US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program

fightingirish

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Factsheet:
http://lockheedmartinpackers.com/auvsi/factsheets/DS-ADP-UCLASS.pdf
http://lockheedmartinpackers.com/auvsi/
Edit: I will attach the factsheet (PDF) later during the day.
 

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AeroFranz

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How to recycle MRE on the fly...
 

Skyraider3D

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Triton said:
Lockheed Martin video animation from 2001 showing its concept for a US Navy carrier-based Multi-Role Endurance (MRE) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).
Anyone know what LOCAAS stands for?
"Lokaas" is Dutch for "bait", which seems more than a coincidence.

[edit]
Quick internet search revealed: Low-Cost Autonomous Attack System

The "autonomous" bit is always interesting in unmanned warfare. If everything becomes unmanned in the future, we can leave all fighting to robots and it'll just be a technology p*ssing contest, where obviously the richest country wins. Afghanistan shows a different reality though.
[/edit]
 

donnage99

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Boeing's proposal. Note the similarity!
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,6854.0/highlight,mre.html
 

bobbymike

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Navy orders study on UCLASS concepts By Philip Ewing Monday, June 27th, 2011 2:30 pm

The Navy wants an Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike aircraft — or UCLASS — to fly off its carrier decks by 2018, and to that end it has awarded Boeing a contract to study just how it can get there, the aerospace company said Monday. Basically, from Boeing’s announcement, it sounds as though the Navy wants to lay down as much groundwork as possible to prove that it’ll be possible to take an aircraft, get it out to sea, on the cat, into the air and then trap it back on board.
From Boeing’s announcement:<blockquote>Boeing has received a $480,000 study contract from the U.S. Navy to support pre-Milestone A activities including development of a concept of operations, an analysis of alternatives, and an investigation of potential material solutions for the Navy’s Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) program.
“The Navy wants UCLASS in the fleet in 2018,” said Jimmy Dodd, vice president, Advanced Boeing Military Aircraft. “Boeing has been delivering carrier-based aircraft to the Navy since 1925. With Boeing’s broad experience in unmanned systems and rapid prototyping, and nearly 90 years of carrier-based aircraft know-how, we are prepared to meet that schedule to support the mission and requirements the Navy establishes. This contract is the start of that.”
The UCLASS system will consist of an air segment, a connectivity and control segment, a Carrier Vessel-Nuclear (CVN) segment (launch and recovery), and a systems support segment. The work on the eight-month contract, according to the Navy’s Broad Agency Announcement, will conceptually demonstrate that a UCLASS system can provide a persistent CVN-based Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance and strike capability supporting carrier air wing operations in the 2018 time frame.</blockquote>
Read more: http://www.dodbuzz.com/2011/06/27/navy-orders-study-on-uclass-concepts/#ixzz1QVnpJLWl
DoDBuzz.com
 

bobbymike

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Meet Boeing’s New Carrier-Launched Drone Design

Well, it looks like ths might be Boeing’splanned bid for the Navy’s next strike fighter, (after JSF, anyway) known as the Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS).
I just took this picture, showing a drawing of an advanced looking-drone under the UCLASS name, at Boeing’s booth at the Navy League’s annual Sea, Air, Space conference in National Harbor, Md. This was the first I’d seen of anything hinting at Boeing’s planned bid for the Navy’s UCLASS effort which hopes to have a fighter-size, air-refuelable, stealthy strike drone flying from carrier decks by the end of the decade. UPDATE: Boeing officials tell me that is is simply a concept drawing and not a final design.
Remember, Northrop Grumman is likely to offer a version of its X-47B for the UCLASS contest while General Atomics is offering a version of its Predator C Avenger, called the Sea Avenger, that’s equipped to handle the strains of catapult launches and arrested landings as well as the salty sea air and Lockheed is apparently going to bid with a yet-to-be revealed design.
Read more: http://defensetech.org/2012/04/16/16952/#ixzz1sFGvddKw
 

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sferrin

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Sounds like they've given up on Phantom Ray.
 

TAGBOARD

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If the above configuration is what Boeing intends to field, there will be much work in the subsonic tunnels trying to figure out why there's a pitching moment problem across the AoA range that CFD may not be catching. It stems from the shovel shaped nose used trying to keep the planform alignment for RF LO shaping. They may even need to change their configuration to include small canards or a tail.


Early JASSM variants dealt with this issue and added the wedges, that drop off after release and capture, on the aftbody near the exhaust nozzle. What's more is the flight envelope for JASSM has a smaller range than the UCLASS will see - with the launches and landings on moving and carriers with turbulence, etc. I hope the technical evaluation committee catches that problem before awarding more funding, as this will likely help drive the risk and cost up.


It's interesting how many past lessons learned are not applied by future efforts.
 

flateric

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it just asks for V-tail like Lockheed's MREUAV/UCLASS...and then it will be looking just ...indistinguishable from last one
 

sferrin

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TAGBOARD said:
It's interesting how many past lessons learned are not applied by future efforts.
That's what happens when nobody communicates and everybody uses contract workers.
 

AeroFranz

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I share the sentiments regarding pitch authority. They might be planning to use thrust vectoring in the vertical plane to trim the aircraft.
But even this seems dicey, and i can't recall any other aircraft ever doing that. If they can pull it off, my hat's off to them.
 

bobbymike

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Lockheed Martin Sea Ghost UAV

http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/the-dewline/2012/07/lockheed-martin-unveils-sea-gh.html
 
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Ian33

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That's quite some stretch the Predator C Avenger got going on.
 

sferrin

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Boeing (new design), NG (X-47B), GA (Predator-C "Avenger"), Lockheed Martin Sea Ghost above.

