being an oxymoron)

A missile with spying equipment launched into space/upper atmosphere at speeds and altitudes which make it more difficult to intercept than any possible plane.