US Navy's X-47B UCAS Aircraft


Bernard

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The
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has added yet another huge feat to its long list of incredible accomplishments, which includes operating from an aircraft carrier. This time, it has demonstrated autonomous aerial refueling, plugging into a aerial refueling basket behind an
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The US Navy just announced that it has successfully integrated unmanned and manned carrier…
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Originally, the X-47B was not going to be funded for a aerial refueling demonstration, but money was apparently applied to this highly relevant test set which will last through the weekend, depending on weather. The goal is to not just have the X-47B make prolonged contact with the tanker, but actually complete a full aerial refueling as well.

This aerial refueling demonstration is also slated to be the final test of the historic X-47B, although, considering that the Navy's Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) program keeps getting pushed back, it could be wise to keep the X-47B in service for future tests. As of now, both X-47Bs will be donated to museums even though only 20% of their flight hours have been used up.

In the past,
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was used for testing the same systems that were used on the X-47B for this test, which include both differential GPS and and optical and laser ranging systems. You can learn all about this technology and others, and how it could massively impact the future of air combat
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Aerial tankers can fuel up hungry jets, turboprops and even helicopters equipped with a refueling…
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The first aerial refueling of an unmanned aircraft (
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) paves the way for future unmanned systems to leverage what has become one of air power’s largest force multipliers.
It is one of the coolest jobs in the entire U.S. military, "Booms" as they are…
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That first picture looks awesome! Looks like one big bad killing machine! Or even UFO like
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plawolf

Brigadier
it's in the works and will be reality in the next 10 years. USN is planning on using UCLASS airframes and turning them into CBARS (Carrier-Based Aerial-Refueling System).
It will be loosely based on the X-47B
Breaking news is that UCLASS has been quietly canned...
 

plawolf

Brigadier
Source? Even if it is canned as we know it in it's present form, I guarantee you the work and efforts put into it will eventually mature into something relatively similar. The navy is VERY serious about carrier borne UAVs in the future. That hasn't change.
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If the reason for cancelling really was to protect manned F35 numbers, then it's hard to see the programme coming back, as any attempt to resurrect the programme as something similar will ultimately run into the same vest interests, unless a rival develops such a capability and they are forced into developing a counter.

It would be a real shame and disappointment if this is true.
 

Bltizo

Lieutenant General
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Source? Even if it is canned as we know it in it's present form, I guarantee you the work and efforts put into it will eventually mature into something relatively similar. The navy is VERY serious about carrier borne UAVs in the future. That hasn't change.
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If the reason for cancelling really was to protect manned F35 numbers, then it's hard to see the programme coming back, as any attempt to resurrect the programme as something similar will ultimately run into the same vest interests, unless a rival develops such a capability and they are forced into developing a counter.

It would be a real shame and disappointment if this is true.
From what I understand, the USN has given up on an ISR/strike UCAV (UCLASS), but has replaced it with a new carrier borne UAV with a primary tanker role -- called "CBARS" (Carrier Based Aerial Refueling System) -- and it may have secondary ISR and strike roles, but it will be a number of years until the CBARS is developed into a UAV with strike role and ISR as its primary mission, let alone a UCAV that can truly conduct long range strike missions into contested airspace.

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So yes, the USN is most definitely still very serious about carrier borne UAVs, but it will be a few years util we see a true
 

Jeff Head

General
Staff member
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  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #97
Well, there are definitely those who want to give up on the UCLASS (X-47B) but I am not surprised by this admin and the people they have appointed.

I suspect all of that would change starting next year with a new admin in office.

But we shall just have to see.

At some point, the work done with the X-47B in terms of providing a stealthy unmanned platform to perform strike missions...controlled either by sat from ship or shore based locations, or by a trailing F/A-18F or F-35C will be realized. I am very confidant of that.
 
...

So yes, the USN is most definitely still very serious about carrier borne UAVs, but it will be a few years util we see a true
most recently

Northrop Grumman Drops Out of MQ-25A Stingray Competition
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Northrop pulls out of MQ-25 drone competition
11 hours ago
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in short it means the revered X-47

is out, as I posted earlier this week in
US Military News, Reports, Data, etc.
and in
Aircraft Carriers III
 

TerraN_EmpirE

Tyrant King
I am not entirely surprised the missions of the MQ are fairly contradictory. A tanker and a ISR/Strike... if it was ISR Strike then the Northrop Grumman X47 would be fine. But the tanker not so much it will be interesting to see what happens now .
 

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