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Author Topic: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program  (Read 226266 times)

Offline fightingirish

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US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« on: August 24, 2010, 02:38:11 am »
Factsheet:
http://lockheedmartinpackers.com/auvsi/factsheets/DS-ADP-UCLASS.pdf
http://lockheedmartinpackers.com/auvsi/
Edit: I will attach the factsheet (PDF) later during the day.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2016, 02:03:15 pm by PaulMM (Overscan) »
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Offline AeroFranz

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2010, 05:58:52 am »
How to recycle MRE on the fly...
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Offline donnage99

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2010, 10:33:07 pm »
From the DEW Line

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2010, 04:08:00 am »
Lockheed Martin video animation from 2001 showing its concept for a US Navy carrier-based Multi-Role Endurance (MRE) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).
Anyone know what LOCAAS stands for?
"Lokaas" is Dutch for "bait", which seems more than a coincidence.

[edit]
Quick internet search revealed: Low-Cost Autonomous Attack System

The "autonomous" bit is always interesting in unmanned warfare. If everything becomes unmanned in the future, we can leave all fighting to robots and it'll just be a technology p*ssing contest, where obviously the richest country wins. Afghanistan shows a different reality though.
[/edit]
« Last Edit: August 26, 2010, 04:12:42 am by Skyraider3D »

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Offline donnage99

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Offline bobbymike

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2011, 01:57:11 pm »
Navy orders study on UCLASS concepts By Philip Ewing Monday, June 27th, 2011 2:30 pm 

The Navy wants an Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike aircraft — or UCLASS — to fly off its carrier decks by 2018, and to that end it has awarded Boeing a contract to study just how it can get there, the aerospace company said Monday. Basically, from Boeing’s announcement, it sounds as though the Navy wants to lay down as much groundwork as possible to prove that it’ll be possible to take an aircraft, get it out to sea, on the cat, into the air and then trap it back on board.
From Boeing’s announcement:
Boeing has received a $480,000 study contract from the U.S. Navy to support pre-Milestone A activities including development of a concept of operations, an analysis of alternatives, and an investigation of potential material solutions for the Navy’s Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) program.
“The Navy wants UCLASS in the fleet in 2018,” said Jimmy Dodd, vice president, Advanced Boeing Military Aircraft. “Boeing has been delivering carrier-based aircraft to the Navy since 1925. With Boeing’s broad experience in unmanned systems and rapid prototyping, and nearly 90 years of carrier-based aircraft know-how, we are prepared to meet that schedule to support the mission and requirements the Navy establishes. This contract is the start of that.”
The UCLASS system will consist of an air segment, a connectivity and control segment, a Carrier Vessel-Nuclear (CVN) segment (launch and recovery), and a systems support segment. The work on the eight-month contract, according to the Navy’s Broad Agency Announcement, will conceptually demonstrate that a UCLASS system can provide a persistent CVN-based Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance and strike capability supporting carrier air wing operations in the 2018 time frame.

Read more: http://www.dodbuzz.com/2011/06/27/navy-orders-study-on-uclass-concepts/#ixzz1QVnpJLWl
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Offline bobbymike

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2012, 03:33:16 pm »

Quote
Meet Boeing’s New Carrier-Launched Drone Design

Well, it looks like ths might be Boeing’splanned bid for the Navy’s next strike fighter, (after JSF, anyway) known as the Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS).
I just took this picture, showing a drawing of an advanced looking-drone under the UCLASS name, at Boeing’s booth at the Navy League’s annual Sea, Air, Space conference in National Harbor, Md. This was the first I’d seen of anything hinting at Boeing’s planned bid for the Navy’s UCLASS effort which hopes to have a fighter-size, air-refuelable, stealthy strike drone flying from carrier decks by the end of the decade. UPDATE: Boeing officials tell me that is is simply a concept drawing and not a final design.
Remember, Northrop Grumman is likely to offer a version of its X-47B for the UCLASS contest while General Atomics is offering a version of its Predator C Avenger, called the Sea Avenger, that’s equipped to handle the strains of catapult launches and arrested landings as well as the salty sea air and Lockheed is apparently going to bid with a yet-to-be revealed design.

Read more:  http://defensetech.org/2012/04/16/16952/#ixzz1sFGvddKw
« Last Edit: April 17, 2012, 01:12:12 am by flateric »
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Offline sferrin

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2012, 04:08:02 pm »
Sounds like they've given up on Phantom Ray.
"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.

Online flateric

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2012, 01:14:38 am »
ho-ho
looks familiar, no?
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stealth, more than a few of them truly technically ignorant and proud of it." Sherm Mullin, Skunk Works

Offline TAGBOARD

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2012, 06:07:59 am »

If the above configuration is what Boeing intends to field, there will be much work in the subsonic tunnels trying to figure out why there's a pitching moment problem across the AoA range that CFD may not be catching.  It stems from the shovel shaped nose used trying to keep the planform alignment for RF LO shaping.  They may even need to change their configuration to include small canards or a tail.


Early JASSM variants dealt with this issue and added the wedges, that drop off after release and capture, on the aftbody near the exhaust nozzle.  What's more is the flight envelope for JASSM has a smaller range than the UCLASS will see - with the launches and landings on moving and carriers with turbulence, etc.  I hope the technical evaluation committee catches that problem before awarding more funding, as this will likely help drive the risk and cost up.


It's interesting how many past lessons learned are not applied by future efforts.
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Online flateric

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2012, 06:24:33 am »
it just asks for V-tail like Lockheed's MREUAV/UCLASS...and then it will be looking just ...indistinguishable from last one
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stealth, more than a few of them truly technically ignorant and proud of it." Sherm Mullin, Skunk Works

Offline sferrin

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2012, 06:52:46 am »
It's interesting how many past lessons learned are not applied by future efforts.

That's what happens when nobody communicates and everybody uses contract workers.
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Offline AeroFranz

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2012, 08:34:10 am »
I share the sentiments regarding pitch authority. They might be planning to use thrust vectoring in the vertical plane to trim the aircraft.
But even this seems dicey, and i can't recall any other aircraft ever doing that. If they can pull it off, my hat's off to them.
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Offline fightingirish

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2012, 06:40:14 am »
Lockheed Martin unveils Sea Ghost concept for USN's UCLASS program.
More might be shown at the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) conference, which will start August 6th in Las Vegas.
Link: http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/the-dewline/2012/07/lockheed-martin-unveils-sea-gh.html
« Last Edit: July 28, 2012, 06:45:41 am by fightingirish »
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Offline bobbymike

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Offline Triton

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #16 on: July 30, 2012, 03:41:06 pm »
Artist's impression of Lockheed Martin Sea Ghost concept for the United States Navy UCLASS (Unmanned Carrier Launched Surveillance and Strike) program.

Source:
http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/the-dewline/2012/07/lockheed-martin-unveils-sea-gh.html
« Last Edit: July 30, 2012, 04:00:33 pm by flateric »

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #17 on: March 28, 2013, 06:08:14 am »
http://www.flickr.com/photos/cnogreenert/7744455280/sizes/o/in/photostream/

That's quite some stretch the Predator C Avenger got going on.

Offline bobbymike

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #18 on: March 28, 2013, 06:27:44 am »
http://defensetech.org/2013/03/27/navy-plans-to-fund-four-in-uclass-development/
 
So if I read this right there will be four separate aircraft? I have not seen four separate designs so is a fourth under development that we have not seen yet?
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Offline sferrin

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #19 on: March 28, 2013, 06:44:19 am »
Boeing (new design), NG (X-47B), GA (Predator-C "Avenger"), Lockheed Martin Sea Ghost above.
 
Boeing
 
http://defensetech.org/2012/04/16/16952/
 
I wouldn't think the Predator-C would really be in the same class as the others though. 
 
 
« Last Edit: March 28, 2013, 07:00:25 am by sferrin »
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Offline TomS

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #20 on: March 28, 2013, 07:33:48 am »
The encouraging thing about including Pred-C is that it gives you a clearer sense of the trade space -- it probably isn't as high performing as the others, but it also probably costs a bunch less.  That helps you see how much the last increment of stealth or speed will cost, which is the exact sort of question the Navy has not done well at exploring in the past.

Offline sferrin

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #21 on: March 28, 2013, 08:47:49 am »
The encouraging thing about including Pred-C is that it gives you a clearer sense of the trade space -- it probably isn't as high performing as the others, but it also probably costs a bunch less.  That helps you see how much the last increment of stealth or speed will cost, which is the exact sort of question the Navy has not done well at exploring in the past.

And payload.  Predator-C's is only about 3500lbs.
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Offline sferrin

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #22 on: March 28, 2013, 09:18:02 pm »
http://www.flickr.com/photos/cnogreenert/7744455280/sizes/o/in/photostream/

That's quite some stretch the Predator C Avenger got going on.

What do you mean?   ???
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Offline donnage99

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #23 on: March 28, 2013, 10:33:45 pm »
What do you mean?   ???
He meant that it's the b version (2nd avenger), which has a longer fuselage from the a version (first one). 

Offline sferrin

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #24 on: March 28, 2013, 10:44:34 pm »
Interesting.  I did not know that.  Here:
« Last Edit: August 02, 2017, 01:21:07 pm by flateric »
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Offline bobbymike

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #25 on: April 08, 2013, 08:08:54 am »
Skunk Works UCLASS video:
 
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Offline fightingirish

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #26 on: April 08, 2013, 08:45:22 am »
Notice the conformal pod under the fuselage for reconnaissance and targeting sensors.
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Offline Triton

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #27 on: April 08, 2013, 11:42:54 am »
Will the UCLASS be flown from workstations aboard the aircraft carrier or from workstations located on naval bases perhaps located in the United States?

Offline TomS

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #28 on: April 08, 2013, 12:26:20 pm »
It sounds like both.  From the BAA:
Quote
The UCLASS system will be jointly interoperable at Levels 1-4 in accordance with STANAG 4586 and capable of transferring control of the aircraft, sensors, and weapons between operators at DoD sea and land-based facilities.

Now, whether the sea-based operators would just be doing launch and recovery isn't clear.  It sounds to me like they want the sea-based operators to have the option of running the whole mission (references to interoperability with CVW assets, JFMCC tasking, etc.).

Offline bobbymike

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #29 on: April 08, 2013, 03:07:10 pm »
Is it just me or do others get a tingle when the voiceover guy says, "Systems we cannot talk about" although of course I want to know what they aren't talking about.
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Online flateric

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #30 on: April 08, 2013, 04:11:06 pm »
I just wonder why kinda cancelled for a while MPUAV is making appearance in video...
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stealth, more than a few of them truly technically ignorant and proud of it." Sherm Mullin, Skunk Works

Offline sferrin

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #31 on: April 08, 2013, 04:17:10 pm »
I just wonder why kinda cancelled for a while MPUAV is making appearance in video...

Probably just showing other UCAV concepts (they also show the VTOL UCAV landing on an LCS flight deck at 1:57).  This LM UCLASS seems much smaller than the X-47B.  ???
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Offline donnage99

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #32 on: April 08, 2013, 04:41:16 pm »
I just wonder why kinda cancelled for a while MPUAV is making appearance in video...
That's the first thing I thought about when I saw the video.  Though the video is no tell sign, but I venture to say that MPUAV may have gone black.  Just imagine the sensitive nature of a low rcs reconnaissance uav launched stealthily from a silent submarine to monitor hot spot around the world.  I think that if it gone black, it may have gone black after Lockmart demonstrated the technological feasibility of launching such a vehicle to break free of the water surface and recovering it. 

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Offline fightingirish

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #34 on: April 09, 2013, 12:27:21 am »
That hump on top of the UCLASS is probably for SATCOM; - or a place holder for "R2-D2"?  :D
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Offline TomS

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #35 on: April 09, 2013, 07:05:35 am »
That's the first thing I thought about when I saw the video.  Though the video is no tell sign, but I venture to say that MPUAV may have gone black.

If it had gone black, it wouldn't be showing up in unclassified Skunk Works videos. 


Offline sferrin

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #36 on: April 09, 2013, 07:22:33 am »
That's the first thing I thought about when I saw the video.  Though the video is no tell sign, but I venture to say that MPUAV may have gone black.

If it had gone black, it wouldn't be showing up in unclassified Skunk Works videos.

Exactly.  They just added stuff from other programs in the past (that made it to hardware or not).  It's not like they're still launching D-21s from Blackbirds.
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Offline donnage99

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #37 on: April 09, 2013, 08:05:47 am »
That's the first thing I thought about when I saw the video.  Though the video is no tell sign, but I venture to say that MPUAV may have gone black.

If it had gone black, it wouldn't be showing up in unclassified Skunk Works videos.
What I meant is that the concept of launching a stealthy uav from submarine has gone black in the form of another program, but not the actual cormorant MPUAV program.  Cormorant was a white world program that proved its point as much as it was over. 

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #38 on: April 09, 2013, 10:50:45 am »
Product sheet for Lockheed Martin Sea Ghost UCLASS proposal.

Source:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/134816405/Lockheed-Martin-UCLASS-product-sheet

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #39 on: April 10, 2013, 09:41:16 am »
Lockheed Martin's Skunkworks on Tuesday unveiled the company's entry in the Navy's Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike competition. The company is touting the design, which bears a resemblance to its classified Air Force RQ-170 Sentinel remotely piloted aircraft, as leveraging its experience on other unmanned systems as well as the F-35 to achieve "maximum reuse of hardware and software" toward lowering cost and risk. The unnamed design, which features folding wings for carrier duty, embodies "multi-spectral stealth," said the company.
 
A video on Lockheed Martin's website describes the vehicle's mission as performing intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance as well as strike, communications relay, and aerial refueling. The Navy wants to get the UCLASS into production by 2016, and has identified Boeing, General Atomics, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman as companies capable of doing the work. Navy officials said they plan to take all four companies into a design phase. Northrop Grumman has been flying its X-47B as a UCLASS technology demonstrator. The UCLASS is the descendant of the joint Air Force-Navy program to develop a new class of combat RPAs, which included Boeing's X-45 demonstrator. The Air Force withdrew from the project to pursue its next-generation bomber.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bolding mine - If you had a super stealthy platform with DATS which - from a video on the F-35 news thread - can detect rocket and artillery from hundreds of km away opens up a very interesting concept of operations.
 
UCLASS cruising undetected relaying this information back to a platform with long range stealthy strike missiles (well outside radar range and hopefully someday hypersonic missiles) would be a game changer. One UCALSS with 24 hour persistence married to an SSGN or a Burke with SM-III land attack missiles (although these may never be built) JASSM-ERs, cruise missiles or one day a RATTLRS or X-51 type system and two platforms could dominate a huge swath of territory.
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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #40 on: April 10, 2013, 11:45:53 am »
« Last Edit: April 10, 2013, 11:48:46 am by Triton »

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #41 on: April 10, 2013, 12:14:31 pm »
Artist's impression of Lockheed Martin Sea Ghost.

Source:
http://www.f-16.net/index.php?name=PNphpBB2&file=viewtopic&p=250336
« Last Edit: July 19, 2014, 06:46:38 pm by Triton »

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #42 on: April 10, 2013, 12:39:29 pm »
Looking at the recent image posted of the Lockheed UCLASS: deployed spoilers on the wing upper surface and the split slot deflectors on the port and starboard wing panels, I would call their landing on an aircraft carrier "full commitment".  How are you going to waive off a missed landing when you are dumping lift from these control effectors (read kinetic energy)?  They must have enough confidence in their proprietary autopilot system to not be concerned about a missed trap.
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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #43 on: April 12, 2013, 10:53:47 am »
"More UCLASS details from Lockheed"

by Dave Majumdar
on April 11, 2013 8:55 PM

Source:
http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/the-dewline/2013/04/more-uclass-details-from-lockh.html

Quote
Lockheed Martin is revealing additional details about its submission for the US Navy's Unmanned Carrier Launched Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) aircraft programme saying it has already built a full-scale mock-up of the flying wing design.

"We have a full-scale mock-up," says Robert Ruszkowski, Lockheed's director of UCLASS programme development. "That's been a good engineering tool to look at fit checks."

Thumbnail image for LM-UCLASS_AlongCoast-12000.jpgFor its concept, the company's Skunk Works design team has selected a flying wing configuration because it is particularly well suited for the missions that the UCLASS is expected to fly.

"There is nothing inherently unique about a flying wing, but we have a lot of experience with them," Ruszkowski says.

The flying wing's combination of aerodynamically efficiency, potential for very low signatures and structural simplicity make it ideal for an application like the UCLASS, he says. The design would allow the aircraft to be adapted to operate against a broad swath of threats ranging from permissive airspace to the anti-access/area denial environments. "We've got the right shape for that, we've got the right materials from the [Lockheed] F-35 that can be readily leveraged," Ruszkowski adds.

While the Lockheed UCLASS has the range and persistence to fly deep into enemy territory, it does not have the weapons payload of a true long-range strike platform like the old Grumman A-6 Intruder. "We think there is an element of the mission set that might be for long range operations, but it is truly not for large payloads at long ranges," Ruszkowski says. "Trying to keep the system affordable, this will not be anywhere near a replacement for an A-6 from a strike perspective."

Because flying wings are structurally simple, they are also easier to manufacture, which helps the design to be affordable. "There is not as much tooling associated with say a flying wing compared to a more conventional design," Ruszkowski says.

Lockheed also plans on reusing as much existing hardware as possible on its UCLASS design--that might even mean adapting equipment such as the aircraft's landing gear from another platform.

The company is also designing its UCLASS concept to have open architecture avionics not only so that existing computer hardware can be reused, but it would also allow the USN to modify the sensor payloads easily. "The navy has made it clear they would like to have the ability to put new sensors or new mission systems onboard UCLASS over time," Ruszkowski says. "Obviously open architecture facilitates that."

From what specifications the navy has released, it is apparent that the service is focusing in the interfaces for the various sensors and communications gear--which suggests an open architecture design will be required.

Lockheed has also worked hard to make sure one operator can "fly" multiple aircraft, Ruszkowski says. The operator would control the aircraft by exception, which means he or she would only directly intervene in the operation of a particular UCLASS air vehicle if something of particular significance were to be occurring. By and large, the Lockheed UCLASS is designed to operate as autonomously as practical given navy operational doctrines and rules of engagement, as well as air traffic management procedures.

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #44 on: April 12, 2013, 12:03:04 pm »
TAGBOARD, without the spoilers the engine thrust setting during the approach is so low that spoolup time gets too long to satisfy the waveoff criteria. Spoilers retract immediately in such case and engine needs less time to get to max.

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #45 on: April 20, 2013, 04:14:40 pm »
Speaking of the engines, is that a RQ-170-style mesh screen in the intake on Triton's second image?

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #46 on: April 21, 2013, 06:57:15 am »
The Sea Ghost has a grid like the f117 set back behind the intake in the picture where its on the carier. On another site, a USAG refueller operations guy talks if doing practise refuellings with the RQ 170. It is a good read and the man has some amazing air to air photos of the B2 and F22.

Offline fightingirish

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #47 on: May 15, 2013, 07:55:57 am »
Just noticed on this mockup, that the Lockheed UCLASS will have a fine-meshed grid in the inlet. Similar like its 'older sisters' RQ-170 Sentinel and F-117 Nighthawk.   ;)
 
Quote
[...] Meanwhile, back in scenic Crystal City, Lockheed showed off this picture of their Unmanned Carrier Launched Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) aircraft mockup. Lockheed hopes to displace Northrop's  entrant--likely X-47B derived--for the Navy's UCLASS effort.  The UCLASS program will actually take four separate designs to a preliminary design review before downselecting to one. The UCLASS, which is an operational successor to the X-47B demonstrator, will likely be smaller than the Northrop-built prototypes and will likely only have a light strike capability. [...]

Source: Flight Global Blog The Dew Line The day of the unmanned aircraft
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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #48 on: May 15, 2013, 08:50:56 am »
Would it be likely then that there's no real serpentining of the intake? If so, that could perhaps allow superior weapons carriage at little cost except perhaps to engine performance, if it's to operate at high-subsonic speeds. Depending on the engine utilised, it could be possible that the grill could cause x-band, etc radar emissions to be trapped / absorbed between the fan face and grill.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2013, 08:53:44 am by Dragon029 »

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #49 on: May 15, 2013, 11:01:17 am »
Machdiamond: Got it, thanks.  I should have recalled they land as if their feet are on the gas and brake at the same time.  Like you implied, engine spool-up would take longer than is needed, as well as possible compressor stall.
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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #50 on: May 15, 2013, 11:33:07 am »
"The UCLASS, which is an operational successor to the X-47B demonstrator, will likely be smaller than the Northrop-built prototypes and will likely only have a light strike capability."
 
Any idea why they would do that?  I'd think they'd want to get as much as they can with it.  ???
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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #51 on: May 15, 2013, 12:23:37 pm »
"The UCLASS, which is an operational successor to the X-47B demonstrator, will likely be smaller than the Northrop-built prototypes and will likely only have a light strike capability."
 
Any idea why they would do that?  I'd think they'd want to get as much as they can with it.  ???
I was thinking the same thing reading that piece. My first thought was 'if you have a small aircraft you surely cannot get long enough range for a Naval airframe'. A second thought was (just wondering out loud) if they don't want to clash with a USAF effort?
 

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #52 on: May 17, 2013, 02:18:15 am »
USAF isn't factoring in directly, there are a number of factors at play but among the biggest is F-35. The F-35 program is eating a lot of money, so the Navy is trying to keep UCLASS affordable. There's also concern that the political supporters of JSF would take the knives to UCLASS if they saw it as a direct threat to their bird.

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #53 on: May 17, 2013, 06:48:09 am »
USAF isn't factoring in directly, there are a number of factors at play but among the biggest is F-35. The F-35 program is eating a lot of money, so the Navy is trying to keep UCLASS affordable. There's also concern that the political supporters of JSF would take the knives to UCLASS if they saw it as a direct threat to their bird.

