- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Hypersonic missiles? Check. Speeds up to Mach 6? Check. A spy plane so advanced that adversaries wouldn’t have time to react? Check. That’s what Lockheed Martin Corp. plans for the SR-72 ‘Son of Blackbird,’ the successor to the U.S. Air Force’s SR-71 Blackbird.

Lockheed Martin’s announcement, made on its website, anticipates that the project could be completed by as early as 2030. While that sounds like a long time, the new technology included in unmanned aircraft would make it worth the wait.

“Hypersonic aircraft, coupled with hypersonic missiles, could penetrate denied airspace and strike at nearly any location across a continent in less than an hour,” the website states. “Speed is the next aviation advancement to counter emerging threats in the next several decades. The technology would be a game-changer in theater, similar to how stealth is changing the battlespace today.”


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The SR-71 Blackbird, which flew in the 1970s at speeds exceeding Mach 3, was able to simply accelerate to avoid incoming threats. It flew from New York to London in less than two hours. The SR-72 “Son of Blackbird” will fly at Mach 6 — six times the speed of sound.