SR-72

Experimental aircraft including -but not limited to- X-planes, from the Bell X-1 to the Su-47
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tank-top

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Unread post24 Nov 2019, 17:15

Looks like old news, this came out in 2017. There was a spotting but what was spotted nobody knows. Skunkworks and Lockheed Martin have confirmed they have built a hybrid turbojet/scramjet engine and that the technology will be used in several platforms. While cool, I’m not sure I see the point.
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wrightwing

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Unread post24 Nov 2019, 17:19

The point is hypersonic ISR/strike on time sensitive targets.
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tank-top

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Unread post25 Nov 2019, 06:44

wrightwing wrote:The point is hypersonic ISR/strike on time sensitive targets.



I apologize, obviously I see -the point, by itself I don't see the point.most any adversary can be easily handled by legacy aircraft and modern weapon systems. A more advanced adversary can also be overwhelmed by current and legacy aircraft and weapons systems. The only possible use for this technology is to force specific nations to spend money they don’t have on defensive counters measures they don’t need.

We currently have or soon will have;

F22’s
F-35’s
B-2’s
B-21’s
A half dozen stealthy drones
Cruise missiles, some have ECM, stealth and decoy capability.

Now let’s add some Mach 6+ 100,000’ altitude aircraft that may or may not be armed.

I’m a firm believer in not fighting fair.... looms like we may achieved that in spades.
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milosh

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Unread post25 Nov 2019, 20:32

While we wait SR-72 or MiG-41, Chinese already using WZ-8. Maybe not hypesonic but high supersonic with nice range and low RCS.
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tank-top

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Unread post22 Nov 2021, 16:00

Air Force dropped a teaser.
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madrat

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Unread post23 Nov 2021, 02:00

wrightwing wrote:The point is hypersonic ISR/strike on time sensitive targets.


This in spades. It's loitering ability on task more than likely far exceeds SR-71 even as it moves much higher and faster.
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element1loop

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Unread post23 Nov 2021, 10:06

madrat wrote:
wrightwing wrote:The point is hypersonic ISR/strike on time sensitive targets.


This in spades. It's loitering ability on task more than likely far exceeds SR-71 even as it moves much higher and faster.


Devil's advocate wise, I don't buy this either, it's an order of magnitude different world of technological proliferation since the SR-71 mattered, and was actually a vital set of eyes.

Plus there are several good options for fairly quick strike, or loiter-strike, especially with recoverable or expendable dedicated loiter weapons, that can also provide excellent real-time ISR (including expendable LEO satellite target-quality data), and re-targeting on the fly, and that can be done short of war. So where's the vacant niche this aircraft needs to fill, because nothing else can? And if those get shot down?

As much as it may annoy USAF brass the army will soon have a forward deployed ~2,800 km hypersonic delivery system in the western Pacific and eastern Europe, for even faster regional time-limited deep-strike capability, and probably quicker than USAF can get it done. And backed by a 750 km tactical PrSM which will also have to travel out at hypersonic speeds to reach a target that far out.

And if China or Russia can readily shoot down a satellite in space which orbits at hypersonic speed, I see them having little trouble developing a SAM that can get up in front of this aircraft to kill it. Sensors, comms and SA are also totally different now, so the concept of 'loitering' with a turning-circle wider than a small country, also makes no tactical sense to me.

Plus things with engines that go really fast, tend to run out of fuel at a rate proportional to their speed, even if they do cover a long distance quickly. So when you say 'loiter' I'm thinking maintained presence, but certainly will not be and can not be the case over a hostile country, where there would be some call to use this. If the US flew F-22A and F-35A over Iran what could they effectively do about that, directly? Not much that will help them.

So i don't buy the idea that this is a currently critical means of developing detailed ISR data that can't be done in several other ways. Long-range sensor technology and imagery plus comms networks are ubiquitous.

With the SR-71 LO design, RAM, and lower quality EO systems of the era, that provided the SR-71 altitude, speed and time to detection and tracking advantage. But I don't see how this aircraft will have such advantages.

