US Navy MQ-25 Stingray Unmanned Aerial Tanker


TerraN_EmpirE

Tyrant King
Why Does Boeing's MQ-25 Prototype Look So Stealthy?
Jan 3, 2018by
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    posted by Boeing on Twitter showing the company-funded prototype of its offering for the U.S. Navy’s MQ-25 Stingray has raised questions about why its design for an unmanned carrier-based aerial refueling tanker should look so stealthy.








    The answer may lie in the origins of the Navy’s long-gestated requirement for the so-called Carrier-Based Aerial Refueling System (CBARS), but what is obvious is that Boeing’s design bears a resemblance to one of the key aircraft in the history of stealth - Northrop’s 1980s Tacit Blue demonstrator
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I suggest reading the article, no pay/Members wall
 
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Why Does Boeing's MQ-25 Prototype Look So Stealthy?
Jan 3, 2018by
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    posted by Boeing on Twitter showing the company-funded prototype of its offering for the U.S. Navy’s MQ-25 Stingray has raised questions about why its design for an unmanned carrier-based aerial refueling tanker should look so stealthy.








    The answer may lie in the origins of the Navy’s long-gestated requirement for the so-called Carrier-Based Aerial Refueling System (CBARS), but what is obvious is that Boeing’s design bears a resemblance to one of the key aircraft in the history of stealth - Northrop’s 1980s Tacit Blue demonstrator
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I suggest reading the article, no pay/Members wall
funny how you quit right before the inlet issue:

The first teaser image released in December immediately raised questions about where the inlet was located on Boeing’s MQ-25 design. Earlier artists’ impressions of its concept for a carrier-based unmanned aircraft had the inlet mounted above the fuselage, similar to General Atomics’ Avenger. But such an inlet was not apparent in that first, tantalizing head-on image.

The inlet is no more apparent in the latest video. In fact, there doesn’t appear to be one! The only hint at its existence is a black line mid-way along the prototype’s upper fuselage stenciled with the words “Jet Intake Danger.” This suggests Boeing’s MQ-25 has an inlet buried in its back and therefore completely flush - like that on the Tacit Blue.

The Tacit Blue was built for DARPA and the U.S. Air Force in part to show that a stealth aircraft could be designed that had curved surfaces, and was not entirely composed of faceted panels like Lockheed’s Have Blue and F-117. The design techniques developed for Tacit Blue were applied by Northrop to the smoothly curved B-2 stealth bomber.

Tacit Blue’s top-mounted flush inlet may have been stealthy, but it was hard to start, the flight-test crew at one point parking a C-130 in front of the aircraft so that its propwash would help start the airflow into the buried engines. There was also some flow separation in the inlet duct.
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On Tacit Blue the engines exhausted from a slot nozzle located between V-tails - which also seems to be the case with Boeing’s MQ-25. The Tacit Blue’s wing and tails were unswept - as they appear to be on Boeing’s unmanned aerial refueler. Boeing’s design also has a chine running around the perimeter of the fuselage - a familiar characteristic of stealth designs.

By why? Stealth is not one the Navy’s requirements for CBARS. It was, once, a requirement for the CBARS’ predecessor, the Unmanned Carrier-Launched Surveillance Strike (UCLASS) system. But after a lengthy and contentious debate, UCLASS was downgraded to an unmanned tanker and the need for stealth removed.

Northrop Grumman - which built and flew the tailless, flying-wing X-47B under the predecessor to UCLASS, the Naval Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstrator program - dropped out of the running for CBARS after seeing the final request for proposals (RFP). The lack of a requirement for a stealthy platform that could be developed from the X-47B may have been one of the reasons.

Boeing’s MQ-25 design may have acquired its stealth features when it was UCLASS, and retained its shape through the many study phases that led up to the final CBARS RFP. It may be a bet placed by Boeing that the Navy, once it gets the Stingray on its carrier decks, will want to evolve the aircraft from an unmanned tanker to a surveillance/strike asset that needs stealth.

Another sign of stealth influence in the design’s origins that is visible in the video is the arrestor hook, which is enclosed behind a door when retracted. But the prototype seen being rolled out by Boeing’s Phantom Works in St. Louis does not have sawtooth edges on its gear doors or access panels, the existence of which is another typical signifier of stealth requirements.

