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    US Drones/UCAV General Thread:

    George1
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    Post  George1 Sat Sep 01, 2018 4:12 am

    Boeing Corporation won the US Navy tender for the deck unmanned tanker MQ-25A

    On August 30, 2018, the US Navy issued a $ 805.319 million contract to Boeing Corporation for the full-scale development, construction, testing and delivery of four pre-production flight prototypes of the MQ-25A Stingray prospective deck unmanned tanker, including the integration of these aircraft into the aviation wing aircraft carrier and their achievement of the stage of initial operational capability (IOC), with completion by August 2024. Thus Boeing with its specially designed aircraft won a tender for the US Navy program MQ-25A Stingray.

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    Post  JohninMK Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:53 am

    More Chinese drones going into the USAF. They certainly dominate the market.

    http://thedronegirl.com/2018/09/24/air-force-dji-mavic-pro-platinum-drones/
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    Post  George1 Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:57 pm

    The first flight of the American unmanned aerial vehicle XQ-58A Valkyrie

    US Drones/UCAV General Thread: - Page 4 6633034_original



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    George1
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    Post  George1 Sat Sep 21, 2019 3:59 am

    First flight of the prototype Boeing MQ-25A carrier-based unmanned tanker

    Boeing Corporation reported that the first prototype T1 demonstrator (registration number N234MQ) of the promising deck-based unmanned tanker MQ-25A Stingray, created in the interests of the U.S. Navy, made its first flight in St. Louis on September 19, 2019. Flight control was carried out from a ground station.



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    magnumcromagnon
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    Post  magnumcromagnon Tue Oct 15, 2019 7:58 pm

    George1 wrote:First flight of the prototype Boeing MQ-25A carrier-based unmanned tanker

    Boeing Corporation reported that the first prototype T1 demonstrator (registration number N234MQ) of the promising deck-based unmanned tanker MQ-25A Stingray, created in the interests of the U.S. Navy, made its first flight in St. Louis on September 19, 2019. Flight control was carried out from a ground station.



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    They're saying now that they (The US Navy) will buy 72 of them for the price of $13 billion total, which comes out to $180.5 million a piece for a unmanned buddy-buddy refueler....holy hell that's ridiculous!!!  lol1
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    Post  GarryB Wed Oct 16, 2019 12:45 am

    No... what is ridiculous is anyone thinking the final price will be anything like that low... Twisted Evil

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    Post  George1 Sat Dec 12, 2020 2:48 am

    American carrier-based unmanned tanker MQ-25A began flight tests
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    Post  George1 Sat Jan 16, 2021 3:39 pm

    General Atomics has begun flight tests of the Legion Pod on its Avenger unmanned aerial vehicle.

    US Drones/UCAV General Thread: - Page 4 Usa10
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    Post  JohninMK Thu Mar 04, 2021 4:03 pm

    Kelley Aerospace has officially launched its supersonic unmanned combat aerial vehicle concept (UCAV) which was teased back in December 2020. The firm says it has already received 100 “pre-orders” for the vehicle, according to a report by Flight Global.

    On its site, the company features two drones. The arrow is said to be the "world's first supersonic UAV that pushes the boundary with state-of-the-art swarm and autonomous aerial flight logic — making it a formidable UAV."

    The aircraft features a monocoque (literally single-shell) built from carbon fiber. This makes it lightweight enough to fly more than 2,600 Nm (4,800 km) with a maximum weight of 37,038 lbs (16,800 kg).

    “It is designed for a reduced radar cross-section and infra-red signature. The carbon fiber and monocoque design endows the Arrow with outstanding strength and stiffness,” said the company in a statement.

    It is estimated that it will not cost more than $16 million with prices going as low as $9 million. The firm notes that this “allows more airframes to be purchased and yet, have a multi-role supersonic UCAV to perform high-risk missions as it does not necessarily need to return home."

    Meanwhile, the Black Eagle is described as "the highest endurance UAV on the market today. It is able to handle a large payload spectrum and is fitted with sensors to achieve its given objective."

    The company also revealed that it was working on a supersonic business jet at a launch event in Singapore in December 2020. Two prototypes are currently reported to be undergoing testing in the U.S. and Sweden.

    The company also said that it was looking to get some 500 pilots ready to control its combat drones as part of a general aviation pilot academy. But with unmanned technology advancing at the rate it currently is, one can't help but wonder if we'll eventually grow out of the need for highly-trained pilots for operations.