Don't know why they would think it's a threat.  It compliments the F-35 not competes with it.  It's an A-6 to the F-35s F-4.  Finally. 
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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #54 on: May 17, 2013, 08:25:17 pm »
USAF isn't factoring in directly, there are a number of factors at play but among the biggest is F-35. The F-35 program is eating a lot of money, so the Navy is trying to keep UCLASS affordable. There's also concern that the political supporters of JSF would take the knives to UCLASS if they saw it as a direct threat to their bird.

Don't know why they would think it's a threat.  It compliments the F-35 not competes with it.  It's an A-6 to the F-35s F-4.  Finally.
F-35 is not in any way an F-4, nor UCLASS an A6, but that's beside the point. Legislators see threats to their districts' programs everywhere, particularly in a tight budget environment.

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #55 on: May 17, 2013, 08:40:45 pm »

F-35 is not in any way an F-4, nor UCLASS an A6, but that's beside the point.

The F-35 is in every way a modern F-4.   And UCLASS brings back the strike range that's been lacking since the A-6.  Granted, the A-6 had a lot of capability the UCLASS never will (at least in uncontested airspace) but the extra range will be a boon.
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Offline quellish

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #56 on: May 18, 2013, 01:40:21 am »
I was thinking the same thing reading that piece. My first thought was 'if you have a small aircraft you surely cannot get long enough range for a Naval airframe'. A second thought was (just wondering out loud) if they don't want to clash with a USAF effort?

You can get plenty of range.
UCLASS is a penetrating, persistent ISR platform with a (very) limited penetrating strike capability. The only USAF effort that comes close would be NGB, which is much larger.

Offline BioLuminescentLamprey

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #57 on: May 18, 2013, 03:41:37 pm »
USAF isn't factoring in directly, there are a number of factors at play but among the biggest is F-35. The F-35 program is eating a lot of money, so the Navy is trying to keep UCLASS affordable. There's also concern that the political supporters of JSF would take the knives to UCLASS if they saw it as a direct threat to their bird.

Is there any evidence, say a link, that this is true?

I'm not suggesting it's not true, mind you.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2013, 04:46:36 pm by BioLuminescentLamprey »

Offline Moose

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #58 on: May 18, 2013, 08:38:43 pm »

The F-35 is in every way a modern F-4.   And UCLASS brings back the strike range that's been lacking since the A-6.  Granted, the A-6 had a lot of capability the UCLASS never will (at least in uncontested airspace) but the extra range will be a boon.
I'm sorry but no. If you're looking for the modern F-4 on a carrier, the yellow shirts are going to point you at the Super Hornet. F-35 is replacing the basic Hornet, which replaced the A-7.

[size=78%]Is there any evidence, say a link, that this is true? [/size]

I'm not suggesting it's not true, mind you.
To which, cost containment or Congress? I don't have anything laying out Navy's strategy for shaping the debate in Congress, no. But you can see evidence of it working. Randy Forbes, who's a rather prominent F-35 cheerleader, has become a loud advocate of UCLASS.

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #59 on: May 21, 2013, 08:59:35 am »
I'd be surprised if UCLASS got smaller. That's not historically the trend prototypes follow. I'm not saying it would be the wrong thing to do, it's just that the customer is always pushing for heavier and farther, and it makes no sense to go back to a smaller platform. We went from tiny X-47A to fairly large -B. i'm assuming all the trades that went into sizing the aircraft have already been performed. Just wait some time and inevitable weight growth will creep in. Might as well start with the larger platform.
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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #60 on: May 21, 2013, 09:02:33 am »

The F-35 is in every way a modern F-4.   And UCLASS brings back the strike range that's been lacking since the A-6.  Granted, the A-6 had a lot of capability the UCLASS never will (at least in uncontested airspace) but the extra range will be a boon.
I'm sorry but no. If you're looking for the modern F-4 on a carrier, the yellow shirts are going to point you at the Super Hornet.

In what way is the F-35 not a modern F-4 where the Super Hornet is? 
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Offline Vahe Demirjian

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #61 on: May 21, 2013, 12:53:34 pm »
Regarding the designation for the UCLASS program, if Northrop Grumman's X-47B is declared the winner of the UCLASS competition, the DoD should designate the Navy UCAV A-11 rather than A-47 to avoid creating a third out-of-sequence designation in the post-1962 attack series.

On another question, how will the cost of the UCLASS program affect the Navy's original procurement for the F-35 and the P-8? The concern is that if the cost of the UCLASS rises twofold, then the Navy may have to cut the F-35C procurement in half and cancel plans for a variant of the P-8 to replace the EP-3C.

Offline AeroFranz

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #62 on: May 21, 2013, 03:05:46 pm »

On another question, how will the cost of the UCLASS program affect the Navy's original procurement for the F-35 and the P-8? The concern is that if the cost of the UCLASS rises twofold, then the Navy may have to cut the F-35C procurement in half and cancel plans for a variant of the P-8 to replace the EP-3C.


That is assuming UCLASS will cost as much as an F-35C. I hope that's not the case.
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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #63 on: July 01, 2013, 04:41:38 pm »
I am positive some one here on the SP Forum can decipher this for me  ???
 
http://news.usni.org/2013/06/26/navy-docs-reveal-uclass-minimum-ranges-and-maximum-costs
 
Because if I am reading this correctly, the cost is to be $150 million dollars apiece?  :o  ouch.

Offline gTg

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #64 on: July 02, 2013, 02:40:17 am »
It's  "$150 million per orbit", i suppose you need at least 2-3 drones to keep up an orbit 24/7.


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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #65 on: August 17, 2013, 12:13:42 pm »
The UCLASS program will be assigned a designation by the end of the year (http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/auvsi-usn-to-designate-uclass-before-end-of-fiscal-year-389506/). The million-dollar question is: what will the designation be?

In the past, combat UAVs have been assigned designations starting with "MQ-". Since RQ-12 has been assigned to the Wasp III for the Marines, the UCLASS may be designated either A-14 or MQ-23.

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #67 on: January 01, 2014, 09:26:47 am »
UCLASS concept now 70K to 80K lbs, has tanker and AMRAAM carrier roles, possibly with an unaugmented F135:


http://news.usni.org/2013/12/23/navy-uclass-will-stealthy-tomcat-size

Offline sferrin

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #68 on: January 01, 2014, 09:41:51 am »
UCLASS concept now 70K to 80K lbs, has tanker and AMRAAM carrier roles, possibly with an unaugmented F135:


http://news.usni.org/2013/12/23/navy-uclass-will-stealthy-tomcat-size

That sounds almost too good to be true. 
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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #69 on: January 01, 2014, 09:56:52 am »
Quote
But Manazir cautioned that the UCLASS will not be nearly as stealthy as the F-35C.

I guess it wont look anything like the X-47B then. The weight will double too...

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #70 on: January 01, 2014, 12:01:02 pm »
Quote
But Manazir cautioned that the UCLASS will not be nearly as stealthy as the F-35C.

I guess it wont look anything like the X-47B then. The weight will double too...

??    120,000 lbs would be too much for a carrier.
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Offline George Allegrezza

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #71 on: January 01, 2014, 12:56:09 pm »
UCLASS concept now 70K to 80K lbs, has tanker and AMRAAM carrier roles, possibly with an unaugmented F135:


http://news.usni.org/2013/12/23/navy-uclass-will-stealthy-tomcat-size

That sounds almost too good to be true.


I'm wondering if the Navy is institutionally beginning to believe that, with the Pacific pivot, the A-12 mission never really went away, and they're trying to expand the UCLASS program to include some of the Avenger's capabilties in a platform that can be deployed relatively quickly.

Offline sublight is back

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #72 on: January 01, 2014, 02:13:26 pm »
Quote
But Manazir cautioned that the UCLASS will not be nearly as stealthy as the F-35C.

I guess it wont look anything like the X-47B then. The weight will double too...

??    120,000 lbs would be too much for a carrier.
I'm saying it wont have the same stealthy shape, and at least double the mass @ 80,000 lbs.

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Offline sferrin

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #74 on: February 20, 2014, 11:24:48 am »
War is Boring delivers yet again:
"The manned planes would spot targets and the UCLASS would fire air-to-air missiles, functioning as a sort of “flying missile magazine,” Manazir said."
Hardly dogfighting as they claim in their headline.   ::)
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Offline BioLuminescentLamprey

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #75 on: February 20, 2014, 12:07:53 pm »
War is Boring delivers yet again:
"The manned planes would spot targets and the UCLASS would fire air-to-air missiles, functioning as a sort of “flying missile magazine,” Manazir said."
Hardly dogfighting as they claim in their headline.   ::)

I can't help but feel a little ashamed for David Axe, as if he were a kid who would one day look back at his youthful idiocies and become embarrassed. ..but this is a grown man! One who has never worn a uniform, has no experience, knowledge or even passion for his subject matter.

Why not write about I-Pads, slacker culture, black rimmed glasses, X-boxes etc? Stuff he might be a little more familiar with.

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #77 on: March 01, 2014, 06:40:06 pm »
As far as lockheeds vision of UCLASS found this, it's from 2000 but the shape is the same as the sea ghosts exhaust.
https://www.google.sc/patents/US6962044 It seems as if they have been working on related LO tech for awhile?

Sentinel

Offline quellish

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #78 on: March 02, 2014, 05:01:55 pm »
I'm wondering if the Navy is institutionally beginning to believe that, with the Pacific pivot, the A-12 mission never really went away, and they're trying to expand the UCLASS program to include some of the Avenger's capabilties in a platform that can be deployed relatively quickly.

The A-12 requirements - as they were at the termination of the program - never went away. USN tried to scale back their expectations during AX/AFX, knowing they would not get quite everything they wanted. Going into JSF they knew that it wasn't even going to come close, and they would have to wait longer for platforms that could meet their requirements. UCAS-N was hoped to meet most of those requirements (save for the A2A), and later FA-XX was to meet the remainder.

Now it looks like UCLASS is being significantly rescoped, which may put even more requirements pressure on the next Navy platform.

Offline F-14D

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #79 on: March 06, 2014, 12:55:13 pm »
I'm wondering if the Navy is institutionally beginning to believe that, with the Pacific pivot, the A-12 mission never really went away, and they're trying to expand the UCLASS program to include some of the Avenger's capabilties in a platform that can be deployed relatively quickly.

The A-12 requirements - as they were at the termination of the program - never went away. USN tried to scale back their expectations during AX/AFX, knowing they would not get quite everything they wanted. Going into JSF they knew that it wasn't even going to come close, and they would have to wait longer for platforms that could meet their requirements. UCAS-N was hoped to meet most of those requirements (save for the A2A), and later FA-XX was to meet the remainder.

Now it looks like UCLASS is being significantly rescoped, which may put even more requirements pressure on the next Navy platform.

There are a number of theories out there as to why this is happening to UCLASS, a number of people in USN are quire upset about it. 

Three main surmises seem to be emerging that have "traction" (in no particular order).

1.  F-35 lobby doesn't want a strike aircraft coming out too soon that significantly outranges it, lest that threaten the program. 

2.  When A-12, and more importantly, A/FX died and Super Hornet remained, USN essentially was out of the deep strike mission.  USAF lobby doesn't want USN to get it back lest that threaten their roles and mission. 

 3.  Existing UCAVs are fine for operating in permissive airspace and blowing up terrorists at short to medium ranges, but they can't really be used to project power.  Current climate in DC is uncomfortable with US projecting power, so range and capability was reduced to resolve that. 

Take your pick, or make your own guess

Offline Bruno Anthony

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #80 on: March 06, 2014, 01:09:37 pm »
The programs cancelled during the immediate post Cold War "Peace dividend" would run circles around some of the stuff still on drawing boards today.  I love it when the term "cold war weapon.." is used as a pejorative as in "old".

AIM-152 or is it -155 anyone?

Until we acknowledge a new peer competitor and /or a new national sentiment these programs will still be at best terrorist killers.  Hardly the might of the Cold War.

Everyone goes gaga at the weight of the now cancelled GCV.  Look up the FIFV of the USArmy's ASM program of the late 80s.  Just as heavy with more firepower and IIRC a 9 man squad.  They knew back then that they had to heavy up and 4 or 5 mph was no substitute for armor.

IMO, the requirements should always be build the best.  If that puts ahead of any potential threat, so be it.  But it looks bad at academic PC events.

I'm sure there are Russians who feel the same about what they were planning ~1991.

Offline TomS

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #81 on: March 06, 2014, 01:10:41 pm »
Option 4:  Navy leaders are tired of having acquisition programs explode in their faces, so they're looking to remove all the program execution risk they can.  Removing performance removes risk (in theory, anyway). 

Offline sferrin

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #82 on: March 06, 2014, 01:32:20 pm »
Option 4:  Navy leaders are tired of having acquisition programs explode in their faces, so they're looking to remove all the program execution risk they can.  Removing performance removes risk (in theory, anyway).
So instead of having acquisition programs explode in their faces they get to have wars and dead soldiers exploding in their faces (so to speak).  "But hey, that's the next guy's problem, not mine."
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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #83 on: March 06, 2014, 02:24:57 pm »
Option 4:  Navy leaders are tired of having acquisition programs explode in their faces, so they're looking to remove all the program execution risk they can.  Removing performance removes risk (in theory, anyway).
So instead of having acquisition programs explode in their faces they get to have wars and dead soldiers exploding in their faces (so to speak).  "But hey, that's the next guy's problem, not mine."

Indeed.
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Offline bobbymike

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #84 on: March 06, 2014, 02:34:51 pm »
Option 4:  Navy leaders are tired of having acquisition programs explode in their faces, so they're looking to remove all the program execution risk they can.  Removing performance removes risk (in theory, anyway).
So instead of having acquisition programs explode in their faces they get to have wars and dead soldiers exploding in their faces (so to speak).  "But hey, that's the next guy's problem, not mine."

Indeed.

I am not a professional military strategist or historian or military technology expert. I am a well informed layman I guess.
 
With budget issues and fewer soldiers and increased, more so then now, platform importance, technologies are giving us so many new possible concepts of operations just as it relates to unmanned systems.
 
But those exciting possibilities seemed stuck far behind political and Pentagon bureaucratic inertia. This is where I fear for the US falling behind countries that can just say 'What the hell, let's do it'
 
Throughout history the US has found itself stuck with obsolete doctrines that have cost lives and were costly to correct. I fear the next 'big power' war won't give us the time needed to correct a future strategic shortfall.
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Offline F-14D

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #85 on: March 06, 2014, 03:38:30 pm »
The programs cancelled during the immediate post Cold War "Peace dividend" would run circles around some of the stuff still on drawing boards today.  I love it when the term "cold war weapon.." is used as a pejorative as in "old".

AIM-152 or is it -155 anyone?

Until we acknowledge a new peer competitor and /or a new national sentiment these programs will still be at best terrorist killers.  Hardly the might of the Cold War.

Everyone goes gaga at the weight of the now cancelled GCV.  Look up the FIFV of the USArmy's ASM program of the late 80s.  Just as heavy with more firepower and IIRC a 9 man squad.  They knew back then that they had to heavy up and 4 or 5 mph was no substitute for armor.

IMO, the requirements should always be build the best.  If that puts ahead of any potential threat, so be it.  But it looks bad at academic PC events.

I'm sure there are Russians who feel the same about what they were planning ~1991.

It was AIM-152, and it's discussed elsewhere on the Forum.  "Peace Dividend" may have been one of the reasons.  Another was lobbying by USAF.  Their position was that with the F-22 coming, the US had no need for a missile with capabilities such as would be provided by AIM-152.   There was also some speculation that it wouldn't fit in the internal bay of F-22A (not sure about an F-23A).  Although the Navy required that the missile be capable of being mounted and used by any aircraft that carry AIM-7 (which would include the F-15), USAF adamantly said they would never use the missile.

Also contributing was with the killing of the F-14D program, the F/A-18E/F's radar was not able to "see" as far as the missile could fly (the F-14D's could).  This was somewhat ironic because one of the answers given to concerns about the Super Hornet's A2A capability was that AIM-152 would compensate for that.  Between AF's lobbying, the "Dividend" and Navy's inability to explain why they were building a missile that their new fighter could not use to full effectiveness, Congress pulled the plug. 

They may do the same thing to UCLASS when the realization of how much it's been "dumbed" down sinks in.  In its present form, that may not be a bad thing. 

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #86 on: March 06, 2014, 03:41:29 pm »
Option 4:  Navy leaders are tired of having acquisition programs explode in their faces, so they're looking to remove all the program execution risk they can.  Removing performance removes risk (in theory, anyway).

There is a lot of talk going around that the degredation of requirements was not a Navy initiative.  This is not unprecedented.  You'll note that it was not USMC that announced it was giving up F-35Bs to buy Cs. 

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #87 on: March 06, 2014, 04:54:47 pm »

It was AIM-152, and it's discussed elsewhere on the Forum.  "Peace Dividend" may have been one of the reasons.  Another was lobbying by USAF. 
They may do the same thing to UCLASS when the realization of how much it's been "dumbed" down sinks in.  In its present form, that may not be a bad thing.

Thanks F-14D for the history of the AIM-155.  But I was only trying to use it as an example of "old" Cold War programs that blow away most if not all current programs. :-[
My fault, I did not give enough context in my post.

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #88 on: March 06, 2014, 07:39:09 pm »
So instead of having acquisition programs explode in their faces they get to have wars and dead soldiers exploding in their faces (so to speak).  "But hey, that's the next guy's problem, not mine."


Well, yes, basically.  OTOH, it is an unmanned platform, so it's not obvious that less performance really translates into dead people, just less capability.  And if the alternative is a failed program and no procurement at all, is that better or worse than cutting the specs to ensure that you get something usable?  It's not always an easy question.

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #89 on: March 07, 2014, 04:36:19 am »
So instead of having acquisition programs explode in their faces they get to have wars and dead soldiers exploding in their faces (so to speak).  "But hey, that's the next guy's problem, not mine."


Well, yes, basically.  OTOH, it is an unmanned platform, so it's not obvious that less performance really translates into dead people, just less capability. 
I meant in general, not UCLASS specifically.  Just pisses me off to no end to watch politicians gut the military so they can buy votes with more freebies.
 
 
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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #90 on: March 07, 2014, 12:33:17 pm »
So instead of having acquisition programs explode in their faces they get to have wars and dead soldiers exploding in their faces (so to speak).  "But hey, that's the next guy's problem, not mine."


Well, yes, basically.  OTOH, it is an unmanned platform, so it's not obvious that less performance really translates into dead people, just less capability. 
I meant in general, not UCLASS specifically.  Just pisses me off to no end to watch politicians gut the military so they can buy votes with more freebies.

The age we live in, unfortunately; though perhaps the times are a-changing.
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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #91 on: April 14, 2014, 09:42:00 pm »
Artist's impression of General Atomics Sea Avenger UCLASS concept

Source:
http://news.usni.org/2014/04/10/general-atomics-shows-companys-uclass-option

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #92 on: April 14, 2014, 11:13:00 pm »
Model of Lockheed Martin Sea Ghost UCLASS on display at Sea-Air-Space 2014 Exposition.

Source:
http://worlddefencenews.blogspot.com/2014_04_01_archive.html
http://www.navyrecognition.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1739
« Last Edit: April 14, 2014, 11:27:15 pm by Triton »

Offline fightingirish

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #93 on: May 23, 2014, 10:46:53 am »
Quote from: Graham Warwick, ‏@TheWoracle
@Boeing UCLASS grows a tail, loses an intake - adapted from BDS CEO Chris Chadwick's May 21 investor-day presentation
Link: www.twitter.com/TheWoracle/status/469479264321277952/photo/1


The intake is still there, just not visible in this picture.  ::) ;) :)
I presume, it is on top of the fuselage. A NACA duct like on stealthy cruise missile???
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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #94 on: May 23, 2014, 10:57:23 am »
Quote from: Graham Warwick, ‏@TheWoracle
@Boeing UCLASS grows a tail, loses an intake - adapted from BDS CEO Chris Chadwick's May 21 investor-day presentation
Link: www.twitter.com/TheWoracle/status/469479264321277952/photo/1


The intake is still there, just not visible in this picture.  ::) ;) :)
I presume, it is on top of the fuselage. A NACA duct like on stealthy cruise missile???

It may be just the picture angle but does the fuselage look bigger? I think UCLASS should accomodate a bigger payload and deeper magazine to take advantage of expected loiter TOT.
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Offline donnage99

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #95 on: May 23, 2014, 01:43:58 pm »
Bobbymike, I assume you know how big is the payload with current requirements? And how big do you think it should be in tangible terms?

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #96 on: May 23, 2014, 02:09:01 pm »
Bobbymike, I assume you know how big is the payload with current requirements? And how big do you think it should be in tangible terms?

I am not familiar with the specific payload number. I would hope you would come close to F-35C 'first day of war' high threat environment internally carried.

Any help to enlighten me is always appreciated.
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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #97 on: May 23, 2014, 03:53:51 pm »
Most recent weapon payload numbers for UCLASS Have been very modest, with the focus on ISR payloads instead. But the numbers are very very much still in flux, and new Deputy SecDef Bob Work is known to favor a very robust strike capability for UCLASS.

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #98 on: July 08, 2014, 12:27:31 pm »
Legendary Collier Trophy Awarded to X-47B Team

Published on Jul 8, 2014

According to the National Aeronautic Association, the prestigious Robert J. Collier Trophy is awarded annually "for the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America, with respect to improving the performance, efficiency, and safety of air or space vehicles, the value of which has been thoroughly demonstrated by actual use during the preceding year."


