F-35 newest competitor on the same flight deck!

Unread postPosted: 05 Feb 2011, 07:43
by neptune
Northrop Grumman-built U.S. Navy X-47B Unmanned Combat Aircraft Completes Historic First Flight

First-of-its-Kind, Tailless Aircraft Moves Closer to Carrier Trials in 2013
EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., Feb. 4, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --

Today, the Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC)-built U.S. Navy X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstration (UCAS-D) aircraft successfully completed its historic first flight at Edwards Air Force Base (AFB), Calif.
Conducted by a U.S. Navy/Northrop Grumman test team, the flight took off at 2:09 p.m. PST and lasted 29 minutes. This event marks a critical step in the program, moving the team forward to meet the demonstration objectives of a tailless fighter-sized unmanned aircraft to safely take off from and land on the deck of a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier.
"First flight represents the compilation of numerous tests to validate the airworthiness of the aircraft, and the robustness and reliability of the software that allows it to operate as an autonomous system and eventually have the ability to take-off and land aboard an aircraft carrier," said Capt. Jaime Engdahl, the Navy's UCAS-D program manager.
Northrop Grumman is the Navy's UCAS-D prime contractor and leader of the UCAS-D industry team.
"Designing a tailless, fighter-sized unmanned aircraft from a clean sheet is no small feat," said Janis Pamiljans, vice president and UCAS-D program manager for Northrop Grumman's Aerospace Systems sector. "Commitment, collaboration and uncompromising technical excellence among the Navy, Northrop Grumman and the UCAS-D team industry partners made today's flight a reality. We are indeed honored to have given wings to the Navy's vision for exploring unmanned carrier aviation."
Taking off under hazy skies, the X-47B climbed to an altitude of 5,000 feet, flew several racetrack-type patterns, and landed safely at 2:38 p.m. PST. The flight provided test data to verify and validate system software for guidance and navigation, and the aerodynamic control of the tailless design.
As with all test programs, first flight represents the culmination, verification and certification of pre-flight system data collected and analyzed by both the Navy and Northrop Grumman. Airframe proof load tests, propulsion system accelerated mission tests, software maturity and reliability simulations, full system taxi tests, and numerous other system test activities were all completed and certified prior to first flight.
The aircraft will remain at Edwards AFB for flight envelope expansion before transitioning to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., later this year. There, the system will undergo additional tests to validate its readiness to begin testing in the maritime and carrier environment. The UCAS-D program is preparing the X-47B for carrier trials in 2013.
The Navy awarded the UCAS-D prime contract to Northrop Grumman in August 2007. The six-year contract calls for the development of two X-47B fighter-sized aircraft. The program will demonstrate the first-ever carrier launches and recoveries by an autonomous, unmanned aircraft with a low-observable-relevant planform. Autonomous aerial refueling will also be performed after carrier integration and at-sea trials.

http://www.irconnect.com/noc/press/page ... l?d=212928

Armament
2 × GBU-31 JDAM (905 kg each)(2000 lb)
Avionics
EO/IR/SAR/GMTI/ESM/IO

A big threat to the future of "manned" fighters is in the form of the X-47B. With a weapons bay capable of carrying both AIM-120, AIM-9 and JDAMS, this will be a competitor for funding throughout the life of the JSF program :evil: .

RE: F-35 newest competitor on the same flight deck!

Unread postPosted: 05 Feb 2011, 08:01
by That_Engine_Guy
Powered by the F100-PW-220U (Un-augmented)

Curious the press release from PW appears to show an Un-Augmented PW-200 or PW-100?

http://www.pw.utc.com/StaticFiles/Pratt ... manned.pdf

They likely used a PW-220E, and adopted it from there?

:shrug: TEG

RE: F-35 newest competitor on the same flight deck!

Unread postPosted: 05 Feb 2011, 08:29
by Angels225
Has the boeing product been sidelined or is that too still in the pipeline?

Off topic TEG..
How much wear and tear does a non-augmented(for a layman like me- non afterburning I think).. reduce on the petals and engine itself?
Say the F-100.. with an afterburner.. TBO?..and without one?

RE: F-35 newest competitor on the same flight deck!

