Kneecapped from the start
One of the reasons Lockheed's Advanced Projects Division (the actual name of the Skunk Works at the time) worked was because they tended to have free reign about *how* to get the job done in very broad limits. Functional spec, not implementation spec.
It would have been much more interesting if the USAF had said no solids, no hypergolics but *no* limits on the launch mode.
That tail end statement about "will consider other modes as well" is very weak. I suspect one of the usual suspects (including Orbital Sciences) has already pitched a design that fits that spec. like a glove. When the customer issues artwork *before* the proposals have been received you know someone's a shoe in for this. How big an innovation is this? TSTO with returnable 1st stage. That's Kistler K1. Lox/HC engines, K1 again. Speaking of which all those ultra high performance LOX/HC engines should still be in store with Aerojet. Hmm.
This presumes that it is an actual project, and not another way to give some Big Aerospace contractor another life support payment to keep "Assured access". I also hope SpaceX don't get suckered into bidding for this. Rocket's with wings on them always *look* simple. They are anything but.
Unimpressive, disappointing but not exactly unexpected.