Print 122 comment(s) - last by Just Tom.. on Nov 11 at 9:59 AM

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. 

According to Aviation Week, Lockheed Martin 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.

Source: Aviation Week

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By chromal on 11/1/2013 3:02:13 PM , Rating: 3
Is this a drone or is it an aircraft that carries a crew? What's it cost? What are the intended mission profiles, why isn't satelitte recon preferred?

RE: why
By retrospooty on 11/1/2013 3:26:37 PM , Rating: 2
That is never the question asked when the US govt. does things like this. It's more like OK, we owe your company a lucrative contract? OK, make something outlandish that we dont need and we will sigh up for it.

LOL@ the thought that the US needs improved spying ability. So sick of it.

RE: why
By CharonPDX on 11/1/2013 3:47:26 PM , Rating: 5
*THIS* specific spying capability is much-needed. We don't have rapid-response arbitrary-target aerial photography capability now. We have satellites (which we don't have 100% Earth-coverage-at-all-times yet,) and we have slower aircraft.

The big questions is: is this cost-effective? That was the SR-71's downfall. It required unique fuel, and special tankers to carry that unique fuel stationed around the world ready to go at a moment's notice. *VERY* expensive to maintain. The aircraft itself wasn't too expensive, just the infrastructure. (Plus SR-71s were never upgraded with real-time electronic downlink, they still had to land and develop film, even at the end of their life in the '90s.)

RE: why
By YearOfTheDingo on 11/1/2013 7:15:25 PM , Rating: 5
I'm highly skeptical that there's a need for such a plane. Given the high cost and logistics involved, we'd most likely be operating it from continental US. Even at Mach 6, it would still take hours to reach theater. The high speed of the SR-71 was more about making it invulnerable to anti-aircraft missiles. The rise of drones make potential downing by enemies much less of a concern.

RE: why
By CubicleDilbert on 11/3/13, Rating: 0
RE: why
By headbox on 11/4/2013 3:53:31 AM , Rating: 4
Why did you even reply? You know NOTHING about this topic. You're just another Armchair General taking a break from you Xbox to spew BS on the internet. I'm going to marry your mom and take your video games away.

RE: why
By jRaskell on 11/4/2013 8:23:18 AM , Rating: 4
How exactly is that different from anybody else in this thread.

RE: why
By Jeffk464 on 11/4/2013 11:18:55 AM , Rating: 3
Right, but only to missiles in the 70ies.
Modern missiles can down this plane easily.

Yup, its easier to design a fast high altitude missile than it is to design a plane with similar specs. You design a super plane and then Russia designs a super missile.

RE: why
By LoPang on 11/4/2013 2:54:01 PM , Rating: 4
er.... Russia already has super missiles, the guy is right.

RE: why
By inperfectdarkness on 11/4/2013 2:43:42 AM , Rating: 2
This. There really isn't any need for far as ISR goes. Where I can see this being useful is as a launch platform for ASAT missile launches--but that, too, is something we appear to already have alternatives for.

The USAF is not going to be dogfighting with this aircraft, so I really don't see the need for Air-Air missiles...unless, of course, they are planning a new type of BVR missile for anti-HVAA missions. Something with a range of 100+ NM. Kinda like the USA's take on the Foxhound/Foxbat.

RE: why
By hartleyb on 11/4/13, Rating: 0
RE: why
By MrBungle123 on 11/5/2013 1:16:42 PM , Rating: 2
Another use of RAM jets at high alttitudes is it lets aircraft fly at speeds as slow as 5 knots for extremely long periods of time.


RE: why
By inperfectdarkness on 11/6/2013 3:15:04 AM , Rating: 4
Speaking of "wrong on all accounts"

-The SR-71 was a "successor" to the U-2, not vice-versa.

-The U-2's slow speed made it more vulnerable than the SR-71. Don't believe me? Try googling "Francis Gary Powers".

-Ramjets do not work at slow speeds. Not having moving parts means that they cannot "suck" air into the intake, so they require sufficient airspeed to provide the same action.

-The U-2 did not fly at 5-10 knots. It's landing speed was higher than that, somewhere around 70 knots. The biggest drawback to the U-2 was that the difference between stall speed (at 70,000 feet) and DNE (maximum airspeed) was about 10 knots--giving it a very narrow window of operation.

-U-2 pilots already wear "astronaught" suits. The plane is incapable of pressurizing the cabin (at 70,000 feet) to the 10,000 feet required for the human pilot. In fact, many fighter aircraft do not cabin pressurize to 10,000 feet either--requiring the pilot to remain on oxygen when flying above altitudes that preclude it.

Time to hit the books.

RE: why
By FaaR on 11/1/13, Rating: -1
RE: why
By Samus on 11/2/2013 3:23:53 AM , Rating: 2
This is the type of technology that confirmed the Bin Laden compound. The NSA didn't do jack.

This technology is needed on so many levels. Do you really think they'll have SR72's hovering over the continental United States?

RE: why
By Asetha on 11/2/2013 4:13:33 AM , Rating: 5
Those 11 aircraft carrier groups are fulfilling their role of carrying out the grand strategy of the United States - keeping sea lanes open for trade. That 'military crap' makes sure trade between nations, the stuff that sustains the creation of wealth, is sustainable.

You have no idea what you're talking about when you comment on the purpose of the US navy. This jet is not the same thing as aircraft carriers.

RE: why
By AstroGuardian on 11/2/13, Rating: -1
RE: why
By FaaR on 11/2/13, Rating: -1
RE: why
By Nfarce on 11/2/2013 5:52:05 PM , Rating: 3
You are right. Let's just let Russia and China run the "world" in the future, shall we?

RE: why
By tamalero on 11/4/2013 10:58:10 AM , Rating: 2
Are you implying that changing one superpower with its own agenda and interests with another is gonna be a big change?

RE: why
By Just Tom on 11/4/2013 3:51:35 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah, unless you think the Third Reich would have been kinder to the world than America was.