    US Drones/UCAV General Thread: - Page 4 Kelley-drone_resize_md

    https://interestingengineering.com/kelley-aerospace-officially-launches-supersonic-drone-concept-arrow

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    Godric
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    Post  Godric Thu Mar 04, 2021 5:36 pm

    JohninMK wrote:Kelley Aerospace has officially launched its supersonic unmanned combat aerial vehicle concept (UCAV) which was teased back in December 2020. The firm says it has already received 100 “pre-orders” for the vehicle, according to a report by Flight Global.

    On its site, the company features two drones. The arrow is said to be the "world's first supersonic UAV that pushes the boundary with state-of-the-art swarm and autonomous aerial flight logic — making it a formidable UAV."

    The aircraft features a monocoque (literally single-shell) built from carbon fiber. This makes it lightweight enough to fly more than 2,600 Nm (4,800 km) with a maximum weight of 37,038 lbs (16,800 kg).

    “It is designed for a reduced radar cross-section and infra-red signature. The carbon fiber and monocoque design endows the Arrow with outstanding strength and stiffness,” said the company in a statement.

    It is estimated that it will not cost more than $16 million with prices going as low as $9 million. The firm notes that this “allows more airframes to be purchased and yet, have a multi-role supersonic UCAV to perform high-risk missions as it does not necessarily need to return home."

    Meanwhile, the Black Eagle is described as "the highest endurance UAV on the market today. It is able to handle a large payload spectrum and is fitted with sensors to achieve its given objective."

    The company also revealed that it was working on a supersonic business jet at a launch event in Singapore in December 2020. Two prototypes are currently reported to be undergoing testing in the U.S. and Sweden.

    The company also said that it was looking to get some 500 pilots ready to control its combat drones as part of a general aviation pilot academy. But with unmanned technology advancing at the rate it currently is, one can't help but wonder if we'll eventually grow out of the need for highly-trained pilots for operations.

    US Drones/UCAV General Thread: - Page 4 Kelley-drone_resize_md

    https://interestingengineering.com/kelley-aerospace-officially-launches-supersonic-drone-concept-arrow

    American drones are extremely high tech and expensive countries can only afford to operate small numbers, the most effective drones are the ones being developed by Countries like Israel, Turkey, China ... they are low cost and lower levels of tech but they are being proven to be highly effective in the battlefield especially in the recent Nagorno-Karabakh war where the Azeri's swarmed the Armenian forces with low tech drones from Turkey and Israel which changed the whole war in there favour .

    Take Russia the bulk of Russia's drones are for battlefield observation then clobbering the targets with artillery/MLRS/cruise missiles or airstrikes ... Russia is lagging on the front of low cost strike drones ....the Mig Skat is not yet operational but like the new UAV Hind they are not exactly low cost platforms
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    Post  Hole Thu Mar 04, 2021 8:37 pm

    Aserbaidschan lost nearly 4.000 men and over 60 drones. What "won" them the war was their numerical superiority.

    The chances of survival of these low-cost strike drones is close to zero over a battlefield with an air defence system as dense and sophisticated as the russian one. Small recon drones like Orlan-10 and so on are a bigger force multiplier because they deliver recon info directly to the artillery and infantry units on the frontline who need them. If your army is in possesion of a powerful artillery and ATGM force, of course.
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    Post  GarryB Fri Mar 05, 2021 4:08 am

    The arrow is said to be the "world's first supersonic UAV that pushes the boundary with state-of-the-art swarm and autonomous aerial flight logic — making it a formidable UAV."

    Bullshit.
    Exhibit A Tu-123

    US Drones/UCAV General Thread: - Page 4 7_mode10

    And regarding the swarm and autoonomous aerial flight logic..

    Exhibit B Granit SS-N-19

    US Drones/UCAV General Thread: - Page 4 210

    Take Russia the bulk of Russia's drones are for battlefield observation then clobbering the targets with artillery/MLRS/cruise missiles or airstrikes ... Russia is lagging on the front of low cost strike drones ....the Mig Skat is not yet operational but like the new UAV Hind they are not exactly low cost platforms

    I disagree... Russia creates a broad spectrum of cheap drones... but cheap is relative... a cheap store bought drone with a 20 minute battery and 2km flight range is simply not good enough for most military purposes because it is too easy to intercept the datalink and the cameras will be a bit cheap too.

    Most high flying UAVs need much better cameras than that fitted to most civilian drones, and of course stabilisation systems so those good cameras take a decent and useful image.