Offline bring_it_on

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #99 on: July 09, 2014, 05:18:56 pm »
Farnborough: X-47B will return to carrier for F-18 integration tests



Quote
The US Navy’s X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System-Demonstrator (UCAS-D) will deploy to sea on board the USS Theodore Roosevelt in August, it has been revealed.

Speaking to Shephard ahead of the Farnborough International Airshow, Northrop Grumman’s X-47B UCAS-D programme manager, Pablo Gonzalez was unable to confirm exactly deployment dates, adding that ‘ship schedules are classified’. However, he could confirm that the deployment would be conducted in the August timeframe.

In November 2013, X-47B deployed on board the same aircraft carrier and conducted touch and go manoeuvres, flight deck handling drills, arrested landings and catapult launches. Mission operators also monitored autonomous flight from a C2 unit from the carrier’s flight deck during each of its 45-minute sorties, the US Navy explained.

The forthcoming deployment, according Gonzalez, will demonstrate the collaboration of manned and unmanned aircraft on deck: ‘This will provide an opportunity to collect more data and demonstrate a wider range of environmental conditions. We will collect that data as the opportunity presents itself and will be doing some operations in an expanded envelope to transition from shore to ship.

‘Capabilities that were tested and demonstrated earlier this year will be used to better integrate [X-47B and the aircraft carrier] with NAS [Patuxent River],’ he continued......


Previously, X-47B has operated in collaboration with MH-60R Seahawk helicopters and various command and control aircraft, although Gonzalez stressed that forthcoming tests would ‘be more structured’ and would ‘feel much more like operations on a carrier, launching in sequence’.


http://www.shephardmedia.com/news/uv-online/farnborough-x-47b-will-return-carrier-f-18-integra/#.U71KhdaeQHU.twitter
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Offline bobbymike

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #100 on: July 09, 2014, 09:01:31 pm »
Off topic but did anyone else click on the link and get a pop-up box with a picture in the upper right corner that displayed rockets/missiles that I, at least, could not identify (can't get the pop-up to reappear if I re-click the link)
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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #101 on: July 10, 2014, 06:31:23 am »
bobbymike, try deleteing your browser cache+cookies. Then browse again to that link.


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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #102 on: July 10, 2014, 08:36:20 am »
Got the same pop-up.  The image is attached, looks to be Russian Angara space launch systems:
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angara_(rocket_family)
 
Probably this should be a separate thread.
 
 
« Last Edit: July 10, 2014, 08:44:12 am by TomS »

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #103 on: July 10, 2014, 08:45:03 am »
Thanks.  I got there with a little detective work, but it's nice to have the confirmation.

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #104 on: July 10, 2014, 10:14:16 am »
Thanks TomS!

Didn't mean to highjack the thread back to UCLASS.
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Offline bobbymike

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Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #106 on: July 14, 2014, 02:47:21 pm »
"Farnborough: UCLASS final RfP imminent"

14th July 2014 - 12:15 by Andrew White in Farnborough

Source:
http://www.shephardmedia.com/news/uv-online/farnborough-uclass-final-rfp-imminent/

Quote
The US DoD is expected to release the final Request for Proposal (RfP) for its Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) programme within the next fortnight, US Navy officials have revealed.

Speaking to the media at the Farnborough International Airshow on 14 July, USN PEO U&W, RAdm Mat Winter said the final RfP would be released shortly to the four vendors which include Lockheed Martin, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Boeing and Northrop Grumman.

However, he stressed the RfP would not be released until the ‘correct design requirements’ had been agreed across the board.

‘Discussions continue to evolve within the DoD to get the design requirements right, including continuous dialogue with congressional teammates to understand their concerns,’ Winter explained.

An RfP had initially been promised in September 2013 with the four vendors winning PDR contracts for the air vehicle design in August of the same year.

Following publication of the final RfP, vendors will have 60 days to provide their responding proposals ahead of a final source selection. A decision is expected to take approximately 10 months, Winter added.

‘We will identify a single vendor to bring to the senior leadership for the downselect contract for the air segment [of the UCLASS programme. We envision a contract award for the air vehicle segment in the second to third quarter of FY15.’

However, Winter said the programme office would not release the final RfP until the correct design requirements had been achieved, with all four vendors understanding the design space to ensure the most technologically feasible solution.

‘We are looking at requirements to make sure the CDD remains relevant and no changes are anticipate. The CCD envisaged provision of a 24/7 orbit of an aircraft carrier strike group at a tactical distance,’ he continued.

 

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #107 on: July 15, 2014, 12:59:30 pm »
"Pentagon Taking a New Look UCLASS Requirements, July Request for Proposal Delayed"
By: Sam LaGrone
Published: July 14, 2014 12:23 PM
Updated: July 14, 2014 12:24 PM

Source:
http://news.usni.org/2014/07/14/pentagon-taking-new-look-uclass-requirements-july-request-proposal-delayed

Quote
The Navy is pushing back a planned request for proposal (RfP) for its carrier-based unmanned aerial strike and surveillance aircraft pending a review of a controversial set of requirements by the Office of Secretary of Defense (OSD), defense officials told USNI News on Monday.

The delay of a planned July RfP for the Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) comes ahead of a meeting this week between Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work and Navy officials to talk about the requirements for the aircraft, Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) spokesperson Jamie Cosgrove told USNI News on Monday.

“They’re [still] putting the final touches on the RfP,” Cosgrove said.
“From our perspective, we’re still moving forward.”

NAVAIR anticipates the full RfP will be issued sometime this summer.
Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Boeing and General Atomics are all expected to submit proposals.

The Work meeting comes ahead of a planned session of the Pentagon’s Defense Acquisitions Board (DAB) — led by vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Adm. James “Sandy” Winnefeld — later this month. The DAB will give the final stamp of approval for the UCLASS RfP.

“OSD wants to have discussions about UCLASS but no formal decision has been made,” a defense official familiar with the review told USNI News on Friday.

NAVAIR and Pentagon officials pushed back against an earlier report on Friday that claimed a decision for a more permanent stop in the UCLASS acquisition came from an earlier DAB meeting.

Work’s new look comes a few months after a congressional effort to reevaluate the UCLASS requirements.

A provision in the House’s version of the Fiscal Year 2015 National Defense Authorization Act restricts a planned $403 million in UCLASS funding.

If the bill is signed, the development money will be held up until the conclusion of a new study of requirements for an unmanned carrier aircraft is delivered to Congress.

The new look highlights an ongoing debate over what role an unmanned aerial vehicle should play in a carrier strike group (CSG).

Some want the aircraft to be a well-armed, high-end and stealthy penetrator that will operate in tandem with the carrier air-wing.

Others want an efficient aircraft that will operate while the air wing is asleep, providing continuous information, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) orbits around the CSG with a light strike capability.

Work — before becoming the Pentagon’s second highest civilian — co-authored a 2008 report arguing for a high-end, carrier-based unmanned aerial vehicle able to penetrate sophisticated air defense networks.

The House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces plans to hold a UCLASS requirements hearing on Wednesday.

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #108 on: July 17, 2014, 07:55:06 pm »
"Latest UCLASS Concept Emphasizes Maritime Roles"
By: Dave Majumdar and Sam LaGrone
Published: July 17, 2014 2:30 PM
Updated: July 17, 2014 4:19 PM

Source:
http://news.usni.org/2014/07/17/latest-uclass-concept-emphasizes-maritime-roles

Offline sferrin

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #109 on: July 17, 2014, 08:41:20 pm »
This project is doomed.  More and more it's sounding like it's being run by the Keystone Cops.  For God's sake, just transition the X-47B to a development program already and call it good.
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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #110 on: July 17, 2014, 09:59:31 pm »
UCLASS and The Future of Naval Power Projection

J. Randy Forbes

July 15, 2014

Source:
http://nationalinterest.org/feature/uclass-the-future-naval-power-projection-10889

Quote
While the carrier provides the Nation with a sovereign, mobile airfield that can be positioned at the time and place of the Commander-in-Chief’s choosing, the true combat power of this naval asset resides in the composition of its Air Wing. A carrier like the USS Enterprise can have a service life that stretches from the Cuban Missile Crisis to the War on Terror, but it’s enduring utility is enabled not just by its hull-life, but by the continued modernization of aviation assets found on its flight deck. Given the scope of China’s counter-intervention modernization effort and Iran’s own anti-access/area-denial investments, I believe the future air wing must comprise a mix of manned and unmanned aircraft that provide extended-range operations, persistence, stealth, payload, and electronic warfare. Central to this mix is the Navy’s unmanned carrier-launched airborne surveillance and strike (UCLASS) system.
 
The fundamental question we face going forward is not about the utility of unmanned aviation to the future Air Wing, but the type of unmanned platform that the UCLASS program will deliver and the specific capabilities this vital asset will provide the Combatant Commander. Given the likely operational environment of the 2020s and beyond - including in both the Western Pacific Ocean and Persian Gulf - I believe strongly that the Nation needs to procure a Unmanned Combat Air Vehicles (UCAV) platform that can operate as a long-range surveillance and strike asset in the contested and denied A2/AD environments of the future. To achieve this, such a system should have broadband, all-aspect stealth, be capable of automated aerial refueling, and have integrated surveillance and strike functionality. Unfortunately, the current direction this program is taking will leave our Naval forces with a platform that I fear will not address the emerging anti-access/area-denial (A2/AD) challenges to U.S. power projection that originally motivated creation of the Navy Unmanned Combat Air System (N-UCAS) program during the 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), and which were reaffirmed in both the 2010 QDR and 2012 Defense Strategic Guidance.
 
Getting this program correct today and not returning later to address the critical operational challenges facing the carrier in the coming decade is one of the most fundamental decisions the United States can do to secure its enduring advantage in power-projection. Given this important oversight question, on Wednesday afternoon the Seapower and Projection Forces subcommittee, which I Chair, will conduct a hearing with both Navy and independent witnesses to explore this topic in-depth.
 
Specifically, the disproportionate emphasis in the requirements on unrefueled endurance to enable continuous intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) support to the Carrier Strike Group (CSG) would result in an aircraft design that would have serious deficiencies in both survivability and internal weapons payload capacity and flexibility. Furthermore, the cost limits for the aircraft are more consistent with a much less capable aircraft and will not enable the Navy to build a relevant vehicle that leverages readily available and mature technology. In short, developing a new carrier-based unmanned aircraft that is primarily another unmanned ISR sensor that cannot operate in medium to high-level threat environments would be a missed opportunity and inconsistent with the 2012 Defense Strategic Guidance which called for the United States to “maintain its ability to project power in areas in which our access and freedom to operate are challenged.”
 
The House Armed Services Committee (HASC), in its recent markup of the FY15 National Defense Authorization Act, agreed with this assessment and concluded that it believes the Navy and indeed the Nation require a long-range, survivable unmanned ISR-strike aircraft as an integral part of the carrier air wings. In contrast, the HASC also determined that developing a new carrier-based unmanned aircraft that is primarily another flying sensor would be a missed opportunity with profound consequences for the practical utility of the carrier and thus for the nation.
 
The question of UCLASS is not just one of design and capability; it is also about the role and responsibility the Congress has in cultivating, supporting, and protecting military innovation. Like with the shift from cavalry to mechanized forces, sailing ships to steam-powered vessels, the prioritization of the carrier over battleships, or adopting unmanned aerial vehicles in the late 1990s, ideas that initiate difficult changes and disrupt current practices are often first opposed by organizations and bureaucracies that are inclined to preserve the status quo. I believe the Congress has a unique role to help push the Department and the Services in directions that, while challenging, will ultimately benefit our national security and defense policy. I therefore intend to use the subcommittee hearing to explore not just the UCLASS program, but the broader utility a UCAV can have on the Navy’s ability to continue to project power from the aircraft carrier and the implications for the power projection mission in the future if we proceed down the current course. 
 
Rep. Forbes is Chairman of the House Armed Services Seapower and Projection Forces subcommittee.

Offline bobbymike

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #111 on: July 17, 2014, 10:28:59 pm »
This project is doomed.  More and more it's sounding like it's being run by the Keystone Cops.  For God's sake, just transition the X-47B to a development program already and call it good.

Well of course you have a super stealthy long range carrier launched strike platform that could revolutionize naval aviation.
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Offline sferrin

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #112 on: July 18, 2014, 09:18:33 am »
This project is doomed.  More and more it's sounding like it's being run by the Keystone Cops.  For God's sake, just transition the X-47B to a development program already and call it good.

Well of course you have a super stealthy long range carrier launched strike platform that could revolutionize naval aviation.

"The missions now in mind for UCLASS now include permissive airspace ISR and strike initially to start with, Grosklags said. As the program evolves, those missions would expand to more challenging contested littoral and coastal ISR and strike, to attacking an enemy surface action groups (SAG)."

That doesn't sound super stealthy to me.
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Offline jsport

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #113 on: July 18, 2014, 12:01:14 pm »
This project is doomed.  More and more it's sounding like it's being run by the Keystone Cops.  For God's sake, just transition the X-47B to a development program already and call it good.

Well of course you have a super stealthy long range carrier launched strike platform that could revolutionize naval aviation.

UCLASS is expensive and will not survive evolving threats alone. just like NGB it needs to be family of systems or it is just another expensive flaming wreck.

Offline sferrin

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #114 on: July 18, 2014, 12:11:00 pm »
This project is doomed.  More and more it's sounding like it's being run by the Keystone Cops.  For God's sake, just transition the X-47B to a development program already and call it good.

Well of course you have a super stealthy long range carrier launched strike platform that could revolutionize naval aviation.

UCLASS is expensive and will not survive evolving threats alone. just like NGB it needs to be family of systems or it is just another expensive flaming wreck.

You think a family of systems, that includes a bomber, is going to be cheaper than the bomber by itself?  Okay. . .
"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.

Offline bobbymike

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #115 on: July 18, 2014, 12:51:13 pm »
This project is doomed.  More and more it's sounding like it's being run by the Keystone Cops.  For God's sake, just transition the X-47B to a development program already and call it good.

Well of course you have a super stealthy long range carrier launched strike platform that could revolutionize naval aviation.

UCLASS is expensive and will not survive evolving threats alone. just like NGB it needs to be family of systems or it is just another expensive flaming wreck.

You think a family of systems, that includes a bomber, is going to be cheaper than the bomber by itself?  Okay. . .

There will already be a family of systems when UCLASS is deployed no one is suggesting it will go it alone (F-35C's, Growlers, Hawkeyes, etc.) but what sferrin is analysing from his readings is that we may no longer be looking at a super stealthy platform anymore? Something like a Predator C, maybe, as oppsed to the X-47 and other more stealthy configurations we are seeing in defense contrator marketing pictures.
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Offline jsport

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #116 on: July 18, 2014, 01:20:08 pm »
Anyone who knows even a fraction about the emerging threat knows Low density (ie few and expensive) systems such as NGB and UCLASS (as proposed expense) would be greatly missed in an overall strategy when even one is shot down. A family of other unmanned.. would "handle" that protection. NGB, being manned, is particularly threatened. 

Offline jsport

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #117 on: July 18, 2014, 01:21:11 pm »
This project is doomed.  More and more it's sounding like it's being run by the Keystone Cops.  For God's sake, just transition the X-47B to a development program already and call it good.

Well of course you have a super stealthy long range carrier launched strike platform that could revolutionize naval aviation.

UCLASS is expensive and will not survive evolving threats alone. just like NGB it needs to be family of systems or it is just another expensive flaming wreck.

You think a family of systems, that includes a bomber, is going to be cheaper than the bomber by itself?  Okay. . .

okay...

Offline bobbymike

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #118 on: July 18, 2014, 02:57:01 pm »
Anyone who knows even a fraction about the emerging threat knows Low density (ie few and expensive) systems such as NGB and UCLASS (as proposed expense) would be greatly missed in an overall strategy when even one is shot down. A family of other unmanned.. would "handle" that protection. NGB, being manned, is particularly threatened. 

Having trouble 'translating' your post what exactly are you proposing/suggesting/implying/inferring?
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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #119 on: July 18, 2014, 03:45:53 pm »
To see this turn into nothing more than a naval Reaper is heart breaking.

Appears to me that some where, some how, a concerted effort was made ti gut this project to protect some thing else. F35 by any chance?

Offline sferrin

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #120 on: July 18, 2014, 05:47:46 pm »
To see this turn into nothing more than a naval Reaper is heart breaking.

Appears to me that some where, some how, a concerted effort was made ti gut this project to protect some thing else. F35 by any chance?

The only thing it would be able to do better (in theory) than the F-35 is long range strike, and tanking.  They couldn't control battle space with it (though I don't doubt the USN realizes it would be child's play to convince politicians you could if it were cheaper). 
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Offline donnage99

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #121 on: July 19, 2014, 04:33:50 am »
Anyone think the navy should field a limited number of UCAV with moderate stealth to gain more experience and know what it wants before committing to building a larger force and more capable drone fleet? Seems to me like the requirements change so drastically that it looks like another case of navy not knowing what it wants and then politicians step in and the cost begin to rise steadily. 

Offline jsport

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #122 on: July 19, 2014, 07:55:26 am »
Anyone who knows even a fraction about the emerging threat knows Low density (ie few and expensive) systems such as NGB and UCLASS (as proposed expense) would be greatly missed in an overall strategy when even one is shot down. A family of other unmanned.. would "handle" that protection. NGB, being manned, is particularly threatened. 

Having trouble 'translating' your post what exactly are you proposing/suggesting/implying/inferring?
If a few expensive UCLASS are downed then one's SEAD strategy may be stifled.. If a family of lesser systems absorb some of the threats (will not elaborate here) to the UCLASS it might survive to accomplish the desired SEAD goal. If not SEAD may not be accomplished. Air superiority also may not then be accomplished etc etc etc..

Offline sferrin

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #123 on: July 19, 2014, 08:14:40 am »
Anyone think the navy should field a limited number of UCAV with moderate stealth to gain more experience and know what it wants before committing to building a larger force and more capable drone fleet? Seems to me like the requirements change so drastically that it looks like another case of navy not knowing what it wants and then politicians step in and the cost begin to rise steadily.

Thing is, judging by the continued effort with the X-47B, you'd think they REALLY wanted something like that.  After all, they could have tested all of those things with a craft much, much less elaborate than an X-47B.  And they have 2 of them they are continuing to test.  It's like somebody wants them, somebody else doesn't, and a 3rd "faction" doesn't know what the hell it wants. 
"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #124 on: July 19, 2014, 11:00:27 am »
"U.S. Navy's UCLASS System Comes Under Fire"
July 18, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

Source:
http://www.afcea.org/content/?q=node/13188

Quote
The U.S. Navy's pet project for a carrier-launched unmanned aerial vehicle came under fire by experts this week, who told a congressional subcommittee that the sea service’s proposal is redundant, already obsolete and will leave naval forces with a vulnerable platform.

The Navy has dedicated years toward the creation of what it calls a "persistent, aircraft carrier-based intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, targeting and strike capability to support carrier air wing operations" platform, which has become known as the Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) system.

While the Navy recently delayed release of a formal request for proposal (RFP) amid ongoing reviews and debate, leaders still want to deliver the carrier-based drone by 2020. The Navy has worked closely with industry partners on the project for the past four years, and “this close engagement has provided the Navy with significant insight into industry capabilities, which results in our confidence that affordable, technically compliant UCLASS design solutions are achievable within the targeted timeline,” Vice Adm. Paul Grosklags, USN, testified Wednesday before the House Armed Service Committee’s Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee.

“The UCLASS key performance parameters and key system attributes, as defined and documented in the service-approved capabilities document, remain consistent and stable,” says Adm. Grosklags, principal military deputy and assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition. “That document was signed over a year ago by the chief of naval operations and has not changed.”

The drone is “on path to achieve growth capability without sacrificing the affordable, near-term persistent intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR) capability,” Adm. Grosklags told lawmakers.

But a panel of civilian experts stated the designs as presented do not allow for “growth capability,” and can neither be altered easily nor cheaply to adapt to changing threats or naval needs.

The Navy’s RFP, as much as is available on open source, “fails to add any real striking power to the carrier air wing, duplicates many of the ISR systems already available to the Navy [and] does nothing to address the major threat facing the aircraft carrier” of improved missiles that can strike from even greater distances, testified Shawn Brimley, executive vice president and director of studies at the Center for a New American Security. Most troubling, Brimley adds, is that the proposal is leading the Navy down a “path that will waste precious time and money, in my view, risking our ability to integrate long-endurance, strike-capable unmanned systems into this country’s most important power projection asset: the aircraft carrier.”

Four defense industry giants are contenders for the UCLASS program: Lockheed Martin’s Sea Ghost, The Boeing Company’s Phantom Ray, General Atomics’ Sea Avenger and Northrop Grumman’s X-47B, which landed on the USS George H. W. Bush last summer and was heralded by defense leaders as overcoming a technical feat.

The UCLASS should be the next step in the evolution of the carrier air wing, but current proposals are off the mark, says Robert Martinage, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. “If you believe … it must be able to provide sea-based surveillances, strike capacity and anticipated anti-access/area-denial environments, then the Navy is well off the mark” with its current RFP, Martinage told lawmakers.

For example, capabilities such as the listed 14 hours of unrefueled endurance and 1,000 pounds of internal payload greatly reduce effectiveness.

“The opportunity cost of 14 hours of unrefueled endurance, however, comes in the form of permanent design trades that significantly reduce the aircraft’s survivability and payload carriage/flexibility—attributes needed to perform ISR and precision strike roles in [anti-access/area denial] environments. These foregone capabilities cannot be ‘bought back’ later or added to future UCLASS variants. Claims that ‘threshold growth’ and ‘objective’ requirements in the draft RFP will place competitive pressure on industry to enhance survivability and payload attributes are largely a chimera,” according to Martinage.

The subcommittee is requiring the defense secretary certify the requirements of the program before the Navy can proceed and commit further funding.

That action too, comes at a cost, if it delays the process.