Unread postPosted: 05 Feb 2011, 08:44
by spazsinbad
The Video of First Flight on the page shows a nice NO FLARE carrier landing. Cool.

RE: F-35 newest competitor on the same flight deck!

Unread postPosted: 05 Feb 2011, 10:14
by spazsinbad
How NO FLARE is my landing? X47B_first flight

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... Qle98RH0Mo

"On Feb. 4, 2011, Northrop Grumman Corporation and the U.S. Navy successfully conducted the historic first flight of the X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstration (UCAS-D) aircraft.

The flight, which was conducted under hazy skies at Edwards Air Force Base (AFB), Calif., began at 2:09 p.m. PST and lasted 29 minutes.

The flight is a critical first step for the Navy/Northrop Grumman UCAS-D team toward demonstrating that a tailless, fighter-sized unmanned system can safely land and take off from the deck of a U.S. aircraft carrier.

The flight provided test data that will contribute to the verification and validation of the X-47B's air vehicle's guidance and navigation software, and the aerodynamic control of its tailless design."

RE: F-35 newest competitor on the same flight deck!

Unread postPosted: 05 Feb 2011, 10:25
by discofishing
Kind of looks like they're using Hornet landing gear.

RE: F-35 newest competitor on the same flight deck!

Unread postPosted: 05 Feb 2011, 10:41
by spazsinbad
Northrop's "day in the life" of a naval UCAS by Graham Warwick

http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/graha ... -of-a.html

RE: F-35 newest competitor on the same flight deck!

Unread postPosted: 05 Feb 2011, 19:39
by spazsinbad
X-47B Gear Down First Flight In Flight (zoomed on this pic: http://media.globenewswire.com/cache/189/hires/9544.jpg)

RE: F-35 newest competitor on the same flight deck!

Unread postPosted: 05 Feb 2011, 19:58
by FlightDreamz
Angels255
Has the Boeing product been sidelined or is that too still in the pipeline?

My understanding is that Boeing's U.C.A.V. is out of the running for the Navy (at least for now), but might pop up in USAF colors down the road. Then again with U.S.A.F. thinking about long range bombers again perhaps not (see http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/ ... ike%20Plan). Bear in mind that's just an educated guess on my part, I don't have the links/data to back up my theory as to Boeing's future U.C.A.V. plans at the moment (quietly braces himself for a shellacking) :whistle:

I'm hopeful that the Northrop-Grumman X-47B will put back some of the long range into the navy's strike plans (other than missiles anyway). How this will fit in the budget and when it will be ready for service is another story (fingers crossed).

Re: RE: F-35 newest competitor on the same flight deck!

Unread postPosted: 06 Feb 2011, 01:08
by That_Engine_Guy
Angels225 wrote:How much wear and tear does a non-augmented(for a layman like me- non afterburning I think).. reduce on the petals and engine itself?

For a 'non-augmented' (non-afterburning or non-reheat) engine, there is little need for a variable nozzle. Fixed nozzles are MUCH lighter and simpler. This reduces complexity, weight, and increases reliability. The major reason to have a variable nozzle on AB engines is the huge differences in AB, versus MIL power exhaust velocities. Non-AB engines typically operate with a simple nozzle that it optimized for the desired performance envelope.

Speaking of an F-16's F100 nozzle, there is no difference opening/closing the nozzle (petals) in AB or not; the nozzle is 'cycle tracked' for overhaul purposes. Yes the heat may be reduced, but the stress/contact on the segments, seals, bearings, actuators, etc are still taking their toll. Typical AB use during a flight would be something on the order of 1 or 2% of the flying time.

Angels225 wrote:Say the F100.. with an afterburner.. TBO?..and without one?

Technically the TBO of the F100 with or without an afterburner (Augmentor Duct and Nozzle module) would be the same; I'll explain.

F100s are 'modular' engines, there is no TBO for the engine as a whole; overhauls are tracked on the Inlet Fan Module, Core Module, Rear Compressor Drive Turbine Module (a sub-module of the Core), Fan Drive Turbine Module, Augmentor Duct/Nozzle Module, and Gearbox Module, (along with the other major external components that are tracked) Each have their own limits.

