DARPA UTA and Lockheed black world UCAV demonstrators

Matej

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The black UCAV program is already controversial. Industry officials say Northrop Grumman had gotten the nod to build the highly stealthy system using its residual B-2 design talent. But senior Air Force civilian acquisition officials decided late in the process to award the UCAV contract to Lockheed Martin, several officials said. Because of the classified nature of the program, Northrop Grumman could make no public protest.
The decision to hand the contract to Lockheed Martin, at least in part, is seen as an effort to preserve the aviation industrial base. With Boeing's involvement in the unclassified UCAV demonstration program (X-45A/B) and Boeing (X-45C/N) and Northrop Grumman (X-47A/B) working on a Navy UCAV, Lockheed Martin was left without a program in an area that senior Pentagon officials view as a critical growth area and an operational necessity by 2010.

http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread328636/pg1

So what is this "highly stealthy UCAV system" by Lockheed?
 

quellish

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Matej said:
So what is this "highly stealthy UCAV system" by Lockheed?

Why would there be only one?
 

Matej

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I heard that there are more than dozen, but I am specifically interested in the trio whiteworld Boeing X-45, whiteworld Northrop X-47 and blackworld Lockheed ? demonstrators. Or are you saying that that secret UCAV demonstrator is not consistent program, like X-47B for example?
 

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Matej said:
So what is this "highly stealthy UCAV system" by Lockheed?

The linked article on ATS reads like something quite old, originally from AW&ST perhaps?

From this particular UCAV description I was thinking Minion?

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=6725.0
 

quellish

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Matej said:
I heard that there are more than dozen, but I am specifically interested in the trio whiteworld Boeing X-45, whiteworld Northrop X-47 and blackworld Lockheed ? demonstrators. Or are you saying that that secret UCAV demonstrator is not consistent program, like X-47B for example?

LM has done several. During the late 90s a B-52 with a nose radome and modified pylon was flying in and out of Groom. Several years later DC-130s were there. Both of these we supposedly supporting LM air launched UCAVs, one of these programs was related to FATE and was a black counterpart to X-36.
Supposedly a reason for the recent expansion at Yucca Flat was a LM UCAV project.
 

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Hi,

early Lockheed Martin UCAV.

http://books.google.com.eg/books?id=hwAAAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA96&dq=stealth+transport+1997&hl=ar&ei=CYe5TIawMYODOqbu6ZoN&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCUQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=true
 

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Matej

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Thanks for identifying it. How serious was that proposal? Only "cool looking" artists impression or the real design? I have another picture of that design but for some reason cant find it at the moment.


Edit: found: http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/2001/2001%20-%200399.html
 

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Matej said:
Thanks for identifying it. How serious was that proposal? Only "cool looking" artists impression or the real design?
it screams 'Eric Simonsen concept' for me
 

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It seems so. The concept from Boeing, although also generic, is at least consistent with their FATE platform and the concept from NG looks like real, based on the early Grumman work.
 

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Matej said:
It seems so. The concept from Boeing, although also generic, is at least consistent with their FATE platform and the concept from NG looks like real, based on the early Grumman work.

I don't know how this got here. Sigh.
 

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quellish

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Matej said:
Yay! Once again that SVATD shape.

I have a better drawing somewhere that shows more than just this one aspect that is in many DoD pubs from the era. It is similar to the SVATD, but different where it counts (like the inlet). I have to find those. Strangely, there was a pylon mount for it.
This came out of the original DARPA Unmanned Tactical Aircraft program that later became the UCAV ACTD. UTA began in 1994, with a solicitation in early 1995. By the end of 1996 missions and critical technologies had been identified by DARPA, with SEAD as a candidate demonstration mission. The UTA was to be small (8k pounds) and disposable, with a unit cost "similar to Tomahawk".
 

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Preliminary timeframe:

Early 90s: after the cancellation of the Teledyne Ryan MR-UAV (BQM-145A) LM started to work on the stealthy armed UAV, able to be air-launched from the fighter and to carry the small progressive weapons, such as the high-powered microwaves to scramble computer memories and carbon-fiber/wires to shut down commercial electrical grids. As the black X-36 counterpart, it was flight tested as part of the FATE in the second half of the 90s.

August 1997:
General Fogleman (the man who pushed the USAF to buy the Predator and to replace the U-2 with the UAVs) prior to his retirement reprogrammed a lot of research funding to the developing of the UCAV. But not the small air launched drone, but the full-scale manned fighters counterpart. Four companies competed for the contract: Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman and Teledyne Ryan. Two programs were considered: 1. Strike white world UCAV for the SEAD missions and the 2. secret black world demonstrator of the advanced technologies and weapons. Advocates of the black UCAV say it also will be a demonstrator for advanced stealth technologies that will make the aircraft less vulnerable to long-range infrared seekers and low-frequency radars, which are the major threat to today's stealth aircraft. The data will then be transferred to the B-X bomber program (NGB) that is to produce a follow-on to the B-2.

March 1999: DARPA/USAF selected Boeing as the winner of the white world UCAV (X-45A/B) and the Northrop Grumman had gotten the nod to build the highly stealthy black world UCAV system using its residual B-2 design talent. Similar approach is planned with the US Navy

June 2000: DARPA/U. S. Navy awarded competitive contracts for the navy UCAV-N to the Boeing (X-46) and the Northrop Grumman (X-47). That left Lockheed Martin without the active UCAV program, so senior Air Force civilian acquisition officials decided late in the process to award the UCAV contract to them. Because of the classified nature of the program, Northrop Grumman could make no public protest. The decision to hand the contract to Lockheed Martin, at least in part, is seen as an effort to preserve the aviation industrial base. With Boeing's involvement in the unclassified UCAV demonstration program and Boeing and Northrop Grumman working on a Navy UCAV, Lockheed Martin was left without a program in an area that senior Pentagon officials view as a critical growth area and an operational necessity by 2010. Lockheed Martin officials conceded that they were concerned about being left out.