Looking at it, it could be mistaken for a faster-breed of maneuvering practice target-drone. Does anyone seriously doubt the US Services could easily detect this early at long range, track it, and kill it with relative ease? So why can't an enemy just do the same thing?

It could however act as a stealthy "Wommera".

Wommera (noun)
The spear-thrower, or throwing-stick, of the aborigines of Australia.


Image

We named our major weapon-testing area after that. It's a lever that allows spears to be thrown further, and faster, using more leverage, for better speed, 'ballistics', and penetration. This aircraft could fling a cheaper smaller hypersonic weapon further, with much more speed and altitude, but it won't then penetrate the airspace, it launches with a lot of standoff, from LR-SAMS, and turns away right after launch and egresses survivably.

As a conventional standoff stealthy strike platform, this makes good sense for a surprise preemptive strike option.
Accel + Alt + VLO + DAS + MDF + Radial Distance = LIFE . . . Always choose Stealth
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Unread post23 Nov 2021, 13:26

What makes you so certain it was intended to fly over near peers? Strategic targets commonly are not within the borders of the near peers. As a singular piece in a larger, global game of chess, it makes perfect sense. Too high and fast to get direct video evidence. Drops packages that can get in for the up close dirty work without getting its own hands dirty. A whole different design criteria from SR-71, with whole other dimensions for use. And it is probably not even necessary to have a human in it. They wouldn't reveal details if the next level wasn't already in the works.
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element1loop

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Unread post24 Nov 2021, 04:47

Asking quasi-rhetorical questions like that might help with clarity if you quoted a relevant sentence that you question or object to. For instance;

madrat wrote:What makes you so certain it was intended to fly over near peers? Strategic targets commonly are not within the borders of the near peers. ...


This is a dissonant question given I already argued the opposite of this, that it makes no sense as a fly-over aircraft. Which is btw what was being argued by implication up the page with comments about "loitering" (made by you), and about an ISR role. Is it going to do standoff ISR then?

Nope.

madrat wrote:As a singular piece in a larger, global game of chess, it makes perfect sense.


Which is what I said, namely this sentence: ... "As a conventional standoff stealthy strike platform, this makes good sense for a surprise preemptive strike option." ...

So I'm wondering what you're objecting to, or finding a fault with, subsequent to that?

madrat wrote:Drops packages that can get in for the up close dirty work without getting its own hands dirty. A whole different design criteria from SR-71 ...


Which is what I said, namely: ... "This aircraft could fling a cheaper smaller hypersonic weapon further, with much more speed and altitude, but it won't then penetrate the airspace, it launches with a lot of standoff, from LR-SAMS, and turns away right after launch and egresses survivably." ...

madrat wrote:And it is probably not even necessary to have a human in it. They wouldn't reveal details if the next level wasn't already in the works.


If you checked the grey-scale details in the supplied CGI image you'd see there's no cockpit, so that was in fact my presumption, that it'll be unmanned, so this does not change any of my thoughts or remarks.

madrat wrote:They wouldn't reveal details if the next level wasn't already in the works.


Well of course, and revealing or hinting at service aircraft or prototypes this way seems geared more toward responding to a mini-me 'Sputnik-Moment' and the associated hyperbolic remarks re sudden developments of Chinese advanced hypersonic weapon capabilities.

Just more fluff.
Accel + Alt + VLO + DAS + MDF + Radial Distance = LIFE . . . Always choose Stealth
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Unread post24 Nov 2021, 20:29

You play a spectrum of arguments. It is pretty certain to not do the SR-71's job, but something much less shoehorned. Then you argue it is a new SR-71? I guess that doesn't make much sense to me, nor does dropping hypersonic weapon have much correllation to getting close to do work. Seems at hypersonic speeds you're not going to do anything up close except to make direct contact and contact that is anything prolonged. I'm thinking this will do far more during peace-time than only have strike uses.

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