Loyal Wingman

Sub-scale and Full-Scale Aerial Targets and RPAs - Remotely-Piloted Aircraft
  • Author
  • Message
Offline
User avatar

neptune

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2896
  • Joined: 24 Oct 2008, 00:03
  • Location: Houston

Unread post03 Sep 2017, 11:47

http://aviationweek.com/defense/skunk-w ... table-uavs

Skunk Works Sees Big Opportunity For ‘Attritable/expendable ’ UAVs

Aug 31, 2017
James Drew

Lockheed's concept for an optionally reusable/expendable, low-cost unmanned combat air vehicle. The aircraft is designed to fly collaboratively with manned jets or on its own missions, with a range of more than 2,500 mi. Lockheed Martin Skunk Works is continuing to invest in low-cost attritable/ expendable UAV platforms that could someday fly operations alongside manned fighters like the F-35. Despite missing out on a key demonstration program with the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), won by Kratos in 2015, Lockheed sees multiple opportunities for its platforms. The company has been working over the past decade to mature autonomous flight control systems that enable cooperative teaming between unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) and manned warplanes. The company recently demonstrated this know-how through a series of “Have Raider” technology demonstrations supported by AFRL, using a surrogate F-16. The Skunk Works Low-Cost Attritable/disposable Aircraft team, led by program manager Joe Pokora, has also been designing optionally reusable/expendable airframes that would incorporate that Have Raider technology. The firm’s designs would leverage advanced manufacturing techniques and different materials to keep cost low. The Air Force set a target of under $3 million per unit. Pokora says in a written statement that the company is specifically focused on moderate to high subsonic designs powered by efficient turbofan engines. The mission range of these aircraft exceeds 2,500 mi., he adds. The company’s aircraft concepts are broadly described as “attritable/ expendable aircraft.” They are built to fly multiple times, but cheap enough to launch on one-way suicide missions, if required. Military operators wouldn’t be too concerned if one or two were shot down conducting a critical surveillance or strike mission inside hostile enemy airspace. “We have developed multiple attritable/disposable aircraft designs, and remain focused on providing an inexpensive, optionally reusable/expendable, end-to-end solution to the warfighter,” Pokora says. “We don’t believe the answer lies within a single platform, but with a team of unmanned air vehicles working alongside other air, ground and space systems in the battlespace.”

An artists rendering of one concept provided to Aviation Week shows a sleek airframe with a conventional, moderately swept wing and V-tail. The stealthy design has a single rear-mounted turbofan engine and high, shallow air intake. The company has not said whether the aircraft has landing gear to take off and land from normal runways or is rail-launched using a booster rocket with parachute recovery. The engine’s exhaust nozzle is not depicted, probably to avoid giving away sensitive stealth characteristics. The aircraft clearly has an internal payload bay for weapons or sensors. The aircraft could either fly its own missions or collaborate autonomously as part of the larger strike package of manned and unmanned warplanes via radio datalinks. Lockheed is especially interested in developing a "Loyal Wingman" aircraft that could operate alongside the F-35 Lightning II.

California-based Kratos Defense & Security Solutions has become the defacto industry leader in this field after beating six other industry teams in July 2015 to win AFRL’s Low-Cost Attritable/expendable Strike Demonstration program. Under that contract, Kratos will develop, build and fly the XQ-58A Valkyrie. The company’s UTAP-22 Mako unmanned wingman has also been participating in U.S. military exercises. But Lockheed says it is still in the game, as demonstrated by its Have Raider flights with the F-16 in Palmdale, California. The most recent Have Raider II experiment, revealed by Lockheed in April, demonstrated significant improvements in autonomous flight algorithms. The F-16 was able to rapidly, autonomously react and adapt to unforeseen obstacles and threats while still completing its mock mission. Many services and organizations within the U.S. Defense Department have expressed interest in attritable/expendable aircraft, not just the Air Force. DARPA and the Navy have also been tinkering with their own concepts. Lockheed sees “multiple opportunities,” but it is a crowded market. Lockheed doesn’t just face stiff competition from Kratos; Northrop Grumman, Aurora Flight Sciences and Boeing have been working with AFRL on their own attritable/expendable aircraft concepts through small study contracts. Lockheed is trying to distinguish itself by touting its modern, low-cost manufacturing techniques and use of government-supported open system architecture standards. “The OSA architecture also allows us to take advantage of advances in commercial computing; reducing cost and schedule while expanding the vehicle’s capability,” Pokora says. “While the airframe cost is what is often focused on, Skunk Works remains focused on the affordability of the end-to-end solution. A low-cost airframe is only part of the solution, but to keep costs low it also needs to be cost effective to operate.”
:)
Offline