“Significant reduction in [fiscal 2015] UCLASS funding or a program pause for further review of UCLASS requirements will significantly delay source-selection activities, award of a development contract to industry and will negatively impact delivery of an early operational capability,” according to Adm. Grosklags’ written testimony. “Any significant delay at this point in the program will also jeopardize continued investment and/or participation by one or more industry partners.”

Offline Triton

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #125 on: July 19, 2014, 11:09:15 am »
From February:

"Navy’s UCLASS Could Be Air to Air Fighter"
By: Dave Majumdar
February 13, 2014 7:35 AM

Source:
http://news.usni.org/2014/02/13/navys-uclass-air-air-fighter

Quote
Could the U.S. Navy’s future Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) aircraft have an air-to-air role? The service’s director of air warfare Rear Adm. Mike Manazir posed that it could during a Dec. 20 interview with USNI News.

Manazir contemplated the possibility that that the UCLASS, which is primarily being designed for the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and strike roles, could be used as a flying missile magazine which could supplement the firepower of the F/A-18E/F and F-35C Joint Strike Fighter in air-to-air combat as a robotic wingman of sorts.

“Maybe we put a whole bunch of AMRAAMs (Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile) on it and that thing is the truck,” Manazir said. “So this unmanned truck goes downtown with—as far as it can go—with a decision-maker.”

In Manazir’s vision the UCLASS could be commanded remotely from a Northrop Grumman E-2D Hawkeye or a Lockheed Martin F-35C Joint Strike Fighter flight leader.

The concept has a lot of merit, said Air Force Reserve Col. Michael Pietrucha, a former F-15E weapons systems officer and autonomous unmanned air vehicle expert in a Wednesday interview with USNI News.

“This is not beyond the state-of-the-art,” Pietrucha said.
“The difficulty is always that the aircraft it self has no judgment and no prioritization scheme and isn’t going to have the systems onboard to do all things that a fighter does.”

The solution, Pietrucha said, is to leverage the sensors, situational awareness and inherent human judgment of a fighter pilot in a manned command aircraft. The manned aircraft would detect, track and identify the target, then hand-off the target for the unmanned aircraft to engage the “bandit”—as hostile targets are known.

“The Navy is ahead of the Air Force on this,” Pietrucha said, specifically citing the Naval Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air (NIFC-CA) concept where a common air picture would be shared across multiple air platforms via a network of data-links.

Under the NIFC-CA concept, any “shooter” can fire on a target that is being tracked by a “sensor”, so long as the target is within range.

“If you solve that problem, then your missile caddy UCAV [unmanned combat air vehicle] wingman is a going concern,” Pietrucha said. “You can now target his missiles for him.”

But using an unmanned aircraft such as the UCLASS in an air-to-air role will have some disadvantages too. Air superiority fighters, particularly the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor and Boeing F-15C Eagle, use a combination of high altitudes and high supersonic speeds to impart the maximum possible launch energy to the AMRAAM to engage targets at extended ranges.

The UCLASS, however, is expected to be subsonic aircraft. As such, it will not be able to impart as much launch energy to the AMRAAM as a Boeing F/A-18 Hornet would—which itself flies at lower speeds and altitudes compared to a genuine air superiority platform like the Eagle.

“The disadvantage of your UCAV wingman is that he’s probably not going to go supersonic and shoot a missile at high altitude to get a longer range,” Pietrucha said.

But the disadvantage is not “insurmountable” however. The majority of real world AMRAAM shots have been taken at subsonic speeds at medium altitudes, Pietrucha said. Further, under certain circumstances, a subsonic unmanned aircraft could have a kinematic advantage.

For example, the manned fighter was in a defensive position at a 90 degrees angle to the target aircraft; the manned aircraft does not have many missile launch opportunities.

“Under situations where I could theoretically get a missile off, it’s going to waste a lot of it energy making 90 degrees of turn, but my UCAV can point directly at the target,” Pietrucha said.

“In that case, his kinematics are better because his missile does not have to solve the turn problem.” Effectively, an unmanned wingman would abrogate the need for a fighter to keep its nose pointed at the enemy so long as a sensor is tracking the enemy target.

But a very complex stealthy unmanned aircraft is also expensive, Pietrucha said, which necessarily means that they are not expendable to policymakers.

Using an unmanned aircraft for air-to-air combat would necessarily mean that the platform is vulnerable to return fire. But moreover, a human pilot might also intentionally sacrifice those robotic aircraft to prevent his own fighter from being shot down. “My life cannot be replaced,” Pietrucha said. “It’s not an abstract consideration in the cockpit and I’ll expend unmanned airplanes left, right and center in a way I wouldn’t even consider using my own wingman because the threat is too high.”

Pietrucha said that in the longer term he does not believe that the Pentagon would develop a supersonic unmanned fighter that could flight alongside a manned counterpart.

The reason, he said, is that cost—particularly for the-propulsion system–would rise dramatically while delivering capability inferior to a manned aircraft. A supersonic UCAV would need an expensive high-thrust engine and an area-ruled aircraft and a sizeable amount of fuel capacity—and as such the cost would be comparable to a manned platform.

“The question is are you actually saving any money or are you building a very expensive platform that is so less capable than a manned platform that it’s not worth it?” Pietrucha said.

Offline Triton

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #126 on: July 19, 2014, 11:14:10 am »
"Forbes Writes in Support of a High End UCLASS"
By: Dave Majumdar
Published: February 19, 2014 3:40 PM
Updated: February 19, 2014 3:41 PM

Source:
http://news.usni.org/2014/02/19/forbes-writes-support-high-end-uclass

Quote
A senior member of the House Armed Services Committee is imploring the U.S. Navy to ensure that the service’s forthcoming Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance the Strike (UCLASS) aircraft will be designed with enough range, payload and stealth to be relevant in a contest air environment.

“UCLASS must include a requirement for aerial refueling, survivability, lethality and payload to have enduring utility in tomorrow’s threat environment,” said Congressman Randy Forbes (R-Va.), chairman of the Seapower and Projection Forces subcommittee, in statement accompanying a Tuesday letter addressed to Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus.

Forbes’ letter comes ahead of the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) releasing a set of draft request for proposals (RfP) for the UCLASS air vehicle segment. Those draft UCLASS requirements are expected to be released before the end of March, but the exact specifications for the aircraft have been the subject of a hotly contested debate.

Nonetheless, the Navy appears to be proceeding with a design optimized for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) rather than long-range strike.

“UCLASS is a program and we will go forward and we will integrate UCLASS with its ISR, potential tanking, and its limited strike capability as the complementary force multiplier persisting capability that will ensure the carrier strike group mission is even more effective than it is today,” Rear Adm. Mat Winter, NAVAIR’s program executive officer for unmanned aviation and strike weapons told USNI News on Jan. 29.

Forbes noted in his letter that government and industry analysis has shown that broad-band stealth is required for surviving against advanced integrated air defense systems.

Forbes also reiterated that the UCLASS should have the payload capacity to carry out a wide variety of missions. “I place a premium on optimizing internal payload carriage capacity and versatility to support the simultaneous needs of both the carrier-strike group commander and the geographical combatant commander,” he wrote.

Forbes reiterated that the new aircraft should have an aerial refueling capability. “Only through in-flight refueling can a UAS [unmanned air system] sized for carrier basing achieve sortie endurances required for both responding globally to short-warning aggression irrespective of carrier positioning and, once in-theater, staging ISR and strike operations from outside the lethal envelope of an adversary’s longest-range threats,” he wrote.

Those long-range threats include a host of Chinese anti-ship cruise and ballistic missiles could pose a serious challenge to the aircraft carrier. Of particular concern to the Pentagon is the Chinese DF-21D intermediate range ballistic missile, which is designed specifically to attack aircraft carriers.

“I strongly believe that the UCLASS program represents the future of our Navy’s carrier air wing and American power projection capabilities,” Forbes said in a statement. “Getting this program right today is essential to cementing our Navy’s advantages in the decades to come.”

Offline quellish

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #127 on: July 19, 2014, 11:41:53 am »

Thing is, judging by the continued effort with the X-47B, you'd think they REALLY wanted something like that.  After all, they could have tested all of those things with a craft much, much less elaborate than an X-47B.  And they have 2 of them they are continuing to test.  It's like somebody wants them, somebody else doesn't, and a 3rd "faction" doesn't know what the hell it wants.


What the Navy really needs is two (or three) different unmanned platforms:
A RoboHoover to perform the boring, repetitive support tasks that are vital to the battle group.
A RoboAvenger to perform deep strike
And possibly a third platform to perform penetrating ISR


Moving AEW, ELINT and IFR to a non-stealthy unmanned platform makes a lot of sense, and (hopefully) would reduce costs and staffing requirements considerably.
The Navy still wants a stealthy (VLO) deep strike platform for SEAD and precision strike. This would be the "first day" capability to penetrate and negate hostile airspace.
And then there is the penetrating ISR role. It often makes a lot of sense to separate this from the deep strike mission for a lot of reasons. The survivability requirements are very different from a deep strike platform, and they are expensive. It's hard for a penetrating, persisting aircraft to be cheaper/easier to operate on the second day of a war than a deep striker.


But right now at least the Navy is mixing together some of these needs for UCLASS, which isn't a great idea.

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #128 on: July 19, 2014, 11:52:23 am »
Good overview of the UCLASS and the controversy over requirements:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unmanned_Carrier-Launched_Airborne_Surveillance_and_Strike

Offline Triton

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #129 on: July 19, 2014, 12:40:32 pm »
"Senate Panel Wants Pentagon to Craft ‘Stable Requirements’ for UCLASS"
By: Dave Majumdar
Published: July 17, 2014 4:51 PM
Updated: July 17, 2014 4:51 PM

Source:
http://news.usni.org/2014/07/17/senate-panel-wants-pentagon-craft-stable-requirements-uclass

Quote
The Senate Appropriations Committee on Defense (SAC-D) supports the U.S. Navy request for $403 million to continue the development of the Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) aircraft — with conditions.
The committee is mandating that the service get the approval of the Joint Requirements Oversight Council approval before releasing a final request for proposal, according to a copy of the committee’s mark obtained by USNI News.

“The Committee is concerned that the Navy is proceeding with UCLASS development prior to the formal establishment of stable requirements,” reads the SAC-D mark.
“For example, earlier this year, the Navy issued a second draft request for proposals for the air segment, which included changes to the key performance parameters from the original draft.”

The SAC-D language states that industry teams were forced to “significantly change their air vehicle designs” to meet the new requirements.

“This could have been avoided if the UCLASS requirements had been formally established through a Joint Requirements Oversight Council approved capability development document (CDD] prior to issuing a draft request for proposal,” the bill reads. “The Committee is concerned that the Navy is avoiding basic acquisition practices at the outset of a very large development program.”

As such, the SAC-D is mandating that the Navy get a formal approval for the UCLASS requirements from JROC before moving forward with the program.

The SAC-D move follows a House Armed Services Committee restriction of the requested funds as part of the Fiscal Year 2015 National Defense Authorization Act restricts a planned $403 million in UCLASS funding.

Until now, the Senate has been largely silent on the controversial UCLASS program.

Offline VH

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #130 on: July 19, 2014, 03:25:53 pm »
As always the old adage applies here: Prior planning prevents piss poor performance. The navy needs to prioritize the requirements for UCLASS and agree for this first stage of the program to build those top two requirements and then implement a program of gradual improvement over a well defined time frame.


We have seen it before where the military bites off more than it can chew and ends up wasting time and money on an overly ambitious and complex program that has to be scraped before completion.  Avoid another A-12

Offline sferrin

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #131 on: July 19, 2014, 04:07:52 pm »
Avoid another A-12

It could have been avoided the first time if they'd simply awarded the contract to a company who knew what they were doing re. stealth.
"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.

Offline Triton

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #132 on: July 19, 2014, 04:59:33 pm »
"Getting Unmanned Naval Aviation Right"
Shawn Brimley and Bryan McGrath   
July 16, 2014 · in Commentary

Source:
http://warontherocks.com/2014/07/getting-unmanned-naval-aviation-right/

Quote
The issue of when and how the U.S. Armed Forces fully integrate unmanned and increasingly autonomous surveillance and strike platforms into their inventory is one of the most important issues facing the Department of Defense. The Navy’s unmanned carrier-launched airborne surveillance and strike (UCLASS) program offers a test case to judge how serious the services are about ensuring carrier-based long-range strike missions in a contested environment. We are concerned that the Navy’s path to UCLASS aims too low, missing an opportunity to secure the future relevance of the carrier force, America’s primary forward-deployed, power-projection capability.

There are essentially two competing options for the unmanned system: a semi-stealthy aircraft with sufficient endurance to provide intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) and light strike in largely permissive environments; or a more capable aircraft with air-to-air refueling capability designed to operate in contested airspace for surveillance and strike missions.

Open source reporting indicates that the request for proposals is biased toward the first option: an unmanned ISR aircraft capability. This is a questionable decision given the ability of other Navy platforms to perform this mission, including the P-8 Poseidon, the MQ-4C Triton, the MQ-8C Fire Scout, and the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye. This flies in the face of authoritative guidance, including the 2012 Defense Strategic Guidance, which directed the DoD to “invest as required to ensure its ability to operate in anti-access and area denial (A2/AD) environments.” Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus also weighed in, writing at War on the Rocks in January of 2014 that “the end state (for UCLASS) is an autonomous aircraft capable of precision strike in a contested environment … It will be a warfighting machine.”

Why does the United States need such a platform? The answer to that question lies in the developing threat environment. The U.S. military enjoys a critical competitive advantage: the ability to project power thousands of miles from American shores. For much of the post-Cold War era, this capability has gone relatively unchallenged. Those days are ending as many nations have realized that the best way to counter the United States is to deny it the time and space to marshal forces and project power. China has effectively woven this approach into its military strategies, fielding a number of capabilities designed to keep U.S. naval and aerospace forces from projecting power by denying them operational sanctuary. All elements of China’s A2/AD network are cause for concern, but it is its long-range anti-ship ballistic missiles that most complicate naval airborne power projection.

A good example is China’s DF-21D missile, one that some analysts term a game-changing “carrier-killer” due to its ability to fly beyond the unrefueled range of a U.S. carrier’s strike aircraft. Enabling U.S. aircraft carriers to strike effectively over ranges much larger than the radius of an adversary’s anti-ship missiles is a sine qua non for U.S. maritime power projection. If the United States cannot do this, the nation’s aircraft carriers, and the hundreds of billions they have cost to procure and operate, will likely become irrelevant, perhaps sooner rather than later. Even worse, U.S. maritime dominance — the fundamental guarantor of freedom of the sea commons for the past 70 years — will effectively come to an end. That is a completely unacceptable outcome given the centrality of maritime power projection to U.S. national security.

Given the pace of technological diffusion and the rapidity of China’s military modernization, passing on the opportunity to field a system that can enhance the striking power of U.S. aircraft carriers seems particularly unwise — especially when all of the Navy’s carrier-based unmanned aircraft developmental efforts to date have been aimed at reducing technical risk on just this class of system.

The House Armed Services Committee recently acted to withhold funding for UCLASS until Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel certifies the final requirements. We urge the Senate to join the House in this provision and we urge Sec. Hagel to set a high bar for UCLASS. The stakes are high. If the United States fields a carrier-based unmanned combat air system within the next decade, it will go a long way toward ensuring that tomorrow’s adversaries fear the U.S. aircraft carrier and the long-range combat-strike power it can unleash. It will set the Department of Defense on the right path toward securing America’s military-technical dominance for the next generation.

Shawn Brimley is Executive Vice President and Director of Studies at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). Mr. Brimley served in the Pentagon and White House during the Obama Administration’s first term.

Offline jsport

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #133 on: July 20, 2014, 05:17:05 am »
terms like "largely permissive" and "semi-stealth" means some snake oil has entered argument.  Areas are either permissive or increasingly "very unpermissive". 

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #134 on: July 20, 2014, 10:20:01 am »


It could have been avoided the first time if they'd simply awarded the contract to a company who knew what they were doing re. stealth.


Therefore it is agreed: No half stepping this time around. When drafting the requirements for UCLASS we need to go for broke. Even if it takes a little longer to become operational.

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #135 on: July 20, 2014, 12:26:26 pm »
It could have been avoided the first time if they'd simply awarded the contract to a company who knew what they were doing re. stealth.
Therefore it is agreed: No half stepping this time around. When drafting the requirements for UCLASS we need to go for broke. Even if it takes a little longer to become operational.

Refer to quoted article from March:

"Requirements Debate Continues to Delay UCLASS RFP"
By: Dave Majumdar
Published: March 24, 2014 10:23 AM
Updated: March 24, 2014 10:41 AM

Source:
http://news.usni.org/2014/03/24/requirements-debate-continues-delay-uclass-rfp

Quote
The Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) has pushed back the release of the draft Request for Proposals (RFP) for the U.S. Navy’s Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) aircraft because the service’s top leadership has not yet signed-off on those specifications.

“The draft RFP will be released in next few weeks,” wrote NAVAIR spokeswoman Jamie Cosgrove in a Monday email to USNI News.

NAVAIR had originally hoped to release the draft RFP before the end of March for the Navy’s first fixed-wing, production unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to operate from a carrier deck, but sources inside the Navy say that the top leadership at the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV) is still arguing about if the service needs a highly capable UCLASS immediately or a more basic airframe that could be upgraded over time.

However, NAVAIR has been pushing to release the draft RFP to industry sooner rather than later.

“NAVAIR is pressing to release the UCLASS draft RFP, but CNO [Chief of Naval Operations] and SECNAV [Secretary of the Navy] sign-offs are needed before that can happen,” an industry source told USNI News.
“We expect to receive an update to the aircraft specifications along with the draft RFP.”

While NAVAIR’s PMA-268 UCLASS program office is confident that the service’s leaders will sign-off on the draft RFP, when that might happen is still unclear.

Industry teams have pushed back against developing a very capable UCLASS because such an aircraft would have significantly different specifications from the machines the four contractor teams have been developing under the program’s Preliminary Design Review (PDR) phase. Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and General Atomics Aeronautical System Inc. are all working on UCLASS designs under PDR contracts.

Further, service sources say that a more capable UCLASS air vehicle would cost upwards of $100 million per aircraft versus a unit cost of $35 million to $50 million per jet as set forth under the PDR requirements.

Given the sheer expense of a high-end UCLASS, the service simply cannot afford such an aircraft in the current fiscal environment, a number of sources argue.

Some within NAVAIR advocate building a basic airframe to gain operational experience with flying a combat-capable unmanned aircraft from a carrier before embarking on a more ambitious project like a deep penetrating strike aircraft.

Theoretically, the air vehicle would be a modular component of the overall UCLASS system and therefore it should be comparatively simple to build a more capable follow-on aircraft later.

Rear Adm. Mat Winter, NAVAIR program executive officer for unmanned aviation and strike weapons, told USNI News in a January interview that the top-level UCLASS requirements have remained fixed since the spring of last year but the detailed specifications have been refined.

The requirements, Winter said at the time, call for the UCLASS to be capable of providing the carrier with 24-hour persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) coverage at “tactically significant” ranges and limited strike capabilities at mid- to long- ranges.

That vision for the program falls in line with a series of key performance parameters obtained by USNI News last year that called for an ISR platform that would operate off cycle — when the rest of the carrier air wing is off duty.


The UCLASS could also potentially act an aerial refueling tanker to take some of the burden off the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fleet.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2014, 12:51:46 pm by Triton »

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #136 on: July 20, 2014, 06:17:28 pm »
If a few expensive UCLASS are downed then one's SEAD strategy may be stifled.. If a family of lesser systems absorb some of the threats (will not elaborate here) to the UCLASS it might survive to accomplish the desired SEAD goal. If not SEAD may not be accomplished. Air superiority also may not then be accomplished etc etc etc..

That's what MALD & MALD-J are for

Offline VH

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #137 on: July 20, 2014, 08:04:53 pm »
@Triton


So it sounds like from the tone of your post that you agree with this statement that you posted:


"..Some within NAVAIR advocate building a basic airframe to gain operational experience with flying a combat-capable unmanned aircraft from a carrier before embarking on a more ambitious project like a deep penetrating strike aircraft...."







Offline Triton

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #138 on: July 20, 2014, 09:07:14 pm »
No, I am not agreeing or disagreeing with that statement. I have no personal opinion concerning UCLASS.  I quoted the article to add to the discussion. I believe NAVAIR currently believes that a Tomcat-sized deep-penetrating stealthy strike UCLASS is unlikely to happen given sequestration, a $100 million plus per plane price tag, technical risk, contractor push back, and internal debate over the complexity of UCLASS.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2014, 09:15:59 pm by Triton »

Offline marauder2048

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #139 on: July 20, 2014, 11:18:07 pm »
No, I am not agreeing or disagreeing with that statement. I have no personal opinion concerning UCLASS.  I quoted the article to add to the discussion. I believe NAVAIR currently believes that a Tomcat-sized deep-penetrating stealthy strike UCLASS is unlikely to happen given sequestration, a $100 million plus per plane price tag, technical risk, contractor push back, and internal debate over the complexity of UCLASS.


As much as it pains me to say, after the F-14D, A-6F, A-12, N-ATF, A/F-X and the Super Bug, NAVAIR is getting the adult supervision (in congressional and other forms) that it might very well need.

The stakes for UCLASS are extremely high; if UCLASS miscarries, NAVAIR will likely be relegated to a consultant-only role on a joint (RAND report be damned)
F-X/NGAD/F/A-XX faster than you can say "JSF."

