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Lol people think oh hey we've got a hypersonic plane, let's strap some bombs underneath it, it's really easy.. Lol
originally posted by: Barnalby
a reply to: BigTrain
The XB-70 was fast for sure, but it guzzled gas, would have been a basing nightmare, and with those trick 2D-variable inlets, compression-lifting engine nacelle, drooping wingtips and feather ailerons, it had the RCS of Cowboys Stadium. At "only" mach 3+ it would have been a sitting duck for the same later Soviet/Russian SAMs that were the reason why the A-12/SR-71 never overflew the motherland.
Never, never underestimate the value of going slow and low (observable, that is). What people always forget is that in the crack-smoking Reagan years there WAS a suitably-insane proposal to replace the SR-71, with the surreal budget to match.
Was it some sort of hypersonic superplane? No. It was a giant, unmanned, flying wing with an RCS as well as EM/IR observability that would have made the B-2 look like Have Blue. And it had a flight envelope that most closely resembled that of the U-2. The reason for that was because the most valuable intel that you could pick up on an enemy was the stuff that you could pick up by loitering over them for hours, with them never realizing that you're there. There's a reason why most of our drones today follow that exact same philosophy.
Another issue with the whole "going fast" mentality for a strike aircraft is that missiles, both of the cruise and ICBM-variety, do that job better than most strike aircraft. Most...
It certainly doesn't have the "12 year-old's bedroom poster" appeal that the fast stuff does, but slow and undetected is a hell of a lot more useful.