Lockheed Martin Unveils SR-71's Armed Successor
November 1, 2013 2:48 PM
The SR-72 flies at Mach 6 and will carry missiles
The SR-71's successor here, and it looks like a sci-fi movie's dream.
unveiled the SR-72, which will replace the now-retired SR-71. The new twin-engine member on the block flies as far as the SR-71, but twice as fast as its predecessor. It will be launched from a Mach 6 platform.
The SR-72 accelerates through a two-part system, where a
traditional jet turbine
sends the aircraft up to Mach 3 and then a specialized ramjet pushes it even faster into hypersonic mode.
Oh, and there's one more detail: the SR-72 will be armed and ready to attack.
“We would envision a role with over-flight ISR, as well as missiles,” said Brad Leland, portfolio manager for hypersonic technologies.
Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works has already begun development on the SR-72, and it could enter development in demonstrator form as soon as 2018.
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