brucealrighty

Enthusiast

Enthusiast

  • Posts: 35
  • Joined: 22 Mar 2015, 07:06

Unread post26 Feb 2019, 17:10

Looks like Boing has progressed far enough to make an announcement. Sure.... it's the journalists talking about 'loyal wingman' but I look forward to more details!

https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2019-02- ... fmredir=sm

"Details of the classified "Loyal Wingman" project remain scant, but the ABC believes the UAV is designed to fly up to several thousand kilometres.

Its primary purpose would be to conduct electronic warfare and reconnaissance missions, particularly in environments where it is considered risky to send manned aircraft.

On the aircraft's underside is a large payload bay that can carry a sensor or electronic warfare equipment, but industry sources said it could also be used to one day carry bombs"
Attachments
20190226_215314.jpg
Offline
User avatar

edpop

Forum Veteran

Forum Veteran

  • Posts: 540
  • Joined: 02 Feb 2008, 20:43
  • Location: Macomb, Michigan

Unread post27 Feb 2019, 08:53

This all happened in the movie "Stealth" a few years ago with Jamie Fox and Jessica Biel etc.
http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/stealth/
Vietnam veteran (Combat Engineer) 1967
Retired from Chrysler Engineering
Offline
User avatar

popcorn

Elite 5K

Elite 5K

  • Posts: 7720
  • Joined: 24 Sep 2008, 08:55

Unread post27 Feb 2019, 12:16

"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
CSAF Gen. Mark Welsh
Offline

weasel1962

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2327
  • Joined: 07 Jun 2012, 02:41
  • Location: Singapore
Offline

Corsair1963

Elite 5K

Elite 5K

  • Posts: 6702
  • Joined: 19 Dec 2005, 04:14

Unread post05 May 2020, 07:44

Will make a great partner for RAAF F-35A's.... :wink:
Offline

zhangmdev

Active Member

Active Member

  • Posts: 160
  • Joined: 01 May 2017, 09:07

Unread post06 May 2020, 01:23

first Airpower Teaming System (ATS) prototype fuselage

https://www.key.aero/article/boeing-com ... n-fuselage
Attachments
BATS [Boeing Australia] #1.jpg
Offline

Corsair1963

Elite 5K

Elite 5K

  • Posts: 6702
  • Joined: 19 Dec 2005, 04:14

Unread post06 May 2020, 08:59

Poland is also planning to join the “Loyal Wingman” programme aimed at developing a UAV that would be operationally tied to the F-35, also in case of combat sorties. This would be done so that Poland becomes an industrial partner, similarly as in case of the F-35 programme partner nations working both to bring the benefit for own air forces, as well as any other user of the fifth generation aircraft. Acquisition of unmanned aircraft that could cooperate with the F-35 is also mentioned within the 2021-2035 Technical Modernization Plan adopted in October 2019, as a part of the “Harpy Claw” program.


https://www.defence24.com/autorzy/polan ... -heavy-uav
Offline

weasel1962

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2327
  • Joined: 07 Jun 2012, 02:41
  • Location: Singapore

Unread post06 May 2020, 11:42

Its intended for export so yes, I can see quite a number of countries (not just F-35 operators) that could be interested in this. I do also think that there could be some varying designs for different customers.
Offline

weasel1962

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2327
  • Joined: 07 Jun 2012, 02:41
  • Location: Singapore

Unread post25 Jul 2020, 01:41

Trump just dropped the MTCR restrictions enabling US drones to be exported. Looks like this just broaden the export potential.

Return to Drones

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 7 guests