CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
- Apr 21, 2009
- Reaction score
Aurora?Given the lack of information, it is difficult to say if such a platform is manned or unmanned, however an unmanned aircraft would have far greater endurance. It could potentially be part of the USAF's long range strike family of systems--which includes a new bomber, cruise missile, electronic attack capabilities and hardware, Aboulafia says.
It's unclear what is meant here by "Global hawk missions". The U-2 still does a lot of things better than Global Hawk does. Global Hawk does some things that the U-2 does not. This is more a factor of the payload than anything else.Triton said:Aurora?Given the lack of information, it is difficult to say if such a platform is manned or unmanned, however an unmanned aircraft would have far greater endurance. It could potentially be part of the USAF's long range strike family of systems--which includes a new bomber, cruise missile, electronic attack capabilities and hardware, Aboulafia says.
One of the advantages of UAVs in their relatively small size. For forward deployment, look for anyplace that can receive a C-5 or C-17, and then unload it in a secure area. That is a very long list.Mat Parry said:... any guesses as to likely forward deployment sites?
...speaking of Richard Aboulafia. Some of his articles can be found on his website: http://www.richardaboulafia.com/Mat Parry said:"Analyst Richard Aboulafia of the Teal Group says that among the classified platforms in question could potentially be a long-range stealth reconnaissance aircraft that has long been rumored to be flying in the Nevada desert.
What if the classified platform is "simply" a customized military derivative of a existing (civil) aircraft?...well, capable of long endurance/high altitude...hmm, what about this one:"We did not do that without carefully considering how we'd cover that mission with the U-2 and other classified platforms," says Lt Gen Charles Davis...
The perfect platform for high altitude reconnaissance and surveillance Developed and Certified in 1991, the GROB G 520 is one of the world’s largest fully composite manned and unmanned aircraft, providing an ideal system platform for OPV/UAVapplications (Optional Piloted Vehicle).
The flexible payload-bay concept of the G 520 can accommodate multiple mission systems for both civilian and military applications and operations with a minimum of integration and modification lead time.
Based on its proven airframe and systems reliability the G 520 mitigates development risks for future UAV and or system developments. The G 520 is the cost efficient performance platform for the UAV and OPV requirements of the 21st century, both in the HALE and MALE performance/application sector.
Full reconnaissance and surveillance capabilities.
The G 520 EGRETT features:
12 payload compartments for up to 1000 kg of mission equipment makes the G 520 an ideal multi-role platform for a wide range of missions. Depending on payload the G 520 has a range up to 5000 km (2700 NM) or up to 11 Hrs (UAV 32 Hrs) on stage time in all weather conditions.
- Long endurance, high altitude performance
- Short runway capabilities
- Reconfigurable payload installation
- Full approval for all-weather IFR/Icing operations acc. to LBA/FAA Part 23 regulations
The buyer of the Grumman Firebird has yet to be identified as well.VTOLicious said:What if the classified platform is "simply" a customized military derivative of a existing (civil) aircraft?...well, capable of long endurance/high altitude...hmm, what about this one:
The GROB 520 EGRETT http://www.grob-aircraft.de/index.php/basic-information-22.html
"The classified UAV is believed to be about the size of a Global Hawk but with Northrop Grumman’s trademark “cranked-kite” shape, It has been described as incorporating both a high degree of stealth and a very efficient aerodynamic design."
I see at least two edges on those aircraft are aligned. So they are already stealthy. Add some RAM paint, and there you go.Ian33 said:How could they make the grob and firebird stealthy?
Yup. I don't see why they'd think a USAF UAV would be represented by an X-47B clearly identifiable by the carrier-suited landing gear. Or are they next going to claim that the USAF has secret catapults to shoot these off of trucks?Mat Parry said:In the comments section, Peter Merlin agrees with you!
Assuming that is the real Mr Merlin... Then that's good enough for me! X-47b it is
X-47B is top right corner. Two sets (top and bottom?) of X-47A gigs in the midle of the insert to left a bit.Magoodotcom said:Looks more like X-47A tooling to me than X-47B.