Offline bring_it_on

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #140 on: July 21, 2014, 06:47:21 am »
I do not see that happening for many reasons (time lines mainly). What would most likely happen if the UCLASS Final RFP takes a decade or more   ;D (or if it gets completely screwed up as a program) is that the USN would need to shift its strategy towards a more upgraded Fifth generation fighter. I would like to see the F-22 brought back but its most likely going to be a super Lightning II.
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Offline Triton

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #141 on: July 21, 2014, 12:07:56 pm »
"Pentagon’s No. 2 to Meet with Navy to Discuss UCLASS"
By Kris Osborn Monday, July 14th, 2014 6:10 pm
Posted in Air, Naval

Source:
http://www.dodbuzz.com/2014/07/14/pentagons-no-2-to-meet-with-navy-to-discuss-uclass-requirements/

Quote
The Pentagon’s No. 2 official will meet with Navy officials to discuss requirements for the service’s carrier drone development program as the release date for the formal request for proposal slides to the right, Navy officials said.

Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work and other top Pentagon officials will meet with the Navy as part of a larger meeting with all the services to discuss the Defense Department’s aviation portfolio. Following this portfolio review, the Pentagon’s Defense Acquisition Board will meet later this month to provide final approval on the requirements for the Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike system, or UCLASS.

The Navy had planned to issue the formal RFP by the end of July and that still could happen, it appears that August seems more likely. The U.S. Naval Institute first reported the upcoming meeting between Work and Pentagon officials and the Navy regarding the UCLASS requirements.

The UCLASS program has faced a series of ongoing Pentagon reviews of the requirements for the drone following criticism from lawmakers that said the Navy is not designing enough stealth and pay load capabilities into the first version of the aircraft.

Rear Adm. Mathias Winter, Program Executive Officer, unmanned aviation and strike weapons, addressed some of these concerns and the overall health of the program Monday at the Farnborough International Airshow outside London.

“An analysis of alternatives already identified that this warrants a Navy unique capability. Our job now is to ensure we have the right set of design requirements to give to industry to deliver that capability,” Winter said.

The ongoing reviews regarding the UCLASS drone’s mission scope, design and requirements for the program do not appear to be derailing or delaying the Navy’s plans for the program, said Winter.

Last summer, the Navy awarded four contracts valued at $15 million for preliminary design review for the UCLASS to Boeing, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman

Winter said a formal Request for Proposal detailing program requirements will be released within the next several weeks, an initiative which will formally start the process moving toward formal source selection. A 10-month long selection process will follow the release of the RFP.

“The final RFP will be given to the four vendors. They will have 60-days to refine their proposals. At that time we will begin formal source selection and we will evaluate the proposals,” he added.

Since the Navy had said they planned to release the RFP this month, it remains to be seen whether the RFP can be released before August after the DAB was forced to be pushed back.

Navy officials maintain that a slight delay, if it even happens, would be a minor developmental in light of the overall positive progress of the program and the drone’s technology.

Correction: On Friday, DoDBuzz had reported the Navy was considering the creation of a new joint capabilities development document. Navy officials said Monday this is not the case. DoDBuzz also incorrectly stated that the DAB had recently met to discuss the final UCLASS requirements.

Offline TomS

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #142 on: July 21, 2014, 12:12:07 pm »
Considering that Work is known to advocate a high-capability UCLASS, my suspicion here is that the Navy came in with a less-capable aircraft that they think is a safer solution and Work is pushing them to restore the higher specs. 

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #143 on: July 21, 2014, 03:00:39 pm »
So it looks like UCLASS is getting downgraded into a Predator-C type aircraft as opposed to something stealthier like the X-47B. Is the Navy looking to first prove carrier-based UAVs are worth the investment before funding anything more advanced?

While it's out of the question for now, was there any interest in supersonic UCAVs previously?
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Offline Moose

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #144 on: July 21, 2014, 03:17:11 pm »
Considering that Work is known to advocate a high-capability UCLASS, my suspicion here is that the Navy came in with a less-capable aircraft that they think is a safer solution and Work is pushing them to restore the higher specs.
This is the feeling I've gotten as well. Work's no Puzzle Palace tyrant, he's not going to demand program changes without giving the Navy the chance to makes its case face-to-face. But it would not surprise me in the least to see UCLASS specs bump up noticeably in the wake of this meeting.

Offline Sundog

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #145 on: July 21, 2014, 03:59:38 pm »
How much of this is due to lobbying behind the scenes by NG, LM, and Boeing, saying they have been designing these advanced capabilities to meet this role for at least a decade now, and now the program is going to the new kid on the block that isn't building parts in all of the politicians home states? I would like to know which politicians think the platform isn't capable enough, just to learn which states they're from.

Offline quellish

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #146 on: July 21, 2014, 04:40:11 pm »
So it looks like UCLASS is getting downgraded into a Predator-C type aircraft as opposed to something stealthier like the X-47B. Is the Navy looking to first prove carrier-based UAVs are worth the investment before funding anything more advanced?

While it's out of the question for now, was there any interest in supersonic UCAVs previously?


X-47B is "low observable representative" - meaning it's not LO, but, uh, could be. Someday. It's (generic) configuration could be made low observable, but it wasn't built for it, and it has some serious weaknesses that would need to be addressed. X-47B spent a lot of time on LM's Helendale pole. X-47A as originally flown was also "low observable representative".


Predator-C/Avenger *is* low observable, today.


So in the scenario you're describing, it wouldn't be a downgrade ;)

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #147 on: July 21, 2014, 05:05:51 pm »
Ah, thanks for the info. So the X-47 and presumably Boeing's X-45 were just the general shape without all the refinements and RAM?
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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #148 on: July 21, 2014, 05:28:19 pm »
So it looks like UCLASS is getting downgraded into a Predator-C type aircraft as opposed to something stealthier like the X-47B. Is the Navy looking to first prove carrier-based UAVs are worth the investment before funding anything more advanced?

While it's out of the question for now, was there any interest in supersonic UCAVs previously?


X-47B is "low observable representative" - meaning it's not LO, but, uh, could be. Someday. It's (generic) configuration could be made low observable, but it wasn't built for it, and it has some serious weaknesses that would need to be addressed. X-47B spent a lot of time on LM's Helendale pole. X-47A as originally flown was also "low observable representative".


Predator-C/Avenger *is* low observable, today.


So in the scenario you're describing, it wouldn't be a downgrade ;)


I see what you mean, and that could well be...that being said, we're talking a tailless cranked kite configuration made by a company whose LO heritage goes back to XST,  versus a wing and tail configuration of a company with no previous experience. All things equal, the latter should have an RCS advantage.

Props to GA for building a prototype with their own funds and going the extra mile and making it fully LO (Is that what you mean by "Predator-C is low observable today"? I did not know that :o ) . However, do we have any reason to doubt that given an actual reason to do so, NG would have any problems putting RAM and other treatments on the X-47B and make it LO? I mean, considering LO was not and objective of the X-47B test program, it's not surprising they eschewed the cost, right? Can you elaborate on the  "serious weaknesses"?
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Offline quellish

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #149 on: July 21, 2014, 07:52:06 pm »


I see what you mean, and that could well be...that being said, we're talking a tailless cranked kite configuration made by a company whose LO heritage goes back to XST,  versus a wing and tail configuration of a company with no previous experience. All things equal, the latter should have an RCS advantage.

GA has done their homework, and had a lot of help.

Props to GA for building a prototype with their own funds and going the extra mile and making it fully LO (Is that what you mean by "Predator-C is low observable today"? I did not know that :o ) . However, do we have any reason to doubt that given an actual reason to do so, NG would have any problems putting RAM and other treatments on the X-47B and make it LO? I mean, considering LO was not and objective of the X-47B test program, it's not surprising they eschewed the cost, right? Can you elaborate on the  "serious weaknesses"?



The X-47B made a lot of LO compromises to meet the needs of the demonstration, which is why it's considered "LO representative". The configuration isn't inherently flawed, but the USN requirements drove OML changes that are not so good for the stealthy. Slapping magical RAM on it won't fix these issues. I'll see if I can find a more specific public reference.
You can make some educated guesses from the full sized pole model:
http://www.thehowlandcompany.com/gallery/Northrop-LM_Helendale_RCS_X-47B_testing.htm




On the other end, the A model was super nifty but not well suited to carrier approaches.


Fun fact: Avenger's home happens to be where Northrop's XST entry was (initially) tested.

Offline AeroFranz

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #150 on: July 21, 2014, 08:29:02 pm »
ok, Thanks for interesting tidbits. By all means do share what public domain document you feel appropriate. Thanks! ;)
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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #151 on: July 21, 2014, 11:40:25 pm »
ok, Thanks for interesting tidbits. By all means do share what public domain document you feel appropriate. Thanks! ;)


I was reading one a few days ago that had at least one specific LO trade off for X-47b. Went looking for it, didn't find it, but found an interesting RAND study that is relevant to the discussion:
ADA523431.pdf
« Last Edit: July 22, 2014, 12:05:46 am by quellish »

Offline jsport

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #152 on: July 22, 2014, 04:56:33 am »
If a few expensive UCLASS are downed then one's SEAD strategy may be stifled.. If a family of lesser systems absorb some of the threats (will not elaborate here) to the UCLASS it might survive to accomplish the desired SEAD goal. If not SEAD may not be accomplished. Air superiority also may not then be accomplished etc etc etc..

That's what MALD & MALD-J are for
long know MALD, if MALD-J is in service getting there..If MALD-V better..If  low cost slower stealth carrying MALD-V supporting UCLASS much better. Confidence in leadership to properly analyze....

Offline bring_it_on

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #153 on: July 22, 2014, 05:19:21 am »
One also has to keep in mind that the USN's approach with the NGJ program is to make it modular with elements incorporated into various other tactical platforms including stealth fighters of the future. Perhaps the Navy intends to put some of this on the UCLASS in the future- for self protection. The major point of contention would be payload and size as these are virtually impossible to change without some serious money.
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Offline Triton

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #155 on: July 31, 2014, 02:21:21 pm »
"UCLASS Requirements Shifted To Preserve Navy’s Next Generation Fighter"
By: Dave Majumdar and Sam LaGrone
Published: July 31, 2014 3:49 PM
Updated: July 31, 2014 4:53 PM

Source:
http://news.usni.org/2014/07/31/uclass-requirements-shifted-preserve-navys-next-generation-fighter


Quote
The striking power and stealth of the U.S. Navy’s Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) concept was reduced to protect the role of the service’s next-generation of manned fighters, USNI News has learned.

In particular, the change in UCLASS from a deep strike stealthy penetrator into the current lightly armed intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) focused aircraft was — in large part — to preserve a manned version of the F/A-XX replacement for the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, several Navy, Pentagon and industry sources confirmed to USNI News.

Industry, Pentagon and Navy sources outlined a, “bureaucratic and cultural resistance to the introduction of unmanned aircraft onto the carrier.”

Those sources outline a conflict inside the service between naval aviation traditionalists locked onto preserving manned strike aircraft against separate elements that want to shift more of the burden of strike to unmanned systems.


“Broadly speaking, the naval aviation community is kind of one mind on UCLASS and unmanned systems on carriers,” a former senior naval official familiar with the ongoing UCLASS requirements discussion told USNI News on Monday.
“If you didn’t want that unmanned air vehicle to compete with what’s likely to be a manned replacement for the F/A-18, what would you do? You’d make it ISR only or ISR/limited strike and make it for a low threat environment so that it really can’t complete against a manned fighter.”

Affordability

Specifically, preservation of F/A-XX — a key modernization program of the Navy aviation requirements in early studies — as a manned strike fighter was a instrumental in shifting the tenor of the program, several sources told USNI News.

However, the Navy says there is no direct connection.

“The Navy is conducting analyses to develop a follow-on system to replace the F/A-18E/F fleet,” Rob Koon, a spokesman for Program Executive Officer for Tactical Aircraft Programs [PEO(T)] at the Naval Air Systems Command, said in a Thursday statement provided to USNI News.

“This is a separate and distinct process from the UCLASS program and acquisition strategy.”

Though the relationships are technically separate, according to one source, the Navy has neither the financial nor the political clout to simultaneously develop three expensive and high-end aviation programs — UCLASS, F/A-XX and the Lockheed Martin F-35C Lighting II.

The challenges of developing a trio of high dollar warplanes at once and the latent cultural resistance to unmanned strike aircraft in naval aviation circles made an ISR centric UCLASS and easier win for the service, several sources confirmed.

Affordability of UCLASS has come up often in the development of the program and has been a key tenant of the program since its requirements shift in late 2012 and subsequent April 2013 approval by chief of naval operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert.

“As this is the first-ever carrier based unmanned system, we have exercised due diligence and great discipline in the formulation of the design requirements and business strategy to ensure we balance affordability with required capability to meet our warfighter’s requirements, on time, on cost,” wrote Rear Adm. Mat Winter, NAVAIR’s PEO Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons (U&W).

“With that, our approved acquisition strategy will ensure we deliver an affordable, relevant, and enduring unmanned carrier capability that will meet fleet requirements and revolutionize carrier air wing operations for decades to come.”

Supporters of the current UCLASS acquisition strategy include Adm. James Winnefeld, the vice-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who also chairs the Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC), Sean Stackley, assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition (RDA) and the N98 (aviation requirements) and N2/N6 (information dominance) branches of the in the office of chief of naval operations (OPNAV), several sources told USNI News

For Unmanned Strike

While the program requirements are set, as far as the Navy’s concerned, there is push back on the ISR UCLASS from Congress, academics and other elements inside the Pentagon.

The Senate Appropriations Committee on Defense (SAC-D) asked for a clearer definition of requirements in its Fiscal Year 2015 budget act mark and Rep Randy Forbes (R-Va.), chairman of the House Armed Services Seapower and Projection Forces subcommittee, has been a supporter of a high-end UCLASS concept.

The National Defense Panel — the independent oversight body for the Pentagon’s Quadrennial Defense Review — issued its full throated support for a high-end and unmanned carrier aircraft on Thursday.

“We believe it is also critical to ensure that U.S. maritime power projection capabilities are buttressed by acquiring longer-range strike capability – again, manned or unmanned (but preferably stealthy) – that can operate from U.S. aircraft carriers or other appropriate mobile maritime platforms to ensure precise, controllable, and lethal strike with greater survivability against increasingly long-range and precise anti-ship cruise and ballistic missiles,” read the findings.

Other major proponents inside the Pentagon of a multirole UCLASS capable of operating against an anti-access/area denial threat environment include deputy defense secretary Bob Work, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, Michael Vickers, under secretary of defense for intelligence, Christine Wormuth, under secretary of defense for policy and the director of cost assessment and program evaluation Jamie Morin, several sources told USNI News.

The Pentagon is taking a second look at the requirements.

The final Request for Proposal (RfP) for UCLASS to industry has been delayed pending a planned August review of the requirements by Work’s office, USNI News has learned.

Work has been among other leaders who favor a long-range strike optimized UCLASS that can perform raids inside highly contested airspace or against a powerful enemy surface action group composed of air warfare destroyers with advanced air defenses.

Some of these latest enemy warships are equipped not only with high-frequency targeting radars but are also equipped with low-frequency radars that can see tactical fighter-sized stealth aircraft.

Further, as signal processing improves, it is becoming possible to discern a weapons quality track from low-frequency radar—which means broadband all-aspect stealth is a must, sources said.

Such a broadband stealth aircraft might be the only means of destroying such enemy warships other than by using submarines or long-range anti-ship cruise missiles.

Further, a UCLASS-type aircraft needs to be have the range to allow the aircraft carrier to stand-off from the enemy—which could threaten the giant warships with anti-ship cruise or ballistic missiles, the former official said.

The typical off-shore zone a where a carrier used to be able to operate with impunity a decade ago is not longer safe—which means tactical fighters may be of limited use in those scenarios.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2014, 02:25:51 pm by Triton »

Offline bring_it_on

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #156 on: July 31, 2014, 02:47:50 pm »
Pretty lame excuse but one could see it coming. There is no way the UCLASS could fully replace the SH mission set and if anything offloading some of the strike mission would mean that they could streamline the design requirements on the FA-XX more on air defense.
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Offline sublight is back

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #157 on: July 31, 2014, 03:21:02 pm »

Industry, Pentagon and Navy sources outlined a, “bureaucratic and cultural resistance to the introduction of unmanned aircraft onto the carrier.”


This is incredibly disturbing. How did these people even transition from sails to propellers and from horses to the automobile?

Offline sferrin

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #158 on: July 31, 2014, 04:46:19 pm »

Industry, Pentagon and Navy sources outlined a, “bureaucratic and cultural resistance to the introduction of unmanned aircraft onto the carrier.”


This is incredibly disturbing. How did these people even transition from sails to propellers and from horses to the automobile?

I think they looked at things like the X-47B, thought to themselves, "I'll bet it would be a piece of cake to convince your average politician that it could do air combat in place of F/X-XX" and that was that.   Never mind that anybody with more than two functioning brain cells knows there's no way it could, we're talking about politicians here so. . .
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Offline Moose

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #159 on: August 01, 2014, 03:15:08 am »

Industry, Pentagon and Navy sources outlined a, “bureaucratic and cultural resistance to the introduction of unmanned aircraft onto the carrier.”


This is incredibly disturbing. How did these people even transition from sails to propellers and from horses to the automobile?
This happens with every new technology all the time in every service, pushing through it is always a pain but eventually it happens.

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #160 on: August 01, 2014, 05:48:48 am »
This is incredibly disturbing. How did these people even transition from sails to propellers and from horses to the automobile?

 
Not really surprising -- managing technological change is hard, especially when there is any uncertainty about the effectiveness of that technology.  Seriously, it's hard to blame them for being nervous.  The high-spec UCLASS advocates are asking the Navy to hang it's future carrier-based strike capacity on a largely unproven concept.  No one has done strike in denied airspace using a high-performance drone, even without the potential challences of adding carrier compatibility to the requirements.  I'd want to take a few baby steps first too.  Problem is, the budget environment won't let them both continue known apparoaches and seriously test novel ones.
 
 

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #161 on: August 01, 2014, 11:11:45 am »
This is incredibly disturbing. How did these people even transition from sails to propellers and from horses to the automobile?

 
Not really surprising -- managing technological change is hard, especially when there is any uncertainty about the effectiveness of that technology.  Seriously, it's hard to blame them for being nervous.  The high-spec UCLASS advocates are asking the Navy to hang it's future carrier-based strike capacity on a largely unproven concept.  No one has done strike in denied airspace using a high-performance drone, even without the potential challences of adding carrier compatibility to the requirements.  I'd want to take a few baby steps first too.  Problem is, the budget environment won't let them both continue known apparoaches and seriously test novel ones.

I believe that it is more institutional resistance within Naval Aviation of moving the pilot out of the cockpit to a console rather than the technical risk. UCAVs and other drones are a threat to manned fighters and other manned aircraft/helicopters. A deep-strike UCLASS is not only a threat to F/A-XX, but to existing F-18 and F-35 fighter aircraft. Proper pilots fly airplanes rather than teleoperate remotely-piloted vehicles. What are the career prospects for a console jockey within the Navy and later civil aviation?
« Last Edit: August 01, 2014, 11:36:57 am by Triton »

Offline sferrin

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #162 on: August 01, 2014, 11:41:40 am »
This is incredibly disturbing. How did these people even transition from sails to propellers and from horses to the automobile?

 
Not really surprising -- managing technological change is hard, especially when there is any uncertainty about the effectiveness of that technology.  Seriously, it's hard to blame them for being nervous.  The high-spec UCLASS advocates are asking the Navy to hang it's future carrier-based strike capacity on a largely unproven concept.  No one has done strike in denied airspace using a high-performance drone, even without the potential challences of adding carrier compatibility to the requirements.  I'd want to take a few baby steps first too.  Problem is, the budget environment won't let them both continue known apparoaches and seriously test novel ones.

I believe that it is more institutional resistance within Naval Aviation of moving the pilot out of the cockpit to a console rather than the technical risk. UCAVs and other drones are a threat to manned fighters and other manned aircraft/helicopters. A deep-strike UCLASS is not only a threat to F/A-XX, but to existing F-18 and F-35 fighter aircraft. Proper pilots fly airplanes rather than teleoperate remotely-piloted vehicles. What are the career prospects for a console jockey within the Navy and later civil aviation?

It's only a threat because politicians would think it could perform missions it couldn't. Air combat for instance. Unfortunately much of the public is similarly misinformed.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2014, 11:43:55 am by sferrin »
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Offline donnage99

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #163 on: August 01, 2014, 12:31:55 pm »
It's only a threat because politicians would think it could perform missions it couldn't. Air combat for instance. Unfortunately much of the public is similarly misinformed.
That, but also, any future manned fighter has to be multirole, and I think that's what they were afraid of.  A highly capable deep strike UCAV would take away some of those capabilities where another case of f-22 with only air to air requirements, and limited ground capabilities, will happen again, and of course, face the whole cancellation thing.  These days, anything not multirole is as good as dead, so sad.

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #164 on: August 07, 2014, 08:05:34 pm »
"Crunch Time For UCLASS: USD Kendall, Rep. Forbes, & The Requirements Fight"
 by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on August 05, 2014 at 6:28 PM

http://breakingdefense.com/2014/08/crunch-time-for-uclass-usd-kendall-rep-forbes-the-requirements-fight/

Offline Moose

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #165 on: August 08, 2014, 10:39:00 pm »
Is rep. Forbes ready to mark up the Navy's budget so they can afford the stealthy penetrating bomber he wants, or is he asking them to do it within their current topline? They already cannot afford the ships their requirements state they need, and the F-35 is eating the aviation budget alive.

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #167 on: August 23, 2014, 06:12:59 pm »

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #168 on: August 23, 2014, 06:36:57 pm »
http://breakingdefense.com/2014/08/art-of-the-possible-navy-defends-goals-for-uclass-drone-as-decision-looms/

That is one hell of a depressing read. I'm a layman, but even I know that this is a terrible mistake.

