• Hi Guest! Forum rules have been updated. All users please read here.

UCAV's converted from existing aircraft

JAZZ

ACCESS: Secret
Joined
Mar 12, 2006
Messages
295
Reaction score
76
Lockheed Martin has released details of an unmanned version of its F-35. Other unmanned conversions that have been considered that I have impressions for include, Lockheed F-16, ATV javlin and Saab JAS-39.
 

Attachments

  • US- Lockheed F-16 UCAV_001a.jpg
    US- Lockheed F-16 UCAV_001a.jpg
    41.3 KB · Views: 371
  • US- ATV Javlin-001.jpg
    US- ATV Javlin-001.jpg
    27.8 KB · Views: 427
  • SWED- Saab JAS-39 Gripen UCAV_3.jpg
    SWED- Saab JAS-39 Gripen UCAV_3.jpg
    18 KB · Views: 457

elmayerle

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2006
Messages
1,350
Reaction score
119
F-35 version has been under study for some time. Given the "nature of the beast", it's a comparatively simple conversion for that design and would allow the cockpit area to be used for fuel tankage or other uses, as well as allowing some redesign and simplification of some other systems installations. The only problem is what systems would you drop off to really cut the costs of the UCAV? I've some ideas but I'm not sure I can discuss them in an open forum.
 

Matej

Multiuniversal creator
Joined
Feb 13, 2006
Messages
2,616
Reaction score
117
Website
www.hitechweb.genezis.eu
I think that ATV design is named Javelin, not Javlin. Picture of F-16 is true reworked UCAS with longered wingspan and bigger weapon load. But there was also proposal of F-16 DR IUCAS (Dual Role Interim UCAS) capable to be used in manned and unmanned mode. It was planned as some interim step till UCAS become a standard.

Even at the beginning of JSF program, there was a direct request for also unmanned version. They were planned as X-35D and X-32C. Then they were almost forgotten, because of the new independent X-39/45/47 programs. Now it seems that it is reborned, but as elmayerle wrote, there is problem how to make it cost effective compared to manned F-35 or trully unmanned X-45/47. Picture taken from abovetopsecret forum.
 

Attachments

  • F-35UCAV.jpg
    F-35UCAV.jpg
    26.4 KB · Views: 417

GTX

All hail the God of Frustration!!!
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2006
Messages
3,001
Reaction score
502
Website
beyondthesprues.com
I wasn't aware of the JAS-39 being offered as a UCAV, though it does make sense. Another option I've heard of is to make the A-10 one. Though I believe this may have been something like a optional piloted version (same goes for a variant of the F-16).

Regards,

Greg
 

JAZZ

ACCESS: Secret
Joined
Mar 12, 2006
Messages
295
Reaction score
76
Saab seems to be doing a bit of work around UCAV's...they have been involved in a number of projects FLIUR, SHARC, Getoga, Skvadern, Gladen, TUAV and envolvement in Neuron .

A-10....yep forgot about that one.
 

Attachments

  • US- A-10 Thunderbolt UCAV.jpg
    US- A-10 Thunderbolt UCAV.jpg
    97.1 KB · Views: 343

Archibald

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2006
Messages
4,247
Reaction score
1,767
There was drawing of the A-10 UCAV in air&cosmos some years ago...
 

fightingirish

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2006
Messages
2,380
Reaction score
688
Gulfstream G550 UAV RQ-37

Not an UCAV, more a large UAV:

Another opportunity for the G550 is the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) project. This would use the luxury jet, converted into an unmanned unpiloted mode, with a range of 6750 miles it can carry a payload of 20,000 lbs. Designated the RQ-37, the UAV would have 3 to 4 times the payload of the Global Hawk, over 15 hours endurance and the redundancy of twin engines. The drawbacks of the RQ-37 proposal are considerably less endurance and cost. Whilethe Global Hawk costs around $24-25 million, the basic, unequipped G550 sells for around $35 million.

G550 UAV – Although the Northrop Grumman Global Hawk UAV would appear to have the inside track, in its attempt to win the US Navy’s Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) requirement, Gulfstream have decided to enter the fray with an unmanned version of the G550 business jet. BAMS is intended to provide the USN with an unmanned adjunct to the follow-on Multi-mission Maritime Aircraft replacement for the P-3C Orion. Designated the RQ-37, the vehicle would offer between 3 and 4 times the payload of the Global Hawk, over 15 hours endurance and the redundancy of twin engines. However, apart for considerably less endurance, the biggest drawback of the RQ-37 proposal is cost – the Global Hawk should come in around $24-25 million whilst a basic, unequipped G5000 sells for around $35 million. Although the ‘off-the-shelf’ RQ-37 solution certainly has possibilities, given the cost and proven success of the Global Hawk, I would be very surprised if this programme ever gets off the ground.

