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Aviation / Aerospace

Lockheed Skunkworks Speed Racer

Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) [ 2022 ]

The Skunkworks Speed Racer is being developed to streamline the process of aerial systems and weapons development.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 03/01/2021 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

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.

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Service Year

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United States

Program in Progress.

Skunkworks Division of Lockheed Martin - USA
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(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
X-Plane (Developmental, Prototype, Technology Demonstrator)
Aircraft developed for the role of prototyping, technology demonstration, or research / data collection.
Unmanned Capability
Aircraft inherently designed (or later developed) with an unmanned capability to cover a variety of over-battlefield roles.

Installed: 2 x Kratos Turbine Technologies (KTT) turbojet engines of unknown model and output power.
(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the Skunkworks Speed Racer production variant. Performance specifications showcased above are subject to environmental factors as well as aircraft configuration. Estimates are made when Real Data not available. Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database or View aircraft by powerplant type)
None disclosed. Payload to be made up of ISR equipment or possible warhead.

Supported Types

(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)
"Speed Racer" - Base Project Name.

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Images Gallery

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Image of the Lockheed Skunkworks Speed Racer
Image from official Lockheed Martin press release.

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