RE: why
By Asetha on 11/8/2013 12:30:44 PM , Rating: 1
You seem to think I'm American. I can assure you, I'm not, and can also assure you that I didn't claim the world would 'be helpless' sans carrier groups.

I claimed the crap you buy, including whatever you used to post your thoughtless comment, would be much more expensive, introducing an incentive for you not to buy it, fundamentally transforming the global economy.

Pull your head out of your anus before you write, please.

RE: why
By Asetha on 11/2/2013 4:13:33 AM , Rating: 2
Those 11 aircraft carrier groups are fulfilling their role of carrying out the grand strategy of the United States - keeping sea lanes open for trade. That 'military crap' makes sure trade between nations, the stuff that sustains the creation of wealth, is sustainable.

You have no idea what you're talking about when you comment on the purpose of the US navy. This jet is not the same thing as aircraft carriers.

RE: why
By LoPang on 11/4/2013 2:55:42 PM , Rating: 2
Nothing more fearful than a delusional lunatic carrying a big gun...sea lanes open for trade?? When has USofA been under attack??

Once maybe? In the perfect political context btw.

RE: why
By Asetha on 11/8/2013 12:33:21 PM , Rating: 2
Did you read the comment? It's not about the US being under attack, the carriers are there to keep the straights of Malaca, the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf, the Suez Canal, the Panama canal, the north Atlantic and the Indian ocean open for trade.

Only a douche would equate a sea lane to the continental US.

RE: why
By Manch on 11/3/2013 1:59:48 PM , Rating: 2
If other countries would stop asking us to play police that would be helpful as well. Whether it's NATO led or another coalition the US usually provides the bulk of the forces. In regards to our bases, they are there as a security agreement between the respective countries. It's not like we just planted a flag and claimed the territory for our use.

If the world was all rainbows and unicorns I would agree with you. unfortunately it's not.

Since you're so against uber expensive military tech. eliminate it from your life and goodbye since we will never hear from you online again.

RE: why
By Kisper on 11/3/2013 7:46:10 PM , Rating: 2
Our annual spending on defense is less than our annual budget deficit. So if we had no military, we would still be in a hole.

RE: why
By Just Tom on 11/4/2013 4:40:40 PM , Rating: 1
Ok? How many spending categories are bigger than the deficit?

America is not going to find 600B in savings in any one place. And defense should definitely be examined.

RE: why
By JediJeb on 11/7/2013 3:10:16 PM , Rating: 2
How much is spent on social entitlements?

Welfare alone is over $250B which is almost have of that 600B in savings we are looking for. Federal spending on health care is almost $750B even before the Affordable Care Act is implemented. That right there is about the level of the budget deficit when combined.

According to in 2010 spending on Defense and Health Care was about equal and in 2013 spending on Health Care has exceeded spending on Defense.

Oh but if the government didn't spend so much on health care then everyone would be dying right and left. No, just think about the pharmaceutical industry, if the government did not subsidize the cost of expensive drugs, then the drug makers would find a way to make and sell them at a lower price otherwise they would go out of business for lack of sales. Hospitals and doctors would find ways to provide services at a price average people could afford out of pocket or they would also go out of business. Before Medicare began even people of less than middle class income could have a stay in the hospital and not need to file for bankruptcy, a year after Medicare was implemented the cost of an average hospital stay increased 300%, yes in a single year.

I'm not saying that there isn't also waste and bloat in the defense part of the budget, because there is, but pretty much everything in which the government has its hand is rife with corruption and inefficiency and bloat.

RE: why
By Just Tom on 11/11/2013 9:59:48 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed. You won't get an argument from me that the federal government spends too much on everything. And there is probably a larger percentage of waste in non-defense spending. However, I firmly believe the defense budget is too big, we get bad value for the money, and it is not rationally constructed.

RE: why
By kickoff on 11/3/2013 10:34:48 PM , Rating: 2
We have as many as 1,000 military bases, and that does not count as many as 500 in Afghanistan and Iraq. No wonder we can't afford to run our gov't.

RE: why
By Kisper on 11/3/2013 11:01:07 PM , Rating: 2
Like I said above, even if we completely cut defense spending, we would still be in the red. The 2013 fiscal year's deficit is $680 billion

DoD was given $580 billion

Look at what happened in 2009, scary.

RE: why
By kickoff on 11/4/2013 11:14:45 AM , Rating: 4
The 2009 numbers are scary, but I don't know how much better they could have been considering what we did to ourselves in 2008 and taking the economy between greedy Wall Street and all the bleeding heart Congress forcing us to give huge home loans to anyone that could fog a mirror (or they started screaming racism).
All that stupidity was going to put a dent in the deficit no matter what we did once it came home to roost.

As for the DoD budget, 2 points:
1) They always hide things in other budget pools. They will easily spend another 50% of that number on crap we wouldn't recognize unless you get a PhD in analyzing their real spending. For example, they classify LOTS of stuff as "homeland security" that is either directly or indirectly caused by and contributing to our National Security/DOD. They always play funny with the numbers they count about Vet benefits and pensions, etc. So you have to REALLY dig into their numbers to see what they're omitting. Lies, damn lies and statistics!

2) Even if DoD spending is only part of the problem, it still needs to be cut along with everything else (like all the entitlement programs). Like any household with a budget problem, you start cutting back on lots of things and the big ticket items have to be part of that.

Further to point number 1: if we were not in so many countries getting involved in their business, then they would not be wanting to come over here and do terrorism. You don't see Brazil having to deal with the Osama Bin Laden's of the world. Why? Because Brazil is not sending troops to the middle east to get involved in shit that is not their business. I'm not excusing the terrorists...I'd be perfectly happy if we killed every muslim on the planet.
I'm just talking simple cause and effect. We have to spend LOTS more money protecting ourselves because we keep kicking the hornet's nest. Then we wonder "why?".

RE: why
By sorry dog on 11/2/2013 10:31:06 AM , Rating: 2
The big questions is: is this cost-effective? That was the SR-71's downfall. It required unique fuel, and special tankers to carry that unique fuel stationed around the world ready to go at a moment's notice. *VERY* expensive to maintain. The aircraft itself wasn't too expensive, just the infrastructure. (Plus SR-71s were never upgraded with real-time electronic downlink, they still had to land and develop film, even at the end of their life in the '90s.)

This is all dead wrong.

The SR died because of politics. Almost all the people who worked on the program have said this. It was NOT because it was too expensive. They had enough spare parts to run 3 or 4 planes for years. The reason given for termination at one point was that the airframes had gotten too old, until an LM engineer leaked that the airframes were actually stronger now than ever from the thermal cycling. I forgot what the new reason was after that. One real reason the Air Force didn't want it is they were tired of program that they were not really customers of coming out of their budget. The Navy actually considered funding it at some point, but Air Force ain't gonna let the world's fastest plane have Navy slapped on the side of it. The SR was actually funded after it's last year in '98 but Clinton line item veto'd it.

RE: why
By Nfarce on 11/2/2013 5:51:10 PM , Rating: 2
Don't forget the CIA (the original reason for the A-12 program) determined there were enough satellites to not need SR-71 missions anymore.

One thing about satellites however is that our enemies know when they are coming over. An aircraft at 100,000 feet flying at Mach 3+ can surprise anyone at any time (the SR-71 went WELL in excess of Mach 3 at altitude, and the true speed is still classified).

RE: why
By Calin on 11/3/2013 1:07:37 PM , Rating: 2
Well, Mach speed is lower at those altitudes too

RE: why
By marvdmartian on 11/4/2013 8:11:55 AM , Rating: 2
Not sure what you mean by "special tankers" for the SR-71 fuel?

The tankers used were the same types used for every other Air Force refueling mission (KC-135's or KC-10's), that were set up to carry JP-7/JPTS (thermally stabilized jet fuel) that the SR-71's consumed. The only thing special about these planes was likely that they weren't otherwise used for other fueling missions, with other jet fuel, due to the cross-contamination factor.

A friend of mine is a retired US Air Force POL troop, and was stationed in Panama (Howard AFB, I believe) when an SR-71 was flown in and out of there a few times.

RE: why
By johnsonx on 11/4/2013 7:19:41 PM , Rating: 2
so there are tankers that are setup to carry a unique fuel used only by the SR-71, and those tankers generally aren't used for anything else. Sounds exactly like "special tankers" to me.

RE: why
By Argon18 on 11/1/2013 4:13:26 PM , Rating: 3
"OK, make something outlandish that we dont need and we will sigh up for it."

ObamaCare anyone?

RE: why
By Jeffk464 on 11/1/2013 4:22:35 PM , Rating: 3
Personally I think the average citizen gets more benefit from health care than from some new quazillion dollar weapons program.

RE: why
By Reclaimer77 on 11/1/13, Rating: 0
RE: why
By Jeffk464 on 11/1/2013 5:11:21 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not happy with Obama care, personally I like the single payer system. My choice would be similar to what they have in Australia, Canada, England, but I've been under government health care since 1998.

RE: why
By seamonkey79 on 11/1/2013 5:19:51 PM , Rating: 4
That's because Obamacare isn't healthcare, it's health insurance, which is the reason healthcare costs so much in the first place, which means since Obamacare is more expensive overall than health insurance was without it, healthcare itself is going to increase even more.

It took a bad situation and made it worse.

RE: why
By ClownPuncher on 11/1/2013 5:32:37 PM , Rating: 2
Yep. My situation is going to be quite a bit worse off than it has been in the last 5 years. Who benefits? Insurance companies and those that accept lobby money.

RE: why
By CaedenV on 11/2/2013 2:48:56 AM , Rating: 1
Agreed, now I have the privilege of paying an additional $3-500 per month for something I will probably not need for the next 10-20 years. That is money that I frankly don't have, but Obama apparently knows my situation better and says that I can afford it anyways.

I mean seriously, if I broke my arm, or did something stupid then I could work something out with the hospital or my doctor which would cut me a deal I could afford, but not leave my doctor up a creek. But now that option is being taken away from me.
On the other hand, if I find myself in a serious accident, or with cancer, or some other terrible long term disease or serious impairment then what does insurance get me? I could still die, or I could survive but never be useful again, or I could end up with a full recovery and still stuck with huge crippling bills which will impoverish myself and my family for several years (if not the rest of our lives). I don't exactly see how insurance helps anyone in any of those situations. If we did not have insurance, and people had to pay for things, and there was appropriate government regulation (yes, there is such a thing), then health costs could easily be 1/4 of what they are right now (which is less what what insurance costs to begin with).

But the real problem is the state of medicine. I have in my pocket a device which has more horsepower than my first few computers combined while managing to run on a small battery for an entire day. That is a miracle device. My $500 phone is more powerful and has a higher resolution screen than most of the computers in use at my local hospital. How on earth are medical records supposed to be kept secure when they use a 13 year old operating system on all of their machines? Why can't hospitals keep a proper database of medical records when the Nazis managed to do it almost 100 years ago? How can we have things as complicated as modern software which can be as large as 50+GB in size, and yet we cannot figure out what more than half of the 750MB (that's right MB not GB) of DNA data is there for?
It seems to me that if medicine was based upon science rather than philosophy, greed, and corruption then we would have medicine that was both useful/effective AND easily affordable. Instead it is stunted some 20 years behind where it should be, and we all now have to pay the price in our wallets and our quality of life.

RE: why
By Samus on 11/2/2013 3:30:18 AM , Rating: 2
96/100 people will actually pay less under Healthcare Reform insurance than they will on the open market, because the pool is larger.

A basic principle for low insurance rates is to get a lot of members. Obamacare does just this. Spreading the risk reduces rates for everybody because healthy people pay for sick people. Even if you are healthy, you want insurance. I'm glad I had my individual policy a few years ago because my otherwise healthy self had to have a $22,000 appendectomy that ended up costing me less than $1500.

Under the previous system, if I weren't responsibly insured, I would have gone to the ER, the hospital would have never collected their $22,000, the state would have reimbursed them, and the government would have reimbursed the state. In the end, the tax payers would have paid for my appendectomy. Just like they do every day for people on dialysis that go to the ER for $2000 treatments instead of $150 treatments at a dialysis center because they don't currently qualify.