Boeing

http://defensetech.org/2012/04/16/16952/

I wouldn't think the Predator-C would really be in the same class as the others though.
 

TomS

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The encouraging thing about including Pred-C is that it gives you a clearer sense of the trade space -- it probably isn't as high performing as the others, but it also probably costs a bunch less. That helps you see how much the last increment of stealth or speed will cost, which is the exact sort of question the Navy has not done well at exploring in the past.
 

sferrin

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TomS said:
The encouraging thing about including Pred-C is that it gives you a clearer sense of the trade space -- it probably isn't as high performing as the others, but it also probably costs a bunch less. That helps you see how much the last increment of stealth or speed will cost, which is the exact sort of question the Navy has not done well at exploring in the past.
And payload. Predator-C's is only about 3500lbs.
 

donnage99

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sferrin said:
What do you mean? ???
He meant that it's the b version (2nd avenger), which has a longer fuselage from the a version (first one).
 

fightingirish

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Notice the conformal pod under the fuselage for reconnaissance and targeting sensors.
 

Triton

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Will the UCLASS be flown from workstations aboard the aircraft carrier or from workstations located on naval bases perhaps located in the United States?
 

TomS

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It sounds like both. From the BAA:
The UCLASS system will be jointly interoperable at Levels 1-4 in accordance with STANAG 4586 and capable of transferring control of the aircraft, sensors, and weapons between operators at DoD sea and land-based facilities.
Now, whether the sea-based operators would just be doing launch and recovery isn't clear. It sounds to me like they want the sea-based operators to have the option of running the whole mission (references to interoperability with CVW assets, JFMCC tasking, etc.).
 

bobbymike

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Is it just me or do others get a tingle when the voiceover guy says, "Systems we cannot talk about" although of course I want to know what they aren't talking about.
 

flateric

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I just wonder why kinda cancelled for a while MPUAV is making appearance in video...
 

sferrin

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flateric said:
I just wonder why kinda cancelled for a while MPUAV is making appearance in video...
Probably just showing other UCAV concepts (they also show the VTOL UCAV landing on an LCS flight deck at 1:57). This LM UCLASS seems much smaller than the X-47B. ???
 

donnage99

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flateric said:
I just wonder why kinda cancelled for a while MPUAV is making appearance in video...
That's the first thing I thought about when I saw the video. Though the video is no tell sign, but I venture to say that MPUAV may have gone black. Just imagine the sensitive nature of a low rcs reconnaissance uav launched stealthily from a silent submarine to monitor hot spot around the world. I think that if it gone black, it may have gone black after Lockmart demonstrated the technological feasibility of launching such a vehicle to break free of the water surface and recovering it.
 

fightingirish

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That hump on top of the UCLASS is probably for SATCOM; - or a place holder for "R2-D2"? :D
 

TomS

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donnage99 said:
That's the first thing I thought about when I saw the video. Though the video is no tell sign, but I venture to say that MPUAV may have gone black.
If it had gone black, it wouldn't be showing up in unclassified Skunk Works videos.
 

sferrin

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TomS said:
donnage99 said:
That's the first thing I thought about when I saw the video. Though the video is no tell sign, but I venture to say that MPUAV may have gone black.
If it had gone black, it wouldn't be showing up in unclassified Skunk Works videos.
Exactly. They just added stuff from other programs in the past (that made it to hardware or not). It's not like they're still launching D-21s from Blackbirds.
 

donnage99

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TomS said:
donnage99 said:
That's the first thing I thought about when I saw the video. Though the video is no tell sign, but I venture to say that MPUAV may have gone black.
If it had gone black, it wouldn't be showing up in unclassified Skunk Works videos.
What I meant is that the concept of launching a stealthy uav from submarine has gone black in the form of another program, but not the actual cormorant MPUAV program. Cormorant was a white world program that proved its point as much as it was over.
 

bobbymike

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Lockheed Martin's Skunkworks on Tuesday unveiled the company's entry in the Navy's Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike competition. The company is touting the design, which bears a resemblance to its classified Air Force RQ-170 Sentinel remotely piloted aircraft, as leveraging its experience on other unmanned systems as well as the F-35 to achieve "maximum reuse of hardware and software" toward lowering cost and risk. The unnamed design, which features folding wings for carrier duty, embodies "multi-spectral stealth," said the company.

A video on Lockheed Martin's website describes the vehicle's mission as performing intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance as well as strike, communications relay, and aerial refueling. The Navy wants to get the UCLASS into production by 2016, and has identified Boeing, General Atomics, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman as companies capable of doing the work. Navy officials said they plan to take all four companies into a design phase. Northrop Grumman has been flying its X-47B as a UCLASS technology demonstrator. The UCLASS is the descendant of the joint Air Force-Navy program to develop a new class of combat RPAs, which included Boeing's X-45 demonstrator. The Air Force withdrew from the project to pursue its next-generation bomber.
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Bolding mine - If you had a super stealthy platform with DATS which - from a video on the F-35 news thread - can detect rocket and artillery from hundreds of km away opens up a very interesting concept of operations.

UCLASS cruising undetected relaying this information back to a platform with long range stealthy strike missiles (well outside radar range and hopefully someday hypersonic missiles) would be a game changer. One UCALSS with 24 hour persistence married to an SSGN or a Burke with SM-III land attack missiles (although these may never be built) JASSM-ERs, cruise missiles or one day a RATTLRS or X-51 type system and two platforms could dominate a huge swath of territory.
 
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