    They had literally dozens of different drone prototypes in 2008 when they started actually spending money to buy some but being prototypes they were cobbled together with cheap cameras and datalinks that were weak and short ranged and easily jammed or intercepted etc etc.

    That is why they bought the Forepost from Israel.... it was not new technology by any means, but it was combat proven and solid and with good cameras and good datalinks and produced to a reasonable performance and quality level and of course the software and control equipment was all fully developed and combat tested.

    It set the benchmark that other UAV makers in Russia have aimed for and exceeded by the look of it.

    Forepost is still used but these new systems are Russian designs with Russian components intended to take its place, and they will only expand their fleet options...

    You see today that drones are used in training and in combat and with that experience they will further ask for new capabilities... they have disposable suicide drones.... as camera technology matures and improves older models become obsolete and therefore cheap and expendable so you can mount what is still quite a decent camera on a drone you intend to use as a weapon.

    Mass production of components will drive down costs and as new technology and new components are developed you get a ready supply of older cheaper components you can use on more expendable models... not state of the art but good enough for the job.

    General western air defence capacity to drones is rather weak anyway... because all the funding and support for small light cheap attack drones has been funnelled to terrorists to use against bases in Syria, so they have be testing and practising against such systems for a good 5 years and during that time they have made a lot of changes and upgrades to their systems for detection and destruction of such systems.

    When such systems and low flying weapons were used in Saudi Arabia the result was a little shocking... they didn't know they were under attack till the targets of the attack started exploding.

    I am sure they will be better prepared next time, but they clearly didn't expect to be attacked at all... a bit like HATO.

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    Post  Tsavo Lion Tue Mar 16, 2021 9:03 pm

    JohninMK
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    Post  JohninMK Wed Mar 17, 2021 9:11 pm

    Interesting article on US swarming drones

    The Pentagon has announced that one of its offices has completed planned research and development work on a number of unmanned swarming technologies and has now turned them over to the U.S. Air Force, Army, Navy, and Marine Corps to support various follow-on programs. The systems in question are the Block 3 version of Raytheon's Coyote unmanned aircraft and an associated launcher, a jam-resistant datalink, and a software package to enable the aforementioned drones to operate as an autonomous swarm. These developments give us a glimpse into what has been a fairly opaque, integrated development effort to field lower-end swarming drones across the services that leverages common components.

    All of these technologies were developed under the auspices of the Low-Cost Cruise Missile (LCCM) effort, led by the Pentagon's Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (JCTD) program office. The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and Office of Naval Research (ONR) were also directly involved in the project, which dates back at least to 2017. While Raytheon led the development of the Coyote and its launcher, L3Harris was the prime contractor for the datalink, and the Georgia Tech Research Institute at the Georgia Institute of Technology headed up work on the "autonomy software module."


    US Drones/UCAV General Thread: - Page 4 Coyote-locust-top

    https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/39814/pentagon-unveils-details-on-effort-to-equip-its-services-with-massive-swarms-of-deadly-drones
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    Post  GarryB Thu Mar 18, 2021 4:38 am

    Obvious problem is that they are creating a weaponised technology based on their weakness and Chinas and Russias strengths...

    The west has an advantage in numbers because it fights lots of wars and has huge defence budgets and locates weapons and forces all round the world... but it really is not good at making lots and lots of weapons because the weapons it makes are expensive so the weapons and systems they will need to replace to enable them to create these drone swarms will be useful drones they probably needed.

    In comparison I suspect both China and Russia and indeed many many other countries will be able to mass produce suicide drones in numbers large enough to make the west waste its air to air missiles and its much fewer SAMs shooting down drones.

    If anything swarm numbers of drones is a good thing for Russia they have enormous numbers of SAMs and other missile types they don't know what to do with...

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    Post  JohninMK Fri Apr 02, 2021 1:17 pm

    You guys are really, really going to love the tone of superiority in this article. They have excelled themselves. Please don't explode Laughing

    You might notice me in the comments Cool

    When it comes to phantom aircraft that are the product of 'bleeding-edge' technologies and supposedly exist only in the shadows, the so-called RQ-180 is unrivaled in our time. The existence of this high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) stealth drone has all but been officially disclosed. Specters of its existence and growing maturity seem to materialize around every turn, and as of November 2020, the public may have gotten its first glimpse of this aircraft that has existed behind a veil of secrecy and innuendo for over a decade. This is the first in a three-part series—the product of a ghost hunt of sorts that has lasted well over two years—that tells the story—as best as we can piece it together—of what is likely the most important military aircraft of a generation.