Don't get me wrong, because I think there are a lot of problems with the implementation of Obamacare. The enrollment alone is totally messed up. But it is way better than the way it "used to be."

RE: why
By sorry dog on 11/2/2013 11:05:54 AM , Rating: 2
A basic principle for low insurance rates is to get a lot of members. Obamacare does just this. Spreading the risk reduces rates for everybody because healthy people pay for sick people. Even if you are healthy, you want insurance....

Spreading the risk reduces the rates for those that were already insured. But it sure as hell doesn't reduce the rate for those that weren't because they didn't pay a rate to begin with. Now, you can bring anecdotal examples of a young person having insurance save their bacon. Yet as a population group as a whole, it's a fact that young people don't need insurance as much as old people. So, once you include the people who are being forced into being customers, I don't see how the statement that rates are reduced for everybody could possibly be true.

BTW - Same thing happened to me... when I was 23 I had to have unexpected Hernia surgery that would have financially ruined me if I had not had insurance.... of course at the time insurance cost me $50 a month (my employer paid the other $60) instead of the $1,100 month it costs me now.

RE: why
By Jeffk464 on 11/2/2013 2:27:36 PM , Rating: 2
I mean seriously, if I broke my arm, or did something stupid then I could work something out with the hospital or my doctor which would cut me a deal I could afford, but not leave my doctor up a creek. But now that option is being taken away from me.

Health insurance is not for a broken arm, its for when you get dementia and have to live in a facility for 10 years at few thousand dollars a month.

RE: why
By Reclaimer77 on 11/2/2013 6:23:28 PM , Rating: 2
Health insurance is not for a broken arm

In America it is. That's the problem. Insurance is a third party that completely hides the true cost of healthcare for the user, thus they use it for EVERYTHING.

And because of this, the cost of healthcare has gone up up up.

Single payer systems have been running into this inescapable reality for years now. When people perceive something as being "free", they abuse it.

Contrary to populist ignorant beliefs on the Web, America had the greatest healthcare system ever designed, a model for the entire world. Until the Government became increasingly involved.

RE: why
By Dorkyman on 11/3/2013 10:22:10 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. And my issue with Obamacare is that it digs deeply into something that wasn't the problem.

It's as if cars were unreliable because wheels kept falling off, so the car gets retrofitted with headlights five times more powerful.

I remember a senator decades ago saying the problem with health insurance shielding the consumer from costs was like being told one could go into a market and buy any food they wanted for the same price. People would naturally buy steak instead of macaroni & cheese.

But leave it to the Obamabots in Washington to do something utterley lacking in common sense.

RE: why
By gamerk2 on 11/4/2013 10:16:04 AM , Rating: 2
Contrary to populist ignorant beliefs on the Web, America had the greatest healthcare system ever designed, a model for the entire world. Until the Government became increasingly involved.</quite>

Yes, more money for worse outcomes is obviously the best. There is NO measure by which the US system is good, let alone the best.

And I note again: Its only conservatives who talk about "free" healthcare. Its paid for via taxation; that's the point.

RE: why
By hubb1e on 11/1/2013 5:33:51 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, Obamacare is a mess. He couldn't pass single payer because it would never pass, so now you're all required to spend money with a private company or you're thrown in jail at the point of a gun. Yes I know that is over exaggerating, but that is ultimately what government power as all about.

I'd rather have full private insurance paid by individuals and not bundled with your job, or single payer. One or the other is better than this terrible mess that is Obamacare.

RE: why
By talonvor on 11/1/2013 5:41:13 PM , Rating: 2
They can't put you in jail for not buying their over priced insurance. In fact the only way they can collect the fine is if they owe you a refund. They cant use any of the normal IRS collection methods for the fine. Which means, if you setup your tax deductions correctly, they cant ever collect from you.

RE: why
By CaedenV on 11/2/2013 2:52:10 AM , Rating: 2
you seriously don't think that avoiding the no-insurance penalty will not be equated to tax fraud? It may not be legal, but that does not exactly stop the government these days. I give it 2 years before we start seeing prosecution and wage garnishment for such offences.

RE: why
By Samus on 11/2/2013 3:35:50 AM , Rating: 2
There is currently nothing in the tax code for 2013 or 2014 to enforce the $95 or 1% income penalty, which means people can basically delay enrolling until January 1, 2015 without penalty.

I suspect it will be left out of the tax code for 2015, as well, because if the cluster-$#!@ enrollment process is any indication of how smoothly the roll-out will be, there are sure to be other problem-causing delays.

RE: why
By CharonPDX on 11/1/2013 5:40:37 PM , Rating: 2
Funny, I won't pay a dime more in taxes due to Obamacare, neither will the other 80% of Americans who have employer-provided insurance.

The only people who will pay the tax are people who do not have employer-provide insurance, and refuse to buy insurance... (Other than the low-income and religiously-motivated.)

RE: why
By talonvor on 11/1/2013 5:43:05 PM , Rating: 5
You seem to have missed the news recently where millions of people have had their policy cancelled because it doesnt conform to obamacare specifications.

RE: why
By CaedenV on 11/2/2013 3:07:49 AM , Rating: 1
ironically low income people are who they aimed to insure... but as you can only sign up via a computer it makes it rather difficult for them to get to the broken website to sign up for their free insurance.

Sure, people do not need to pay more taxes. Tell that to the entirety of the lower middle class who are getting their hours cut to part time in order to avoid paying for insurance. They will be paying even less taxes (not that they made enough to be taxed in the first place)! What a benefit it must be to work several part time jobs to make ends meat! And what a joy it must be for employers who now have to manage employees with such convoluted and fluctuating availability.

And for the middle class, where millions of Americans are loosing their insurance because it isn't good enough, and the ones that are good enough are looking at 50% price hikes across the board. What a benefit for society to have to pay more for the same coverage! But at least they don't have to pay more taxes!