That they're scaling way back from an X-47B class or the whole concept in general?
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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #169 on: August 24, 2014, 04:05:21 am »


That they're scaling way back from an X-47B class or the whole concept in general?

That they are scaling way back nothing more than a jet powered Reaper type. My friend flew A-6 Intruders and even he cannot see why the USN is opting for such a lowly goal even if manned jet types feel a little put out. The US carrier is about force projection yet its reach is the shortest its ever been since ww2. Sad days.

Offline sferrin

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #170 on: August 24, 2014, 09:37:54 am »


That they're scaling way back from an X-47B class or the whole concept in general?

That they are scaling way back nothing more than a jet powered Reaper type. My friend flew A-6 Intruders and even he cannot see why the USN is opting for such a lowly goal even if manned jet types feel a little put out. The US carrier is about force projection yet its reach is the shortest its ever been since ww2. Sad days.

I'd have to agree with you there.  The utility of an X-47B-type aircraft would be difficult to overstate.  With it's large volume, internal weapons bays, and (theoretically) a pair of pylons it could serve as a tanker as well leaving Super Hornets to actually fight, in addition to restoring the long range strike capability lost with the retirement of the A-6s.
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Offline donnage99

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #171 on: August 24, 2014, 10:38:51 am »
F-35 is a vortex sucking money and political will to restore the navy to its "vision of the future" back in the late 80s and early 90s.  There's simply no money for anything more serious than a surveillance drone that eyeball a couple of guys with ak-47 in a pickup truck.  And then there's the establishment that will strike down anything that makes the f-35 look bad. 

Offline donnage99

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #172 on: August 24, 2014, 11:01:21 am »
If by "crap" you meant "flame war" in which you had personally chosen to be involved in, then you should change both the tone and the attitude.  It's a not about whether I personally like the f-35 or not, but a realistic assessment which was admitted by the Navy.  Rather than a criticism of the f-35 (which it isn't), my opinion only speaks of the current political structure of the military that prevents the navy from fulfilling its dreams. 


Btw, drop the "we," you can only speak for yourself. 


Offline donnage99

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #173 on: August 24, 2014, 11:10:46 am »

Do you really think anybody else enjoys your frequent treading the line of starting up the flame war again?  Trying to slip in a jab here and there and then proclaiming innocence?


I don't remember the last time I "slip in a jab" against the f-35 nor that such behavior, if ever existed, was "frequent." But of course, you are free to interpret it however you want.  Let's just move on. 

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #174 on: August 24, 2014, 11:14:26 am »

Do you really think anybody else enjoys your frequent treading the line of starting up the flame war again?  Trying to slip in a jab here and there and then proclaiming innocence?


I don't remember the last time I "slip in a jab" against the f-35 nor that such behavior, if ever existed, was "frequent." But of course, you are free to interpret it however you want.  Let's just move on.

Fair enough.
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Offline shedofdread

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #175 on: August 26, 2014, 07:22:23 am »
http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/us-navy-poised-for-uclass-bidding-after-unmanned-demo-402852/?cmpid=NLC|FGFG|FGFIN-2014-0826-GLOB&sfid=70120000000taAh
 
An interesting article for, if nothing else, it illustrates one of the problems with operating tailless platforms - namely their lack of CLmax and the implications thereof for ops aboard ship.

Offline sferrin

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #176 on: August 26, 2014, 08:03:10 am »
http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/us-navy-poised-for-uclass-bidding-after-unmanned-demo-402852/?cmpid=NLC|FGFG|FGFIN-2014-0826-GLOB&sfid=70120000000taAh
 
An interesting article for, if nothing else, it illustrates one of the problems with operating tailless platforms - namely their lack of CLmax and the implications thereof for ops aboard ship.

*cough* Skyray, Skylancer, Cutlass. . .
« Last Edit: August 26, 2014, 08:09:13 am by sferrin »
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Offline shedofdread

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #177 on: August 26, 2014, 08:34:44 am »

*cough* Skyray, Skylancer, Cutlass. . .

 
And they had such illustrious careers...  ;)  Seriously, obviously they can be made to work but the lack of a tailplane does hold them back (can't trim to such a high CLmax with all that brings). However, all of engineering is a compromise and one presumes the -ve aspacts of a design with a reduced signature is a price worth paying.
 
 

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #178 on: August 26, 2014, 08:55:19 am »

*cough* Skyray, Skylancer, Cutlass. . .

 
And they had such illustrious careers...  ;)   

Blame the engines not the tail.  (And the Skyray wasn't that bad. If it was they wouldn't have tried to reuse the design with the Skylancer.)
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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #179 on: August 30, 2014, 03:14:15 am »
UCLASS RFP Delayed Again.
Quote
The final request for proposal (RFP) for the Navy’s planned carrier-based unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has been delayed pending a review of the service’s information, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) portfolio as part of the service’s budget process this fall, Navy officials told USNI News on Friday afternoon.

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #180 on: September 01, 2014, 03:01:13 pm »
UCLASS RFP Delayed Again.
Quote
The final request for proposal (RFP) for the Navy’s planned carrier-based unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has been delayed pending a review of the service’s information, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) portfolio as part of the service’s budget process this fall, Navy officials told USNI News on Friday afternoon.

This line just make me go 'Yeah you people know what's needed.'
Quote
A second group has called for a stealthy heavily armed UAV that would significantly extend the range of U.S. carriers beyond the current 450 nautical range of the current crop of manned strike aircraft
If the USN wants only a permissive environment UAV, why the whole effort of the J-UCAS (Yeah I know it split so the USAF could go their own way) but really? nothing better than launching a Reaper off a carrier? That's not progress or a value for money exercise in my humble opinion.
 

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #181 on: September 01, 2014, 04:42:01 pm »
If the USN wants only a permissive environment UAV, why the whole effort of the J-UCAS (Yeah I know it split so the USAF could go their own way) but really? nothing better than launching a Reaper off a carrier? That's not progress or a value for money exercise in my humble opinion.

IMO it smacks of, "we need to buy something so it doesn't look like we've squandered years with nothing to show for it".   Really a shame that, after all the success they've had with the X-47Bs, that nobody seems to have the spine to say, "this is what we need".  You can be certain that China won't be making that mistake.
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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #182 on: September 01, 2014, 05:26:55 pm »
I look at the J-UCAS split and wonder if the USAF saw the writing on the wall all those years ago - and decided that if the USN wasn't going to go all in for a stealthy penetrating airframe they were going to jump ship with plenty of time to get their own effort finalised.
 
I'd Love to know what the USAF did end up making though!
 
PS
 
As for China? No, they seem to know that 'He who controls the skies controls the battlefield.'

Offline bobbymike

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #183 on: September 01, 2014, 08:01:25 pm »
If the USN wants only a permissive environment UAV, why the whole effort of the J-UCAS (Yeah I know it split so the USAF could go their own way) but really? nothing better than launching a Reaper off a carrier? That's not progress or a value for money exercise in my humble opinion.

IMO it smacks of, "we need to buy something so it doesn't look like we've squandered years with nothing to show for it".   Really a shame that, after all the success they've had with the X-47Bs, that nobody seems to have the spine to say, "this is what we need".  You can be certain that China won't be making that mistake.

Hope it's not the short sighted 'We don't want it to replace manned aircraft' concern.
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Offline donnage99

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #184 on: September 01, 2014, 09:02:37 pm »
Hope it's not the short sighted 'We don't want it to replace manned aircraft' concern.

It's actually been admitted by the Navy that it's part of the reasons.  However, it's a money issue, and the success of the x-47b doesn't reflect what the program might look like if we go for a high end uav.  x-47b was simply a  demonstrator for carrier usage.  Building a actual operational high end uav would face the same challenges and the cost overrun and delays as all recent high end manned aircraft effort (though slightly less as flight testing isn't as vigorous as manned aircraft).  That's the driving force behind some in the navy wanting to dump down requirements.  Repeatedly, the navy has had its ass handed to them by whatever the secretary of defense at the time whenever they tried to get something meaningful on the carriers deck.  It only makes sense they are scared now. 

To me the choosing of the super hornet over the A/F-X marked the end of true American Naval ambition - the shift from "let's get what we really want" to "let's settle with something that won't get cut." 

Offline LowObservable

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #185 on: September 02, 2014, 03:38:11 am »
More stealth = More money. And there's only one place to find that money in NavAir budgets.

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #186 on: September 02, 2014, 05:07:50 am »
More stealth = More money. And there's only one place to find that money in NavAir budgets.
God forbid we cut the exorbitant amount we're paying for entitlements in order to properly fund a military. 
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Offline Tailspin Turtle

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #187 on: September 02, 2014, 08:49:35 am »
Building a actual operational high end uav would face the same challenges and the cost overrun and delays as all recent high end manned aircraft effort (though slightly less as flight testing isn't as vigorous as manned aircraft).

My guess is that flight testing a UAV will require less effort than a manned aircraft will be proven to be as fallacious as the prediction that software-driven flight control systems would be much quicker and less expensive to modify (develop and fix) than mechanical ones. At least the latter wasn't the case on the XV-15 (mechanical) versus V-22 (fly-by-wire) programs in my personal experience. Note that some (most?) of the advanced UAV designs crashed early on in flight test; crash investigation and replacement of air vehicles is time consuming and expensive.

Offline marauder2048

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #188 on: September 02, 2014, 02:32:01 pm »
More stealth = More money. And there's only one place to find that money in NavAir budgets.

E-2D, P-8, MQ-4C, Super Bug, F-35, MH-60R, MH-60S, V-22, MQ-8, H-1, H-53, KC-130J ??


Offline F-14D

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #189 on: September 02, 2014, 03:59:02 pm »

If the USN wants only a permissive environment UAV, why the whole effort of the J-UCAS (Yeah I know it split so the USAF could go their own way) but really? nothing better than launching a Reaper off a carrier? That's not progress or a value for money exercise in my humble opinion.

The operative phrase here is "...USN wants...".   Maybe it's not what USN "wants" as much as what they were told to take (it's happened before).  When the dumbing down of UCLASS was announced it clearly caught a lot of people in NAVAIR  by surprise and was quite controversial.  With truly humble mien I wold like to refer to my opining on this subject here:

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,16346.msg214463.html#msg214463
« Last Edit: September 02, 2014, 04:00:33 pm by F-14D »

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #190 on: September 02, 2014, 04:09:53 pm »

The operative phrase here is "...USN wants...".   Maybe it's not what USN "wants" as much as what they were told to take (it's happened before).  When the dumbing down of UCLASS was announced it clearly caught a lot of people in NAVAIR  by surprise and was quite controversial.  With truly humble mien I wold like to refer to my opining on this subject here:

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,16346.msg214463.html#msg214463

Oh man... the USN is in a whole world of hurt if its a three way furball. The F-35 lobby should be mega happy that there will be a second strike element with them that can take off some of the heat. I know, naïve I know, but seriously? I'd want to pack the deck with enough power to take on any threat, not just little brown men running round in the sand.
 

Offline F-14D

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #191 on: September 02, 2014, 04:24:18 pm »

The operative phrase here is "...USN wants...".   Maybe it's not what USN "wants" as much as what they were told to take (it's happened before).  When the dumbing down of UCLASS was announced it clearly caught a lot of people in NAVAIR  by surprise and was quite controversial.  With truly humble mien I wold like to refer to my opining on this subject here:

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,16346.msg214463.html#msg214463

Oh man... the USN is in a whole world of hurt if its a three way furball. The F-35 lobby should be mega happy that there will be a second strike element with them that can take off some of the heat. I know, naïve I know, but seriously? I'd want to pack the deck with enough power to take on any threat, not just little brown men running round in the sand.
 

Personally, I don't give much credence to theory 1, just reporting it.  Theory 2 is always in play and you can't discount  3.  It's one thing to have non-survivable drones flying around potting individuals or small groups, it's a whole 'nother thing with a real deep strike capability.  I note the quietly announced direction to the Navy to terminate Tomahawk production after this FY. 

Offline LowObservable

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #192 on: September 03, 2014, 09:21:51 am »
Raiding Medicare to pay for Uclass is a decision above Navair's pay grade, by a notch or two.


There is a combination of factors at work. Cost is one. Risk is another (Navy's history with LO, much less unmanned). Yes, reluctance to let the unmanned camel's nose inside the tent (Navy air has seen what happened to AF pilots) combined with the concern that a land-attack platform will get carriers diverted to support counter-terrorism one-off ops.

Offline Flyaway

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #193 on: January 24, 2015, 11:58:00 am »
The program gets discussed briefly in this recent AW article in regards to the 2016 budget request.

Quote
Unmanned Carrier-Launched Surveillance and Strike (Uclass) Aircraft: The Navy’s decision on whether to move ahead with Uclass will be a strategic bellwether for the service’s ambitions in unmanned aircraft technology. The Navy has long sought a marriage of unmanned aircraft and the persistence and flexibility offered by aircraft carriers. Through Uclass, the Navy hopes to field a small number of unmanned intelligence-collecting aircraft on the carrier; eventually they would operate alongside F/A-18EFs and F-35Cs. Questions of whether to prioritize stealth over payload have plagued Uclass with delays. But, in the current fiscal environment, Pentagon officials are now wrestling not with how to proceed but whether to do so. Should the program move forward, bids are expected from Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, General Atomics and Boeing.

http://m.aviationweek.com/blog/10-things-watch-2016-budget-request

Offline Flyaway

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #194 on: February 02, 2015, 10:54:01 am »
Really not looking good for this program.

Quote
Unmanned aviation fares poorly in R&D as spending on the Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike program drops $265 million to $138 million, and MQ-4C drops $271 million to $229 million. R&D for a new amphibious combat vehicle for the Marine Corps jumps $115 million to $219 million.

http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense/policy-budget/budget/2015/02/02/navy-budget-request-2016-marine-corps/22735331/

Offline bring_it_on

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #195 on: February 02, 2015, 01:56:36 pm »
Wouldn't be surprised if they canned it at this point, although a lower request could be a result of delaying everything including the RFP.
Old radar types never die; they just phased array - Unknown

Offline Flyaway

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #196 on: February 02, 2015, 02:28:16 pm »
Wouldn't be surprised if they canned it at this point, although a lower request could be a result of delaying everything including the RFP.

I wonder if they'll even get the RFP issued this year.

Offline aim9xray

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #197 on: February 02, 2015, 02:46:14 pm »
Quote
WASHINGTON, Feb 2 (Reuters) - The U.S. Navy on Monday said  it would delay a competition for a new carrier-based unmanned  strike and surveillance plane until fiscal 2016 to allow completion of a comprehensive review of requirements.             

Rear Admiral William Lescher, deputy assistant secretary of  the Navy for budget, told reporters during a budget briefing  that the Navy had delayed its target for early operational use  of the new unmanned planes until 2022 or 2023.

The Navy had hoped to kick off the competition for a new  Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance Strike (UCLASS)  program last fall, but delayed the release of a request for  proposals given affordability concerns and a Pentagon-wide  review of intelligence and surveillance programs.

Companies expected to compete for the program are Northrop  Grumman Corp, maker of the X-47B unmanned, unarmed plane  that has already been tested on U.S. carriers, Boeing Co,  Lockheed Martin Corp, and privately held General  Atomics.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli) 

Offline Triton

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #198 on: February 04, 2015, 10:10:41 am »
"Navy Pushes UCLASS Fielding Date, Air Segment Request for Proposal"
By: Sam LaGrone
February 2, 2015 7:42 PM

Source:
http://news.usni.org/2015/02/02/navy-pushes-uclass-fielding-date-air-segment-request-proposal

Quote
PENTAGON – The Navy has pushed its planned fielding date for its carrier-based unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) from 2020 to 2022 or 2023, a Navy budget official told reporters in a late Monday afternoon briefing on the Navy’s Fiscal Year 2016 budget request to Congress.

In addition to the delay in initial fielding, the service has decided to push the request for proposal of the air segment of the Unmanned Carrier Launched Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) into Fiscal Year 2016 pending the completion of an ongoing Office of Secretary of Defense (OSD) comprehensive information, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) UAV review, said Rear Adm. William Lescher, the Department of the Navy’s (DoN) deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for budget.

“Work on the other UCLASS segments – such as the carrier segment and the control system and connectivity segment – associated programs of record – such as stand up of the integration labs and test facilities continues throughout the requirement and review process in order to reduce cost and mitigate overall program risk,” he said.

The Navy included a modest $135 million for research and development efforts for the program, a significant drop from the FY 2015 request of $403 million.

The previous UCLASS funding is shackled to legislation that require several studies and reports to Congress on the Navy’s intentions for the final platform.

The character of UCLASS – known internally to Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) as RAQ-25 – was hotly debated in the Pentagon and on Capitol Hill throughout last year.

The Navy’s plan called for a long range ISR platform that would operate while the aircraft carrier’s air wing was not flying with a limited ability for strike and could provide a much needed aerial refueling capability to the carrier air wing.

The service’s pitch was a shift from the original vision for a large carrier-based UAV that would extend the lethal reach of the carrier strike group with a stealthy penetrating strike aircraft with a weapon payload the equivalent of a F-35C Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).

“The Navy may have made an appropriate set of trade-offs between costs and capabilities in deriving a set of requirements for UCLASS, but those trade-offs should be evaluated in the context of the overall CSG capability, not on the basis of individual capabilities of weapons systems or an unconstrained budget,” according to a report from the compromise 2015 defense legislation.

NAVAIR initially intended to issue the RFP – directly to Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, General Atomics and Boeing – for the entire UCLASS system in September of 2014 but that plan was paused pending the overarching OSD review.

Sean Stackley assistant secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition (RDA), told reporters last month the ongoing OSD review had informed enough of the program to move ahead with the FY 2016 submission.

“We did an extensive portfolio review on unmanned – not just UCLASS – in the fall review as part of the budget process,” Stackley said.
“There’s more work to be done and that will continue on into this calendar year as we prepare for [2017 budget request].”

Offline Triton

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #199 on: February 04, 2015, 10:54:25 am »
Model of Northrop Grumman X-47B found on eBay. Not sure if this tiny model is of interest to anyone, but I included a link just in case.

Source:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/UCAV-X47-Concept-Model-Plane-Northrop-Grumman-VERY-RARE-/181655998515?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2a4b8a9033
« Last Edit: February 09, 2015, 12:26:35 pm by Jemiba »

Offline Flyaway

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #200 on: February 04, 2015, 03:36:19 pm »
Is the funding they have requested enough to keep the X-47B flying?

They might as well get as much data out of the program as they can in the meantime.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2015, 03:38:05 pm by Flyaway »

Offline bring_it_on

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #201 on: February 05, 2015, 05:40:50 am »
This funding is for the UCLASS program. The X-47 (funded through the UCAS-D) vehicles would be retired at the end of September. 
Old radar types never die; they just phased array - Unknown

Offline Triton

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #202 on: February 05, 2015, 12:32:50 pm »
A good reminder of the UCLASS proposals to the United States Navy:

"Navy Carrier drone selection in 2015 and first flight 2018"
Feb 04, 2015

Source:
http://nextbigfuture.com/2015/02/navy-carrier-drone-selection-in-2015.html?m=1

Quote
The United States Navy's Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) program is to develop an aircraft carrier-based unmanned aerial vehicle to provide an unmanned intelligence and strike asset to the fleet. The UCLASS will be "an autonomous aircraft capable of precision strike in a contested environment, and it is expected to grow and expand its missions so that it is capable of extended range intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, electronic warfare, tanking, and maritime domain awareness. After the selection in 2015, a prototype Uclass drone should be flying in 2018 and should be deployed about 2022-2023. The program is funded in the most recent 2016 Pentagon budget proposal.

One of four designs will be selected in 2015:

1. Northrop Grumman is offering a design based off their X-47B demonstrator

Grumman X-47B

2. Lockheed Martin is offering the Lockheed Sea Ghost

Lockheed Seaghost


3. Boeing is offering a design that may be based off the Phantom Ray


Boeing Phantom Works has studied a UCLASS design featuring moderate stealth capabilities and long endurance.

4. General Atomics is offering the Sea Avenger, a naval version of their original land-based Avenger.

Offline bring_it_on

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #203 on: February 05, 2015, 12:43:05 pm »
Northrop Halts, Lockheed Slows Uclass As U.S. Navy Punts Again

Quote
Uclass could have been stunted due to advances by the Air Force and CIA in developing its stealthy RQ-180 unmanned reconnaissance system, which is thought to be entering operations this year. Details have not been released by the Pentagon, but the Air Force acknowledged its existence in December 2013 in response to an Aviation Week query. The RQ-180 is being developed as a stealthy, penetrating intelligence collector that would assume the role once held by the SR-71 in being able to surveil well-defended targets around the globe.

Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Virginia), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, said during a Feb. 3 Defense Writers Group breakfast in Washington that the discussion about Uclass was mired in classified restrictions. "I wish I could be more specific with you on the Uclass," he said. "I am pretty comfortable at this particular point in time, although most of the conversations are on a classified level. But I’m pretty comfortable with the direction … I’m not trying to be vague. I just don’t want to go to jail."

Aviation Week Aerospace Daily & Defense Report Feb 04, 2015   
Old radar types never die; they just phased array - Unknown

Offline Flyaway

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #204 on: February 05, 2015, 01:48:38 pm »
This funding is for the UCLASS program. The X-47 (funded through the UCAS-D) vehicles would be retired at the end of September.

Thanks for that clarification.

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #205 on: February 09, 2015, 10:44:08 am »
Sold for US $260.00.

Offline bring_it_on

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #206 on: February 11, 2015, 11:49:49 am »
38:00 onwards:

Old radar types never die; they just phased array - Unknown

Offline quellish

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #207 on: February 11, 2015, 10:29:40 pm »

Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Virginia), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, said during a Feb. 3 Defense Writers Group breakfast in Washington that the discussion about Uclass was mired in classified restrictions. "I wish I could be more specific with you on the Uclass," he said. "I am pretty comfortable at this particular point in time, although most of the conversations are on a classified level. But I’m pretty comfortable with the direction … I’m not trying to be vague. I just don’t want to go to jail."

