Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles
Appendix 4: Undesignated Vehicles
Copyright © 2007 Andreas Parsch

Lockheed Martin RATTLRS

The RATTLRS (Revolutionary Approach To Time Critical Long Range Strike Project) program, led by the U.S. Navy's ONR (Office of Naval Research), was begun in early 2004. Lockheed Martin received the contract to design, build and fly the RATTLRS flight test vehicle. The program's goal is to build a vehicle, which has the potential to be developed into a tactical missile system, and which has the following characteristics: it uses a turbine engine, accelerates with 0.25g from subsonic speed to at least Mach 3, and cruises at Mach 3 for at least 5 minutes.

Photo: Kaston/Skyshadow
RATTLRS (mockup)

Lockheed Martin's RATTLRS vehicle will be air-launched by a fighter aircraft, and is powered by an Allison YJ102R turbojet engine. The YJ102R covers a speed range similar to that of the 1960s' J58 used in the SR-71, but is much smaller and lighter than the older engine and uses less fuel. E.g., no afterburner will be necessary to accelerate RATTLRS to Mach 3.

As of mid-2006, the first flight of a RATTLRS vehicle was scheduled for late 2007. If RATTLRS is to be further developed into a tactical missile, performance goals include a speed of Mach 4+, 0.5g acceleration, and 15+ minutes cruise time (implying a range of 1000+ km). A typical payload for such a weapon would be a penetrating warhead which can use the missile's speed to particular advantage. Lockheed Martin has already successfully tested penetrator designs which could be used with a RATTLRS-type missile.


Apart from the performance goals quoted in the text, data about the RATTLRS flight test vehicle's physical characteristics is not available.

Main Sources

[1] Website
[2] Lockheed Martin Website
[3] Graham Warwick: " Mach 3 missile advances", Flight International, 4 July 2006.

Back to Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles, Appendix 4

Last Updated: 6 September 2007