US Navy's X-47B UCAS Aircraft


Jeff Head

General
Staff member
Super Moderator
Yep.. those mates are heavy weights..Real heavy.

I betcha soon.. within 1 year to 18 months the Navy will ask for the funding to get the UCLASS program going full force.
I believe they will move forward rapidly too.

And Northrop Grumman has the clear leg up. They already have a design that works and has shown the abaility to land and take off from the carrier, and me moved around on deck and parked in the hanger. She also has all of the weapons bay and unmanned flight capability down.

I bet we see Northrop Grumman awarded the contract, and then move forward with the first production aircraft within a couple of years. Heck, they have already done the prototype workups and trials for all intents and purposes.

My understanding is that they plan a squadron of like 6-8 aircraft per carrier to perform recon, surveillance, and limited strike. They will be controlled either from the ship or from some base on land, and will communicate either through sat link, or through the developing BAMS (Broad Area Maritime Surveillance) network the Navy is developing through the use of P-8As, RQ-4B high-flying, high-endurance drones, and other sensors. They can also be controlled from a Superhornet and used as a force mulitplier for manned attack groups.

Awesome stuff!

...and more pioneering and cutting edge breakthrough work by? You guessed it! by the absolute bestest, move-forwardingest, bad frickingest, most lethal, best trained, and jsut all-around world-wide force for good Navy in the world...THE US NAVY!
 

bd popeye

The Last Jedi
VIP Professional
...and more pioneering and cutting edge breakthrough work by? You guessed it! by the absolute bestest, move-forwardingest, bad frickingest, most lethal, best trained, and jsut all-around world-wide force for good Navy in the world...THE US NAVY!

Oh hell yea..

[video=youtube;ud-at_mpGSU]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ud-at_mpGSU[/video]

[video=youtube;h3wtUCPWmeI]http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=h3wtUCPWmeI[/video]
 

asif iqbal

Brigadier
Biggst asset of UCAV is range and endurance, both which can indefinitely extended by mid air refuelling, a asset which will allow it to operate further away from the carrier and extend the defence umbrella out to 500-600km, for this reason mid air refuelling is one of the most imporant aspects of a UCAV, with the funding cuts for FY2013 going into FY2014 it has been set to the back to add aerial refuelling to the X-47B a very very big and costly mistake

In my opinion aerial refuelling is a pre-request for a UCAV, it is a 100% must and funding must not be cut any further of the reality of a UCAV is to be become real, having said that I think Congress has caught on to this idea and we may see a tests on a surrogate aircraft being performed in the not to distance future before finally giving this capability to the X-47B
 

Jeff Head

General
Staff member
Super Moderator
Biggst asset of UCAV is range and endurance, both which can indefinitely extended by mid air refuelling, for this reason mid air refuelling is one of the most imporant aspects of a UCAV, with the funding cuts for FY2013 going into FY2014 it has been set to the back to add aerial refuelling to the X-47B a very very big and costly mistake

In my opinion aerial refuelling is a pre-request for a UCAV, it is a 100% must and funding must not be cut any further of the reality of a UCAV is to be become real.
Not so much a pre-requisite at all for the X-47B...particularly not at this stage.

The X-47B is a technology demonstrator. It has all the internals for refueling already, they are just not going to test it yet.

Without refueling it has a 2,100 nautical mile range, that's like 3,900 kilometers...so it is going to do just fine at this stage, and would have good range even without it.

But, soon, when the operational aircraft start coming out (whatever its designation), those will make use of the refueling capability already built in, and they will do the tests and quals for it at that time. The HUGE hurdles were the carrier flight operations. They had to prove and demonstrate that could be done...and they did. Trap landings, and cat launches. She passed those with flying colors.
 
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FORBIN

Lieutenant General
Registered Member
For the theoretically possible number according to this article :

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The navy's "threshold" is two orbits operating 24h a day, seven days per week at a "tactically significant" distance from the carrier, Winter says. An individual orbit could consist of anywhere from three to six aircraft, with the final number yet to be determined.

Initially, the goal is to equip four carriers with UCLASS

Number : one orbit say 5 UAV x 2 : 10 by CV x 4 : 40 but with some for testing ( OEU ), training ( OCU ) : 50.