Aviation Week Aerospace Daily & Defense Report Feb 04, 2015



Previous DoD statements/releases about UCLASS shed light on what this about.
Persons briefed on the current direction of UCLASS are not allowed to discuss the movie "Swordfish".

Offline bobbymike

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #208 on: February 16, 2015, 11:01:50 am »
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

Charles W. Eliot

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #209 on: February 16, 2015, 11:19:54 am »
The sole imperative of a government, once instituted, is to survive.

Offline sferrin

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #210 on: February 16, 2015, 12:08:32 pm »
And this folks is why modern weapons take so damn long from initial design to in service. 
"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.

Offline Flyaway

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #211 on: February 16, 2015, 01:26:47 pm »
http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/navy-delays-fielding-uclass-to-2023-408650/?cmpid=NLC|FGFG|FGUAV-2015-0216-GLOBnews&sfid=70120000000taAj

Looks like UCLASS is dead, baring a miracle.

Rather early to pronounce that, these sort of projects have a tendency to slip.

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Offline Flyaway

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #213 on: February 26, 2015, 02:47:57 am »
Perhaps they are going to use a variant of the RQ-180 after all that appears to have been developed from a program that was originally a joint airforce navy project.

Either way it sounds like the preeminence of stealth in the design has won out.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2015, 02:55:27 am by Flyaway »

Offline Grey Havoc

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #214 on: February 26, 2015, 03:02:02 am »
Perhaps they are going to use a variant of the RQ-180 after all that appears to have been developed from a program that was originally a joint airforce navy project.

Either way it sounds like the preeminence of stealth in the design has won out.

Doubtful. It's more likely that attempting to take the program black is the last card left to play in trying to save the program.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2015, 03:08:15 am by Grey Havoc »
The sole imperative of a government, once instituted, is to survive.

Offline Flyaway

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #215 on: February 26, 2015, 04:55:22 am »
Perhaps they are going to use a variant of the RQ-180 after all that appears to have been developed from a program that was originally a joint airforce navy project.

Either way it sounds like the preeminence of stealth in the design has won out.

Doubtful. It's more likely that attempting to take the program black is the last card left to play in trying to save the program.

Do they think they'll be less political interference if its in the black or more the case less public scrutiny?

Offline Grey Havoc

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #216 on: February 26, 2015, 05:20:39 am »
Do they think they'll be less political interference if its in the black or more the case less public scrutiny?

Trying to avoid political interference (and not just from outside the Navy) would definitely be a major consideration.
The sole imperative of a government, once instituted, is to survive.

Offline sublight is back

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #217 on: February 26, 2015, 06:58:32 am »
http://aviationweek.com/defense/opinion-looking-answers-navy-s-uclass-mystery?NL=AW-19&Issue=AW-19_20150226_AW-19_762&sfvc4enews=42&cl=article_6&YM_RID=CPEN1000000230026&YM_MID=1825

UCLASS now a 'black program'

Hahaha! I just had that debate with LowObservable not two weeks ago on why the Air Force classified everything LRS-B and now the Navy has followed in their footsteps. I guess he has seen the light....
« Last Edit: February 27, 2015, 08:05:06 am by flateric »

Offline Flyaway

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #218 on: February 26, 2015, 10:24:41 am »
Do they think they'll be less political interference if its in the black or more the case less public scrutiny?

Trying to avoid political interference (and not just from outside the Navy) would definitely be a major consideration.

The problem is you're really only defering the issue as you might well keep political interference out of things during the development phase but at some point it will still have to face wider political involvement when it comes to trying to obtain funding for actual full scale production just as the LRS-B is about too.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2015, 11:53:04 am by Flyaway »

Offline LowObservable

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #219 on: February 27, 2015, 07:58:44 am »
There's nothing in there about "taking UCLASS black". The reverse is equally likely.

Offline bobbymike

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #220 on: February 27, 2015, 12:08:37 pm »
There's nothing in there about "taking UCLASS black". The reverse is equally likely.

Here's how the link to the article read in the AW&ST email I received;

"The story of the Navy’s stealth unmanned air vehicle has taken some new turns. Is a secret project behind the changes?"

Plus from the article:

"U.S. Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.), a member of the cabal that has been pushing for a high-end Uclass, was discreet in an early-February discussion. “I’m pretty comfortable with the direction that the program is taking,” he said. “I’m not trying to be vague. I just don’t want to go to jail.”

"P-AEA appears in no known plan, but you need not dig very deep into the Air Force’s fiscal 2016 budget to find $7 billion in classified acquisition money that is neither part of the cash that the Pentagon launders for the intelligence community, nor the LRSB."

"What follows is a speculative scenario, an exercise in the risky art of connect-the-dots:

A classified P-AEA program started in 2011-12. It may have involved flight demonstrations. Quite recently, Boeing won it, hence McNerney’s confidence about St Louis’s future. It’s been designated RAQ-25, indicating it has a strike capability, and as well as pathfinding for the LRSB, it takes on the MQ-X role. RAQ-25 is somewhere in that $7 billion slush fund.

Work’s comments about “capabilities that we already have” indicate he and other leaders are pushing for a joint Air Force/Navy program based on the RAQ-25. The delay in Uclass allows time for a carrier variant to be demonstrated, and competitors have deemed the battle half over."

------------------------------------------------------------
I apologize if I inferred incorrectly that UCLASS will have a new black mission as P-AEA or are you saying we will have UCLASS and there is a whole other program for a secret P-AEA? Or is UCLASS a new classified RAQ-25?

« Last Edit: February 27, 2015, 12:13:44 pm by bobbymike »
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Offline marauder2048

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #223 on: February 27, 2015, 11:18:27 pm »
There's nothing in there about "taking UCLASS black". The reverse is equally likely.

Here's how the link to the article read in the AW&ST email I received;

"The story of the Navy’s stealth unmanned air vehicle has taken some new turns. Is a secret project behind the changes?"

Plus from the article:

"U.S. Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.), a member of the cabal that has been pushing for a high-end Uclass, was discreet in an early-February discussion. “I’m pretty comfortable with the direction that the program is taking,” he said. “I’m not trying to be vague. I just don’t want to go to jail.”

It would take all of the money in that so-called $7 billion slush fund to come up with a definition of "cabal" that factually reflects
Chairman Forbes & Co.'s advocacy for UCLASS.

Offline Moose

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #224 on: February 28, 2015, 12:04:44 am »
Doubtful. It's more likely that attempting to take the program black is the last card left to play in trying to save the program.
Im afraid I can't agree with your theory; such a move would be a possible gambit if UCLASS were facing the knife but that hasn't been the program's problem. The UCLASS problems were mostly about disagreement over what the aircraft's capabilities should be, there really hasn't been any pressure to just kill it. And if they were trying to "hide" it in the Black program, Forbes wouldn't be talking about it in the positive manner he is. I may not be his biggest fan, but he's not dim.

Offline Flyaway

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #225 on: February 28, 2015, 06:33:04 am »
Hasn't that quote been taken somewhat out of context as wasn't he just talking about negotiations over the RPFs being classified rather than the program as a whole.

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #226 on: March 24, 2015, 04:43:47 pm »
McCain Weighs in on UCLASS Debate, Current Navy Requirements ‘Strategically Misguided’
By: Sam LaGrone
March 24, 2015 7:04 PM

Source:
http://news.usni.org/2015/03/24/mccain-weighs-in-on-uclass-debate-current-navy-requirements-strategically-misguided


Quote
The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) is calling on the Department of Defense and the Navy to develop a stealthy and lethal unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for the Navy’s Unmanned Carrier Launched Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) aircraft, according to a Tuesday letter to Secretary of Defense Ash Carter obtained by USNI News.

In his letter to Carter, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) encouraged the Navy and the Pentagon to craft an aircraft that features broadband stealth, an internal weapons payload of 4,000 pounds and a days long refueled mission endurance — capabilities that don’t align to the Navy’s last reported list of requirements.

“I am concerned that the current requirements proposed for the UCLASS program place a disproportionate emphasis on unrefueled endurance to enable sustained ISR support for the carrier strike group, which would result in an aircraft design with serious deficiencies in both long-term survivability and its internal weapons payload capacity,” read the letter.
“Developing a new carrier-based unmanned aircraft that is primarily an ISR platform and unable to operate effectively in medium- to high –level threat environments would be operationally and strategically misguided.”

Most recently, the Navy has said it wants a UCLASS that would serve primarily as information, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) asset that carrier strike group (CSG) would use between periods of manned flights able to fly unrefueled for up to 4,000 nautical miles and posses the ability to strike uncontested targets.

In addition to his stance on the requirements of UCLASS, McCain called for the Navy to conduct additional testing with the two Northrop Grumman X-47B Unmanned Combat Air Systems Demonstration (UCAS-D) aircraft.

McCain’s position reflects the vision of a carrier UAV with the equivalent payload of a Lockheed Martin F-35C Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) that was first expressed as part of the 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review.

Largely silent on the issue last year, McCain’s entrance into the UCLASS debate follows frequent and pointed questions from House Armed Services Seapower and Projection Forces subcommittee chairman Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) on the Navy’s direction of the program.

Last year, restrictions on funding for the UCLASS program and an internal Pentagon review of the joint portfolio of ISR UAVs placed a pause on the request for proposal (RfP) for the air segment of the system until Fiscal Year (FY) 2016, officials said during the release of the FY 2016 budget.

Defense officials reached Tuesday by USNI News said the internal Pentagon ISR review — started by Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work last year — is still ongoing.

McCain’s letter also follows closely the release of the latest Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard strategy revision emphasizing an “All Domain Access” capability to counter emerging anti-access area denial (A2/AD) threats around the world.

In February, Work said UCLASS would need to fit into the larger portfolio of U.S. military unmanned systems.

“We decided this year we were almost ready to launch the RFP but we decided to take a pause because we want to consider the UCLASS as part of the joint family of unmanned surveillance and strike systems and make sure that we’re going after the right capabilities,” Work said during the WEST 2015 conference in San Diego, Calif.

“In addition to looking at capabilities that we already have and using them differently, we’re going to make sure in this environment, that when we go after a new platform, it’s the platform that we need from a joint perspective.”

The Navy, however, is still working on the ground segment and other components of UCLASS — believed to be called RAQ-25 by the service — pending the results of the ongoing review and the start of a competition of the air segment of the program, Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) officials told USNI News last week.

Four companies —Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Atomics and Northrop Grumman— have received preliminary contracts from NAVAIR to develop concepts for UCLASS ahead of the FY 2016 RfP.

As a result of the pause, the service has pushed UCLASS initial fielding from 2020 to 2022 or 2023.

Offline bobbymike

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #227 on: March 25, 2015, 03:08:13 pm »
It would be interesting to have an 'almost' strategic ranged aircraft (albeit with a fairly small payload when compared with a strategic bomber) fly off a carrier deck. There is obviously a lot of worry, IMO, about China's A2AD weapon systems like the so-called carrier killer IRBMs and the need to keep the carrier as far away from, hence more open ocean, the coast of a certain Asian country.
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

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Offline Mat Parry

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #228 on: March 25, 2015, 04:29:07 pm »
It would be interesting to have an 'almost' strategic ranged aircraft (albeit with a fairly small payload when compared with a strategic bomber) fly off a carrier deck. There is obviously a lot of worry, IMO, about China's A2AD weapon systems like the so-called carrier killer IRBMs and the need to keep the carrier as far away from, hence more open ocean, the coast of a certain Asian country.

Will be easier/cheaper for:
1) China to evolve IRBMs of increased range
OR
2) US to develop a carrier based UAV "that features broadband stealth, an internal weapons payload of 4,000 pounds and a days long refueled mission endurance"?

(Of course, obtaining precise targeting data for the missiles may require China to develop platforms that even up the cost/difficulty equation).

Offline bobbymike

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #229 on: March 25, 2015, 08:12:20 pm »
It would be interesting to have an 'almost' strategic ranged aircraft (albeit with a fairly small payload when compared with a strategic bomber) fly off a carrier deck. There is obviously a lot of worry, IMO, about China's A2AD weapon systems like the so-called carrier killer IRBMs and the need to keep the carrier as far away from, hence more open ocean, the coast of a certain Asian country.

Will be easier/cheaper for:
1) China to evolve IRBMs of increased range
OR
2) US to develop a carrier based UAV "that features broadband stealth, an internal weapons payload of 4,000 pounds and a days long refueled mission endurance"?

(Of course, obtaining precise targeting data for the missiles may require China to develop platforms that even up the cost/difficulty equation).

Missed one other potential cost:

3) be forced closer and closer to those missiles and increase the chances of losing a $12 billion carrier or I guess around $15 billion with the potential loss of the air wing as well.

I would much prefer the US develop a ship that carries IRBM of even longer range and bombard key defense sites but there does not seem to be any plans for that.
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

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Offline bobbymike

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Offline Flyaway

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #231 on: May 05, 2015, 03:41:28 pm »
Debate over UCLASS capabilities increases programme risk, auditors warn.

http://www.janes.com/article/51133/debate-over-uclass-capabilities-increases-programme-risk-auditors-warn

Offline Triton

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #232 on: May 05, 2015, 04:21:17 pm »
"Document: GAO Report on Navy UCLASS Requirements"
Source:
http://news.usni.org/2015/05/04/document-gao-report-on-navy-uclass-requirements

Quote
Document: GAO Report on Navy UCLASS Requirements
May 4, 2015 12:31 PM • Updated: May 5, 2015 7:34 AM

The following is Government Accountability Office report, Unmanned Carrier-Based Aircraft System: Navy Needs to Demonstrate Match between Its Requirements and Available Resources. The report was released on May 4, 2015.

Offline seruriermarshal

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #233 on: May 10, 2015, 01:48:05 am »
X-47B

Offline Flyaway

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #234 on: May 20, 2015, 10:33:53 am »
Boeing ‘Very Disappointed’ With Pentagon’s Uclass Delay.

http://m.aviationweek.com/defense/boeing-very-disappointed-pentagon-s-uclass-delay

Mabus: UCLASS Will Act As Bridge To Autonomous Strike Fighter

The Navy envisions the Unmanned Carrier-Launched Surveillance and Strike system as a bridge to its autonomous strike fighter, according to service Secretary Ray Mabus.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2015, 10:57:58 am by Flyaway »

Ian33

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #235 on: May 20, 2015, 03:44:12 pm »
“If the industry is to continue investing in these opportunities, the Defense Department has to solidify its requirements. It does nobody any good to do R&D for the sake of R&D.”


That must of hurt big time to.go.all out for the stealth ride and have it swept Into a Naval Reaper type...

Offline sferrin

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #236 on: May 20, 2015, 07:19:04 pm »
“If the industry is to continue investing in these opportunities, the Defense Department has to solidify its requirements. It does nobody any good to do R&D for the sake of R&D.”


That must of hurt big time to.go.all out for the stealth ride and have it swept Into a Naval Reaper type...

Yep.  You won't see China make that mistake.
"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.

Offline donnage99

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #237 on: May 20, 2015, 11:57:12 pm »
China isn't anywhere near fielding a stealth strike fighter as the US, so obviously it would have more political room to field a high end stealth ucav. 


PS. Anyone knows anything about the recent rumors of China developing a naval large stealthy uav to help locate the US carriers for their missiles? 

Offline TomS

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #238 on: May 21, 2015, 09:24:59 am »
I think you grabbed the wrong video. 
 
I think this might be the UAV he has in mind:
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guizhou_Soar_Dragon
 
 

Offline donnage99

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #239 on: May 21, 2015, 05:58:58 pm »
I don't think so.  I saw an article of wind tunnel testing of a large uav with joint bodies design.  It looks like 2 flying wings attached together.  One in the back, and the smaller one in the front. 

Offline Sentinel36k

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #240 on: May 21, 2015, 08:46:02 pm »
UCLASS Testimony from the CSBA

Sentinel

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #241 on: May 21, 2015, 11:54:28 pm »
I don't think so.  I saw an article of wind tunnel testing of a large uav with joint bodies design.  It looks like 2 flying wings attached together.  One in the back, and the smaller one in the front.

Weird.  I got something about carbon fiber layup machines

Offline quellish

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #242 on: May 23, 2015, 05:05:37 pm »
UCLASS Testimony from the CSBA

Sentinel


This explains the issues with this program far better than anything I have seen previously.

Offline marauder2048

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #243 on: May 24, 2015, 02:15:30 am »
UCLASS Testimony from the CSBA

Sentinel


This explains the issues with this program far better than anything I have seen previously.

Yep. A tremendous NAVAIR penetrating asset with great payload allied to great range and endurance ...enabled by Air Force tankers.
Though I suppose P8 could be modified to serve the latter's role.

Offline quellish

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #244 on: May 24, 2015, 02:27:26 am »


Yep. A tremendous NAVAIR penetrating asset with great payload allied to great range and endurance ...enabled by Air Force tankers.
Though I suppose P8 could be modified to serve the latter's role.


No. The Navy's 12 hour requirement is driving compromises that neuter the platform - a requirement that is not grounded in reality.
Why wouldn't the UCLASS be a tanker?

Offline marauder2048

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #245 on: May 24, 2015, 04:30:12 am »


Yep. A tremendous NAVAIR penetrating asset with great payload allied to great range and endurance ...enabled by Air Force tankers.
Though I suppose P8 could be modified to serve the latter's role.


No. The Navy's 12 hour requirement is driving compromises that neuter the platform - a requirement that is not grounded in reality.
Why wouldn't the UCLASS be a tanker?

The central assumption in the CSBA testimony is that Air Force tankers are available; P8 might be able to fill that role.

Offline totoro

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #246 on: May 24, 2015, 05:35:41 am »
The guy also very clearly specifies the need for the uclass requirement to both receive and give fuel. So basically a buddy IFR system.
www.youtube.com/c/binkovsbattlegrounds - military analysis videos

Ian33

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #247 on: May 24, 2015, 09:46:01 am »
The guy also very clearly specifies the need for the uclass requirement to both receive and give fuel. So basically a buddy IFR system.


Just give the contract to the 47B and have done with it. It's got the legs, the capability, was designed from the outset to take internal fuel cells buddy buddy air to air fuelling..... This is just an absolute waste of time.

Offline sferrin

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #248 on: May 24, 2015, 11:48:13 am »
The guy also very clearly specifies the need for the uclass requirement to both receive and give fuel. So basically a buddy IFR system.


Just give the contract to the 47B and have done with it. It's got the legs, the capability, was designed from the outset to take internal fuel cells buddy buddy air to air fuelling..... This is just an absolute waste of time.

x2. 
"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.

Offline quellish

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #249 on: May 24, 2015, 12:39:44 pm »

The central assumption in the CSBA testimony is that Air Force tankers are available; P8 might be able to fill that role.


The CSBA testimony argues that in flight refueling, period, would address the range issue. Air Force tankers are mentioned once:


"When factoring in aerial refueling—an Air Force-supplied resource typically available to carrier-based aircraft in wartime—the 14-hour unrefueled endurance threshold requirement makes even less sense"
[/size]
[/size]Later using the UCLASS itself as a tanker is mentioned:
[/size]
[/size]"[/size]With onboard fuel storage of about 20,000 lbs., it would be a very efficient aerial refueler for relatively short-range manned fighters."
[/size]
[/size]The argument for in flight refueling is not specific to Air Force tankers.

Offline marauder2048

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #250 on: May 24, 2015, 03:55:16 pm »

The central assumption in the CSBA testimony is that Air Force tankers are available; P8 might be able to fill that role.


The CSBA testimony argues that in flight refueling, period, would address the range issue. Air Force tankers are mentioned once:


The point is that with the current 12-hour deck day, there would be no carrier assets airborne to refuel the egressing UCLASS and the deck would be closed for recovery.

Buddy tanking doesn't really help: even if your buddy UCLASS  was able to convert all of its payload (4,000 lbs) into fuel that only spots it and the egressing UCLASS (maybe) another 2 hours each which doesn't provide the required margin for recovery.

If the Navy extended the deck day by a couple of hours then a buddy refueling approach would work just fine.  Or the Navy could rearrange the deck to permit some "overnight" recovery. But this is the Navy...

Hence, the role played by Air Force tankers.

Offline marauder2048

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #251 on: May 24, 2015, 07:47:24 pm »
Follow-up: HV-22 with the aerial refueling system might address the organic tanker issue (and reduce the wear & tear on the F/A-18E/F "Milk Cow").  But the Navy has said explicitly that it's not adopting that capability in the near future.

Offline kagemusha

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #252 on: May 25, 2015, 01:55:53 am »

even if your buddy UCLASS  was able to convert all of its payload (4,000 lbs) into fuel that only spots it and the egressing UCLASS (maybe) another 2 hours each which doesn't provide the required margin for recovery.


The internal volume to carry 4,500 lbs of weapons can hold more (double?) weight of fuel.
Consider an aircraft with 12,000 lbs of fuel in the internal tanks and 8,000 lbs of additional fuel in the internal bay. It's 20,000 lbs of fuel as described in the CSBA testimony.
You can trade off the fuel=range/endurance (surveillance) for weapons (strike) without external stores (stealth).
Or you can use the aircraft as a buddy tanker.

Offline marauder2048

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #253 on: May 26, 2015, 12:06:14 am »

even if your buddy UCLASS  was able to convert all of its payload (4,000 lbs) into fuel that only spots it and the egressing UCLASS (maybe) another 2 hours each which doesn't provide the required margin for recovery.