And for younger healthy folks like myself. At a time in life when we are paying down student loans, car debt, credit cards, home debt, home repairs, and starting families, we now get to pay for yet another large bill! We are healthy and the money is much better spent at this time in life towards providing a sound financial future for ourselves and our new families, but instead we will have to put that on hold so that we can pay insurance premiums which will cover someone else's care because the whole system will be scrapped by the time we will need to make use of it!

And great, so more things are provided by the insurance at a time when doctors are retiring at a faster rate than they are being replaced. Now there is a recipe for good quality service for the masses!

Honestly, I have yet to meet a single person that this makes insurance more affordable for. It is a raw deal. It is an illegal deal. And people are not happy.

RE: why
By Piiman on 11/2/2013 11:32:06 AM , Rating: 1
"but as you can only sign up via a computer "
Completely untrue YOU DO NOT NEED A COMPUTER TO SIGN UP. Since you got that wrong in the first few lines I'm sure the rest of your rant is equally f'ed

RE: why
By JediJeb on 11/7/2013 3:42:54 PM , Rating: 2
Funny, I won't pay a dime more in taxes due to Obamacare, neither will the other 80% of Americans who have employer-provided insurance.

I have employer provided insurance and I may not be paying more in taxes because of the Affordable Care Act, but the insurance cost to our company has increased enough in the last two years that we have also switched insurance companies twice in those two years to try to keep insurance affordable for the company and the employees.

Why does a 60 year old woman need to have maternity included in her insurance policy as is now required by the ACA? Why does someone like me who has never drank alcohol or taken drugs need to include a substance abuse clause in my insurance policy now which is required by the ACA? The government now calls an insurance policy which fit my needs perfectly by only supplying what I needed a "crappy" or "inadequate" insurance plan and instead says I need to "upgrade" to one that costs twice as much per month and has a deductible twice or three times as high as what I had and includes far more than what I will ever need and calls it a "superior" plan for me. Yea the "government" really knows what is better for me.

By the way, just what is the government? The government is just people, plain and simple. Can anyone prove that those people know more about what is good for me than I do? People are people, whether they are involved in the government or private sector they are still people, with the faults inherent in all people.

If the average people of this country actually believe that the likes of John Boehner, Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell, Harry Reid, or Barak Obama are any smarter or wiser than they are, then this country is truly in a mess!

RE: why
By HoosierEngineer5 on 11/1/2013 5:32:05 PM , Rating: 3
The reason you believe this is because the US has been so successful with their military. If you had a choice between safety and health insurance, most people would choose safety.

Here is an explanation of Maslow's hierarchy.

You may place health insurance at the most critical level, but I think after a bit of reflection, you may reconsider. Most people in their youth tend not to worry about health, because most people are pretty reliable. The greatest cause of death for younger adults is accidents.

RE: why
By Manch on 11/3/2013 2:04:14 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe if you can actually sign up for it....

RE: why
By Jeffk464 on 11/1/2013 4:18:47 PM , Rating: 4
Wow, thats really cool. To bad this type of spending is the last thing we need right now.

RE: why
By Reclaimer77 on 11/1/13, Rating: 0
RE: why
By Jeffk464 on 11/1/2013 5:08:00 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not anti military spending I'm for appropriate military spending.

RE: why
By talonvor on 11/1/13, Rating: 0
RE: why
By fic2 on 11/1/2013 5:55:57 PM , Rating: 1
...after all it is the military that determines what they need.

What dream world to you live in where this is true? In the real world the military says we would like to have X and then congress (i.e. lobbyists) cram stuff on the military they don't want. For examples see V-22 Osprey, F-35 2nd engine, tank upgrades, etc. Just google "programs the military doesn't want".

RE: why
By retrospooty on 11/1/2013 7:57:00 PM , Rating: 3
That's what I was talking about above. Its not about what the military needs, its a out feeding the corp. buddies of Congress.

RE: why
By StevoLincolnite on 11/1/2013 8:15:31 PM , Rating: 2
Well then I don't see your problem. Either you're for military spending or you're not, after all it is the military that determines what they need.

Instead of loosing thousands of American lives, spending Trillions of dollars over in the middle east... You could have been better protecting your own borders, saving a big fat wad of cash that you, the tax payer pays for and most importantly, saving American lives.

Even then some branches of the US military still doesn't get what it needs in regards to equipment.

The US government is stupidly large, full of bureaucracy and red tape which results in massive amounts of waste, instead of trying to re-invent the healthcare wheel, your government should have looked to other countries who are more successful with their healthcare to determine what and what does not work.

RE: why
By Reclaimer77 on 11/1/13, Rating: -1
RE: why
By Lord 666 on 11/1/2013 10:44:03 PM , Rating: 2
Would even go so far as saying it will become population control.

RE: why
By sorry dog on 11/2/2013 10:47:45 AM , Rating: 2
I so wish that was true...

Everybody wants to cure world hunger, but when was the last time you heard somebody say wouldn't it be great if there were another few billion people in the world.

RE: why
By Jeffk464 on 11/4/2013 11:13:36 AM , Rating: 2
WWII was the bloodiest conflict in history and during those years their was an increase in population, go figure.

RE: why
By yomamafor1 on 11/2/2013 12:09:08 AM , Rating: 1
RE: why
By Florinator on 11/1/2013 3:55:01 PM , Rating: 3
The only reason why airplane reconnaissance is preferred over satellite is that sometimes it takes a while to get the satellite over the desired area, sometimes it is faster to deploy an airplane instead of waiting for the satellite to pass above.

RE: why
By tng on 11/1/2013 4:06:48 PM , Rating: 4
Satellites are also predictable. Flyover schedules for a satellite can be calculated and therefore the technology is less effective.

This and the SR71 is like a pop quiz, you aren't expecting it and by the time you know it is there, it is to late to hide things.

RE: why
By OoklaTheMok on 11/1/2013 4:15:24 PM , Rating: 2
There are also these things called clouds that can impede the capabilities of satellites. The benefit of aircraft is that it can fly at a different altitude to counteract the weather that would otherwise get in the way.

