posted on Apr, 24 2017 @ 04:39 PM
a reply to: mightmight
I'm convinced that a whole lot of the aurora fastmover talk in the late 80's was actually targeted disinfo to get people off the trail of the REAL
direction that strategic recon was going in, which was the 90k cruising, subsonic, extreme-VLO and extreme-loitering AARS/Quartz program.
It's a lot easier to fly the unmanned bastard spawn of a U-2 and a B-2 over enemy territory if you have the intel channels all abuzz about new
Not that I don't think there were any post-Oxcart fastmovers, I'd bet that there have been nearly a half dizen between all the possible programs and
craft discussed here. But they're largely (relatively!) inexpensive projects that probably piggybacked off of the R&D data from white world projects
like the A-12/SR-71/Kingfish, the XB-70, and the F-22/YF-23, and likely were procured to the tune of only a handful of ~$250-500m-apiece airframes per
Meanwhile, Quartz/AARS was a system that by all accounts pushed the technology envelope as hard as the Oxcart/XB-70 did in 1962, Apollo did in 1968,
the Shuttle did in 1980, or the B-2 did in 1988, and in just as many different places, too. By all accounts I've read, the cost per unit for the
AARS/Quartz was trending beyond even the B-2 and into the realm of the Space Shuttle at >$1 Billion a pop.
It's relatively easy to hide the couple billion it would take to update the XB-70 or build a stealthier follow-on to the Kingfish among white-world
projects. AARS/Quartz, on the other hand, at >$10 Billion in development costs and likely far more, would be nigh-on impossible to hide at least some
of the spending on, which makes the risk of accidentally disclosing a project that was truly "above top secret" in its need to keep a low profile,
since its mission was explicitly to penetrate Soviet airspace ahead of a possible first strike to identify ground targets for the B-2's to neutralize,
a mission that would likely involve violating Soviet airspace unnoticed during possible peacetime conditions. So what do you do? You don't try to
hide some of the funds, but you fire the rumor mill into overdrive with stories of hypersonic spyplanes, leak a few patents, and have Reagan do a bit
on how a scramjet-powered airliner to Tokyo is now a national priority. All to hide your big, silent wing.