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British LO/FOAS FOA FCAC

flateric

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of course, BAe Warton's RCS facility
http://www.secret-bases.co.uk/secret5.htm
http://www.lifeinthemixtalk.com/?cat=11&paged=2
 

red admiral

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Triton said:
Where were these pictures taken?
They're from JDW a few months ago. I'm not sure I'd class BAeS Warton as being "secret", there's a footpath that runs around the south side of Warton airfield so you can take plenty of pictures if you know something is there. The good stuff is kept tucked away inside.
 

SteveO

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Great pics, thanks for sharing.

The nose/radome is surprisingly shallower than I expected. I wonder if this indicates a distributed Electronically Scanned Array radar or a F-117 style Electro-Optical fit?
 

zen

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Hmmm......
Certainly a great many thanks for these images of Replica.

Cockpit looks large, and might after all be representative of a twin seater.

Orriginal photo left me thinking some part of the nose had fallen off. This side image does seem to show a very small nose, so quite what they had in mind for radar arrays is a good question.
The nature of the nose in the first image shown, (the upsidedown one) might imply two not one radar faces at 45 degrees from each other, but it does'nt reveal at what angle the two faces are inclinded.

Seperated exhaust nozzels, possibly due to an internal weapons bay pushing the engines apart, also might aid TVC roll control if thats intended (which I doubt). All seem shaped to give a low return, and the nozzels slopped to lower IR signiture when viewed from below.
Presumably theres quite a kinked inlet duct masking the engine face.
Was something intended for between the nozzels? Does'nt look like they have done anything special to indicate so.

embedded ariels perhaps in the canted tail tips?

Now when BAE Systems said anything about 'Replica' it was suggested this was more representative of a fighter than a true strike machine.
 

Trident

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What a fantastic scoop!

Agree on the twin-seat notion and that the widely spaced engines appear to give plenty of internal volume for a generous weapons bay. Certainly an interesting contrast to BAE's statements that it was primarily intended for the fighter role, since those features would superficially suggest a more strike-oriented design.

Thanks for sharing red admiral and Matej!
 

red admiral

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I wouldn't try to read too much into it. Replica was just a radar testbed. It's only indicative of the series of designs. I'm afraid you'll probably have to wait another 20 years or so before the designs get declassified and things will make more sense. The series makes an interesting comparison to the JAST/JSF series.
 

zen

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Yes ordered in 1805 I imagine and by the time its completed costing more than the sum value of the entire solar system ;)

Really though I don't think its that bad a thing to muse over whats been shown and what it might reveal about what they thought needed a pole model to verify.

The idea theres such a flood of money about that a unworkable concept was bashed together, and screwed to the pole for the measurement of say just how reflective a cockpit canopy might be, may be something they do in the US with all their oodles of cash, but it does'nt wash for the UK.
 

quellish

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zen said:
The idea theres such a flood of money about that a unworkable concept was bashed together, and screwed to the pole for the measurement of say just how reflective a cockpit canopy might be, may be something they do in the US with all their oodles of cash, but it does'nt wash for the UK.
We only do that in the US after there have been a dozen TS/SCI papers on the model, the pole, and the pole model. That assumes that pole, model, and paper can be brought together in a location that is pleasing to someone on the armed services or intelligence committees.
How else would we get anything done?

REPLICA is a very interesting demonstrator. Do we know if it was entirely fabricated by BAE, or was some of the composites work contracted out?
 

overscan

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As I understood it the purpose of Replica was to demonstrate in-house LO expertise so that BAE SYSTEMS could get given clearance on F-35 LO technologies ("we know how to do it anyway so you can tell us").

Given the potential size of that pie for a major subcontractor, it would seem a worthwhile use of resources.
 

zen

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My bet is still this is representative of some study design that BAE Systems could fall back on if need be. Kill three birds with one stone and I bet various US firms have done the same thing.

