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[1986]...mission analysis that
was conducted by a large number of Air Force and
industry organizations. The purpose was to formulate
and understand the alternatives for future
strategic aeronautical weapon systems and identify
promising system concepts to follow those currently
in the inventory or in development. Beginning
with a broad definition of the Strategic offense
problem, an array of alternative System Concepts
was defined and developed to satisfy projected
aeronautical system roles. These concepts represent
major alternative categories including long
endurance, dispersible, penetrating, hypervelocity, and transatmospheric. Comparative
analysis of the concepts identified their
strengths and weaknesses for mission applications
at a range of possible conflict levels. The concept
set was narrowed from twenty-three initial
proposals to five that were selected as a basis
for follow-on work.

Figure lists nine selected new concept
alternatives according to their general category.
Also shown are acronyms used in refering to them
and the contractors that did the development work.

Contracts were established to develop the
selected concepts. A data handbook was developed
on each concept according to a common format and
common ground rules.

The following brief descriptions of the concepts
Were provided by the respective concept
developers. These discriptions reflect nominal
point designs that were used for analysis. Other
variations were also developed in several of the
concept areas.

Continuous Patrol Aiwraft (CPA Boeing). The
Boeing Military Airplane Company Low Endurance
Aircraft has a large wing spin (299 Ft), and is
powered by four turboprop engines aqmented by two
afterburing turbojets of that are used as boost
engines for takeoff and climb. Both boost engines
are shut down for loiter and cruise. Loiter at an altitude of 5000 ft is accomplished with two of
the four turboprops also shut dom. Critical
field length is about 3000 ft. The presurized and
environmentally controlled crew compartment in the
forward body provides a shirtsleeve environment
for the four-men crew.
inherently high radar cmss section, the aircraft
is not intended to penetrate. In its main
offensive role, it is a launch platform for
standoff weapons. With a weapon payload of 60,000
lb , it has an endurance of over 60 hours at a take
off weight of 350,000 lb. Its primary weapons are
air launched cruise missiles, but it could also
accommodate other standoff weapons.

Flying Aircraft Carrier (ACCar; Lockheed). The
Lockheed-Georgia Company Strategic Aircraft
Carrier uses four large, high performance, turboprop
powerplants for efficient loiter (48 hours)
with high payload (192,000 lb). The aircraft has
a wing span of 329 ft and a lenght of 232 ft. At
a takeoff weight of 846,000 l b , it has a critical
ffield length of 8000 ft. As its name implies, it
features a System (patented) for launch and
recovery of small penetrator aircraft or Remotely
Piloted Vehicles (RPV) which are carried in its
fuselage. The manned penetrator is a single-place
aircraft with two turbofans which provide an unrefueled
combat radius of 1000 n mi , while carrying
a disposable payload of 5200 lb plus two air-toair
defensive missiles. The RPV uses a single
turbofan engine but has the same radius/payload
capability as the manned penetrator.

Land Water Dispersible Aircraft (LyDsp: Lockheed)
This Lockheed-Georgia Company amphibian would be
able to release or launch its weapons while airborne,
sea-sitting or parked at an airfield . The
aircraft has a takeoff weight of 210,000 lb , is
powered by four turboprop engines and has a payload
capability of 47,000 lb. The design utilizes
a blended fuselage-catamaran hull which minimizes
rolling and eliminates the requirement for
alcriliary wing-tip floats. Hydroskis are fitted
below each section of the catamaran hull permitting
a lighter structural design. Payloads
include cruise missiles and RPVs. For cruise
missiles, the configuration has a Series of launch
tubes arrayed athwartships jjust forward of the
wing beam. RPVs configured with folding wings,
inlets, etc., are launched in the same manner.

Land Dispersible Aircraft (LDsp; Boeing). The
Boeing Military Airplane Company dispersible
aircraft design has a 300,000 l b takeoff weight
and a payload of 60,000 lb. It has a 4600 n m i
mission radius and is designed to takeoff and land
using an unpaved 3000 ft runway. The design
features four turbofan averwing mounted engines
takeoff and landing capability.
bay w i l l accomcdate standoff weapons and the
unobstructed lower wing surface is a v a i l a b l e for
additional stores. With a high wing and overwing
mounted engines, the i n l e t s a r e c l e a r of debris
from the generally unprepared dispersed operating
sites. The concept involves an innovative
enduring l o g i s t i c s k i t pod designed to suppot-t
dispersed basing.
offensive standoff missions, the a i r c r a f t can be
used as a tanker for penetrator type a i r c r a f t .
A single weapons
In addition t o s t r a t e g i c

New Penetrator (NPEN; Boeing) The Boeing Military
Airplane Company new s t r a t e g i c penetrator a i r c r a f t
has a single weapons bay equipped f o r short range
weapons. Graphite epoxy is used with some
advanced m e t a l l i c a l l o y s for the higher loaded
elements of the wing box and fuselage.
cept is sized for a takeoff weight O f 488,000 lb,
and a payload of 52,000 lb. The a i r c r a f t is
designed to meet penetration mission requirements
applicable to the year 2000+ time period.
The con-