RE: why
By Jeffk464 on 11/1/2013 4:25:19 PM , Rating: 2
Pretty sure this thing is going to fly high altitude when its overflying the target. You aren't going to be going hyper-sonic at 5000ft.

RE: why
By sorry dog on 11/2/2013 10:36:22 AM , Rating: 2
Pictures weren't the only thing the SR could do. It also could Radar map, survey electronic signals, and probably a few other things we still don't know about.

RE: why
By Schrag4 on 11/1/2013 4:12:01 PM , Rating: 2
This is armed. That's the answer to some of your questions.

RE: why
By Proxes on 11/1/2013 4:26:25 PM , Rating: 2
If it's armed it really is the "successor" to the YF-12, the original SR-71.

RE: why
By tng on 11/1/2013 4:35:39 PM , Rating: 2

RE: why
By 91TTZ on 11/1/2013 5:37:35 PM , Rating: 1
If it's armed it really is the "successor" to the YF-12, the original SR-71.

You're thinking of the A-12. The A-12 was the original aircraft that had 2 variants- the YF-12 and the SR-71.

A-12 first flew in 1962. The YF-12 was then developed and first flew in 1963. The SR-71 was then developed and first flew in 1964.

RE: why
By sorry dog on 11/2/2013 11:30:28 AM , Rating: 2
The are all a part of the same OXCART program. The A-12 was the single pilot version that had a different camera/sensor package from the SR. I read post from a pilot who flew both and said the A-12 was a tad faster and could fly a few thousand feet higher, but here is very interesting declassified comparison that gets into the details:

As for the numbers, part of the reason it was named SR-71 and not U-3 (after it's predecessor U-2) is it was envisioned to carry some armament (SR= strike/recon) and program wise it was coming in after the B-70. The B-70 program at the time was still in flux over it's exact role and a strike reconnaissance version of it had been proposed. The afore mentioned F-12 actually did do a few bombing trials testing supersonic bomb runs, but never have seen any report on the results.

RE: why
By 91TTZ on 11/4/2013 2:07:49 PM , Rating: 2
s for the numbers, part of the reason it was named SR-71 and not U-3 (after it's predecessor U-2) is it was envisioned to carry some armament (SR= strike/recon) and program wise it was coming in after the B-70.

It's called "SR" because it stands for "strategic reconnaissance". There are also aircraft with a "TR" label for "tactical reconnaissance".

RE: why
By m51 on 11/1/2013 9:17:45 PM , Rating: 2
The SR-72 is unmanned.

RE: why
By superflex on 11/1/2013 4:25:46 PM , Rating: 1
Because the MIC demands it.
The MIC and banksters run the govt.

RE: why
By fic2 on 11/1/2013 5:45:35 PM , Rating: 2
What's it cost?

If you have to ask, you can't afford it...

RE: why
By StormyKnight on 11/1/2013 10:54:41 PM , Rating: 2
It can take up to a day to get a spy satellite over a target. Spyplanes have a better response time and can get there in hours or less.

RE: why
By Owik2008 on 11/4/2013 9:29:40 AM , Rating: 2
Satellite and Drone Answer

I went and read up about the U2 program. If you have some time, take a look at it on Wikipedia.

I work for a company which does a lot of image processing and we often look for cameras and camera systems, I found this a really interesting read. Basically the U2 is hanging around until 2023 because its image resolution is unmatched by satellites and it is cheaper to run than today's drone systems. Yes, the US government still relies on 1960s technology because today we design systems that are overly complex and complicated, and the drone technology is more expensive. I think the latter is called Bureaucracy.

Given the conflicts of today I don't see why you want a hypersonic armed platform. Considering the massive budget overruns and hidden costs and poor performance of the F35, this will be a disaster.

What they needed to do was clone Kelly Johnson and what you can still do is get the government departments out of the arms development industry - for that matter - R&D. I'm not in the industry in question - I just look around at the crazy budget overruns and think that previous projects were run a lot better than the ones of today.

RE: why
By Abeauvais on 11/4/2013 4:24:30 PM , Rating: 2

RE: why
By EricMartello on 11/10/2013 10:50:47 AM , Rating: 2
Is this a drone or is it an aircraft that carries a crew? What's it cost? What are the intended mission profiles, why isn't satelitte recon preferred?

It's likely to be manned however I wouldn't rule out remote-piloting capabilities. Obviously a "surveillance and recon" type of mission profile is what the SR plans are designed for.

Why not stick with satellites and mini drones?

Satellites are handy but you can only use them when they are positioned over the region you want to spy on. A plane can be sent in anytime, thus increasing the reliability of any intel gathered.

Let's say that Iran wants to move nukes without being detected. They shoot down any drones, which are slow moving and relatively low altitude. They know that they have a "window" because the spy satellites are not currently overhead. What option does the US have to document their actions without risking their own detection? None, really...but a spy plane can get the job done.

Just wanted to note that the SR-71 is the only military aircraft that primarily saved lives (on both sides) with the intel it gathered. It was a shame that it got the axe...

PR Move?
By Sunrise089 on 11/1/2013 3:14:33 PM , Rating: 3
I'm no aerospace expert, but it seems like most high-end military hardware is developed in secret and then eventually announced much later. In contrast this seems like a PR announcement. Is the goal here to spark some interest before submitting a bid to DoD, or is this instead something like a silly mock-up that's being presented as a serious candidate for production?

RE: PR Move?
By CharonPDX on 11/1/2013 3:44:24 PM , Rating: 2
My guess is that someone found out about it, told LM they were going to publish a story, and LM just went ahead and made a full-on press release.

(I can't get to the Aviation Week site right now, for all I know, this is a "rumor presented as fact", and it's as true as the "Aurora" rumors from the '90s.)

RE: PR Move?
By Solandri on 11/1/2013 4:35:03 PM , Rating: 3
There's a reason the magazine is referred to as AvLeak in the industry.