    https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/39882/how-the-rq-180-drone-will-emerge-from-the-shadows-as-the-centerpiece-of-a-warfighting-revolution
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    Post  magnumcromagnon Fri Apr 02, 2021 3:47 pm

    JohninMK wrote:You guys are really, really going to love the tone of superiority in this article. They have excelled themselves. Please don't explode Laughing

    You might notice me in the comments  Cool

    When it comes to phantom aircraft that are the product of 'bleeding-edge' technologies and supposedly exist only in the shadows, the so-called RQ-180 is unrivaled in our time. The existence of this high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) stealth drone has all but been officially disclosed. Specters of its existence and growing maturity seem to materialize around every turn, and as of November 2020, the public may have gotten its first glimpse of this aircraft that has existed behind a veil of secrecy and innuendo for over a decade. This is the first in a three-part series—the product of a ghost hunt of sorts that has lasted well over two years—that tells the story—as best as we can piece it together—of what is likely the most important military aircraft of a generation.


    https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/39882/how-the-rq-180-drone-will-emerge-from-the-shadows-as-the-centerpiece-of-a-warfighting-revolution

    Posted on April Fools Day, by Tyler Rogoway, a guy who can fit a 12 inch ruler between his eyes, and I'm sure the RQ-180 was developed from the RQ-170 which the Persians were 'incapable' of defeating. Wink

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    Hole
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    Post  Hole Fri Apr 02, 2021 8:51 pm

    Sounds like the dumbest PR stuff someone can imagine which includes any buzzword of the MIC.
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    Post  JohninMK Tue May 04, 2021 2:48 pm

    MQ-9 self protection pod. Also fits P-8A. Video at link.

    Lots of good photos of all kinds of stuff there too.

    https://twitter.com/clemente3000/status/1389080743607996417?s=20
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    Post  Isos Tue May 04, 2021 2:54 pm

    JohninMK wrote:MQ-9 self protection pod. Also fits P-8A. Video at link.

    Lots of good photos of all kinds of stuff there too.

    https://twitter.com/clemente3000/status/1389080743607996417?s=20

    Rq-4 which is more advanced had a EW capabilities that couldn't protect against iranian AD.

    A less capable pod made for drone mounted on a huge plane with a huge rcs is a waste of time and money and put the crew in danger.
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    Post  GarryB Wed May 05, 2021 4:45 am

    Pretty clear they are acknowledging that the F-35 is a failure and they likely wont get 3,500 planes to fill gaps and replace previous generation aircraft...

    In fact previous generation aircraft are being put back into production... they estimate the new F-15s will cost 150 million, but it is a bigger better aircraft that is more capable, faster, longer ranged, and in terms of manouver much better.

    Perhaps only in the area of stealth is it a step back, but you could argue that it would be easier and cheaper to pair the F-15s with unmanned stealthy drones...

    Ironically, for all those claiming Russia is behind in some areas of drones, that is because they have manned aircraft in production that can do many of those jobs, and they are working on allowing their new aircraft to operate in an unmanned role.
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    Post  SeigSoloyvov Wed May 05, 2021 5:53 am

    Russia is way behind us when it comes to Drone Tech, Just like they do beat us in Missile engines.
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    Post  JohninMK Fri May 14, 2021 12:22 pm

    The U.S. Army is experimenting with launching the Area-I small Air-Launched, Tube-Integrated, Unmanned System drone, or ALTIUS, from an ultralight tactical vehicle. The drone has already been launched from Army MQ-1C unmanned aircraft and UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, as well as from an Air Force XQ-58A Valkyrie stealthy unmanned aircraft, but this is the first time that we’ve seen it used by the U.S. military in this type of vehicle-borne capacity.

    A photo posted to Twitter today by the Future Vertical Lift Cross-Functional Team shows the familiar shape of a brightly painted ALTIUS launched from one of two Common Launch Tubes (CLT) attached to what appears to be a DAGOR ultra-light tactical vehicle. According to Area-I, which was acquired by Anduril Industries in April, the ALTIUS-600 has also been launched in the past from C-130, AC-130J, P-3, and civilian aircraft, as well as from undisclosed ground vehicles, although few details are available.


    US Drones/UCAV General Thread: - Page 4 ALTIUS-launched-from-DAGOR-1



    https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/40606/the-army-is-testing-arming-its-light-tactical-vehicles-with-drones

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