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    US Drones/UCAV General Thread:

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    higurashihougi
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    Re: US Drones/UCAV General Thread:

    Post  higurashihougi on Thu Dec 31, 2015 5:43 am

    Too slow, too slow. Russia already has suicide bombing UCAV named "anti-ship cruise missile", and ships like Kirov Slava can be considered as aircraft carriers who carry suicide UCAV.

    I mean, f*** it, today people already have super long range guided missiles and the U.S. Navy still jerks off with aircraft carriers ?

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    Re: US Drones/UCAV General Thread:

    Post  max steel on Thu Dec 31, 2015 6:03 am

    It is an age of Missiles.

    I thought vertical launching of UCAVs was similar to vertical tube launchers from which one can't figure out whether the missile launched is a cruise missile or something else isn't it ?


    Btw Russian supersonic missiles often have to fly at higher altitude so they are often detected by radar from much longer distance than their subsonic cousin thus offset their velocity advantage.

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    Re: US Drones/UCAV General Thread:

    Post  GarryB on Thu Dec 31, 2015 10:10 am

    Vertical take off does not make something radar invisible... it just expands the types of platforms the UAV can operate from.

    Conventional takeoff means aircraft carriers only, while vertical takeoff means helicopter pads can be used.

    BTW Supersonic anti ship missiles are to be used against well equipped well defended targets... the assumption is that the enemy will detect your attacking missiles at great ranges anyway so making them fast reduces their opportunity to do something about it.


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    Re: US Drones/UCAV General Thread:

    Post  max steel on Tue Jan 26, 2016 11:57 am

    Pentagon Contract Announcement

    General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., Poway, California, has been awarded a $34,028,813 order (0014) from basic ordering agreement FA8620-15-G-4040 to develop and field the Air Force Special Operations Command MQ-9 Medium Altitude Long Endurance Tactical (MALET) Lead-Off Hitter (LOH) software line.

    Contractor will establish, define, and grow a process to rapidly field capabilities.

    Included in this effort is to address activities driving software changes such as: software defect corrections, threats, policy or doctrine driven, safety, interoperability, and software changes resulting from hardware upgrades.

    Work will be performed at Poway, California; Clovis, New Mexico; and Ft. Walton Beach, Florida, and is expected to be complete by Feb. 28, 2018. Fiscal 2016 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $11,898,735 are being obligated at the time of award.

    Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity.

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    Re: US Drones/UCAV General Thread:

    Post  Militarov on Thu Feb 04, 2016 5:03 pm

    "Textron Systems was awarded a $97,109,000 modification contract for the Shadow tactical unmanned aircraft system, tactical data link retrofit full-rate Production VII. Work will be performed in Hunt Valley, Maryland, with an estimated completion date of Oct. 31, 2018. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity. The Shadow 200 Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System is the choice of the U.S. Army and Marine Corps for reconnaissance, surveillance, targeting, and assessment. Designated as the RQ-7B by the U.S. Army, the aircraft enables brigade commanders to see, understand, and act decisively when time is critical.



    Unmanned Systems manufactures the Shadow 200 TUAS using the latest avionics technology and manufacturing processes. The aircraft can see targets up to 125 kilometers away from the brigade tactical operations center, and recognize tactical vehicles up to 8,000 feet above the ground at more than 3.5 kilometers slant range, day or night."


    Source: http://www.armyrecognition.com/february_2016_global_defense_security_news_industry/textron_systems_was_awarded_a_$97_million_contract_to_modify_the_shadow_tactical_uav_30402161.html

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    Re: US Drones/UCAV General Thread:

    Post  max steel on Fri Feb 05, 2016 10:29 pm

    US Drone Crashes in Turkey

    A US military predator drone crashed Wednesday in southern Turkey, Turkish authorities said.

    They said the drone crashed in a field after taking off from the Incirlik Air Base in Adana.

    The MQ-1 Predator drone crashed in the Dogankent neighborhood of Yuregir district about 20 kilometers (12 miles) from the base.

    Security officials made the first examination at the scene of the crash, implementing heavy security measures. Two trailer trucks were brought in to transport the drone back to base.

    In an official statement on its website, the 39th Comptroller Squadron announced that the Predator crashed at 1:40 a.m. due to a “mechanical breakdown.