So the lowest TBO of the modules would drive a removal; change that module, test, and reinstall engine. Modules/parts can be mixed/matched as needed (or dictated) to give the longest TBO possible.

Augmentors have come a long way. I believe they started at 800 hours? then 1200 hours; 2000 cycles, and now up to 4300 cycles. The first 4300 cycle augmentors were sold on newer PW-229s, but now kits are being used to upgrade older PW-229 and PW-220 augmentors to the same TBO.

Next the PW-229 EEP is pushing module TBOs out to 6000 cycles! This is a result of technology from the F100's evolution, and the development of the F119 and F135 engines. This means the latest PW-229s are being sold with a TBO almost 50% greater than older PW-229s. This is a result of PW transferring technology/investments in the newer engines and the 6K modifications are almost completely backwards compatible with older PW-229s as they go through overhaul. Some of these durability improvements are very likely to trickle down into the PW-220 and possibly the PW-22U if used.

Another thing worth mentioning is the augmentor module is an LRU (Line Replaceable Unit) that can be changed on the flight-line without the engine returning to the shop. (If needed) Simple roll the engine about half way out, change the module, and reinstall the engine. Short test to ensure operation of the nozzle and your done. In the F100 all the spray manifolds, and associated fuel supply tubing are mounted in the Aft Fan Duct.

Side note: I would guess if the "MQ-45D" reached USAF service it would likely have a F100-PW-229U EEP, I don't think PW actively builds 'new' PW-220s but the PW-229 EEP line is still in production for the US ANG, and FMS orders.

Keep 'em flyin' :thumb:
TEG

RE: Re: RE: F-35 newest competitor on the same flight deck!

Unread postPosted: 06 Feb 2011, 01:33
by spazsinbad
X-47B first flight update, making history - and new video by Guy Norris at 2/5/2011

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/de ... d=blogDest

"Providing more details about yesterday’s milestone X-47B flight, Janis Pamiljans, Northrop Grumman vice president and UCAS-D program manager, Northrop Grumman, says the air vehicle 1 (AV1) took off at 2.09pm PST at a speed of 180 kt, and reached a maximum speed of 240 kt during its 29-minute flight over Edwards AFB. On landing, the aircraft touched down around 60-ft ahead of where it was expected to hit, but “right on the centerline”, he adds. The touchdown was the equivalent of catching the ‘number one wire’ in Navy parlance, and gives the flight test team a good starting point from where to fine tune flight control software says Pamiljans. [Someone seems to have their arsebackwards referring to No.1 rather than probably No.4 wire? No.3 would be target wire with No.4 being approx. 60 feet 'ahead'? WHATEVER :twisted: ]

The aircraft was originally targeted to fly before the end of December, but was delayed while Northrop Grumman worked to correct an asymmetric braking issue uncovered during taxi tests. A last-minute maintenance issue with an auxiliary power generation system forced the aircraft to miss its narrow flight test window on Thursday, leading to the flight attempt being made on Friday instead.

The second aircraft, AV2, has meanwhile completed its design limit load tests up to 130% with “no test anomalies” says Pamiljans. The test indicates the airframe is able to withstand the 2.4g loads it may see during air-to-air refueling maneuvers. “This aircraft is clearly carrier-capable,” he adds. AV2 is being prepared for the start of fuel testing before being transferred to Edwards around March. First flight is expected in August.

Thanks to Graham Warwick here is a newly uploaded, longer X-47B first flight video: [same as one above?]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZD8f9X9 ... r_embedded

The first flight of the X-47B comes as the Navy embarks on celebrations of the first century of Naval aviation and, as commented on by UCAS-D program manager Capt. Jaime Engdahl, comes almost exactly 100 years after Eugene Ely made the initial carrier landing on 18 January 1911. More specifically, Ely became the first pilot to land on a stationary ship. He landed on a similar temporary structure on the aft of the USS Pennsylvania which was anchored in San Francicso Bay. To arrest the landing an improvised braking system of sandbags and ropes was set up which led directly to the arrestor hook and wires. Following the landing Ely was able to take off again."

RE: Re: RE: F-35 newest competitor on the same flight deck!

