The path not taken.
- Oct 9, 2009
- Reaction score
Disclosed in a 26 March US Department of Defense (DoD) contract modification for USD98.9 million to increase the scope of low-rate initial production (LRIP) Lot 5, the reintroduction of one aircraft for the US Navy (USN) effectively removes the prospect of Northrop Grumman having to pause production across Lots 6 and 7 for two years until FY 2023. This had been touted due to budgetary constraints.
“[Northrop Grumman is] pleased to announce Congress reintroduced a production aircraft back in to the FY 2021 budget as part of LRIP Lot 5, which will prevent a production pause,” a company spokesperson said.
The bit about integrating with a system like Starlink was interesting. Guess this is a way of the USAF previewing its capabilities via the backdoor of the online aviation press.The Air Force's secretive, very stealthy, and high-flying drone won't be just a better spy aircraft, it will be a deeply networked game-changer.www.thedrive.com
Based on the limited information that can be gathered from these images, the rear of the drone appears more or less unchanged.
Sudden Phoenix flash-backs.....just realized that an additional reason for the odd location of the IRST may have to do with how the vehicle is recovered. Remind me, but it is lowered by parachute on its belly, right (possibly with airbags)? In that case you don't want the relatively expensive sensor to risk impacting the ground.