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

TomS

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No surprise that the USN is getting pressed to do more with the MQ-25 before it has been to sea. ASW might be an alternate mission. Has there been any technology work that precludes sticking a great big stick out of the back end of the aircraft? If it can be done without significant modification I would think that a good option.

By stick, do you mean MAD? Probably the least important sensor to hang on a modern ASW aircraft, especially one optimized for high level work. There's a reason the P-8 doesn't have one (only partially financial).

The interesting issue with an ASW MQ-25 would be how dedicated it would be. If you could just hang a couple of sonobouy pods in lieu of the hose and drogue, that's easy but leaves you with the issue of how to actually prosecute a target. Adding torpedoes (or HAAWC) would likely displace the sensors into the fuselage, making a much more extensive dedicated conversion.
 

Josh_TN

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In the ASW role, one pod could potentially house sensors and another could carry ordnance. Or possibly they could operate in pairs or with helos and land based air, depending on circumstances. Anyway, it was just a thought on other uses for the craft; I think they will be quite busy just offloading fuel unless they are purchased in larger numbers than the USN has stated so far.
 

yasotay

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No surprise that the USN is getting pressed to do more with the MQ-25 before it has been to sea. ASW might be an alternate mission. Has there been any technology work that precludes sticking a great big stick out of the back end of the aircraft? If it can be done without significant modification I would think that a good option.

By stick, do you mean MAD? Probably the least important sensor to hang on a modern ASW aircraft, especially one optimized for high level work. There's a reason the P-8 doesn't have one (only partially financial).

The interesting issue with an ASW MQ-25 would be how dedicated it would be. If you could just hang a couple of sonobouy pods in lieu of the hose and drogue, that's easy but leaves you with the issue of how to actually prosecute a target. Adding torpedoes (or HAAWC) would likely displace the sensors into the fuselage, making a much more extensive dedicated conversion.
Apologies neglected to type in MAD. Thank you, was not aware that is "old" technology. Your point about viable muntions is well taken.
 

Josh_TN

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I think MAD is not seen as especially useful in the context of modern active sonars. The range isn't that great, along with the requirement to fly low. I believe it isn't a sensor that scores an initial detection, its something used to refine position - for instance, running down a bearing-only target. I think the renewed emphasis of operating at high altitude and using active sonar for even initial detection has largely frozen out the niche it used to fill. It was deleted from the MH-60R for weight reasons and I believe the P-8 more for cost. An active directional buoy like DICASS would typically be used to generate a firing control solution anyway (or perhaps the dipping sonar in the case of MH-60). The Indian Navy notably still wanted it, and P-8I's do in fact have a 'stinger'.
 

TomcatViP

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I think most of Reaper's/Predator Pods are good candidates, GA willing. Anti-surface warfare also (fast attack boat, helo, cruise missiles...). Not Sub-surface.
 

bring_it_on

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With NGAD not likely to show up anytime soon, they are probably better off funding a couple of additional UAV's for dedicated ISR and ASW missions. Optimize them for the specific mission and induct them over 4-5 years or so. I just don't see the fixation of a sole source design that gets adapted for each and every mission the Navy feels it needs to offload to an unmanned aircraft. Better to have multiple teams working on this...
 

sferrin

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No surprise that the USN is getting pressed to do more with the MQ-25 before it has been to sea. ASW might be an alternate mission. Has there been any technology work that precludes sticking a great big stick out of the back end of the aircraft? If it can be done without significant modification I would think that a good option.
Or do it like the choppers do (towed MAD; the red and yellow thing):

1623972755588.png

 

_Del_

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I think most of Reaper's/Predator Pods are good candidates, GA willing. Anti-surface warfare also (fast attack boat, helo, cruise missiles...). Not Sub-surface.
The Navy is interested. A few years back they laid sonobouys and had GA overfly with their Lynx radar-equiped maritime "SeaGuardian" Reaper proposal to receive and process the sonar data onboard and relay it via satellite.
Then either last fall or winter, GA successfully laid a sonobouy from a wing-mounted pod.

It's not going to replace the P-8 or Seahawks, but I don't doubt they are interested in potential equipment kits for the MQ-25 that also include a supplementary ASW role.

How easy that is to package in a way that is easy to swap or doesn't compromise the other missions they'd like to perform, time will tell, but they are obviously looking at unmanned ASW capabilities.

Long endurance ASW from the carrier deck way out in bluewater is going to be desirable. P-8 only gets you a thousand miles from shore or so with time-on-station. And the farther out you send them, the more sorties you need to generate to maintain coverage.
 

aonestudio

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View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sO6LtHdHkns

 

TomcatViP

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Mark Nankivil

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Well, I didn't see this coming. The MQ-25 will be built in Illinois at the Mid-America airport
News Link
Not a whole lot of excess room at Lambert, especially if T-7A will be built there and I am sure that State of Illinois sweetened the $$$ incentives to be at Mid-America.

Enjoy the Day! Mark
 

Sundog

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Well, I didn't see this coming. The MQ-25 will be built in Illinois at the Mid-America airport
News Link
Not a whole lot of excess room at Lambert, especially if T-7A will be built there and I am sure that State of Illinois sweetened the $$$ incentives to be at Mid-America.

Enjoy the Day! Mark

You know, I had forgotten just how much work they have at Lambert, as I was just thinking about the Super Hornet. But I hadn't thought about T-7A production and the F-15EX. Thanks for pointing that out.
 

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