Next year, the Air Force wants to test a way to move a C-17’s worth of cargo, and potentially personnel, extremely quickly to any location on Earth.
The U.S. Air Force has released new details about its questionably ambitious plans to develop a capability to send payloads weighing up to 100 tons, including cargo and potentially personnel, roughly equivalent to the maximum load of a C-17 airlifter, anywhere in the world within one hour via a space launch rocketor derivative thereof. The service now wants to demonstrate the basic feasibility of this concept in a real end-to-end test next year.
This and other information is contained in the service’s proposed budget for the 2022 Fiscal Year, which includes a request for nearly $48 million in additional funding for this program. This is an almost five-fold increase over the funding it received for this project for the current fiscal cycle. The Air Force 2022 Fiscal Year budget request, which was released on May 28, 2021, as part of the larger proposed budget for the U.S. military as a whole for that fiscal cycle, also identified the blandly-titled Rocket Cargo program as one of the service’s “Vanguard” efforts. The service first unveiled the concept of Vanguard Programs, a way to identify advanced research and development efforts of particularly high interest, last year. Rocket Cargo is the fourth Vanguard, with the others being the Skyborg initiative to develop an artificial intelligence-driven “computer brain” able to fly various types of future unmanned aircraft, the Golden Horde networked swarming munitions project, and the Navigation Technology Satellite 3 (NTS-3) effort.Continue reading… “Rocket Delivery Of Cargo Anywhere In An Hour In New Air Force Budget Proposal”