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"RQ-180": Aviation Week & Space Technology's alleged new UAS

AeroFranz

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Nice. There is even a small cutaway of MUVR. I haven't heard of that in a while...
 

flateric

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MUVR is RIP for a while
 

flateric

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http://www.airforcemag.com/DRArchive/Pages/2014/June%202014/June%2010%202014/For-Those-Hard-to-Reach-Areas.aspx


For Those Hard-to-Reach Areas
Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance, and
Reconnaissance chief Lt. Gen. Bob Otto said the
service is working on the RQ-180 remotely piloted
aircraft to give it better access to contested
airspace, where the unmanned RQ-4 Global Hawk
and manned U-2S platforms are vulnerable. Otto
declined to provide details about the aircraft in
comments to Air Force Magazine after his June 9
address in Arlington, Va., that AFA’s Mitchell
Institute for Aerospace Studies sponsored. He did
say the Air Force still needs the Global Hawk for
“run-of-the-mill” operations. However, there are
limits to its ability to image from standoff
distances, and both it and the U-2 have “problems”
seeing through or operating in bad weather, said
Otto. During his speech, he mentioned “new”
research and development to produce sensors that
can get at “difficult-to-target” objects. For
budgetary reasons, the Air Force position is that it
needs “only one high-altitude reconnaissance
platform” and it’s the RQ-4, not the U-2, said Otto
in his speech. He didn’t say where the RQ-180 fits
in the mix, but did say the Air Force is “over-
invested in permissive [area] assets” in ISR.
—John A. Tirpak
6/10/2014
 

Mr London 24/7

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Gen. Otto presentation Audio:

http://secure.afa.org/Mitchell/Presentations/Mitchell-6-9-14-Otto.mp3
 

sublight is back

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Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance chief Lt. Gen. Bob Otto said
So why is this thread still in "Theoretical and Speculative Projects" again?

Abracadabra!
 

Mr London 24/7

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Mr London 24/7 said:
Gen. Otto presentation Audio:

http://secure.afa.org/Mitchell/Presentations/Mitchell-6-9-14-Otto.mp3
Gen. Otto due to speak again Feb 18th (of course not clear on what, however this seemed good place to post):

http://higherlogicdownload.s3.amazonaws.com/AFA/6379b747-7730-4f82-9b45-a1c80d6c8fdb/UploadedImages/Press%20Releases/2015/February/February%20Breakfast%20Series%20with%20Otto.pdf
 

Flyaway

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I wonder if that recent NG advert that many have assumped was representing their bomber entry might in fact have been a drone under the sheet. After all a drone still has a pilot even though they are remote from it.

Would they be that cheeky to put the RQ-180 in it? :eek:
 

flateric

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Thing under wraps doesn't fit long endurance ISR solution by any means.
 

Mr London 24/7

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Flyaway

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Makes that Airforce magazine article even more mysterious as to exactly where the quotes in it originated from.
 

Mr London 24/7

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(http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,1885.msg132743.html#msg132743)


;)
 

flateric

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quellish

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Who flies it?

Where is it based?

Where has it been deployed?
 
I

Ian33

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quellish said:
Who flies it?

Where is it based?

Where has it been deployed?
USAF and British RAF mixed aircrews that have B2 experience.

Korea, Cyprus (Akrotiri) (Reason why there was such a flap when Russia parked its ships off the coast, and why journalists covering the migrant crisis were forbidden from being on bases and roaming before sun rise) and US U2 bases State side.

Korea, Syria, Iran
 

quellish

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lowchi said:
I assume you dont think its operational yet?
I have found nothing to indicate it exists at all.
 

marauder2048

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quellish said:
lowchi said:
I assume you dont think its operational yet?
I have found nothing to indicate it exists at all.
The fact that LM made their unsolicited RQ-X (now TR-X) offer lends credence to this view.
 

lowchi

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quellish said:
lowchi said:
I assume you dont think its operational yet?
I have found nothing to indicate it exists at all.
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,20900.msg223807.html#msg223807

But they admit it exists (sort of). Please correct me if i overlooked something
 

lowchi

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Ian33 said:
quellish said:
Who flies it?

Where is it based?

Where has it been deployed?
Cyprus (Akrotiri) (Reason why there was such a flap when Russia parked its ships off the coast, and why journalists covering the migrant crisis were forbidden from being on bases and roaming before sun rise)
Hey Ian33, do you have a source for that?
 

xstatic3000

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lowchi said:
quellish said:
lowchi said:
I assume you dont think its operational yet?
I have found nothing to indicate it exists at all.
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,20900.msg223807.html#msg223807

But they admit it exists (sort of). Please correct me if i overlooked something
Gen. Otto stated that the USAF was "working on it", not that some sort of operational platform actually exists and has been deployed. It could be in the requirements phase to some degree based on his statements. There has been nothing to indicate that this is some sort of operational system that has been built and deployed. I'm not saying that it dosen't exist, but any assertion that it is out there right now is purely speculative.
 

xstatic3000

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lowchi said:
Ian33 said:
quellish said:
Who flies it?

Where is it based?

Where has it been deployed?
Cyprus (Akrotiri) (Reason why there was such a flap when Russia parked its ships off the coast, and why journalists covering the migrant crisis were forbidden from being on bases and roaming before sun rise)
Hey Ian33, do you have a source for that?
Pure conjecture.
 

Flyaway

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lowchi said:
quellish said:
lowchi said:
I assume you dont think its operational yet?
I have found nothing to indicate it exists at all.
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,20900.msg223807.html#msg223807

But they admit it exists (sort of). Please correct me if i overlooked something
I think it more likely exists than not but that is admittedly going off one mention in one article by one senior Air Force official, so make of that you will.

