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Hyper activity: Hypersonics research in the USA

#1
US hypersonics research is not dead, just headed in a different direction. The military need for long-range strike is adding impetus to research into high-speed aircraft and missiles, but there is debate over how fast the next US bomber needs to fly.

Boosted by the Mach 9.7 flight of the X-43A Hyper-X demonstrator in November 2004, hypersonic hopes plunged soon after when NASA terminated its pursuit of air-breathing reusable launch vehicles to focus instead on a low-risk rocket-and-capsule architecture for space exploration.

Taking the vanguard in the vacuum that ensued, several projects have kept US high-Mach research alive, but with a distinctly military intent. Where NASA was looking decades ahead at a successor to the Space Shuttle, today's research has "off ramps" that could produce practical near-term applications.
http://www.flightglobal.com/Article...activity+Hypersonics+research+in+the+USA.html
 
#2
This could be a deployable weapon in 5-10 years:

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/munitions/rattlrs.htm

The rest of the world is also a decade or so behind the US in terms of UAVs:

http://www.streetinsider.com/Press+Releases/Teal+Group+Predicts+Worldwide+UAV+Market+Will+Top+$54+Billion,+Tripling+in+Spending+Over+the+Next+Decade/1152991.html

There is an argument to be made for binning JSF and continuing with production of current aircraft (F22, SuperHornet, F15/16) and then fielding UCAV's to replace the legacy fighters in the 2015 timeframe.
 
#4
Any hypersonic aircraft will incapable of close air support. they will be designed to fly fast, and fast only. We will need planes with blokes in, travelling sub-sonic, for the close air support role for many years yet.

SC
 
#5
SkiCarver said:
Any hypersonic aircraft will incapable of close air support. they will be designed to fly fast, and fast only. We will need planes with blokes in, travelling sub-sonic, for the close air support role for many years yet.

SC
Not sure we will, you know. How about a UAV controlled by the troops in contact or the next level of their chain of command?
 

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