Picture(original stolen from FI ;)): http://www.spyflight.co.uk/images/jpgs/Gulfstream%20IV-SP/rq37.jpg
Source: http://www.spyflight.co.uk/IVSP.HTM
 

flateric

ACCESS: Above Top Secret
Staff member
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2006
Messages
9,047
Reaction score
876
F-16 UCAV additional image...found somewhere at DTIS server
 

Attachments

  • F-16UCAV.jpg
    F-16UCAV.jpg
    89.8 KB · Views: 209

Matej

Multiuniversal creator
Joined
Feb 13, 2006
Messages
2,616
Reaction score
117
Website
www.hitechweb.genezis.eu
If its still the theme of the day....

BTW, I have something much interesting. Wait a few days.
 

Attachments

  • F-16 DR IUCAV UCAS.jpg
    F-16 DR IUCAV UCAS.jpg
    65.8 KB · Views: 201

Matej

Multiuniversal creator
Joined
Feb 13, 2006
Messages
2,616
Reaction score
117
Website
www.hitechweb.genezis.eu
Well, it took a bit more than a few days, but I think that its worth. Here is the....

L-29RPV (Remotely Piloted Vehicle) from the Iraq!!

It was built in 1998 from the very basic idea - to take old but flyable aircraft, pack it with servo-engines, videocameras, autopilot and datalink and you have an unmanned plane. Servo-engines (C-611, MP 100 and MP 150) and autopilot were used from the old Chinese missiles, whereas four videocameras were bought/stolen from the civil shops. Ground equipment consisted of the modified Italian ALAMAK station, used for the aerial targets (that were already gone), ground electric energy source and the vehicle with the antennas, able to eject 30 meters above the ground. It was necessary, because the "visible" line between the aircraft and the ground station was needed. Thus the operation radius was limited to 70 km.There were three types of frequencies: for the target tracking 1486,5 MHz, videolink 1435 - 1535 MHz and data transfer 400 - 450 MHz. More than 50 flights were done with one aircraft completely destroyed and one damaged during taxi tests and later repaired. In the middle of 1998, Iraq had three planes finished, three in the process of modification and one was used as a testbed (picture 04.jpg). All were destroyed during anglo-american attack in December 1998.

Materials from the UNSCOM inspector Ing. Vojtech J. Vala
 

Attachments

  • 04.JPG
    04.JPG
    61.7 KB · Views: 63
  • 03.JPG
    03.JPG
    62.8 KB · Views: 62
  • 02.JPG
    02.JPG
    63.6 KB · Views: 77
  • 01.JPG
    01.JPG
    71.1 KB · Views: 110

Jos Heyman

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Feb 15, 2007
Messages
597
Reaction score
13
The conversion of old aircraft into UCAVs, using a 2000's term, was, of course already done in the 1940's with old B-17s and B-24s redesignated as BQ-7 and BQ-8.
In July 1944 approximately 25 B 17Es and B 17Fs, which had reached the end of their useful lives, were modified as BQ-7 controlled bombs as part of Project Castor (also called Project Aphrodite or Project Perilous) to bomb German V-2 construction sites and possibly other heavily defended sites. The aircraft were stripped of unnecessary equipment and were fitted with 10 tons of Torped explosives. A pilot and a radio operator were to take off in the aircraft, set the controls and arm the warhead and bail out before the aircraft would cross the English coast. Flight to the target would be controlled remotely from another B-17, converted as CQ-4.
The concept was first tested in Florida and it seems likely that 10 flights were made there before operations moved to Britain. On 4 August 1944 the first of 15 flights from Britain was made and flights continued until January 1945, although none were successful. By then the value of the project was overtaken by the fact that after D-Day airfields closer to Germany were available and the project was cancelled.
Some reference sources have suggested that on 4 August 1944 a BQ 7 crashed in East Anglia and that the project was immediately cancelled as being too dangerous, however, other data seems to contradict this.

A number of heavily used B 24Ds and B 24Js were converted as BQ-8 radio controlled bombs for possible use against Japan. It is reported that no flights took place.
In addition it has been reported that two PB4Y-1 aircraft were converted by the US Navy in the UK and were operated by the US Navy. The first one flew on 12 August 1944 but exploded prematurely. The second mission was in September 1944.

Reference is also made to Project War Weary in which ‘a large number’ of old B-17s and B-24s were loaded with explosives

Jos Heyman
 

CammNut

ACCESS: Secret
Joined
Feb 1, 2007
Messages
296
Reaction score
5
On the subject of the Gulfstream G550 and the US Navy's Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) requirement, Boeing will take the wraps off its proposal at the Paris air show. The first image of the BAMS G550 to be seen anywhere appeared in the June issue C4ISR Journal, in which Boeing confirmed for the first time officially that it is offering the optionally manned G550 in competition with the Lockheed Martin/General Atomics Mariner and Northrop Grumman RQ-4N Global Hawk UAVs.
 