Unread postPosted: 06 Feb 2011, 11:43
by munny
HD version, turn it up to 720p and go full screen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJWUK4YJ4M4

With radar absorbant skin, that's gotta have a tiny RCS.

RE: Re: RE: F-35 newest competitor on the same flight deck!

Unread postPosted: 07 Feb 2011, 07:30
by Roscoe
Based on Ben Rich's book (and other open sources), RCS is virtually independent of size. A full-sized bomber the same shape as an F-117 would have a similar RCS.

RE: Re: RE: F-35 newest competitor on the same flight deck!

Unread postPosted: 13 Feb 2011, 14:14
by spazsinbad
Unmanned aboard - Northrop Grumman aims to prove UCAS can operate from carriers By Graham Warwick DATE:25/01/08 SOURCE:Flight International

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/20 ... riers.html

"It is 2011, 100 years after the first aircraft landed on a ship, and Northrop Grumman's X-47B is on final descent to the US Navy aircraft carrier USS Harry S Truman, cruising off the Atlantic coast. The kite-shaped flying wing has no tail - and no cockpit.

With the landing signal officer poised to wave off the aircraft if it deviates from the approach path, the unmanned air combat system demonstrator crosses the carrier's stern and catches the arresting wire, decelerating sharply before snapping back, dropping the wire and taxiing clear.

"The day we grab a wire, naval aviation changes forever," says Scott Winship, Northrop's Navy UCAS programme manager. With its long range and endurance, N-UCAS promises the provide US Navy carrier air wings with a persistent surveillance and strike capability that they lack today...."

Unread postPosted: 13 Feb 2011, 14:48
by stereospace
I'm always curious how the operators cope with the radio travel time delay. As you operate further afield and at higher speeds, the RPV's distance-over-ground error induced would be (delay time) x RPV velocity, where the (delay time) would be (2x the radio travel time) + (operator decision and control input time). That could end up being quite an error.

One solution would be to have sufficient imaging range where the operator could designate a target far enough ahead of the RPV that the error is eliminated. Another might be to put the RPV in a circular orbit over the target, observe, decide, transmit. That would also eliminate the problem.

Unread postPosted: 14 Feb 2011, 00:40
by spazsinbad
space/space: Autonomous is key...

X-47B Sorties Ramping Up Feb 11, 2011 By Guy Norris, Amy Butler - Los Angeles, Washington

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/ ... Up&next=10

"The U.S. Navy is building on the successful first flight of the stealthy, tailless Northrop Grumman X-47B demonstrator as a pivotal step toward the long-held goal of marrying persistent, autonomous unmanned intelligence and strike aircraft with the reach of its fleet of aircraft carriers.

“We’re celebrating the centennial of Naval aviation, and if we fast-forward 100 years, then we’ve added three words—unmanned, autonomous and LO [low-observable] relevant,” says Capt. Jaime Engdahl, the Navy’s Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) project director. The X-47B flight-test program, which began with a 29-min. flight at Edwards AFB, Calif., on Feb. 4 will answer questions about what it takes “to put unmanned, autonomous and LO-relevant into the carrier environment.”

Though proving the viability of the once unthinkable concept of autonomous combat air operations from the carrier, UCAS is also a critical technology stepping-stone to the Navy’s planned Unmanned Carrier-Launched Surveillance Systems (Uclass) program. “Just as important is the technology we embed into the carrier itself,” says Engdahl, referring to the data link and related communication breakthroughs that UCAS-D is expected to demonstrate as part of a planned seamless integration of unmanned aircraft into carrier air wing operations.

While Engdahl describes the first flight of an unmanned Navy X-plane as a “huge deal,” another industry executive notes its significance as an interim step to a future fleet of carrier-borne unmanned combat vehicles. “It is the start of an intent for unmanned aviation on a carrier. It is not the carrier landing—that will be a big deal, too,” says Carl Johnson, Northrop Grumman’s vice president of program management. But this first flight represents the beginning of unmanned tactical aircraft for the Navy.”

The test program will work toward carrier landings in 2013. It will then turn to prove the concept of aerial refueling, which would eliminate onboard fuel storage as a limiting factor for mission endurance in future combat UAS.