The internal volume to carry 4,500 lbs of weapons can hold more (double?) weight of fuel.
Consider an aircraft with 12,000 lbs of fuel in the internal tanks and 8,000 lbs of additional fuel in the internal bay. It's 20,000 lbs of fuel as described in the CSBA testimony.
You can trade off the fuel=range/endurance (surveillance) for weapons (strike) without external stores (stealth).
Or you can use the aircraft as a buddy tanker.

I read it as F-35C equivalence in terms of internal fuel (~ 20,000 lbs) and internal payload (~ 4,000 lbs).

Offline sferrin

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #254 on: May 26, 2015, 04:17:51 am »

even if your buddy UCLASS  was able to convert all of its payload (4,000 lbs) into fuel that only spots it and the egressing UCLASS (maybe) another 2 hours each which doesn't provide the required margin for recovery.


The internal volume to carry 4,500 lbs of weapons can hold more (double?) weight of fuel.
Consider an aircraft with 12,000 lbs of fuel in the internal tanks and 8,000 lbs of additional fuel in the internal bay. It's 20,000 lbs of fuel as described in the CSBA testimony.
You can trade off the fuel=range/endurance (surveillance) for weapons (strike) without external stores (stealth).
Or you can use the aircraft as a buddy tanker.

I read it as F-35C equivalence in terms of internal fuel (~ 20,000 lbs) and internal payload (~ 4,000 lbs).

Let's not forget external tanks as well.

"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.

Offline kagemusha

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #255 on: May 27, 2015, 11:30:06 am »
Quote
Let's not forget external tanks as well.

Access Assured
Addressing Air Power Reach, Persistence and Fueling Limitations for Contested and Permissive Air Operations
Commander Gregory D. Knepper, United States Navy

http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/research/files/papers/2014/09/30%20air%20access%20reach%20persistence%20fueling%20knepper/access%20assured_knepper_formatted%20101414.pdf

Quote
DEVELOP TACTICAL AIRBORNE REFUELING CONNECTORS LEVERAGING UNMANNED AERIAL SYSTEMS.
Unmanned aerial systems could also serve as possible connectors. Using remotely piloted drones as mini-tankers,
these tankers could provide the same linkage as the Super Hornet with the advantage of reduced risk to aircrew.


Offline bring_it_on

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #256 on: May 27, 2015, 05:22:47 pm »
Navy Bomber?

Quote
The Senate Armed Services Committee wants the Pentagon to hurry up and develop a stealthy, unmanned long-range strike aircraft … for the Navy. In its Fiscal 2016 appropriations report, released Wednesday, SASC directed the Defense Department to conduct competitive prototyping “of at least two follow-on air systems” to the X-47B unmanned demonstrator, which has successfully launched from and landed on a carrier, and air-refueled autonomously. The committee wants the competition to run in 2017. The Unmanned Carrier-Launched Strike and Surveillance (UCLASS) aircraft is to be “capable of long-range strike in a contested environment,” according to the report; the same description for the Air Force’s Long-Range Strike Bomber. The SASC granted blanket authority for DOD to use “streamlined procedures for rapid prototyping and rapid fielding,” so long as it gets the technical data rights to develop competitive follow-on systems. Even though the Navy did not request any money for UCLASS for 2016, SASC put back in $725 million, of which $350 million is to be spent continuing to fly the two X-47B prototypes. At the same time, SASC took away $460 million from the Air Force’s LRS-B program. The Navy has said it’s already done everything it planned to do with the Northrop Grumman-built X-47B and that it would be pointless to keep flying it, putting UCLASS on hold until it better understands whether it wants more of a scout or bomber aircraft. SASC seems to have rendered its opinion.

http://www.airforcemag.com/DRArchive/Pages/2015/May%202015/May%2028%202015/Navy-Bomber.aspx

Report - https://www.congress.gov/114/crpt/srpt49/CRPT-114srpt49.pdf

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Offline LowObservable

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #257 on: May 28, 2015, 06:20:34 am »
I thought the normal usage was permissive/contested/denied.

Offline bring_it_on

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #258 on: May 29, 2015, 05:06:49 am »
Mccain writes another letter ...

Quote
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                                   
Wednesday, May 27, 2015                                                                                                       
SENATORS McCAIN AND REED CALL FOR STANDARDIZED TRAINING FOR UAS PILOTS
Washington, D.C. ­– U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Jack Reed (D-RI), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Ash Carter today regarding standardized training for pilots of unmanned aerial systems (UAS). A recent GAO report highlighted insufficient training, inconsistent standards, and critical manning shortfalls in this critical mission area. "We urge you to focus senior leaders in the Department on these issues, and develop and implement a coherent UAS organizational, manpower, and training strategy to ensure our combatant commanders get the highly trained and proficient operators of these systems they need to protect our warfighters and defeat our adversaries," Senators McCain and Reed wrote. The text of the letter appears below.
Dear Secretary Carter,
We are all aware that unmanned aerial systems (UAS) are an essential element in America’s warfighting arsenal.  However, a recent GAO report highlights insufficient training, inconsistent standards, and critical manning shortfalls in this critical mission area.  Despite years of effort to expand the Air Force’s unmanned combat air patrol capacity, the service has continually fallen short of its own manpower projections.  The Air Force currently estimates a shortfall of nearly 400 MQ-1/9 aircraft pilots to sustain the regular Air Force requirement of 1,200 pilots.  That “shortfall” may in fact be somewhat misleading as there is a distinct possibility the Air Force requirement may be understated.  These pilot shortages have constrained training and placed extreme strain on the existing community of pilots and sensor operators.  The Army has attempted to mitigate similar shortages by lowering training standards to increase availability of instructors in the field.  This action, coupled with pulling enlisted UAS pilots off-task to perform unrelated additional duties, has resulted in UAS pilots receiving insufficient flying training and causing negative impacts on UAS unit readiness levels.
We are disturbed that the Department of Defense has no standardized training program for UAS pilots and personnel.  The continued lack of consistent and uniform training standards is simply unacceptable.  In addition to collecting critical intelligence, the Department’s UAS programs carry out sensitive strike missions that should require high standards and specialized training.  We urge you to focus senior leaders in the Department on these issues, and develop and implement a coherent UAS organizational, manpower, and training strategy to ensure our combatant commanders get the highly trained and proficient operators of these systems they need to protect our warfighters and defeat our adversaries.   We look forward to your response.
We thank you for your cooperation in this matter and for your continued service to the Department and our Nation.
Sincerely,
John McCain
Chairman
Senate Armed Services Committee
Jack Reed
Ranking Member
Senate Armed Services Committee
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Offline bring_it_on

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #259 on: June 02, 2015, 09:04:35 am »
Old radar types never die; they just phased array - Unknown

Offline bring_it_on

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #260 on: June 03, 2015, 11:25:52 pm »
Manazir Warns UCLASS Delay Limits Options For Fighter Jet Replacement


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The Pentagon's repeated delay in releasing a key solicitation for the future Unmanned Carrier-Launched Surveillance and Strike system limits the Navy's options for replacing its fighter jets in the mid-2030s, a top service official warned.
The Navy has had a UCLASS request for proposals ready to go for more than a year now, but a Pentagon strategic portfolio review that includes the unmanned system has repeatedly delayed its release. If the Navy does not get the solicitation on the streets soon and move toward the goal of fielding unmanned systems from the carrier by 2025, the service risks losing ground on options to replace its fighter jets when they begin to retire in the 2030s, according to Air Warfare Director Rear Adm. Mike Manazir.
"I'd planned to have our initial instantiation of unmanned platforms on the aircraft carrier by 2025 -- this risks that," Manazir told reporters during a June 3 Navy League forum in Washington.
This delay in deploying unmanned systems from the carrier, particularly UCLASS, will eat into the Navy's plan to develop a sixth-generation strike fighter, dubbed FA-XX, Manazir warned.
"As I look through 2025 into the future, 2035 when the F/A-18E, F and G start to go out of service . . . what am I going to replace them with?" Manazir said. "So if my options are limited because we don't release that RFP, I will have fewer options to consider what to replace it with."
Although service officials have not come right out and said FA-XX will be entirely unmanned, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus has said the service envisions UCLASS as a bridge to a future autonomous strike fighter. In April, Mabus signaled the Joint Strike Fighter will be the last manned strike fighter the service will buy or fly (DefenseAlert, April 15).
Manazir hopes to use lessons learned from existing unmanned technology to inform an ongoing analysis of alternatives to explore options for FA-XX, he said.
"What we have on our flight decks is going to inform FA-XX, and so that combination in the future for the strike fighter mission, the jamming mission, the weapons mission, the [intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance] mission -- all that's going to be rolled into this FA-XX exploration," Manazir said. "It will be better informed if I'm able to mature the unmanned technology as we go forward."
The Pentagon's ongoing strategic portfolio review, which is focused on ISR, is expected to wrap up by July. The review is meant to approve requirements for the UCLASS system, and its completion will allow the Navy to move forward with the program.
"To this point the UCLASS RFP has been ready to release now for over a year -- we should have it on the street. We have lost this time for that technology to work -- that's my frustration," Manazir said. "When something's ready to go and it makes sense to do it and it advances our warfighting capability, why wouldn't we do it?" -- Lara Seligman
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Offline marauder2048

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #261 on: June 04, 2015, 02:30:37 am »

even if your buddy UCLASS  was able to convert all of its payload (4,000 lbs) into fuel that only spots it and the egressing UCLASS (maybe) another 2 hours each which doesn't provide the required margin for recovery.


The internal volume to carry 4,500 lbs of weapons can hold more (double?) weight of fuel.
Consider an aircraft with 12,000 lbs of fuel in the internal tanks and 8,000 lbs of additional fuel in the internal bay. It's 20,000 lbs of fuel as described in the CSBA testimony.
You can trade off the fuel=range/endurance (surveillance) for weapons (strike) without external stores (stealth).
Or you can use the aircraft as a buddy tanker.

I read it as F-35C equivalence in terms of internal fuel (~ 20,000 lbs) and internal payload (~ 4,000 lbs).

Let's not forget external tanks as well.

Good point. Just as long as they stay away from those draggy externally bladed RAT types!

Offline marauder2048

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #262 on: June 04, 2015, 05:26:18 am »
I thought the normal usage was permissive/contested/denied.

The latest GAO report on UCLASS seems to use "highly contested" as a synonym for "denied".
The congressional language seems to use the terms interchangeably as well. Up with this, we will not put...

Offline Flyaway

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #263 on: June 04, 2015, 01:32:21 pm »
I thought the normal usage was permissive/contested/denied.

The latest GAO report on UCLASS seems to use "highly contested" as a synonym for "denied".
The congressional language seems to use the terms interchangeably as well. Up with this, we will not put...

I wish they would just make up their minds one way or the other.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2015, 10:36:08 am by Flyaway »

Offline bobbymike

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #264 on: June 04, 2015, 03:29:32 pm »
I thought the normal usage was permissive/contested/denied.

The latest GAO report on UCLASS seems to use "highly contested" as a synonym for "denied".
The congressional language seems to use the terms interchangeably as well. Up with this, we will not put...

I wish they just make up their minds one way or the other.

It would be interesting to see the timelines for development of a long range, long loiter, VLO platform. The reason I ask is that for me doubling or tripling the range of a strike platform off a carrier into highly contested airspace would be a great capability (I refuse to write the overused 'game changing' oh wait I just did  :o) to have.
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Offline bring_it_on

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #265 on: June 12, 2015, 06:27:22 am »
Forbes Slams Navy For Lack Of Answers On UCLASS - Insidedefense.com


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As the Navy awaits the results of a Pentagon review that will approve the requirements of its controversial Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike program, an influential lawmaker is criticizing the service for a dearth of answers on the intended mission and planned capabilities of the future platform.
On June 11, House Armed Services seapower and projection forces subcommittee Chairman Randy Forbes (R-VA) slammed the Navy for pushing Congress and the Pentagon to move forward with UCLASS when the service cannot provide sufficient answers about the program's path forward.
Forbes called UCLASS, which the Navy has tagged as a bridge to the future carrier airwing, "a bridge to nowhere" during an event hosted by the Center for a New American Security.
"Where that breaks down is when you ask them, 'Well, where is the bridge leading? What is that platform going to look like?'" Forbes said. "Show me the wargaming, show me what you've done to say, 'what do you need this UCLASS to look like as far as your carrier airwing?' And all of a sudden, the mic goes quiet [and they] change the subject because they don't know."
The Navy has had a key solicitation for UCLASS ready to go out to industry for more than a year now, program officials say, but a Pentagon strategic portfolio review that includes the unmanned system has repeatedly delayed its release. The review, which is focused on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), is expected to wrap up by July, and is meant to approve requirements for UCLASS. The Navy is waiting for the go-ahead from the Pentagon to move forward with the program.
Forbes stressed that he envisions a UCLASS that has "deep-strike penetration capability" as well as endurance -- a system that can penetrate non-permissive and anti-access/area-denial defenses and then drop a payload. The balance between ISR and strike capabilities on the system is a key part of the requirements debate, Forbes said.
The lawmaker criticized the Navy for settling on an arbitrary 14-hour endurance requirement, which he said limits the capability of the system.
"I want it to drop some pretty heavy stuff on some pretty bad people . . . well that's the catch -- once I've picked 14 hours for my endurance, I've taken a lot of that off the table," Forbes said. "What really bothers me is all of the ideas, the designs, the capabilities that we will never even know about because we have just somehow reached up in the air and said, 'It's got to be 14 hours.'"
Forbes is not convinced the Navy is heading in the right direction on the program. Getting the requirements right on UCLASS is particularly important for the future of the next-generation strike fighter, Forbes said, citing Navy Secretary Ray Mabus' recent comments that the next fighter jet the service buys will be unmanned.
"The next big platform out there is going to be . . . some version of an unmanned platform -- that's why I think it's so important that we get [UCLASS] right," Forbes said. "If you don't know what that platform's going to look like, you basically have a bridge to nowhere." -- Lara Seligman
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Ian33

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #266 on: June 12, 2015, 07:02:54 am »
I'm wondering if they are holding on until the LRS-B is put to bed. Then and only then will they move forwards.

Because lets be honest here, they have zero reason why this shouldn't of been a done deal, first composites laid and test flights going ahead. I'll say this until I'm blue in the face - the X47b has absolutely everything they need, from buddy refuelling, strike...the entire package.

It's as if some one has ordered a 'hurry up and wait' behind the scenes so work can be divided up to keep the LRS-B losers in aviation.

Offline Mat Parry

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #267 on: June 12, 2015, 10:56:51 am »
A seductive idea. Time will tell

Offline Flyaway

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #268 on: June 12, 2015, 01:04:57 pm »
From Sky Warrior to UCLASS: Back To The Future Of Carrier-Based Strike?

http://breakingdefense.com/2015/06/from-sky-warrior-to-uclass-back-to-the-future-of-carrier-based-strike/

Offline marauder2048

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #269 on: June 12, 2015, 01:30:48 pm »
The current Navy leadership has the carrier air wing on life support: the combat jet component of the carrier air wing is shrinking by 10% and there are cuts to the helicopter and AWACS components as well.

In that context, the low-end and above all low-cost UCLASS is the route they want and the ISR portfolio review will be shaped to justify that stance. The ISR angle is a dead giveaway since axiomatically, you can never have enough ISR. So the review will say: we don't have enough ISR hence
we need the ISR focused (read: low-cost) UCLASS.

Offline Flyaway

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #270 on: June 15, 2015, 10:39:18 am »
Boeing To Pentagon: Be Careful When You Pause IRAD Programs

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PARIS: The Pentagon’s decision to pause as it reconsiders what path to pursue with the drone fighter known as UCLASS prompted Boeing to send a warning note today that the US military had better keep its commitments if it wants companies to invest their own money in new technologies.

Asked about the program today, Boeing’s Chris Raymond noted pointedly that his company “had spent a lot of time, and frankly, a lot of money on UCLASS over the years. We were — in our minds — in a great place,” he told reporters at a briefing in the company’s headquarters near the Elysee Palace, where French President Francois Hollande lives. “It was disappointing to see them pause.”

In an interesting tidbit, Raymond’s colleague, Jeff Kohler, said that some of the possible platforms being offered “do seem to be in conflict with some proprietary programs.” Pressed by a reporter just before the briefing broke up, Kohler, who heads Boeing’s international business development for military aircraft, clarified he that had meant to say classified. He did not identify any of the classified programs, nor clarify what he meant. (Perhaps he was referring to Northrop Grumman’s RQ-180 or to Lockheed Martin RQ-170, both stealthy classified aircraft.)

http://breakingdefense.com/2015/06/boeing-to-pentagon-be-careful-when-you-pause-irad-programs/
« Last Edit: June 15, 2015, 10:40:49 am by Flyaway »

Ian33

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #271 on: June 15, 2015, 11:49:02 am »
This is one hell of a boondoggle.

I still state in my opinion, that when the LRS-B is inked, this will fall into place. Some where, some one has all the system on a table making the best most survivable matrix they can, and when the capstone is in place, the other projects can get the nod.

Offline sferrin

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #272 on: June 15, 2015, 02:36:49 pm »
This is one hell of a boondoggle.

I still state in my opinion, that when the LRS-B is inked, this will fall into place. Some where, some one has all the system on a table making the best most survivable matrix they can, and when the capstone is in place, the other projects can get the nod.

Boeing/LM wins the bomber program, X-47B moves forward.  (I'd think the X-47B is at least as "production representative" as the X-32 or -35 were.) If NG wins the bomber program then. . .???  moves forward?
"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.

Offline bobbymike

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #273 on: June 15, 2015, 04:30:17 pm »
This is one hell of a boondoggle.

I still state in my opinion, that when the LRS-B is inked, this will fall into place. Some where, some one has all the system on a table making the best most survivable matrix they can, and when the capstone is in place, the other projects can get the nod.

Boeing/LM wins the bomber program, X-47B moves forward.  (I'd think the X-47B is at least as "production representative" as the X-32 or -35 were.) If NG wins the bomber program then. . .???  moves forward?
What's the new CVNs maximum catapult launch weight using the new catapult? How big could you go with an unmanned bomber from their decks?
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Ian33

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #274 on: June 15, 2015, 04:59:53 pm »
Lockheed / Boeing for Bomber.

Northrop Grumman 47B follow on and 180.

Boeing / General Atomics for optionally manned penetrating airborne electronic attack.

Offline TomS

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #275 on: June 15, 2015, 05:01:46 pm »
I've seen a figure of 100,000 lbs at 130 knots for EMALS.  Can't imagine anyone buying a naval bomber that big, manned or unmanned.

Offline sferrin

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #276 on: June 15, 2015, 06:50:19 pm »
I've seen a figure of 100,000 lbs at 130 knots for EMALS.  Can't imagine anyone buying a naval bomber that big, manned or unmanned.

That's a pretty big jump.  Wiki gives 80,000lbs for those on the Nimitz (less for those on Enterprise) but the A3D topped that and Vigilante came pretty close.  I'd heard several times over the years that the limit was 84,000lbs. Don't know what they flew the F-111B at.  ;D   
« Last Edit: June 15, 2015, 07:42:43 pm by sferrin »
"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.

Offline bring_it_on

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #277 on: August 21, 2015, 03:05:25 am »



« Last Edit: August 21, 2015, 03:14:15 am by bring_it_on »
Old radar types never die; they just phased array - Unknown

Offline bring_it_on

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #278 on: September 10, 2015, 09:36:37 am »
CARRIER AIR WING TACTICS INCORPORATING THE NAVY UNMANNED COMBAT AIR SYSTEM (NUCAS)
Old radar types never die; they just phased array - Unknown

Offline Steve Pace

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #279 on: September 10, 2015, 10:43:08 am »
Very interesting - We all knew something like this was coming. -SP
When you know you're right, go ahead.

Offline Flyaway

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #280 on: September 11, 2015, 07:35:31 am »
UCLASS in ‘acquisition hell’ awaiting requirements redemption

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The long-running debate over the mission of the US Navy's carrier-launched unmanned surveillance and strike aircraft might have set the "UCLASS" competition back few years, but the maritime force's acquisition chief says getting the requirements right from the beginning is vital.

“This programme is in acquisition hell right now. It’s been inside the building for three years, just trying to get out and see the light of day,” Navy assistant secretary Sean Stackley said at a Navy League forum in Washington 9 September. “We’ll debate on it some more this fall (September to November) with OSD to determine whether or not we have the right programme, not just for the navy, but the nation.”

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/uclass-in-acquisition-hell-awaiting-requirements-r-416585/

Offline jsport

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #281 on: September 12, 2015, 08:40:32 am »
CARRIER AIR WING TACTICS INCORPORATING THE NAVY UNMANNED COMBAT AIR SYSTEM (NUCAS)

"MANA is very limited in its ability to model altitude; therefore, this thesis
abstracts all squad aircraft and weapons characteristic by placing them at the same
operational altitude. In short, the simulation has abstracted the three-dimensional world
of air-combat into a top-down, two-dimensional simulation model."... is just one indicator how poor to the point of bizarre this report is. What small component J-10 CAP plays in the potential full 2033 operating environment is only one of many other reasons this study seems near pointless.. 

Offline bobbymike

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Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

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Offline red admiral

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Ian33

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #284 on: October 05, 2015, 10:05:26 am »
http://www.navytimes.com/story/military/pentagon/2015/10/03/leaders-debate-next-steps-uclass-carrier-drones/73082618/

X-47B has no sensors or weapons. Difficult to see an operational role apart from as a flying target.

Would not a shorter development cycle into an operation machine be ideal here? They know the 47B is the mutts nuts. Seems stupid to even have a competition.

Offline sferrin

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Re: US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program
« Reply #285 on: October 05, 2015, 10:59:18 am »
Would not a shorter development cycle into an operation machine be ideal here? They know the 47B is the mutts nuts. Seems stupid to even have a competition.

I agree.  But they do that and it's lawyer time as Boeing, LM, etc. will be crying about not getting a shot at the pie. 
"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.