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    Re: US Drones/UCAV General Thread:

    Post  George1 on Wed Feb 17, 2016 1:48 pm

    US Navy’s New Triton Drone Clears Operational Test

    Completing the operational assessment clears the way for the Triton to be approved for low rate initial production, Northrop Grumman said.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The MQ-4C Triton unmanned drone has successfully completed operational assessment, and pending final data analysis, clearing the way for it to enter initial production, Northrop Grumman announced in a news release.

    "Operational assessment for Triton included several flights… demonstrated its readiness to meet the Navy's maritime intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance needs," Northrop Grumman Vice President for Triton Systems Doug Shaffer said in the release on Tuesday.

    Completing the operational assessment clears the way for the Triton to be approved for low rate initial production, the release explained.

    "The aircraft system's ability to classify targets and disseminate critical data was also examined… Successful evaluation of Triton's time on station confirmed that it will meet flight duration requirements," the release added.

    The US Navy is expanding its use of unmanned drones as a far cheaper and more cost effective alternative to manned operational surveillance flights, especially as they can be carried in large numbers on much smaller ships than manned aircraft require.

    Read more: http://sputniknews.com/military/20160217/1034878999/us-navy-triton-drone-northrop.html#ixzz40QetgBvW


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    Re: US Drones/UCAV General Thread:

    Post  max steel on Sun Feb 21, 2016 3:51 pm

    Pentagon Kills Its Killer Drone Fleet

    The U.S. military spent billions developing an armed drone that could take off from an aircraft carrier. But now, the Pentagon says it doesn’t want that kind of flying robot at all.


    Cutting-edge killer drones will not be flying over the world’s oceans any time soon.

    The Defense Department’s budget proposal for 2017, released on Feb. 9, terminates an on-again, off-again program dating back to the late 1990s that aimed to develop a bomb-hauling robotic jet capable of launching from and landing on the U.S. Navy’s aircraft carriers.


    The decision to cancel the so-called Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike is reflected in the Defense Department’s 2017 budget proposal, released on Feb. 9. The proposal shows a combined $818 million in funding for the UCLASS killer drone program in 2015 and 2016 and, abruptly, no money at all in 2017.


    Instead, there’s a new budget line for 2017—a meager $89 million for a so-called “Carrier Based Aerial Refueling System.” In other words: Goodbye, drone death from above. Hello, flying robot gas stations.


    Speaking anonymously to various trade publications, Navy officials have confirmed that this drone refueling tanker will harvest some of UCLASS’ most important technologies.

    In particular, the Navy wants to harness its radio- and satellite-based control system, which helps human controllers aboard an aircraft carrier launch and land the robot and guide it during missions lasting half a day and covering potentially thousands of miles.


    “The Navy has already said it wants to develop the airframe iteratively and that the most expensive part of the [development] is creating a system for an aircraft to move on, off and around the carrier,” an official told the news Website of the U.S. Naval Institute.

    But the drone tanker won’t primarily carry the weapons or sophisticated sensors that had been planned for the UCLASS robot, nor will the robo-tanker be very stealthy—that is, able to avoid detection by enemy forces owing to its shape and special coating.

    It’s possible that, over time, the Navy could add back weapons and stealth, finally producing the killer drone that many analysts, senior military officers and lawmakers have long argued for… and which almost became reality nearly a decade ago. But there should be no mistaking it. The UCLASS cancellation could be a big setback for U.S. air power.

    Back in 2006, the Pentagon had a choice. Option one: It could pour potentially hundreds of billions of dollars into a complex, decades-long effort to build thousands of stealthy F-35 Joint Strike Fighters to replace most of the Cold War-vintage warplanes then in service with the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps.

    At the time, the F-35 was already showing signs of becoming a deadline-missing, budget-busting disaster, but it was still the conservative option, because for all its new features it was still just another manned jet fighter.

    Alternatively, option two: military leaders could bet big on a new kind of technology with the potential to totally transform the way the United States wages war from the air. A killer drone—a small, speedy, pilotless warplane that, its proponents claimed, could be more effective and cheaper than any traditional fighter such as the F-22 or the F-35 could ever be with a person in the cockpit.

    Those killer drone prototypes—Boeing’s X-45 and Northrop’s X-47—both sported a single engine and a futuristic diamond-shaped wing around 40 feet in span. And they surprised their developers in early tests. Guided by a combination of human controllers and their own sensors and internal algorithms, the drones proved they could swiftly penetrate enemy defenses.

    Small in size, they were hard for the enemy to detect at first. And flying in “swarms” of multiple drones, once detected they could absorb enemy fire, sacrificing a few individual machines as they fought their way to the target.

