Branch Skunk Works of Lockheed Martin proposed the establishment of a new aircraft intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance — ISR) SR-72, capable of flying at a speed of 6M, or almost twice faster than decommissioned SR-71 Blackbird, reports flightglobal . com November 1.
Put to task to make a single engine, which would be able to accelerate from zero plane M to 6M. «Our opponents are working on methods to counter stealth. Hypersound will complement the stealth. Such a plane is flying so high and so quickly that they simply did not have enough time from detection to interception, «says branch manager hypersonic systems» Skunk Works «Brad Leland (Brad Leland).
The problem is bolshennom break between hypersonic speeds and apparatus furnished reactive and low-speed ramjet (ramjet engine). Most of the ramjet engine is not capable of operating at speeds below 4M, THD can accelerate to a speed of only plane M2, 2. The question is how to achieve speed crotch 3M.
The SR-71 was able to reach a speed of 3.2 M due to the special design of the engine Pratt & Whitney J58, which is converted into a low-speed ramjet in afterburner by airflow around the turbine engine. In the last decade, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the company is working on a project Lockheed ramjet programmke on HTV-3X, which can operate at speeds less than 3M. Air Force Research Laboratory worked on a project of a small gas turbine engine capable of accelerating apparatus abroad 2.2 M, but the project was not crowned with success. As a result, Lockheed and Aerojet Rocketdyne developed their short-term acceleration method based on the use of F100 and F110 engines beyond 2.2 M. Leland says that he must go on to demonstrate the ability of individual parts to the creation of a full-scale demo layout.
U.S. Air Force plans to make hypersonic weapon technology-based X-51 Waverider, then to create mngogorazovy unmanned aircraft with a speed of 6M. But so far the U.S. government funding is no full-scale demonstration program to develop the motor with the «High-turbine» or symbiosis motor with variable duty cycle with ramjet technology. Leland states that «Lockheed» focuses on the development of the engine on the basis of «available technology.»
Hypersonic missile on its own prices to be competitive with ordinary subsonic missile, otherwise it will turn into «silver bullet.» «We need to achieve the creation of affordable hypersonic technologies that have flooded the battlefield, then it really is a weapon that will change the rules of the game,» says Leland.