We may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. The US Air Force Profession of Arms Center of Excellence PACE released a Youtube video titled 'Heritage Today ISR and Innovation', which appears to showcase top secret US ISR Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance projects. The short clip shows the evolution of the ISR mission since its beginning. It first depicts a flying RQ 4 Global Hawk and then the RQ 180 aircraft. The RQ 180 has been dubbed the 'Great White Bat' and it is believed that this model was spotted over the Philippines in 2021.
After this a sleek and stealthy aircraft appears in a hanger and seems to match the shape of the successor SR 71 - the Lockheed SR 72. The SR 72 is an unmanned hypersonic intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and strike platform. The estimated date for the first flight is 2025 and there is little known about this aircraft apart from rumoured sightings from time to time. The video also shows the outline of the secretive X-37 B spaceplane in a display of what looks like a command centre.
The X 37 B is a space-based weapons platform that can be pre-deployed with a weaponized re-entry vehicle, but there is speculation that this model has been kept a secret. Theories suggest that this could be released over or near a specific target. Most analysts don't agree with this theory. It is believed that it could be used as a platform for gathering intelligence. This could include activities of communications and surveillance satellites, both civilian and military. Analysts believe this is the most realistic explanation. The unveilings came after the US tensions with Russia and China heated up in space and on the ground. READ MORE: Archaeology breakthrough as rare roman mosaic found in UK field
Russia sent a chilling threat to NATO earlier this week after warnings it could blow up 32 of its satellites. Russian state television claimed that Moscow's anti-satellite ASAT missiles could destroy NATO satellites, blind all their missiles, planes and ships, and provide Ukraine with military assistance. Joe Biden said that it was a reaction to Washington's serious concerns about the build-up of 100,000 Russian troops at the Ukraine-Russian border.
Russia had already angered the US when it conducted an ASAT missile test last week, which sent 1500 pieces of space debris whizzing past the International Space Station. This move forced NASA astronauts to hide out in their spaceships.