    And since the drones didn’t rely on a human pilot with perishable cockpit skills, the military could mostly keep them in storage until a war broke out. The robots’ operators would maintain their own control skills using computer simulations and the occasional live flight. Eliminating the need for constant training sorties would save many billions of dollars a year, the logic went.

    Effectiveness, efficiency—those were the killer drones’ selling points. But the robot warplanes apparently threatened the pilot-centric cultures of the Air Force and the Navy’s aviation arm. So it should have come as no surprise when, in 2006, the military canceled the killer drone effort.

    Venting over the decision, one Boeing engineer—who asked to remain anonymous—blamed the military’s slavish devotion to manned warplanes. “The reason that was given was that we were expected to be too good in key areas and that we would have caused disruption to the efforts to ‘keep F-22 but moreover JSF sold,’” the engineer said. “If we had flown and things like survivability had been assessed and Congress had gotten a hold of the data, JSF would have been in trouble.”

    Of course, it’s possible that skittishness on the part of the military’s pilots isn’t the only reason for drone program’s demise. The same conservatism that might cause an aviator to balk at the idea of a pilotless jet fighter could also lead senior officers and bureaucrats to choose a technology they’re familiar with over a new, less familiar one—however promising the new tech might be, in theory.
    With tens or hundreds of billions of dollars on the line—and, indeed, the bulk of America’s air power at stake—it’s perhaps understandable that the military would prefer to develop yet another manned fighter than to invest heavily in the world’s first jet-propelled killer drone.
    Either way, in a surprising twist in America’s drone history, the Navy swooped in and saved the pilotless plane, investing billions of dollars to continue its development under the guise of the aforementioned UCLASS program.
    Northrop built a pair of enlarged X-47Bs for testing, culminating in a dramatic series of carrier launches and landings in 2013. Meanwhile, Lockheed, Boeing and General Atomics—the latter the manufacturer of the iconic Predator drone—prepped their own, improved killer drone prototypes, eyeing an eventual contest to produce a war-ready, final design.
    In one at-sea trial in July 2013, an X-47B detected an anamoly in its own navigation computer while approaching a carrier and, all on its own, made the decision to divert to an airfield on land. The self-diagnosis was a startling reminder of the robot’s rapidly improving artificial intelligence.


    The killer drone seemed all set to join the Navy’s air wings in just a few years. The sailing branch’s plan, until the current budget cycle, had been to pick a contractor in the next couple of years and begin deploying the new drone in the early 2020s, at first complementing then, perhaps eventually, replacing F-35s and other manned planes.


    The timing seemed prescient, as the F-35 had run into serious technical and management problems and was years late and tens of billions of dollars over-budget. Of the F-35’s three variants, the Navy’s F-35C version lagged the farthest behind. The UCLASS killer drone seemed poised to finally achieve the air-power coup over manned planes that it came close to achieving back in 2006.


    But that was not to be. “We don’t have enough money to do everything we want to do,” Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work, once a strong proponent of the UCLASS killer drone effort, told trade publication Breaking Defense. Unless Congress intervenes, the current budget proposal unceremoniously ends UCLASS and grounds Northrop’s X-47B and its rival drones in their present forms.


    It almost goes without saying that the five-year budget plan also adds more than a billion dollars for 13 extra F-35Cs, despite the plane’s longstanding problems.


    Now the Navy will have to make do with a robotic tanker plane, while the F-35—once again victorious over its arguably more capable autonomous foe—dominates the military’s planning and spending. Drone revolution, deferred.

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    Re: US Drones/UCAV General Thread:

    Post  JohninMK on Fri Feb 26, 2016 12:52 am

    NG trying very hard to eliminate the need for the U-2 family.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — A SYERS-2 intelligence gathering sensor has been successfully flown on a Global Hawk high-altitude long-endurance drone, US defense contractor Northrop Grumman announced in a press release. "With the success of the SYERS-2 flight, Northrop Grumman plans to fly an Optical Bar Camera (OBC) sensor and an MS-177 multi-spectral sensor later in the year," the release stated on Thursday.

    The test marked the first time that the long-used US Air Force sensor has been demonstrated on a high-altitude unmanned aircraft, Northrop Grumman pointed out. "We firmly believe that with the addition of the UPA, Global Hawk is capable of flying any mission the U.S. Air Force requires," Northrop Grumman Vice President Mick Jaggers said in the release.