RE: PR Move?
By US56 on 11/3/2013 12:06:35 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, that's exactly what it is. LM is attempting to stir up some interest in order to have DARPA restore funding for the former HTV-3x Blackswift path of the Falcon Project. There isn't much new except that LM claims to have developed a proprietary technology to bridge the "thrust chasm" between Mach 2.5, the upper limit of turbojets, and Mach 3-3.5, the lower limit of ramjets. LM wants DARPA or (incl.) the USAF to step up with funding to develop a demonstrator vehicle. Then again, maybe it's just a smokescreen to cover what they're really doing. If people start hearing frequent and consistent sonic booms along a line of bearing leading directly to Area 51 as in the early nineties, they're going to need a good cover story.

By shmmy on 11/1/2013 3:55:27 PM , Rating: 3
Fact of the matter is that you know way to little about the project to start bitching about it already. The government will spend the money anyway on stuff like this. They have done so for decades. (Star Wars program under Regan cough)

You do not have all the details and there is probably a semi decent reason for this. One I can think of is satellites are not reliable anymore since most decent countries can now shoot them down, or disable them with "lasers". Two, they do not cover all of the world at all times. (as far as we know)

An aircraft that can travel at Mach 6 can get anywhere in a few hours, and stick around for a bit. Also it is hard as hell to shoot down from the ground.

Military spending is only a fraction of total government spending. If you really want to bitch about cost then worry about health care. Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Thats where the real spending is.

RE: Relax...
By OoklaTheMok on 11/1/13, Rating: 0
RE: Relax...
By Solandri on 11/1/2013 5:13:48 PM , Rating: 2
Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid are closing in on 50% of the federal budget, and entitlements overall are already more than 50%.

The CBO projects Medicare/Medicaid/Obamacare spending will exceed 100% of federal tax revenue in about 75 years (used to be 50 years before Obamacare, so it's bought us 25 years). The programs badly need to be reformed, but a particular party keeps blocking any attempts to reform them, saying we can fix things by cutting military spending instead. That used to be true in the 1960s, when military spending was over half the budget; but it's now less than 1/5th the budget. You could reduce military spending to zero and the entitlement programs would still be bankrupting us. None of this is meant as a criticism of the concept of entitlement programs or an endorsement of military spending. I'm just saying whatever you choose to fund, you have to make sure you fund it in a way that's sustainable.

You should put aside any preconceived notions you have and read the CBO's long term budget outlooks some time. They lay it out in black and white what's causing the budget problems, and what we need to do to fix it. They come out with a new version every 1-2 years.

RE: Relax...
By OoklaTheMok on 11/1/13, Rating: 0
RE: Relax...
By shmmy on 11/1/2013 8:36:29 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks! Well the spending figures I was quoting all be it very very general was from Bill Clinton's Book, Back to Work. I was at work, on my cell phone didnt want to go into to much detail.

Defense spending is something like less then 20% of total government spending. Almost all the rest is. Medicare, Medicare, Social Security, and debt interest. I could be off by a bit (+/-5%) but the general idea is sound. We also spend less %per GDP then some other countries on defense spending.

Major point to take away is yes its a crap load of money, but it really is not the cause for many budget problems. In fact defense spending although expensive creates many well paying jobs. Recently though the money is less distributed due to crazy development costs and lower volume production deals. IE F-22 went from 750 planes, to 250, to something like 187. Making the average cost really high per unit.

RE: Relax...
By Jeffk464 on 11/1/2013 4:31:32 PM , Rating: 1
Trust my I bitch about the cost of health care in the US all the time. :)

I figured it out!
By chmilz on 11/1/2013 3:37:06 PM , Rating: 1
It's a missile, launched from a missile launcher, that launches missiles.

Also, it'll never be built because lasers and drones and stuff.

RE: I figured it out!
By lunardude on 11/2/2013 5:34:58 AM , Rating: 2
I doubt the SR-72 is a design concept. Drones can't be launched deep into enemy territory without being shot down. The SR-72 can get to a concerning area observe at faster-than-a-speeding-bullet speeds, slow to shoot, and then speed up to hypersonic to get the heck out of there.

RE: I figured it out!
By CubicleDilbert on 11/3/2013 12:25:30 PM , Rating: 2
But only works in underdeveloped countries like Yemen or Somalia to hit some Talibans.

Modern missiles like the S-400 or S-300 achieve Mach 8 and 120km altitude without problems. And they can outmanouver any high-speed plane easily.

I guess the SR72 would be a fast response drone against Talibans and maybe some arabian countries.

RE: I figured it out!
By sorry dog on 11/3/2013 1:35:26 PM , Rating: 2
So it would be so easy for a modern missile to shoot it down, right?

Actually, I think the conditions would have very optimal for the interceptor. Once you actually graph out potential trajectories, high mach speeds, and energy needed you can see that possible intercepts come to only seconds of opportunity. A decoy spoof of only a few seconds is all that is needed to spoil the solution.

Look at it this way. Patriot missiles had a hard time shooting down a SCUD that flew slower, lower, and coming toward the missile battery.

Epic facepalm.
By Amiga500 on 11/1/2013 4:24:38 PM , Rating: 2
NASA, working with Boeing, Orbital Sciences and Pratt&Whitney have been able to make the X-43 series achieve a combined 20 seconds or so of powered hypersonic flight.

The X-51 program has achieved it for around a combined 500 seconds .

The X-43 program was going since the mid-90s and the X-51 program succeeded it.

Yet Lockheed are going to deliver an in-service aircraft in a decade or so?

F88k me. :rolleyes:

Any wonder Lockheed can fleece you folks for billions when you believe half this sh!t.

RE: Epic facepalm.
By lunardude on 11/2/2013 5:31:49 AM , Rating: 2
I think the point is hypersonic flight for short bursts combined with conventional flight. Essentially a more refined SR-71 with firing capability and brief hypersonic bursts to evade attack.

It's an effective tool to have when you're dumping half your navy, and an excellent show of force that can actually do something for our defense proposition.

RE: Epic facepalm.
By sorry dog on 11/3/2013 5:01:00 PM , Rating: 2
Don't think that is an entirely fair comparison.

