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The U.S. Air Force Starts Testing Cargo Hypersonic Flights, Deployed by the Massive Roc

Hypersonic and supersonic flight have gained traction over the past couple of years and are gearing up to change not only commercial flight but also military and strategic operations. The U.S. military is interested in this technology both for counteracting the evolving hypersonic threats and transporting essential payloads across the globe. Stratolaunch’s versatile solution is perfect for both.
The Roc is considered to be the world's largest aircraft in terms of wingspan 7 photos
Roc carrier aircraftRoc carrier aircraftTalon-ARoc carrier aircraftRoc carrier aircraftRoc carrier aircraft
It’s official – the U.S. Air Force (USAF) will start a series of experiments involving hypersonic flight for carrying various military payloads “on a frequent, routine basis.” Thanks to a research contract recently awarded to Stratolaunch by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), the tests will kick-off.

This announcement comes just one month after the aviation company signed a different contract with the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) for using hypersonic test vehicles as threat-replicating targets for advanced research. This proves the versatility of Stratolaunch’s breakthrough solution, comprised of the outstanding Roc carrier aircraft and the Talon-A hypersonic test vehicle.

Considered to have a wingspan larger than that of any other aircraft, with a massive capacity of 500,000 lbs (226,796 kg), Roc is able to be deployed anywhere in the world, where it can then launch not just one but multiple hypersonic vehicles at once. These vehicles are 28-foot (8.5 meters) long, capable of sustaining a speed of Mach 5 for extended periods of time. One of the main advantages of the Talon-A test aircraft is that they can perform an autonomous, horizontal landing and then be deployed again.

USAF is betting on hypersonic technology for future strategic transportation – essential payloads could be delivered much faster, anywhere in the world, with fewer risks. These upcoming tests will validate the use of hypersonic flights for frequent cargo transportation.

Earlier this year the giant Roc aircraft successfully completed another flight test, after the initial one in 2021.



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