    Existing models of the US Air Force Global Hawk are capable of carrying an enhanced integrated sensor suite, airborne signals intelligence payload and multi-platform radar technology insertion program, the release added.


    Read more: http://sputniknews.com/military/20160226/1035364011/usaf-tests-global-hawk-sensor.html#ixzz41E7c4vdh

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    Re: US Drones/UCAV General Thread:

    Post  max steel on Thu Mar 17, 2016 7:29 am

    Skunk Works Head: Navy Should Consider A Flying Wing Design for MQ-XX Stingray



    To meet the Navy’s new set of requirements for its unmanned MQ-XX Stingray carrier tanker, the service should consider a design that could expand into a stealthy, high-end strike platform, the head of Lockheed Martin Skunk Works told reporters on Tuesday.

    By selecting a basic flying wing design for Stingray, the Navy could add weapons, sensors and stealth technology using the existing airframe without creating an entirely new planform, Skunk Work’s Rob Weiss said during Lockheed Martin’s 2016 Media Day.

    “If you start with a vehicle shape that will allow it to penetrate into a contested environment, you can get a low-cost tanking capability upfront without putting all the capability into that vehicle… you can do it at low cost but stay on that same path to use that vehicle design to operate in a penetrating environment,” Weiss said.

    Under direction from a 2015 Office of the Secretary of Defense review, the Navy moved back from the higher requirements of its Unmanned Carrier Launched Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) program to a more basic unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that would primarily function as an aerial tanker to ease the burden of the carrier air wing’s Boeing F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet fleet.

    Navy officials have said the UAV would likely accomplish the refueling mission via drop tanks hung from pylons underneath the aircraft.

    The concept that emerged shed much of the expected strike and surveillance missions to get a basic UAV on the carrier faster and at a lower cost with the same connectivity and control systems planned for UCLASS. USNI News understands the connectivity and control segments would be then used for what would follow Stingray.


    The tanker change was thought to give the two Stingray competitors that plan to submit a more traditional wing-body-tail design for the work – General Atomics and Boeing – an edge for constructing a more basic UAV, aviation experts have told USNI News.

    Lockheed and Northrop Grumman have indicated they would pursue more of a flying wing design like the Northrop B-2 Spirit stealth bomber or Lockheed’s RQ-170 Sentinel. The flying wing has an inherently lower radar cross section since the planform has fewer edges to reflect back a radar signal. While less detectable, flying wing designs have traditionally been more complicated to build and fly than the traditional wing-body-tail design.

    However, Weiss said a flying wing Stingray could be built on a budget.

    “We believe [that a flying wing] will be just as affordable as a wing-body-tail configuration. But a wing-body-tail will not be able the requirements for penetrating strike in the future,” he said.
    “You can take the flying wing and not put on all the coatings and other capabilities in that initial version and be competitive on the cost but have a growth path forward… that same path to use that vehicle design to operate in a [contested] environment.”

    The Navy is currently waiting on DoD approval for the new Stingray concept – to which it was briefly referred as the Carrier Based Aerial Refueling System (CBARS) – ahead of an expected draft request to proposal to industry sometime later this year and a full RfP in Fiscal year 2017 and a contract award in Fiscal Year 2018, USNI News reported in February.

    The service has said it plans to field the Stingray in the mid-2020s.

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    Re: US Drones/UCAV General Thread:

    Post  JohninMK on Sat Mar 19, 2016 12:58 am

    Bit of a reliability problem. To lose 20 in a year at $20M each must hit someone's' budget.

    Speaking at a congressional hearing on army and air force unmanned aircraft programmes, US Air Combat Command chief Gen Herbert Carlisle says many General Atomics Aeronautical Systems MQ-9 Block 1 crashes have been directly linked to starter-generator failures, resulting in an Electrical Safety Improvement Programme (ESIP) that installs a direct-drive, brushless alternator that keeps the aircraft flying for another 10h.

    “Since last April, we have recovered 17 MQ-9s using this direct drive, brushless alternator,” says Carlisle.

    The air force has lost dozens of MQ-9s over the years, at a cost of between $20 million and $25 million per aircraft, according to Pentagon documents. Significantly more MQ-1s have been lost in combat and the type will be phased out by 2018.

    A Washington Post report quoted by one US lawmaker identified 10 MQ-9 and 10 MQ-1 crashes in 2015, when operations were stepping up against terrorist networks in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and across Africa.