X-43 was more to test Scramjet tech rather push aerodynamic boundaries. Don't forget the X-15 logged lots of time close to Mach 5 and that was 50 years ago.

The blackbirds speed limits weren't because of lack a thrust... it was more from inlet temps and controlling shock waves at the intakes. Both of those issues could be improved with more modern materials and computer modeling. Under the right conditions (really cold air) the SR could go 3.7 or 3.8, so I don't think it's unreasonable to think a modern design could do Mach 5.
Now past that then Ramjet exhaust velocity becomes an issue...

By inteli722 on 11/1/2013 4:38:37 PM , Rating: 2
It's a successor to the A-12 Oxcart? The armed SR-71?

RE: So...
By CharonPDX on 11/1/2013 5:54:05 PM , Rating: 2
As mentioned in another comment thread, basically.

A-12 was the "father" craft of the entire Blackbird line. It was operational as a CIA spy plane only.

Then came the operational USAF-successor SR-71 spy plane.

But the YF-12 and M-21 were produced-but-not-operational aircraft that descended from the A-12.

The M-21 was the "carrier" aircraft for the D-21 unmanned spy drone. It was abandoned during development due to issues with Mach 3 drone separation.

The YF-12 was a prototype interceptor aircraft that was armed. (It tested the progenitor of the AIM-54 "Phoenix" missile made famous by the F-14 - the AIM-47 missile. The YF-12 fired it successfully multiple times, including a launch from 71,000 feet at Mach 3 vs. a target drone at 500 ft. altitude. Unlike the plans for the SR-72, the F-12 was going to be pure air-to-air interceptor. (To destroy Soviet long range bombers as far from Americna airspace as possible.) The article says the SR-72 is planned for ground-attack in its armed version.

So SR-72, as it stands now, is like the A-12. "Spy plane with the ability to be developed into an armed aircraft."

RE: So...
By sorry dog on 11/3/2013 1:43:52 PM , Rating: 2
Close to right.

The D21 program was continued after the M21 accident. It was launched by a B52 and a booster rocket brought it up to speed for the Ram Jet to operate.
The operational trials were less than successful. The drone would self-destruct but the film package was supposed to be air intercepted or recovered from sea. The missions either failed from Drone not completing it's route or the package not being recovered. The closest success ended when recovery ship ran over the package sending it to the bottom.

Oh Tiffany
By alyarb on 11/1/2013 3:46:50 PM , Rating: 1
You link to an article that is 4 pages long, but your coverage is only a couple paragraphs? And did you realize both of your tiny paragraphs contradict? Does it launch from a platform at mach 6 or does it use turbines to accelerate to its operational speed? Just pick one. The amount of time and effort you spent on this post comes through loud and clear. This is supposed to be yellow journalism and all you are giving me is brown!

I am not your typical dailytech mudslinger. I read the garbage articles and garbage comments purely for my own entertainment. I rarely comment, but in order for this article to give rise to a trollfest deserving of its subject matter, someone else should have posted it and with more bait. The search for a high-altitude high performance air breather is a never-ending crusade spanning 50+ years of military-industrial collusion, and you've hurt us all by showing how little you care.

RE: Oh Tiffany
By theaerokid on 11/1/2013 3:49:59 PM , Rating: 2
Take a breath. The source article from AvWeek is correspondingly short.

RE: Oh Tiffany
Oh, btw...
By sweetca on 11/2/2013 10:35:55 PM , Rating: 3

Also, can we please keep the Chinese from stealing this?

RE: Oh, btw...
By Jeffk464 on 11/4/2013 11:31:04 AM , Rating: 2
probably not

freaking awesome!!!
By BillyBatson on 11/1/2013 6:16:13 PM , Rating: 2
Since I was a child the SR-71 Blackbird and A-10 Warthog have been my 2 favorite aircraft!!! Though by the time I joined the USAF they had been long retired.. I have always wanted them to design a replacement but their reasoning for not doing so was because the cold war is "over" and such an aircraft was no longer needed. Slap on some missiles and it becomes useful all over again!!!!
At mach 6 I would imagine it would be quite hard to launch missiles. I think last I heard the fastest publicly recorded missile was mach7 but that was only for a surface to air missile. Most seem to be around the mach3-6 range with the faster models costing far more. I would imagine that this aircraft might actually have to slow down to shoot anything sort of like someone rolling down a window and slowing down for a drive-by. The enemy better have some great defenses because that momentary drop in speed might be the only opportunity to try and target one of these. Can't wait to see it in flight!

RE: freaking awesome!!!
By lunardude on 11/2/2013 5:33:30 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly. The SR-72 in all likelihood can only perform brief hypersonic bursts, even if it launches several years from now. Conversely, it will probably have to slow to fire... the point is, it can get to a target quickly, slow, and then shoot, before speeding up (hypersonic bursts) to dodge enemy fire.

Vapor Plane
By brasstax on 11/4/2013 5:31:03 PM , Rating: 2
Seems like a lot of unnecessary hype here...

This is just a proposal, a re-packaging of the already canceled HTV-3X Blackswift for Darpa. It will likely never fly and if it does, only as a proof of concept.

Combination cycle Hypersonic jets like this have been the Holy Grail of Aeronautics since the at least the 80's, but it's hard work and the budgets required are hard to maintain. Given the foreseeable fiscal climate in the US, it is unlikely this will ever be made.

Perhaps Lockheed should consider marketing the idea to China.

RE: Vapor Plane
By brasstax on 11/4/2013 5:59:34 PM , Rating: 2
Here's an almost 3yo article about this very proposal:

By KOOLTIME on 11/6/2013 9:58:52 PM , Rating: 2
quote from lockeeh site link
Envisioned as an unmanned aircraft, the SR-72 would fly at speeds up to Mach 6, or six times the speed of sound.

Cant man a ramjet type craft at mach 6 and keep a person alive at the g's needed to do certain tasks for quick maneuvering as this is intended for. Its for intercept, not a leisure cruise. Think the space shuttle can turn on a dime at high altitudes manned.

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