Other design features of note. Boeing’s MQ-25 prototype has three air-data sensors on the nose - indicating triplex digital fly-by-wing flight control - but they are probes and not the flush sensors used on Northrop’s stealth-shaped X-47B. There is also what appears to be a camera under the flat nose, presumably to provide the ground operator a view ahead during takeoff and landing.

The main gear retracts forward into the fuselage inboard of the wing roots and the wing fold is just visible - a seam and bulge on the upper surface, over what is presumably the hinge and actuator, some way out from the wing root. There is also a pronounced vertical join that runs around the fuselage forward of the wing leading edge - the reason for which is far from clear.
 

TerraN_EmpirE

Tyrant King
I wanted people to read it and see the images, so I cut it short at a convenient point.
Tacit_Blue_in_flight.jpg
Anyway the Tacit blue demonstrator with a clear view into the intake. The Tail and wing configuration also seems pretty close. I really hope Boeing does a overhead shot of there MQ25 to give us a clean shot of her. for comparison.
 

TerraN_EmpirE

Tyrant King
FAA approves registration number for Boeing MQ-25 prototype

  • 04 JANUARY, 2018
  • SOURCE: FLIGHTGLOBAL.COM
  • BY: STEPHEN TRIMBLE
  • WASHINGTON DC


Boeing has received a US aircraft registration for the newly-unveiled demonstrator at the heart of its bid to make up to 72 MQ-25 Stingray carrier-based unmanned tankers for the US Navy, the company confirms to FlightGlobal.

The Federal Aviation Administration assigned registration number, N234MQ, to Boeing for a St. Louis-aircraft model dubbed the “T1” on 26 December. The registration omits several typical details, including the model of the turbofan engine that powers the aircraft.

Boeing is one of three bidders for a development contract scheduled to be awarded later this year. The deadline to submit bids for the three teams – Boeing, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems and Lockheed Martin – passed on 3 January.

The bid deadline came as Boeing decided to reveal more details about its approach to the MQ-25 design. A photo tweeted by Boeing on 19 December offered a nose-on glimpse of the design, revealing extremely canted stablisers and a conventional wing. The inlet in the 19 December appeared to be obscured.

However, a follow-video posted on 3 January by Boeing confirmed that the inlet in the nose is actually an auxiliary intake or perhaps a cooling vent. The real inlet for the turbofan engine is instead mounted dorsally and flush with the fuselage. It’s a rare configuration choice that evokes memories of Northrop’s Tacit Blue stealth demonstrator in the early 1980s.

The video also revealed other intriguing details about Boeing’s MQ-25 design, including a retractable tail hook under the fuselage.

But other details, including the full length of the wings and stabilisers – are still not shown.

General Atomics previously has released a generic concept revealing a design that mixes elements of the fuselage and wing of the MQ-9 Reaper with the propulsion and empennage of the Predator C Avenger.

Lockheed Martin has released only a fragment of its MQ-25 concept aircraft, showing only part of the underside of a wing and a refueling pod.
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Jeff Head

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This thread is about the new requirement that the US Navy has opened up for a drone Re-fueling tanker for its aircraft carriers.

Please direct posts regarding that aicraft, the competition for it, and the status to this thread.

What follows are several posts regarding it that had been posted on the X-47B Thread, which has dropped out of the competition and was a completely different requirement.:

--------------------------------------------------------------------

Vice Admiral David C. Johnson
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The MQ-25 drone shows that, even if you use the new approach to acquisition, you don’t always get everything you want. As the Navy developed requirements for the unmanned, carrier-based refueling tanker, said Vice Adm. Johnson, it consulted intensively with the four competitors: Boeing, General Atomics, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman, which built the first carrier-launched drone, the X-47.

“The CNO (Chief of Naval Operations John Richardson) personally met with all four… twice,” Johnson told reporters. “When they got the RFP, it was not a mystery.”
This is ludicrous rear-end covering.

Everyone knows why Northrop dropped out.

The X-47B was a historic aircraft that was stealthy, could carry a significant load, and would be able to carry our surveillance and strike missions, including heavy SEAD missions, and be controlled either from the carrier, or from airraft trailing them...or even from other places via satellite.