    ....................................

    In February, there were 134 MQ-1Bs and 176 MQ-9As in the inventory, according to Air Force data.

    Carlisle says more than 77% of MQ-1 and MQ-9 “cockpits” – meaning the ground control stations – are engaged in combat around the globe. The remaining 23% are dedicated to training and testing.

    For some time, the Air Force has faced a pilot shortfall, remaining 199 airmen short of its full pilot manning requirement. ACC has been authorised to grow its MQ-1/9 pilot staff from 981 today to 1180.


    https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/usaf-still-doesnt-know-why-its-block-1-mq-9s-fail-423253/

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    Re: US Drones/UCAV General Thread:

    Post  max steel on Fri Apr 01, 2016 11:27 pm

    US Army explores 'Block III' engine upgrade for RQ-7B Shadow UAV

    The US Army has begun its search for a new “Block III” engine to power its enhanced Textron Systems RQ-7B Shadow UAV that is paired with the Boeing AH-64 Apache gunship in the scout role.

    The second iteration of the RQ-7B, which began fielding in 2015 as the RQ-7Bv2, is weighed down by new mission equipment and air vehicle improvements and the existing piston engine built by UK firm UAV Engines cannot keep up. It was designed for a Shadow UAV with a gross takeoff weight of approximately 127kg (280lbs) but the aircraft has since grown closer to 209kg (460lbs), according to the army.

    In a request for information (RFI) published this month, the army says it has a new requirement for a more powerful and reliable engine with an average failure rate above once every 1,000h.

    “This propulsion system shall provide RQ-7Bv2 with a more reliable and lower life cycle cost system,” the notice states. “The system shall allow growth in aircraft weight while maintaining performance.”

    According to a recent Q&A document, the army will consider all alternative propulsion systems including piston engines and small turbines. “This RFI is not restricted and does include turbine engines,” the notice states.

    The army has previously said it intends to trial two competing engines before beginning procurement in “late 2017”. According to army budget documents for fiscal year 2017, the service plans to furnish 120 Block III engines.

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    Re: US Drones/UCAV General Thread:

    Post  max steel on Tue Apr 05, 2016 12:18 pm

    DARPA selects industry teams for 'Gremlins' UAV project






    Finely networked for coordinated assaults on well-defended targets, these “gremlins” would conduct a variety of missions like electronic attack or target geolocation, mainly as stand-ins for “conventional, monolithic platforms” such as manned fighter jets or expensive drones.

    Last week, DARPA awarded Phase I contracts to Composite Engineering, Dynetics, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, and Lockheed Martin.

    The proposals submitted by those competing industry teams “cover a spectrum of technical approaches”, the agency says. The awards begin the first of three programme phases, which could culminate in a proof-of-concept demonstration “of an air-launched, air-recovered, volley-quantity unmanned aircraft system”.

    “We’ve assembled a motivated group of researchers and developers that we believe could make significant progress toward Gremlins’ vision of delivering distributed airborne capabilities in a robust, responsive and affordable manner,” says DARPA programme manager Dan Patt. “These teams are exploring different, innovative approaches toward achieving this goal.”

    According to the broad agency announcement for Gremlins, posted in September, candidate launch platforms include the B-52 and B-1 bombers or C-130 turboprop. In-flight recovery is assigned to the C-130.

    Each gremlin must fly out 300-500nm (555-926km) at high subsonic speeds after launch and loiter for 1-3h before turning back to the C-130 for recovery, the announcement notes. The flyaway cost per Gremlin air vehicle should not exceed $700,000, and it is designed for at least 20 uses.

    Composite Engineering is the unmanned systems division of Kratos, which primarily builds aerial target drones for the US military, one of the largest being the catapult-launched MQM-178 Firejet. Kratos also runs a “confidential UAS programme” that will enter production between 2017 and 2019.

    Dynetics develops rocket and satellite technologies, as well as "intelligence, sensor, missile and aviation solutions” for national security missions. It's an industry leader in aerospace R&D.

    General Atomics manufacturers mostly large, armed UAVs like the MQ-1C Gray Eagle and MQ-9 Reaper. For several years, it has been expanding its sensors, airborne networking and command, control and communications portfolios, while also developing high-technology products like the high-energy liquid laser area defence system and electromagnetic aircraft launch system.

    Lockheed, the world’s largest defence firm and manufacturer of the C-130 and F-35, brings its expertise in land, air, sea and undersea unmanned systems, including the secretive RQ-170, to bear on Gremlins.