10 by squadrons seems plausible for a aircraft that will also be used for combat and this a number similar to the allocation of F-18 squadrons (12).

Normal payload about 2 T.

He will certainly very small RCS because he no have tail and cockpit therefore probably less than the F-22 which have the best RCS for a manned aircraft.
 

asif iqbal

Brigadier
How the capability of the UCLASS will develop in the future? Is dependant on three factors

What the future carrier wing will look like
What threat will the navy face
And lastly what will be the allocation of budget

It is forecasted that by 2040 there will be more unmanned aircraft on board carriers than manned

All have thier own advantages and disadvantages

F18 E/F has big payload but can't penetrate a strong complex enemy air defence network
F35A/B can penetrate such a defence but it's payload is limited to less than F-18 E/F
UCLASS has endurance, payload and stealth so a good opition

A carrier is a $10-12 billion platform with a $6-7 billion air wing, therefore it must meet requirements of all foreign policy missions, I.e be multi role so to speak
 

FORBIN

Lieutenant General
Registered Member
Normaly UCLASS have payload of 2 T she is the same as the F-35. But UAV have no AA weapons.
 

Air Force Brat

Brigadier
Super Moderator
For the theoretically possible number according to this article :

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Number : one orbit say 5 UAV x 2 : 10 by CV x 4 : 40 but with some for testing ( OEU ), training ( OCU ) : 50.

10 by squadrons seems plausible for a aircraft that will also be used for combat and this a number similar to the allocation of F-18 squadrons (12).

Normal payload about 2 T.

He will certainly very small RCS because he no have tail and cockpit therefore probably less than the F-22 which have the best RCS for a manned aircraft.

Looks like the two X-47Bs are done flying and to go to museums???? brat
 

bd popeye

The Last Jedi
VIP Professional
Looks like the two X-47Bs are done flying and to go to museums???? brat

yep.. the funds run out on October 1st. the programs was initially funded for two aircraft only. No other money has been added since that initial funding of 2 Billion US dollars in 2000.

To be fair the last two attempts to land the X-47B failed. Read the link for the full story.

The USN considers the X-47B a success. So do I.

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WASHINGTON — The X-47B unmanned jet, which successfully landed twice last week on an aircraft carrier, was unable to repeat the feat Monday, U.S. Navy sources confirmed July 16.

The aircraft nailed its first two landing attempts July 10 on the USS George H. W. Bush, but a third landing that day was aborted when the aircraft’s systems detected a problem with an onboard computer. Following its programming, the aircraft then flew to a “divert” field at Wallops Island, Va., where it remains.

Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) and Northrop Grumman engineers were back on board the carrier Monday to try for a third successful “trap,” this time using the other of two X-47B aircraft.

But it didn’t happen. The aircraft developed technical issues while in flight from Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., to the ship and officials decided to abort the attempt before the X-47B reached the vicinity of the carrier, steaming off the U.S. east coast.

Nevertheless, officials have termed the tests “successful” in that the program’s objectives of demonstrating unmanned flight on and off an aircraft carrier were achieved. And at least in the case of the July 10 waveoff, the system’s ability to detect and respond to a problem was validated, if unintentionally. But the fact is that four times the Navy attempted to land the aircraft on the ship, and only two attempts were successful.

Officials point out that the program’s requirements called only for one successful landing, although testers targeted three at-sea traps.

"Initial parameters for the test required three traps on board the carrier,” a Navy official said Tuesday. “However, after two successful traps and two wave-offs, the Navy is confident it has collected the data necessary to advance this program and develop the requirements for UCLASS."
 

Air Force Brat

Brigadier
Super Moderator
yep.. the funds run out on October 1st. the programs was initially funded for two aircraft only. No other money has been added since that initial funding of 2 Billion US dollars in 2000.

To be fair the last two attempts to land the X-47B failed. Read the link for the full story.

The USN considers the X-47B a success. So do I.

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

Although I loath UCAV's insidious, unmanned cold heartedness, (REALLY_would you trust this present crew????), I would say that the X-47B is a smashing success, now if we get into the ethics or even the politics of this-its bad JU-JU! brat
 

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