Mind you I am sure I read an article recently implying it may have been axed on cost grounds?
 

xstatic3000

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Ian33 said:
quellish said:
Who flies it?

Where is it based?

Where has it been deployed?
USAF and British RAF mixed aircrews that have B2 experience.

Korea, Cyprus (Akrotiri) (Reason why there was such a flap when Russia parked its ships off the coast, and why journalists covering the migrant crisis were forbidden from being on bases and roaming before sun rise) and US U2 bases State side.

Korea, Syria, Iran
Aircrews with B2 experience would be tasked with flying an unmanned, high-altitude reconnaissance platform? Am I missing something here?
 

Gridlock

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xstatic3000 said:
Aircrews with B2 experience would be tasked with flying an unmanned, high-altitude reconnaissance platform? Am I missing something here?
RAF aircrews with experience flying very expensive, highly secret-sauce USAF airframes could be more apt. I want to know more about these restricted journalists on Cyprus - sources?
 

Dynoman

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The folks at Dreamland Resort had these pictures posted for a while, but they reminded me of the RQ-180 configuration so I thought I would show them here to see what thoughts anyone had on them. The person who took the picture said that the aircraft was sized with a wingspan of B747, was quiet with a low pitch rumble that was uncharacteristic of an aircraft.
If these are real RQ-180, then the aircraft, at least in prototype form, has already been flying.
PS: Not a Polecat due to the cranked arrow leading edge.
 

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flateric

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Dynoman said:
The folks at Dreamland Resort had these pictures posted for a while
http://forum.keypublishing.com/showthread.php?65072-Possible-new-aircraft-sighted-at-Groom-Lake&p=1044959#post1044959
Yeah, the guy who originated the "photos" finally admitted that he created the aircraft in X-Plane, and used Photoshop to add some noise to the image.
 

Dynoman

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Thanks Flateric...I thought it might be too good to be true ::)
 

dark sidius

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Don't you think it look like the Northrop tease video of the Hangar the plane Under wraps ?
 

Flyaway

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More relevant are the rumours something new has moved into the Edwards South Base, maybe this?
 

xstatic3000

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You might want to read Flateric's post again - these pictures are admitted fakes.
 

quellish

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Flyaway said:
More relevant are the rumours something new has moved into the Edwards South Base, maybe this?
W912PL-16-S-0005
 

xstatic3000

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quellish said:
Flyaway said:
More relevant are the rumours something new has moved into the Edwards South Base, maybe this?
W912PL-16-S-0005
So Sources Sought in December - they are probably refining requirements and finalizing the solicitation. This should probably hit the street in a few weeks. Interesting that it's USACE, but they support all branches of service in the name of "jointness". ;D
 

quellish

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xstatic3000 said:
So Sources Sought in December - they are probably refining requirements and finalizing the solicitation. This should probably hit the street in a few weeks. Interesting that it's USACE, but they support all branches of service in the name of "jointness". ;D
USACE does almost all milcon in SoCal.
The CTF in question is for global strike/LRS.
There is also an ongoing environmental cleanup at South Base.
It is not clear if this solicitation uses the 77.130m allocated for LRS-B milcon, though that money was RDTE and specifically not for hangars/buildings.
 

xstatic3000

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If the $77M is strictly RDT&E then yes, this solicitation would use a different MILCON funding stream. However, I could write a book full of stories of program offices trying to use RDT&E funds for all sorts of construction and infrastructure programs.
 

Flyaway

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xstatic3000 said:
You might want to read Flateric's post again - these pictures are admitted fakes.
These are separate rumours not on that site and nothing to do with those fakes.
 

NeilChapman

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quellish said:
Flyaway said:
More relevant are the rumours something new has moved into the Edwards South Base, maybe this?
W912PL-16-S-0005
Description of Work:
This project will restore/alter four (4) Aircraft Maintenance Hangars, associated out-buildings, taxi/parking ramps and construct aircraft shade canopies to support Developmental Test (DT) and Operational Test (OT) utilizing economical design and construction methods to accommodate the mission. Additionally, a 149 SM covered building will be constructed to house fire suppression pumping systems to allow open fuel tank maintenance in one hangar.

--

North Base used to have four hangers. Looks like two of them are still there depending on the Google Earth images. The larger is ~150' wide, the smaller ~100' wide. I'd guess that the other two hangers were ~100' wide similar to the smaller but half the depth based on the pad.

Looks like a lot of work if this area is for RQ with a wingspan over 120'. The ramp concrete is a mess.
 

quellish

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xstatic3000 said:
If the $77M is strictly RDT&E then yes, this solicitation would use a different MILCON funding stream. However, I could write a book full of stories of program offices trying to use RDT&E funds for all sorts of construction and infrastructure programs.
It is milcon that is specifically for RDTE facilities other than buildings/hangars.
Also interesting is the related item from the same account, project, and PE for $3m for munitions storage. All of this is at a classified CONUS location - which would not typically include Edwards.

If there is an "RQ-180" it is not owned or funded by DoD or NRO. There is no unit to fly it. The AvWeek article written in 2013 mentioned NG constructing engine run facilities at Palmdale as evidence for the "RQ-180". The AvWeek article also mentioned NG financial reports indicating an unmanned system had moved into low rate production.

The Palmdale facilities are used for GlobalHawk engine runs and are easily visible (and audible) from public land. They were pretty clearly designed for the GlobalHawk dimensions and needs. At the time there were several projects ramping up with GlobalHawk - AGS, Triton, etc. NG was ramping up other UAV/UAS product lines as well. I have not been able to find the financial reports that specifically describe an unmanned system moving into low rate production in 2012/2013, however the financial reports I have seen indicate the growth of the GlobalHawk-related businesses as well as a "forward loss recognized on a restricted program".

So far it does not seem likely that the "RQ-180" as described exists.
 
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