    DARPA has not announced the cost or timeline associated with Gremlins, but $15 million is allocated for the current fiscal year and another $31 million has been requested for 2017. Preliminary design reviews are expected in 2017, agency budget documents state.


    Another DARPA fantasy. It may work for the third world air defense, you know with signal processing power of 1980s Wink

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    Re: US Drones/UCAV General Thread:

    Post  max steel on Thu Apr 14, 2016 10:08 pm

    USAF to integrate Litening pod onto Reaper UAV

    The US Air Force (USAF) is to integrate the Northrop Grumman AN/AAQ-28(V) Litening targeting and designation pod onto the General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aircraft system (UAS) to demonstrate the capability, it was disclosed on 12 April.

    A pre-solicitation notice posted on the Federal Business Opportunities website outlines the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC) Medium Altitude UAS Division's intention to award a sole-source contract to GA-ASI to carry out the integration work. No further details related to the purpose of the work or project timelines was revealed.

    As noted in IHS Jane's C4ISR & Mission Systems: Air , the AN/AAQ-28(V) Litening is a family of airborne laser target designator pods developed by Israeli-company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Northrop Grumman. They offer precision strike and non-traditional intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities in day/night/under the weather conditions for fighter and tactical strike aircraft via a staring forward looking infrared (FLIR); charge-coupled device (CCD) TV cameras; a laser designator; laser marker; laser spot tracker; and an Inertial Navigation Sensor (INS) on the stabilised gimbal.

    In USAF service, the externally-mounted AN/AAQ-28(V)4 Litening Advanced Targeting (AT) pod is already integrated aboard a number of manned aircraft types, such as the Fairchild-Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II; Boeing B-52H Stratofortress; Boeing F-15E Strike Eagle; and Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon.

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    Re: US Drones/UCAV General Thread:

    Post  max steel on Fri Jun 24, 2016 12:58 am

    US Air Force developing capability to launch tens of thousands of drones as jammers, decoys, cameras and “kamikazes”

    The US Air Force is developing the capability to overwhelm the integrated air defence systems of Iran, North Korea, Russia or China with tens of thousands of small and relatively cheap small unmanned aircraft acting as jammers, decoys, cameras and “kamikazes”.

    Col Travis “Flare” Burdine, the air force’s division chief for remotely piloted aircraft operations at the Pentagon, is preparing to unveil the air force’s first comprehensive vision statement relating to smaller unmanned aircraft systems (SUAS).

    The air force would launch its drones from heavy bombers, and whichever ones have not been struck by an expensive surface-to-air missiles (SAM) would be picked up the back of a Lockheed Martin C-130 turboprop transport aircraft.

    “I need a stealth bomber that’s going to get close, and then it’s going to drop a whole bunch of smalls – some are decoys, some are jammers, some are [intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance] looking for where the SAMs are. Some of them are kamikaze airplanes that are going to kamikaze into those SAMs, and they’re cheap. You have maybe 100 or 1,000 surface-to-air missiles, but we’re going to hit you with 10,000 smalls, not 10,000 MQ-9s. That’s why we want smalls.”

    There are several programs which will help the air force achieve its vision of swarming, highly-automated aircraft cheap enough to build in large quantities.



    "I need a stealth bomber that’s going to get close"
    No.It's SO not.
    "but we’re going to hit you with 10,000 smalls"
    Apparently this guy never heard of AAA.
    Or of the fact that nuclear-tipped SAMs exists.


    Last edited by max steel on Mon Jun 27, 2016 9:45 pm; edited 1 time in total

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    Re: US Drones/UCAV General Thread:

    Post  Grazneyar on Fri Jun 24, 2016 1:29 am

    And what does he think the intel gathering 'smalls' will be listening to ? He has not heard of electronic warefare ? Alot of his smalls will be flying round in circles collecting information about unicorn deployments and heavy concentrations of pink pixies. A large subsonic aircraft will be easy to detect and intercept. These 'smalls' may not even get to attacking or listening in on the unicorn pixie army the EW opperators are beaming out.

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    Re: US Drones/UCAV General Thread:

    Post  max steel on Mon Jun 27, 2016 9:49 pm

    Navy to Demo Swarming Drones at Sea in July

    The Navy will launch its first at-sea "air show" of dozens of drones swarming in formation late next month, officials with the Office of Naval Research said Friday.
    The demo will feature more than 30 Raytheon-built Coyote unmanned aircraft systems launched in rapid succession and flying in formations, thanks to ONR's Low-Cost UAV Swarming Technology (LOCUST).

