Skunk Works Describes Hypersonic Missile, Reveals New Aircraft

 - October 17, 2007, 5:37 AM

News from the Lockheed Martin Advanced Developments Projects (ADP), aka The Skunk Works, is a rare commodity. But the Palmdale, Calif.-based R&D shop recently described progress in a hypersonic missile demonstration program, named the Revolutionary Approach To Time-Critical Long-Range Strike (RATTLRS). ADP said that proof pressure testing of its RATTLRS vehicle had been completed in conjunction with Klune Industries, a Los Angeles company that has expertise in the fabrication of exotic metals. Final integration and systems checkout of the RATTLRS missile will now proceed, with a first flight scheduled for early next year. Meanwhile, ADP said its future Long-Range Strike (LRS) aircraft for the Air Force would combine the next generation of aerodynamics, propulsion, avionics, sensors and communications technologies. The attached image shows the Skunk Works’ thinking on the LRS, which the R&D shop said would provide “highly advanced, survivable worldwide strike capability.”