Sunday, October 21, 2007
'Hot Eagle' May Lead to Point-to-Point Dual-Use Possibilities
Major General Richard C. Zilmer has been among the advocates for the capability of Space Marines to get a squad (13 men) any where in the world in under two hours. It known as the Small Unit Space Transport and Insertion (SUSTAIN) concept.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, [DARPA], launched a spaceplane program called "Hot Eagle" [Ppt] in 2006. Video 1 and 2 denote associated research by DARPA. The U.S. Marine project is called "Great Leap Forward."
Zilmer noted in U.S. Senate testimony four year ago that “this challenging requirement is projected for initial operating capability (IOC) between 2025 and 2030.” The United States Marine Corps Universal Needs Statement noted: "The Marine Corps needs a capability to transport small mission-tailored units thru space from any point on the globe to a contingency at any other point on the globe within minutes...This includes a need for flexibility, such as the ability to loiter in Low Earth Orbit to optimise the time of insertion..."