Casper, WY – The US Department of Defense is awarding a nearly $100,000 grant to allow a Casper company to research a quick-strike weapons system. Wickman Spacecraft and Propulsion is working on what is called a Small Launch Vehicle. Owner John Wickman says this hypersonic bomber could be launched from the US, and deploy smart weapons anywhere in the world on extremely short notice, as little as 20 to 30 minutes. Wickman this is similar to the current stealth fighters and bombers, but unmanned and much faster. He says it would be perfect for time-sensitive targets. Wickman plans to use the rest of the year demonstrating the concept's feasibility. The next phase would involve more detailed research and small scale flight tests. Wickman says if everything goes well and the Pentagon wants this, full-scale development and production could start in early 2008. That production would occur in Wyoming and Wickman says it would mean thousands of jobs.