F-35 ISR surrogate

Sub-scale and Full-Scale Aerial Targets and RPAs - Remotely-Piloted Aircraft
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steve2267

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Unread post05 Jan 2020, 22:19

Do any UAVs in the open literature combine an LPI AESA + DAS + EOTS combination of sensors ala the F-35?

In future scud-hunting, which could be Iran in the near future (?), the capability to cover a wide geographic area with a persistent net of VLO airframes with integrated, fused sensors tied into a MADL network would seem to be a huge capability. Basically an F-35 sensor drone. Maybe you provide a modest weapons bay capacity (every sensor a shooter), but my main idea is that you save wear and tear on F-35 airframes, and pilots from mind numbing hours on station in race track patterns.
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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marsavian

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Unread post05 Jan 2020, 23:07

No is the answer to your main question. You wouldn't want to put all that expensive classified F-35 technology into a UAV that could then be hacked and landed in enemy territory as has already been achieved by Iran. Satellites would be used to detect rocket launches and F-35 could then be sent over to investigate further.
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milosh

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Unread post06 Jan 2020, 13:11

Making F-35 uav drone is quite logical. No need to use high tech sensors F-35 have, you can put Global Hawk tech in F-35 drone, for example in one weapon bay side looking radar and another bay some high power recon optics, in nose you put GH radar.

Also to lower price and chance other side get classifed tech (fiber mat for example) you can use some cheaper but less effective RAM, drone would still be lot smaller on radar then Global Hawk.

Cockpit modified to be big fuel tank, no need to canopy so drag would be lot smaller and F-35 drone probable super cruise (especially with better engine) so you have 1.5M recon drone. Speed is imperative when you need to find TELs.
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wrightwing

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Unread post06 Jan 2020, 19:06

milosh wrote:Making F-35 uav drone is quite logical. No need to use high tech sensors F-35 have, you can put Global Hawk tech in F-35 drone, for example in one weapon bay side looking radar and another bay some high power recon optics, in nose you put GH radar.

Also to lower price and chance other side get classifed tech (fiber mat for example) you can use some cheaper but less effective RAM, drone would still be lot smaller on radar then Global Hawk.

Cockpit modified to be big fuel tank, no need to canopy so drag would be lot smaller and F-35 drone probable super cruise (especially with better engine) so you have 1.5M recon drone. Speed is imperative when you need to find TELs.

The question wasn't about an F-35 drone. It was about drones with F-35 type sensors. At the current time, no such drones exist, but the concept of the agile wingman drones does put a lot of those types of functionalities onboard, to fly ahead of F-35s and relay the ISR data to them.

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