How About a Mach-5 Missile to Go With Your Mach-5 Warplane?

Lockheed publishes new high-speed missile concept art

How About a Mach-5 Missile to Go With Your Mach-5 Warplane? How About a Mach-5 Missile to Go With Your Mach-5 Warplane?

Uncategorized November 7, 2013 0

Lockheed Martin concept How About a Mach-5 Missile to Go With Your Mach-5 Warplane? Lockheed publishes new high-speed missile concept art Last week, Lockheed... How About a Mach-5 Missile to Go With Your Mach-5 Warplane?
Lockheed Martin concept

How About a Mach-5 Missile to Go With Your Mach-5 Warplane?

Lockheed publishes new high-speed missile concept art

Last week, Lockheed Martin’s secretive Skunk Works division acknowledged the existence of plans for a successor to the legendary SR-71 Mach-3 spy plane.

The new SR-72, still just a paper concept, would fly at Mach 5 and be capable of reconnaissance and bombing.

In rolling out the SR-72 plan, Lockheed also coined a new slogan: “speed is the new stealth.” In other words, there’s no need to devise methods of avoiding detection by enemy radars if you’re flying too fast to be shot down. At five times the speed of sound, it doesn’t matter who sees you.

To that end, Skunk Works is studying high Mach weapons able to strike heavily defended targets, quickly and unstoppably—even if launched by a slow warplane.

Enter the new High Speed Strike Weapon, a “hypersonic missile concept suitable for future bomber and fighter aircraft,” according to Lockheed. HSSW is not technically secret. But until today there was only one concept image available. Now Lockheed has released a second, more detailed image, posted above.

To become a real front-line weapon, HSSW faces the same obstacles as the SR-72 and any other new high-speed vehicle: design, engineering and—most importantly—money.

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