The secretive Skunkworks operating branch under the Lockheed Martin parent label is developing an air-launched Unmanned Aircraft Vehicle (UAV) to aid in rapid development of other facets of flight. Dubbed "Speed Racer", the new platform is intended to test the validity of new manufacturing processes, onboard systems, and weapons before larger financial and material commitments in these areas are made. Features of this aircraft were revealed at the Aerpspace Warfare Symposium held virtually from February 24th until February 26th.
Appearing as part-aircraft, part-cruise missile, the unmanned air vehicle features a relatively flat, streamlined, and chine-shaped cross section with pointed nose and rear-mounted engine compartment. Over the dorsal line are hardpoint connections so the vehicle can be carried under the wing of a host ship for air-launching. The mainplanes are spring-loaded and held low and against the sides of the fuselage - springing open when the vehicle is prepared for flight. The tailplane arrangement utilizes as three-plane configuration with a pair of outward-cranked planes situated dorsally and a single ventral plane being featured.
Internally, the aircraft will sport a twin jet engine arrangement with turbojets supplied by Kratos Turbine Technologies (KTT). The exhaust port remains covered prior to launch and is ejected before ignition of the two units. Along with this action is the forward movement of the mainplanes which remain in a swept-back position for aerodynamic efficiency when fully extended. The payload capability of the air vehicle is being developed to host either ISR (Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance) equipment or an explosive warhead - perhaps detailing an envisioned twin-role capability for a new United States Air Force (USAF) aerial weapon still to come.
This article will be updated as news allows.
Production 1 Units
Skunkworks Division of Lockheed Martin - USA
United States (possible)
- X-Plane / Developmental
2 x Kratos Turbine Technologies (KTT) turbojet engines of unknown model and output power.
(Showcased performance values pertain to the Skunkworks Speed Racer production model; Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database)
None disclosed. Payload to be made up of ISR equipment or possible warhead.
(Showcased armament details pertain to the Skunkworks Speed Racer production model)
"Speed Racer" - Base Project Name.
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com.
Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world and WDMMA.org, the World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft.