New 'Penetrating ISR' aircraft?

Flyaway

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Mostly about the history and future of the U-2 and RQ-4, but this article ends with this rather odd statement.

The Air Force is also working on new drones in the black projects world that should someday supersede both platforms, such as the stealthy Lockheed Martin RQ-170 Sentinel — or “Wraith” — and Northrop Grumman’s RQ-180.

There is undoubtedly an optionally-manned aircraft in play, known only as the “Penetrating ISR” aircraft, which the service is pursuing.

Anyone have an idea what the author is on about here, or is this unsubstantiated speculation?

https://medium.com/war-is-boring/the-history-of-the-mighty-u-2-dragon-lady-surveillance-airplane-and-its-future-is-so-tightly-67ca3895b747
 

quellish

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A penetrating (and persistent) ISR aircraft has been a "need" since the late 70s. To date more than $20B has been spent on this "need" and it is still unfufilled.
 

Rhinocrates

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This from Bill Sweetman in AW&ST March 2-15, 2015, p20 "Spot the Spook: Secret clues to the Navy's tangled drone story". Apologies for the fragmentary images.
 

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jsport

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IMHO All strike craft need serve as ISR as well. Sensors and endurance gains should afford Strike craft to be Recon-Strike complexes all accomplishing RISTA. "I" being the sensor data processing on board.
 

Flyaway

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IMHO All strike craft need serve as ISR as well. Sensors and endurance gains should afford Strike craft to be Recon-Strike complexes all accomplishing RISTA. "I" being the sensor data processing on board.
From that article:
The Air Force intends to field a “family of systems” to replace some of its legacy ISR capabilities, Nahom said, but he declined to reveal further information in an unclassified setting.
I am guessing one of those will be the RQ-180.
 

Grey Havoc

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Unless it is just bluff and bluster. Quite possible in the current times.
 

jsport

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IMHO All strike craft need serve as ISR as well. Sensors and endurance gains should afford Strike craft to be Recon-Strike complexes all accomplishing RISTA. "I" being the sensor data processing on board.
From that article:
The Air Force intends to field a “family of systems” to replace some of its legacy ISR capabilities, Nahom said, but he declined to reveal further information in an unclassified setting.
NGAD has been described, at least once, as possibly being a "family of systems' hopefully NGAD and ISR(RISTA) become the same family.
 

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