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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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