Post Attack Reconnaissance Strike S y e
(MACH3; McDonnell Douglas).
The Douglas Aircraft
Company Post Attack Reconnaissance/ Strike Svstem
is designed as a survivable s t r i k e system for
trans- and post-SIOP operations. The vehicle is
capable of a 4000 n m i unrefueled range at a
cruise Mach of 3.2 a t a l t i t u d e between 80,000 and
90,000 ft. Total span is 93 ft; length is 221 ft.
The propulsion system uses 4 hydrocarbon (JP-4)
fueled turbofans. Although the primary use of the
a i r c r a f t is as a reconnaissance system, the
autonomous nature o f t h e near real-time avionics
complement enables the a i r c r a f t to be be used as a
s t r i k e platform. The weapons bay is equiped for
short range attack missiles (without boosters) and
other ordnance payloads could be delivered.
looking Synthetic aperture radar is used as the
primary detection device.
Side iuy

Superonically Launched Transatmospheric System
(SpTAS; Boeing).
The Boeing Military Airplane
Company Transatmospheric System (TAS) concept is a
two stage f u l l y reusable weapon system.
stage is operated by a two man crew in a s h i r t -
sleeve environment. The system meets A i r Force
payload requirements to polar orbit. It has a l l
weather operational c a p a b i l i t y due to its a l l
metal external skin and a l l d z i m u t h launch capab
i l i t y from conventional runways.

Subsonically Launched Transatmosphcric System
(SbTAS; Rockwell).
Rockwell Space Transportation
Systems Division's TAS is Single Stage To Orbit
(SSTO) concept that utilizes a ground Gffect
machine (GEM) to provide lшае during the initial
phases of takeoff and f l i g h t . Both the SSTO and
GEM a r e f u l l y reusable.
is approximately 1,400,000 lb. The SSTO has a
Crew of two and is powered by 4 L02/LH2 rocket
engines. The GEM has five high bypass ratio turbofan
engines and uSes a variation of the power
augmented ram wing-in-gound effect technology.
Essentially, it replaces t h e takeoff gear i n addition
to providing most of the lift required for
takeoff. Takeoff is i n i t i a t e d by ignition of the
main engines with the GEM a t f u l l power. Takeoff
distance (over a 50-ft obstacle) is less than 2500
ft. Separation occurs as soon as the GEM oan make
The total takeoff weight
a safe recovery (between 2,000 and 3,000 ft of
altitude) . After separation, the GEM undergoes a
programmed or remotely piloted recovery.

Hypersonic Aircraft (Mach 6; McDonnell Aircraft).
The McDonnell Aircraft Company Hypersonic Vehicle
is a Mach 6.0 aircraft that cruises at 100,000 ft
and has an unrefueled range of 5000 n. mi. With a
single refueling upon reaching cruise altitude (at
Mach 6) the range is increased to 1,500 n m i and
with optimal mid-mission refueling to almost 9000
n mi. The aircraft can operate from airfields
with 5000 ft runways, but requires an load classification number (LCN) of at least 90. The concept
is based won an advanced propulsion system consisting
of two composite engines and two assist
higher chamber presure rocket engines. The airturboramjets
operate on methane fuel (CH using
ambient air.
All engines are at full power during climb/acceleration
to Mach 4.0. Above Mach 4.0, all rockets
are shut dom and the engines operate in the
airbreathing mode to accelerate and cruise at Mach
6.0. The configuration incorporates a thermal
protection system to provide for the Mach 6.0
cruise.The rockets use LOX/CH4 propellents.

...From this work, we have concluded, that for
general weapon delivery, the more attractive new
concepts are ACCar, LDsp, NPen,and Mach 3. The
TAS is a leading candidate for a quick reaction
global response capability in special situations.


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Just came across this fascinating (and overlooked)thread - many thanks to Flateric for posting this almost 4 years ago.

A few of the concepts are familiar - I'm pretty sure that the McDonnell Mach 6 Hypersonic is the MRCC TAV - but serveral others don't match up to anything that I believe has been covered here before. I havent been able to find anything that is consistent with the Douglas Mach 3 Post-Attack Reconnaissance Strike vehicle but it does seem to match up with some of the rumors from around that timeframe that weren't attributable to the F-117.

The Boeing "New Penetrator" - with the image curiously missing - seemed at first to fit the role of the B-2 ATB, but the takeoff weight and payload capacity - not to mention the single weapons bay and no mention of Northrop - seem to be off. I'm wondering if this was the Boeing ATB proposal prior to them teaming with Northrop?

Again, fascinating post - one that of course raises more questions than answers.

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