Supersonic/Hypersonic Attack Aircraft

Source: Air Force 2025

The SHAAFT (Supersonic/Hypersonic Attack AircraFT) is an airborne weapons system designed for operational use in the year 2025. It is capable of putting munitions on target, anywhere in the world, within four hours after takeoff. It is a direct result of the defined mission requirements of Global Reach/Global Power and specifically, Global Force Projection. The SHAAFT can fight and win two major regional conflicts simultaneously. It also complies with the current force draw down in which the majority of all US military forces will be based in the continental United States (CONUS). Flight line operations would require cryogenic support for the fuel needs of SHAAFT. It cruises to and from the target at mach 12 and at 100,000 feet. It is a completely reusable vehicle, like most USAF aircraft. The SHAAFT will deploy various weapons to destroy nearly any type of essential enemy target, dependent on real-time battlefield information or existing intelligence data to destroy targets. The SHAAFT will also serve as the base component to accomplishing in-theater dominance with the SHMAC and access to space with the SCREMAR.

The goal of the SHAAFT is to cause enough destruction and chaos in the first hours of a conflict such that the enemy realizes war is a futile choice. The enemy is then crippled and nearly defenseless against subsequent attacks from conventional forces in a protracted war. It would also serve as an extremely effective deterrent force, since the enemy would know that any military movement could be utterly upset if not completely destroyed within a matter of hours from its discovery. But unlike conventional aircraft, the hypersonic flight regime makes SHAAFT a difficult, and therefore highly survivable, target.

A hypothetical attack scheme consists of five SHAAFTs, dispensing nearly 50 hypersonic, precision strike, cruise missiles, for example, SHMACs. These would hit vital targets such as command, control, and communications facilities (C3I network), power centers, transportation hubs, and potential space launch complexes. This attack alone would not cripple an advanced country’s war machine, but it would severely disrupt their war-fighting operations to the point that they are no longer able to immediately continue any operations. Within hours of the initiation of hostilities, the enemy’s infrastructure would be in shambles with their ground forces unable to communicate, maneuver, or fight a coordinated battle. The hostiles would then be unable to defend themselves against conventional military forces.

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