Pondering the design I do think it is a fighter after all, I'm not convinced theres enough volume for a large weapons bay. Strike would be dictated by the likes of Storm Shadow I suspect.
So this is probably aimed at carridge of AAMs or the smaller size of bombs.
 

Vulcan652

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zen said:
My bet is still this is representative of some study design that BAE Systems could fall back on if need be. Kill three birds with one stone and I bet various US firms have done the same thing.

Pondering the design I do think it is a fighter after all, I'm not convinced theres enough volume for a large weapons bay. Strike would be dictated by the likes of Storm Shadow I suspect.
So this is probably aimed at carridge of AAMs or the smaller size of bombs.
Replica's design leans much more towards bomber than fighter, with a long range and large payload. However, studies indicated that its combination of internal weapons and clean design, it could outrun contemporary fighters at low level.

Not much more is known at this time because the full-scale Replica model is still in use for RCS testing.
 

Vulcan652

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I should have posted this before with the info above but was in a bit of a rush at the time and just remembered it! This information came from a FOI request I recently filed with the British Ministry of Defence - don't know whether I asked the right questions (I'm a beginner!) or whether this adds much to the debate, but for anyone who's interested, here goes:


"You have requested evidence about the BAE Replica programme, believed to have run between 1994 and 1999.


The Testbed model continues to form an active part of the UK's signature control reduction programme and as such, there is very little detail that can be released at the moment. I have attached a press release which gives the general background to the programme and will attempt to answer your specific questions.


Question: Was this aircraft ever produced, even if just in the form of a prototype or technology demonstrator?


Answer: There was no series production of this design.


Question: How many mock-ups were produced, and what is their current whereabouts?


Answer: There was just one Testbed produced and it remains at BAES Warton where it was built. It should not be called a "mock-up", however. It is completely real as far as observing sensors are concerned, the externals being built with representative materials and methods of construction. Internally it is unrepresentative of aircraft in order to reduce costs of manufacture.


Question: Was Replica designed as a replacement for the Tornado GR4, or as a fighter aircraft?


Answer: The Replica programme was a joint research programme funded by MoD and BAES. It was never intended to lead to a production aircraft, but rather provide a focus for the UK's air vehicle signature control research. The Replica/Testbed concept emerged from an extensive series of studies into different aircraft configurations that addressed fighter, multi-role and strike aircraft. There was no Air Staff Target, but rather the aircraft was designed to a "sensible" set of performance requirements emerging from the Future Offensive Aircraft programme. The Replica/Testbed is very much a bomber rather than a fighter, with long range and large payload, although studies indicated that with internal weapons carriage and very clean aerodynamic design, it was able to outrun many contemporary fighters at low level.


Once the work on Testbed is completed, a much fuller version of the story will be able to be told. What can be said is that many of the technologies developed for Replica/Testbed are being applied across a wide range of current programmes."


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Hope that's of interest to people and if anyone wants a copy of the press release I was sent, feel free to PM me.
 

Vulcan652

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quellish said:
zen said:
The idea theres such a flood of money about that a unworkable concept was bashed together, and screwed to the pole for the measurement of say just how reflective a cockpit canopy might be, may be something they do in the US with all their oodles of cash, but it does'nt wash for the UK.
We only do that in the US after there have been a dozen TS/SCI papers on the model, the pole, and the pole model. That assumes that pole, model, and paper can be brought together in a location that is pleasing to someone on the armed services or intelligence committees.
How else would we get anything done?

REPLICA is a very interesting demonstrator. Do we know if it was entirely fabricated by BAE, or was some of the composites work contracted out?

I have a press release in response to a FOI request I made stating:


"The Replica model skins were constructed of carbon fibre composite (CFC). The CFC skin panels produced by the specialist skin centre at BAE SYSTEMS Samlesbury were the largest ever manufactured in the UK."


According to the other info I obtained, Replica (or Testbed, as they also seem to call it) was mainly built at Warton - see previous post.
 

Grey Havoc

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Vulcan652 said:
Question: Was this aircraft ever produced, even if just in the form of a prototype or technology demonstrator?