    At $15,000 per unit, the drones are cheap enough to be expendable if needed and, launched at high numbers, they can overwhelm enemy forces while requiring little human supervision.

    Northrop Grumman to Expand DARPA's Hush-Hush Drone Project

    Described as a "flying wing helicopter," powered by two "10-foot counter-rotating rotors," triangular in shape and measuring 40 feet on a side, TERN will initially be designed for reconnaissance missions, hence the name. The ultimate goal is to turn TERN into a weapons system.

    Carried aboard a small warship -- as small as one of the Navy's new littoral combat ships -- TERN will be capable of launching from the warship's helo deck carrying 600 pounds of ordnance, striking targets hundreds of miles distant, and then returning to land back on deck -- no aircraft carriers required.

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    Re: US Drones/UCAV General Thread:

    Post  max steel on Wed Jun 29, 2016 10:26 pm

    Lockheed's Q-53 shows drone tracking capability



    Lockheed Martin's AN/TPQ-53 counterfire radar recently demonstrated its ability to identify and track drones and pass that information to a command and control node, a key capability as battle spaces increasingly become crowded with new air threats, the company announced Monday.

    The Q-53 demonstration showed that the system can provide troops with an awareness of air threats in real time, the company said in a statement.

    The demonstration was part of the U.S. Army's Maneuver and Fires Integration Experiment at Fort Sill, OK, an exercise that brings together industry, military and academics to assess warfighter needs.

    The Q-53 demonstrated its ability to provide both air surveillance and counterfire target acquisition in one tactical sensor.

    It identified several drones and provided data to a forward air defense unit while simultaneously providing accurate targeting data on rockets, artillery and mortars, the company said.

    Lockheed Martin's AN/TPQ-53 counterfire radar recently demonstrated its ability to identify and track drones and pass that information to a command and control node, a key capability as battle spaces increasingly become crowded with new air threats, the company announced Monday.

    The Q-53 demonstration showed that the system can provide troops with an awareness of air threats in real time, the company said in a statement.

    The demonstration was part of the U.S. Army's Maneuver and Fires Integration Experiment at Fort Sill, OK, an exercise that brings together industry, military and academics to assess warfighter needs.

    The Q-53 demonstrated its ability to provide both air surveillance and counterfire target acquisition in one tactical sensor.

    It identified several drones and provided data to a forward air defense unit while simultaneously providing accurate targeting data on rockets, artillery and mortars, the company said.

    The Q-53 can detect, classify, track and determine the location of indirect enemy fire in either a 360-degree or 90-degree mode.


    Lockheed has delivered more than 60 of the systems to the Army since winning the Q-53 development contract in 2007, the company said.


    Does Russian Army use such counterfire Radars ?

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    Re: US Drones/UCAV General Thread:

    Post  max steel on Wed Jun 29, 2016 10:33 pm

    USN Fire Scout deploys with new radar



    The US Navy's (USN's) Northrop Grumman MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned helicopter recently deployed with a new maritime surveillance radar, the USN announced on 28 June.

    The aircraft deployed aboard USS Coronado (LCS 4) with the AN/ZPY-4(V)1 radar, according to the navy. Built by Telephonics Corporation, the radar is expected to improve target classification in both maritime and overland operations. "This air package will significantly improve the navy's surface search capabilities for LCS and its action group," Captain Ben Reynolds, Commodore of the Helicopter Sea Combat (HSC) Wing for the US Pacific Fleet, said in a press statement. "The expanded capability will allow our assets to employ an autonomous aircraft off of a naval vessel for search, detection, surveillance, and tracking of maritime surface vessels."

    The radar will enable the navy to simultaneously track up to 150 targets while increasing detection accuracies out to 70 nautical miles. "Our overall goal for the first-ever HSC/LCS deployment is to integrate the MQ-8B Fire Scout and MH-60S in all available scenarios in order to act as a force multiplier for ships and to function as a vital arm of distributed lethality for the tactical commander," Capt Reynolds said.

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    Re: US Drones/UCAV General Thread:

    Post  JohninMK on Sat Jul 09, 2016 11:03 am

    Takes a photo like this from the NATO Warsaw meeting to bring home the shear size of the Global Hawk.


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