Re: Jane's Defence Weekly article about Quartz program

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Message posted by Vahe Demirjian (Member since 04/28/2022) on June 28, 2024 at 15:01:33 PST:

Thank you.

Notwithstanding the fact that additional details of some Quartz designs have come to light since the 1990s and that the Tier III requirement was issued in July 1993 by the Joint Requirements Oversight Council to cover the same requirements as the Quartz program, only to be eventually split into Tier II+ and Tier III- due to high costs, Boatman's article also mentions the following passage confirming comments by anonymous Pentagon and industry sources cited in an early 1993 issue of the magazine "Aerospace Daily" about 1980s hypersonic reconnaissance aircraft design studies being funded under contract from the US Air Force (e.g. Lockheed Mach 5 Penetrator) as potential replacements for the SR-71:

"One military official said a separate but related research programme to study an extremely fast aircraft was canceled in the 1980s."

The fact that aerospace companies were investigating design studies in the 1980s for a hypersonic follow-on to the Blackbird that languished at the design stage due to the immaturity of hypersonic air-breathing engine tech is one salient thing Boatman's article and the 1993 "Aerospace Daily" report agree upon, since Bill Sweetman had called the "Aerospace Daily" report a cover story but overlooked the lack of US Air Force logistical infrastructure for methane, liquid hydrogen, or another hydrogen-based fuel which would have been required for a hypersonic spyplane. Although Boatman didn't mention the June 1993 testimony by future NRO director Keith Hall about the retirement of the SR-71 being due to its lack of a real-time data link that the Quartz was to possess, he nevertheless agreed with Bill Sweetman that satellites were never going to take over the SR-71's job and that spyplanes were still relevant to reconnaissance needs, viewing the 1994 decision by the Senate Appropriations Committee to bring the SR-71 back into service as a consequence of the cancellation of the Quartz program and concerns that the kind of spy UAV envisioned as per the Tier III requirement would still be too expensive to develop.

In Reply to: Re: Jane's Defence Weekly article about Quartz program posted by Flateric on June 28, 2024 at 13:07:04 PST:


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