Answer: There was no series production of this design.

Interesting way they answered that. Just a case of 'confuse thy enemy', or something more?
 

Vulcan652

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Grey Havoc said:
Vulcan652 said:
Question: Was this aircraft ever produced, even if just in the form of a prototype or technology demonstrator?


Answer: There was no series production of this design.

Interesting way they answered that. Just a case of 'confuse thy enemy', or something more?

I wondered about that too... Perhaps they consider it a real aircraft due to its external build quality (as opposed to a mock-up), despite the fact that it never flew? In which case, the answer would seem less ambiguous...


The main reason I FOI'd this request was because my Dad told me he'd seen the JSF over the Humber Estuary (near BAE Brough) about 4 years ago. I told him there were none flying in the UK at that time (to the best of my knowledge) but he said it was too small for the Raptor. Can't imagine anything clandestine was flying over the Humber in broad daylight but Replica was the only shape I could think of - wishfully I know, because there's no evidence I know of that it was ever produced for flight - but I figured it would be interesting to get the information!
 

stealth-uk

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Besides knowing these aircraft projects exist is there any more info, details or pictures on them or are they still classified?

P.1240 Stealth ASTOVL 1 x vectored thrust reverse engine installation * 1987 Swept wing with tip fins

P.1241 Stealth ASTOVL with RALS 1 x RALS * 1987 Delta wing, dorsal intake

P.169 Stealth penetration aircraft
P.170 Light attack aircraft
P.171 Technology demonstrator
P.173 Advanced Stealth configuration studies
 

harrier

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First two are described in an old paper of mine:

http://papers.sae.org/2003-01-3050/

They were not 'proper' stealth designs - the latter are still secret (e.g. P.173), although by early 90s the Warton P.125 was where work had got to (Brough and Kingston project offices having closed in 1988). And of course later on there was the BAe 'Replica'.

All UK work released, plus European, can be seen at:

http://www.hitechweb.genezis.eu/stealth4f.htm

as well as the Kingston Unmanned Fighter Aircraft (UFA) and other UCAV work at:

http://www.hitechweb.genezis.eu/UCAV02.htm

Translate button top right!
 

Meteorit

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harrier said:
First two are described in an old paper of mine:

http://papers.sae.org/2003-01-3050/

They were not 'proper' stealth designs - the latter are still secret (e.g. P.173), although by early 90s the Warton P.125 was where work had got to (Brough and Kingston project offices having closed in 1988). And of course later on there was the BAe 'Replica'.
Hopefully we get to see more info on at least some of these in your future books! ;)
 

InvisibleDefender

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This model came up on eBay a number of years ago. Sadly I did not win it. It was manufactured by the same shop that made my McDonnell Douglas/British Aerospace JAST model from 1994/95.
 

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Trident

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Vulcan652 said:
I should have posted this before with the info above but was in a bit of a rush at the time and just remembered it! This information came from a FOI request I recently filed with the British Ministry of Defence - don't know whether I asked the right questions (I'm a beginner!) or whether this adds much to the debate, but for anyone who's interested, here goes:


"You have requested evidence about the BAE Replica programme, believed to have run between 1994 and 1999.


The Testbed model continues to form an active part of the UK's signature control reduction programme and as such, there is very little detail that can be released at the moment. I have attached a press release which gives the general background to the programme and will attempt to answer your specific questions.


Question: Was this aircraft ever produced, even if just in the form of a prototype or technology demonstrator?


Answer: There was no series production of this design.


Question: How many mock-ups were produced, and what is their current whereabouts?


Answer: There was just one Testbed produced and it remains at BAES Warton where it was built. It should not be called a "mock-up", however. It is completely real as far as observing sensors are concerned, the externals being built with representative materials and methods of construction. Internally it is unrepresentative of aircraft in order to reduce costs of manufacture.


Question: Was Replica designed as a replacement for the Tornado GR4, or as a fighter aircraft?