The Obama admin gutted that concept in favor of a tanker that they do not need because they could call the S-2B fleet back at any time to do that roll.

No, the Obama administration, kike they did with the F-22, and has tried to do with every other forward thinking progam, sought to neuter it and succeeded thus far.

But the X-47B is still there and Northrup wisely kept it available for a time when we get a return to sanity.

We have a surplus of political admitals and generals appointed by OBama while they fired the real war fighters.

A time will come when the pendulum will swing back to at least top dead center where it should be, and we will get those people and prgrams back.
 
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  • #18
This is ludicrous rear-end covering.

Everyone knows why Northrop dropped out.

The X-47B was a historic aircraft that was stealthy, could carry a significant load, and would be able to carry our surveillance and strike missions, including heavy SEAD missions, and be controlled either from the carrier, or from airraft trailing them...or even from other places via satellite.

The Obama admin gutted that concept in favor of a tanker that they do not need because they could call the S-2B fleet back at any time to do that roll.

No, the Obama administration, kike they did with the F-22, and has tried to do with every other forward thinking progam, sought to neuter it and succeeded thus far.

But the X-47B is still there and Northrup wisely kept it available for a time when we get a return to sanity.

We have a surplus of political admitals and generals appointed by OBama while they fired the real war fighters.

A time will come when the pendulum will swing back to at least top dead center where it should be, and we will get those people and prgrams back.
Jeff you mentioned Obama three times, but Jan 7, 2018

...

I think Northrop quit because it couldn't make big enough profit; the context is the margin would be too low (likely in this range:
Jan 28, 2017
very interesting: "Northrop’s operating margins held at 11%, according to the company’s 26 January fourth quarter earnings report. If the USAF trainer competition turns into a price-shootout, as many analysts have speculated, Northrop could damage its tenuous margins."
Analyst floats theory for Northrop CEO's caution on T-X
source:
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) to take the risk UNDER EVER-CHANGING Pentagon ideas, as in
Aug 24, 2016
Sunday at 5:07 PM
until now I thought a tanker aircraft couldn't be a surveillance aircraft but
Navy, Industry Looking for Design ‘Sweet Spot’ for MQ-25A Stingray
source:
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here's the twist: CNO: New Stingray drone will be a tanker
source:
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, so Northrop said to the Pentagon like "Enough."
in professional words:
“When we’re looking at one of these opportunities, let me be clear: Our objective is not just to win. Winning is great, it feels good on the day of an announcement, but if you can’t really execute on it and deliver on it to your customer and your shareholders, then you’ve done the wrong thing,” Northrop head Wes Bush said during an Oct. 25 earnings call.

...
the point #1 is it's the Pentagon responsible for weapon programs, not Obama (or now Trump);
the point #2 is managers of course look at the profit of weaponry production (and any other production)
 
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TerraN_EmpirE

Tyrant King
I agree with the Admrial and Jura on this. X47B was a mini B2 crossed with the sensors of a Global Hawk. A stike bomber that takes off a carrier deck. It finds the trouble and brings the pain.
The MQ25 represents a different mission set. It's targeted first as a carrier refueling bird. With some sensors. X47B was a front line tip of the Trident bird, we still need it. MQ25 is a concept for a carrier orbit bird. It sits on the shaft of the Trident holding the head on.
The budget issues of the previous administration may have sidelined X47B but the Navy still made the choice to push more to an unmanned tanker before there striker. And they are not the only ones on this. The USAF has also held back on a Longer range higher speed strike UCAV favoring the Reaper program which fits in concept as a unmanned COIN platform. A light turboprop armed with bombs and missiles meant to hunt insergents. Which would be fine for the fights we have had in the past decades but now the DOD needs to tool for a flexible mission set. Able to fight low and high war missions.
 
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  • #20
Nov 30, 2017
Navy expects MQ-25 decision by summer
LOL I assume it's summer of 2018 source is FlightGlobal
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and noticed

"Procurement of the MQ-25 Stingray, an aerial unmanned tanker currently in development, is slated to begin in 2023, the last year of the FYDP."

inside 4 minutes ago
Yesterday at 12:58 PM

Aloha! anybody interested in
US Military News, Reports, Data, etc.
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US Navy wants more sailors, jets and an extra ship in 2019
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