Lockheed SR-72

Anatomy of War: Sabre Rattling with the All-New SR-72

To celebrate the 70th year of its existence, the US Air Force published this banner touting but not actually showing the new mach 6 capable SR-72 strike aircraft

With the rhetoric between North Korea and the US heating up, and US generals, at the behest of Secretary of Defense, Jim Mattis, now told to begin playing nice with the media as a potential prelude to war, the Air Force has taken the unprecedented step of shedding light on the successor to the retired SR-71 spy plane, the SR-72. We’ve touched upon the hypersonic aircraft in previous blog posts earlier this year, largely wedding what we’ve gleaned from the Internet with analysis and a bit of conjecture, but now the Air Force is starting to confirm reports about the existence of the aircraft and its ultra-secretive capabilities. Designed to fly twice as fast as the SR-71 spy plane, the all-new SR-72 will reportedly reach speeds of at least Mach 6, or roughly 4567.2 mph at sea level and under optimal conditions.Moreover, the SR-72 is unmanned, and is likely controlled remotely by ground controllers much like a drone.

Unlike the SR-71, the SR-72 will be capable of carrying out strike missions, thanks to an internal weapons compartment

Roughly the size of an F-22, the SR-72 would differ markedly from the SR-71, since it is designed to engage ground targets in real-time as opposed to simply gathering intelligence. Its not clear what types of weapons will be stored internally, but a likely scenario would include decapitation missions whereby the aircraft would penetrate heavily defended air space then employ a single GPU-guided bomb to be used to eliminate the heads of government hunkered down within a reinforced or underground bunker.  Interestingly, South Korea said this morning in Seoul, Financial Times reports. “Lee Cheol-hee, a member of the ruling Democratic party, on Tuesday said hackers had broken into a defence data centre in September last year. He said stolen documents included Operational Plan 5015 — the most recent allied blueprint for war with North Korea. The plans reportedly includes detailed procedures for a decapitation strike against the North Korean regime — a proposal that has infuriated Kim Jong Un, the country’s supreme leader.”

Last week, US piloted B-1B bombers from Guam along with F-15 escorts taking off from Japan, flew near but not into North Korea’s air space to its northernmost point in decades, likely locating and testing North Korean air defense measures should an incursion take place at a later date. In response, North Korea media reportedly told its populace that they had shot down both bombers, backing up the claim with a poorly animated video, while declaring that the two nations were now at a state of war, something the US unequivocally denied.

For more information on the SR-72, please visit this web site: http://www.avgeekery.com/air-force-highlights-sr-72-blackbird-successor-on-new-poster/

 
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Lockheed’s Skunkworks: The Future is Now

SR72

According to a recent article that appears in the June issue of Popular Science, the folks at the legendary Lockheed Skunkworks are at it again.

“With regional threats growing and portable surface-to-air missiles evolving, engineers have once again set out to build the fastest military jet on the planet.

This time, it will take the form of a 4,000-mile-per-hour reconnaissance drone with strike capability. Known as the SR-72, the aircraft will evade assault, take spy photos, and attack targets at speeds of up to Mach 6. That’s twice as fast as its predecessor.

Aeronautical engineers at Lockheed Martin and Aerojet Rocket­dyne have been designing the SR-72 at their Skunk Works black site in California for the past several years. It will require a hybrid propulsion system: a conventional, off-the-shelf turbo jet that can take the plane from runway to Mach 3, and a hypersonic ramjet/scramjet that will push it the rest of the way. Its body will have to withstand the extreme heat of hypersonic flight, when air friction alone could melt steel. Its bombs will have to hit targets from possibly 80,000 feet. Lockheed says the craft could be deployed by 2030. Once it is, the plane’s ability to cover one mile per second means it could reach any location on any continent in an hour—not that you’ll see it coming.”

Several on-board systems will need to be redeveloped for such a reconnaissance and weapons platform to work at a speed of Mach 6, chief among them targeting, high altitude bombing, piloting, and stability at a high friction rate of speed. Frankly, if anyone can do it, its the boys at Lockheed, who are responsible for creating some of the most sophisticated aircraft ever to take to the sky.

 
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