Washington - The US space agency NASA has commissioned a new supersonic jet called the "Low-Boom Flight Demonstrator" (LBFD) reducing the noise of a sonic boom.

Lockheed Martin, a global aerospace, defense, security and advanced technologies company, has been commissioned with the design, construction, and testing of such a jet, the space agency said on April 3 in Washington.

Lockheed Martin would build the aircraft for $247.5 million, and flight tests to start in 2021. The defense and aerospace giant said that this plane is not a prototype; it's a research aircraft only.

If the research aircraft is successful, it will be a testbed for quiet supersonic technology and will be used to develop future supersonic jets allowing for supersonic flights over land, getting passengers from New York to Los Angeles in just two hours.

Instead of a sonic boom, LBFD produces only a sound that is as loud as the slamming of a car door.

As soon as the prototype is ready, NASA wants to carry out further tests itself and collect data on flights over selected US cities.