Throughout most part of the Cold War, the U.S. Air Force turned to the SR-71 Blackbird for many of its most important spy missions. The jet-black jet could fly at more than three times the speed of sound and at altitudes of 85,000 feet, faster and higher than anything adversaries had to counter it.
The last flights of the Blackbirds were in 1999 and the U.S. military hasn’t had anything close to them since. It appears that now, Lockheed-Martin, the maker of the SR-71, says the “Son of the Blackbird,” the SR-72, is in the works and it will be twice as fast as and way more lethal than its father. That’s because the SR-72 will be designed to launch missiles, something the SR-71 didn’t do.
“Even with the SR-71, at Mach 3, there was still time to notify that the plane was coming, but at Mach 6, there is no reaction time to hide a mobile target,” Brad Leland, Lockheed Martin’s program manager for hypersonic, told Aviation Week and Space Technology. For those interested in knowing more about this futuristic spy plane can have a look at the publication here which provides a detailed look at the SR-72 plans.