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

Sundog

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I am not that enthusiastic about the RQ-180 since they say its purpose is for reconnaissance but I hope a 5 ton payload UAV version be it the X-47C is in development as the article states.
They're working on that vehicle now, it's called the B-21. It will eventually be optionally manned.
 

rooster

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Well, I would hope if we have a large stealthy (who says its unmanned?) rq180 that it would have some ability to also attack as well as perform surveillance. A few years ago some retired general was on the news channels saying that the US had the means of attacking stealthily NK missiles on their launch pads but he could not go into details. It sounded lime a tacit admission the US had some kind of stealthy attack platform or stealthy missile. 10 tons is a lot but its not inconceivable if we have a stealthy surveillance platform that it might have a weapons bay. Otherwise we wasted a lot of money on those ucav drones that publicly went no place. I would hope my tax dollars went someplace to replace the f117 mission with something else. The f35 is great, but its not in the same league as a dedicated VLO attack plane.

Why do people assume the rq180, if it is real, is unmanned? Might it not be optionally manned?
 

panzerfeist1

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Well, I would hope if we have a large stealthy (who says its unmanned?) rq180 that it would have some ability to also attack as well as perform surveillance. A few years ago some retired general was on the news channels saying that the US had the means of attacking stealthily NK missiles on their launch pads but he could not go into details. It sounded lime a tacit admission the US had some kind of stealthy attack platform or stealthy missile. 10 tons is a lot but its not inconceivable if we have a stealthy surveillance platform that it might have a weapons bay. Otherwise we wasted a lot of money on those ucav drones that publicly went no place. I would hope my tax dollars went someplace to replace the f117 mission with something else. The f35 is great, but its not in the same league as a dedicated VLO attack plane.

Why do people assume the rq180, if it is real, is unmanned? Might it not be optionally manned?
1. sources say that is primarily used for EW and Reconnaissance if I remember correctly,

2. Its estimated flight range suggests it will be the same as the global hawk.

To me hopefully the X-47C is truly in developement because I would like a nice stealth drone like that to fly along with the F-35 where the drone has a nice radar system and does most of the air to ground missiles while the F-35 tagging behind the drone can cover it with air to air missiles and of course for both to exchange information. If its the B-21 I feel like its going to be a longer wait than the X-47C.
 

TomS

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Why do people assume the rq180, if it is real, is unmanned? Might it not be optionally manned?
Because if it was manned, it would probably not have an RQ designation.
 

rooster

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Why do people assume the rq180, if it is real, is unmanned? Might it not be optionally manned?
Because if it was manned, it would probably not have an RQ designation.
That's what I mean. Remember the F-19? The entire F was designed to throw everyone off of it being an A-117. Who says the official designation is RQ-anything. The RQ180 is speculation unless anyone can point to anything official. It could RQ201 for anyone knows.
 

In_A_Dream

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What its implied role is may be a misinformation campaign.

I'd like to know how that high-speed/high-altitude reconnaissance drone is coming along.
 

Skyraider3D

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Overscan, I doubt it as they never even asked.

Flyaway, I don't wish to critique a fellow artist's work, but let me suffice by saying that I wouldn't ever dare deliver something of that quality while keeping a straight face, no matter how tight the deadline or how low the budget.
 

sferrin

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Why do people assume the rq180, if it is real, is unmanned? Might it not be optionally manned?
Because if it was manned, it would probably not have an RQ designation.
That's what I mean. Remember the F-19? The entire F was designed to throw everyone off of it being an A-117. Who says the official designation is RQ-anything. The RQ180 is speculation unless anyone can point to anything official. It could RQ201 for anyone knows.
It's not an A-117, it's called the F-117.
 

sferrin

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What its implied role is may be a misinformation campaign.

I'd like to know how that high-speed/high-altitude reconnaissance drone is coming along.
The powerpoint is still on a server somewhere I'm sure.
 

rooster

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Why do people assume the rq180, if it is real, is unmanned? Might it not be optionally manned?
Because if it was manned, it would probably not have an RQ designation.
That's what I mean. Remember the F-19? The entire F was designed to throw everyone off of it being an A-117. Who says the official designation is RQ-anything. The RQ180 is speculation unless anyone can point to anything official. It could RQ201 for anyone knows.
It's not an A-117, it's called the F-117.
But you do know it never flew anything other than attack missions. I don't think it was ever employed as a fighter is the point.
 

TomS

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The F in F-117 was totally consistent with USAF practice. Fast-mover tactical jets were all fighters, even if they were intended as strike aircraft (see F-105 and F-111). The only breaks in that are the A-7, which inherited the A designation from the Navy, and the A-10, which was too slow (and ugly) to be a fighter. (And even so, A-10s were assigned to Fighter Squadrons, not Attack Squadrons.)

And Tom Clancy in Red Storm Rising aside, I think everyone understood that the "Stealth Fighter" was going to be primarily a light bomber, possibly with a reconnaissance role as well. (Jane's had this right in 1982, before any designation was known.)

The only deception in the designation was numbering the F-117 in the old Century series, where it hung out with the various USAF-operated MiGs and some other obscure projects like Tacit Blue.
 
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marauder2048

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What its implied role is may be a misinformation campaign.
Or just disinformation in its entirety. Here's the clue:

It should be noted the secret code name was shared with Northrop Grumman’s public search to find an engineering base for the B-21 program around that time.
A project code name for a unacknowledged special access program would never be shared with another project
(at the same company mine you) of lower classification for fear that misrouting to the latter would compromise the former.
 

Flyaway

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What its implied role is may be a misinformation campaign.
Or just disinformation in its entirety. Here's the clue:

It should be noted the secret code name was shared with Northrop Grumman’s public search to find an engineering base for the B-21 program around that time.
A project code name for a unacknowledged special access program would never be shared with another project
(at the same company mine you) of lower classification for fear that misrouting to the latter would compromise the former.
Or your just reading entirely too much into it and wildly over extrapolating a conclusion from what might be a minor error in the article.
 
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