After I will finish my "from AARS to PHAE" article, I will focus my full attention to the genesis of the UCAVs.
 

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The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) today announced the appointment of Michael S. Francis as first Director of the Joint Unmanned Combat Air Systems Office. Francis comes to DARPA from Lockheed Martin, where he was Director, Technical Integration, Corporate Engineering and Technology. In 1997, he retired from the U.S. Air Force as a Colonel. He has previously served at DARPA as a program manager, directing the X-31 and Micro Air Vehicle programs. He started DARPA’s Unmanned Tactical Aircraft program in 1994, the precursor to today’s Joint Unmanned Combat Air System program.

http://www.darpa.mil/j-UCAS/News_Room/Releases/francis_rev.pdf

Look who is behind everything...
 
I

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Aurora flight sciences had this really awesome low observable UCAV design, I got a little snippet saved about it and then #poof# vanished. Shaped very similar to that model Quellish added up.
 

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If you mean the demonstrator built for Raytheon, they are different in the platform.
 

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hesham

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Hi,

old article about the Lockheed Martin UCAV from Air
Forces Magazine.
 

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quellish

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quellish said:
Matej said:
Yay! Once again that SVATD shape.

I have a better drawing somewhere that shows more than just this one aspect that is in many DoD pubs from the era. It is similar to the SVATD, but different where it counts (like the inlet). I have to find those. Strangely, there was a pylon mount for it.
This came out of the original DARPA Unmanned Tactical Aircraft program that later became the UCAV ACTD. UTA began in 1994, with a solicitation in early 1995. By the end of 1996 missions and critical technologies had been identified by DARPA, with SEAD as a candidate demonstration mission. The UTA was to be small (8k pounds) and disposable, with a unit cost "similar to Tomahawk".

Haven't found it yet (I have to search a lot of PDFs and PowerPoints), but this configuration pictured is the unmanned version of ICE. The more detailed graphics I have seen of it show an antenna radome in place of the cockpit, slightly different inlets, but overall the same configuration as ICE in the ICE thread on here.
 

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http://www.airpower.maxwell.af.mil/airchronicles/apj/apj02/sum02/chapman.html

Some interesting text, including [table 3 Selected UCAV Demonstration/Development Programs]:

Unannounced Program -- USA Lockheed Martin -- Aircraft-launched, LO UCAV designed to attack air defense elements -- One or two small bombs or nonlethal payloads (e.g.,high-powered microwaves)
 

quellish

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Matej said:
quellish said:
Haven't found it yet (I have to search a lot of PDFs and PowerPoints)...

Any luck so far? You know, when you once mentioned it, I wont stop asking ;)

Not yet, I'll be looking again tonight. There wasn't text with the images that would make it easier for me to search for it :(
 

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Very interesting paper about the beginning of the US new age UCAVs: Design considerations for the future uninhabited combat air vehicles http://ftp.rta.nato.int/public//PubFulltext/AGARD/CP/AGARD-CP-594///09SE2-06.pdf

Now I would like to find the papers in the references, especially this one:

Chaput, A.J., et al., “Unmanned Tactical Aircraft - A
Lockheed Manin Perspective”, AGARD CP-591 .Oclober
1995

So far I think that there is available only one - New World Vistas by McCall.
 

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Any thought if this black UCAV might be (or be related to) the recently revealed RQ-170 Sentinel? I know "RQ" isn't normally a "combat" UAS, but it may be the result of that program.
 

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Matej said:
Chaput, A.J., et al., “Unmanned Tactical Aircraft - A
Lockheed Manin Perspective”, AGARD CP-591 .Oclober
1995
Armand Chaput is a name that rings...advanced fighters in early and mid 80s in GDFW (1983 - manager of Advanced Design), then hypersonic stuff, including hypersonic transports and NASP program Director up to '94, then unmanned systems in LM up to '07, now in University of Texas
 

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http://www.domain-b.com/aero/technical_papers/Armand_Chaput.pdf

"Approximately 15 years after the first paper (Chaput, Armand J., Pawloski, Richard A., “Design Considerations for the Next Generation Fighter”, AIAA
Aircraft Design Systems and Operations Conference, Paper No. 83-2454, October 1983
, not accessible for me), a second one was published on the subject of unmanned fighter aircraft (Chaput, A.J., et al., “Unmanned Tactical Aircraft - A Lockheed Manin Perspective”, AGARD CP-591, October 1995, not accessible for me either)*"

*Originally known as Unmanned Tactical Aircraft (UTA), the concept was renamed Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV) to convey that it was not just an unmanned tactical fighter but an air vehicle system. The term “uninhabited” was used to convey that human operators were in control of the system; they were simply not collocated with the air vehicle. Later the name was further broadened to Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) to emphasize that these were not just air vehicles but rather a system of air vehicles.

Matej, you should also try to search for Unhabited Tactical Aircraft. I personally think that this familiar shape that often persist in Chaput's papers along with DarkStar-like UAV, was LM's UTA - and graphics goes from his old papers like 1983 generic GDFW advanced fighter.
 

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quellish

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Also of interest:
"UCAV CONCEPTS FOR CAS"
http://oai.dtic.mil/oai/oai?verb=getRecord&metadataPrefix=html&identifier=ADP010339
 

quellish

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Matej said:
Somebody lucky enough to have something more?

Some of those shapes should be very familiar ;)
 

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