Lenticular Re-Entry Vehicle (LRV)
U.S. Air Force Orbital Bombing System (1962)
PRODUCTION RUN: 2008-2011
About the Design
In the early 1960s, the U.S. Air Force purportedly began development of a modified flying saucer-like airframe for use as a spaceborne nuclear weapons platform. Dubbed the "Lenticular Re-Entry Vehicle" (LRV). To be launched atop either a Saturn-like multi-stage rocket or one of the nuclear-powered rockets then under development, the LRV with its crew of four was to be launched into a 300-nautical-mile-high orbit where it would wait in "Fail Safe" mode for several weeks before either launching its nuclear weapons at the Soviet Union/China/North Korea or returning to earth. Landing would be via controlled re-entry and a glide landing on a dry lakebed.
Although this "Black Budget" project may never have gotten beyond the design stage, there is some physical evidence that prototype vehicles were indeed test-flown in the 1960s. One such intriguing piece of evidence is a strange "honeycomb" cross-section of an exploded disc recovered near Brisbane, Australia in 1966.
About the Model