Answer: The Replica programme was a joint research programme funded by MoD and BAES. It was never intended to lead to a production aircraft, but rather provide a focus for the UK's air vehicle signature control research. The Replica/Testbed concept emerged from an extensive series of studies into different aircraft configurations that addressed fighter, multi-role and strike aircraft. There was no Air Staff Target, but rather the aircraft was designed to a "sensible" set of performance requirements emerging from the Future Offensive Aircraft programme. The Replica/Testbed is very much a bomber rather than a fighter, with long range and large payload, although studies indicated that with internal weapons carriage and very clean aerodynamic design, it was able to outrun many contemporary fighters at low level.


Once the work on Testbed is completed, a much fuller version of the story will be able to be told. What can be said is that many of the technologies developed for Replica/Testbed are being applied across a wide range of current programmes."


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Hope that's of interest to people and if anyone wants a copy of the press release I was sent, feel free to PM me.
Missed this earlier, many thanks for your informative contribution, which provides some additional context for the Replica project.
 

stealth-uk

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Hi this is some info I got off the DPA wayback web archive hope it is of some interest. (the red writing is my own oberservations and other info I have read about).
 

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SteveO

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Is the Nightjar test body for testing inlets or is the UK going for a "Flight of the Navigator" style design? ;)
 

flateric

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Mr London 24/7

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Although often quoted as a 'UAV', in truth Nightjar seems to have been little more than an extremely low-RCS Pole model of a useful size in which to test intake (and probably other aperture) shapes:

Central to the Nightjar program was a special test body that was used to test a variety of features regarded as potentially crucial for the future of air vehicle.The Taranis stealthy UAV technology demonstrator will benefit from the knowledge gained during the previously classified Nightjar program.The Nightjar test body has been central to BAE Systems’ research into future air vehicle design design. Having a very low radar signature, the test body could be used for testing these features but without the body itself being part of the results.


http://www.sae.org/aeromag/techupdate/04-2007/2-27-3-6.pdf
 

Mr London 24/7

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http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,1202.msg130829.html#msg130829

(Quoting FOIA response from the MoD)...
There was no Air Staff Target, but rather the aircraft was designed to a "sensible" set of performance requirements emerging from the Future Offensive Aircraft programme...
http://www.iiss.org/publications/strategic-comments/past-issues/volume-17-2011/june/unmanned-future-the-next-era-of-european-aerospace/mobile-edition/

....In the early 1990s, Air Staff Target 425 was established to meet the need for a long-range strike platform, with low observable characteristics. The so-called Future Offensive Aircraft (FOA)....
....The Future Offensive Aircraft evolved into the Future Offensive Air System (FOAS) during 1996, as there was a shift away from fulfilling this strike requirement solely with a new manned aircraft. FOAS was itself replaced in 2004 with the Future Combat Air Capability (FCAC)....
 

Vulcan652

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Matej said:
Official melancholic autumn art. I like it a lot! :)

link

Now that is rather nice! That front looks somewhat familiar... Have we seen it before?
 

sferrin

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Vulcan652 said:
Matej said:
Official melancholic autumn art. I like it a lot! :)

link

Now that is rather nice! That front looks somewhat familiar... Have we seen it before?
Whole thing looks familiar. It's called the X-45A.

 

Matej

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What a surprise, considering that BAE Systems was a Tier one partner in whole X-45 program till the end of J-UCAS...

Besides, it was clearly said in last Farnborough that this concept/scheme is just to illustrate future attack system and may not represent the actual airframe (it was not even defined yet).
 

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Put a fly fisherman in that picture and you have the most surreal LL Bean catalog cover ever.
 

Triton

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BAE Systems Future Offensive Air System brochure found on eBay.

Source:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Brochure-BAE-Systems-Future-Offensive-Air-Syst-B236-/310080915334?_trksid=p5197.m1992&_trkparms=aid%3D111000%26algo%3DREC.CURRENT%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D14%26meid%3D3238862124920067678%26pid%3D100015%26prg%3D1006%26rk%3D1%26sd%3D310080915334%26
 

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