Attachments

  • G550 BAMS.jpg
    G550 BAMS.jpg
    105.5 KB · Views: 132

CammNut

ACCESS: Secret
Joined
Feb 1, 2007
Messages
296
Reaction score
5
As a comparison, here is the Mariner - basically a Predator B with bigger wing and tail, more fuel in extended leading edges, a maritime surveillance radar in the pod under the fuselage and a retractable EO/IR sensor ball to reduce drag
 

Attachments

  • Mariner UAS.jpg
    Mariner UAS.jpg
    96.2 KB · Views: 128

GTX

All hail the God of Frustration!!!
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2006
Messages
3,001
Reaction score
502
Website
beyondthesprues.com
Here's another impression of how the G550 BAMs concept may appear:



Regards,

Greg
 

CammNut

ACCESS: Secret
Joined
Feb 1, 2007
Messages
296
Reaction score
5
That is an earlier concept for a fully unmanned G550. Boeing is keeping the cockpit because it thinks the US Navy will be interested in the flexibility of it being optionally manned, as BAMS will have to operate from the same forward bases as the P-3s (and eventually P-8s).

There are other potential unmanned G550 applications out there that Boeing and Gulfstream are looking at including an unmanned adjunct to the planned EP-X replacement for the US Navy's EP-3E Aries, the US Army's restructured Aerial Common Sensor and BACN, a US Air Force concept for an airborne communications node or gateway.
 

CammNut

ACCESS: Secret
Joined
Feb 1, 2007
Messages
296
Reaction score
5
Found a couple of new Boeing/Gulfstream BAMS G550 images. In case you are interested in aircraft phrenology, the various bumps are:

Raytheon APG-79 (F/A-18E/F AESA radar) in the nose with EVS (enhanced vision) sensor underneath
Raytheon Advanced Digital Surveillance Radar (two-sided AESA) in canoe under the fuselage
Raytheon retractable EO/IR ball in aft end of canoe
Inmarsat satcom antenna on top of fin
TCDL datalink antenna under after fuselage
 

CammNut

ACCESS: Secret
Joined
Feb 1, 2007
Messages
296
Reaction score
5
And now the pictures!
 

Attachments

  • BAMSabove.jpg
    BAMSabove.jpg
    287.6 KB · Views: 180
  • BAMSbelow.jpg
    BAMSbelow.jpg
    276 KB · Views: 154

snurg

ACCESS: Restricted
Joined
Jun 2, 2007
Messages
12
Reaction score
0
Jos Heyman said:
The conversion of old aircraft into UCAVs, using a 2000's term, was, of course already done in the 1940's with old B-17s and B-24s redesignated as BQ-7 and BQ-8.
In July 1944 approximately 25 B 17Es and B 17Fs, which had reached the end of their useful lives, were modified as BQ-7 controlled bombs as part of Project Castor (also called Project Aphrodite or Project Perilous) to bomb German V-2 construction sites and possibly other heavily defended sites. The aircraft were stripped of unnecessary equipment and were fitted with 10 tons of Torped explosives. A pilot and a radio operator were to take off in the aircraft, set the controls and arm the warhead and bail out before the aircraft would cross the English coast. Flight to the target would be controlled remotely from another B-17, converted as CQ-4.
The concept was first tested in Florida and it seems likely that 10 flights were made there before operations moved to Britain. On 4 August 1944 the first of 15 flights from Britain was made and flights continued until January 1945, although none were successful. By then the value of the project was overtaken by the fact that after D-Day airfields closer to Germany were available and the project was cancelled.
Some reference sources have suggested that on 4 August 1944 a BQ 7 crashed in East Anglia and that the project was immediately cancelled as being too dangerous, however, other data seems to contradict this.

A number of heavily used B 24Ds and B 24Js were converted as BQ-8 radio controlled bombs for possible use against Japan. It is reported that no flights took place.
In addition it has been reported that two PB4Y-1 aircraft were converted by the US Navy in the UK and were operated by the US Navy. The first one flew on 12 August 1944 but exploded prematurely. The second mission was in September 1944.

Reference is also made to Project War Weary in which ‘a large number’ of old B-17s and B-24s were loaded with explosives

Jos Heyman

I'm not sure I'd classify a bomber (or any other aircraft) converted to a guided missile as a UCAV; I believe UCAV implies multiple uses.

At least one B-24 converted to a large guided bomb was flown, with Joseph P Kennedy, Jr aboard. The plane exploded in air due to, it is believed, a defective fuze. See this site.
 

Jemiba

ACCESS: Above Top Secret
Staff member
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2006
Messages
8,228
Reaction score
945
Principally I agree with with snurg, an air vehicle, that destroys itself when fulfilling its
mission, is a missile, not a UCAV, but waters are muddied by several designs, that are
derivatives of reconnaissance UAV, for example the Rheinmetall TARES, which shall attack
armoured vehicles, is a version of the TAIFUN. Seems, there's no universal definition.

About the converted B-17 and B-24, there was a quite comprehensive article in "Mistel", by
Arno Rose, Motorbuchverlag, IIRC. I once had this book, but still yet couldn't find it ... ::)
AFAIK, there were several mission, mainly against the german U-Boat shelter, but without
any success, mainly the used targeting system, using video transmission, was prone to failures.
 

Similar threads

Top