To date, the Pentagon has largely used unmanned aircraft to provide intelligence and—in limited fashion with the Air Force’s General Atomics Predator and Reaper—attack capabilities. In general, unmanned aircraft—also including tiny Boeing ScanEagles, AeroVironment Ravens and AAI Corp. Shadows, as well as Northrop Grumman’s larger Fire Scouts and Global Hawks—have all been designed to function in permissive airspace. Introduction of the stealthy UCAS, however, “represents a significant step in a change in the roles for unmanned vehicles,” an industry executive says.

Success of the demonstrator will be key to achieving the planned follow-on purchase of an interim fleet of Uclass. “What [UCAS] moves us into is Uclass—a carrier based-system—for the first time,” says Rear Adm. Matthew Klunder, director of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) at Navy headquarters. The service hopes to kick off a competition as soon as this year to field up to eight air vehicles on a carrier in 2018.

Northrop is expected to build off of its X-47B experience, Boeing will use its X-45-based Phantom Ray background and General Atomics will likely use its Avenger concept as a departure for its design. Lockheed Martin is also likely to bid, building off of work on the Polecat demonstrator and the RQ-170 now fielded by the Air Force.

A request for proposals (RFP), which was expected this spring, will slip at least to this fall, says Klunder. The primary mission of Uclass will be to contribute to the carrier’s need for round-the-clock ISR collection in its area of operation. Navy officials declined to provide a schedule for when requirements will be reviewed by the Joint Staff.

But debate is continuing in the Pentagon over what attributes to emphasize in the design. And industry is weighing in.

Endurance appears most highly valued aside from fielding the aircraft in 2018. Navy officials are studying how much onboard fuel could be traded to allow for suitable payload and survivability attributes. Ultimately, it comes down to balancing the requirements.

It is not a foregone conclusion that the vehicle will require a high degree of stealth. According to one industry official, “It is in the mix, but it doesn’t sound like that is one of the top priorities. The real issue here is that a more conventional-looking airframe may be the best option.”

Klunder confirms hopes for growth on the air vehicle.

Incorporation of rigorous stealthy requirements would favor Northrop and Boeing, both of which have vehicle designs already mature. Lockheed’s classified work could provide an advantage. General Atomics’ designs are generally less stealthy but offer high endurance.

The focal point of the debate appears to be balancing survivability against endurance. Originally, the Navy’s draft request for information issued last spring called for a vehicle capable of a range of 600 nm and 12 hr. on station. “There isn’t a combination of design parameters that would satisfy the Navy’s requirements,” says one industry executive. “If there is no survivability requirement, then any airplane with a tail can meet the Navy’s requirement,” says another.

The original plans called for an aircraft with a more-than-100-ft. wingspan, but a requirement to allow for landing slightly off the centerline of the carrier will limit the width of the aircraft to 70 ft. UCAS has a 62-ft. wingspan.

The UCAS flight-test Block 1 effort will focus first on the basic airworthiness of the tailless aircraft, as well as envelope expansion with the initial U4.4 vehicle management software load. Following the Feb. 4 first flight, up to three additional flights are scheduled by the end of the month to verify performance before a planned modification period for fuel system-related center-of-gravity changes in March.

The test aircraft, AV1, lifted off from Edwards AFB Runway 4R at 2:09 p.m. PST at a speed of 180 kt, and reached a maximum of 240 kt during its 29-min. flight. The vehicle flew a racetrack pattern at 5,000 ft. over the dry lakebed with the landing gear down. Handling qualities were assessed at reduced speeds of 160 kt and 140 kt during the flight, which included pitch doublets. “The air vehicle performance was rock-solid. It did exactly what was expected, and the preliminary feedback was it matched the aerodynamic modeling very well,” says Engdahl.

On landing, the aircraft touched down around 60 ft. ahead of where it was expected, but “right on the centerline,” says Janis Pamiljans, Northrop Grumman vice president and UCAS-D program manager. The touchdown was the equivalent of catching the “number one wire” in Navy parlance, and gives the flight-test team good input for fine-tuning flight control software, he adds.

After an earlier delay, the aircraft was targeted to fly by late December, but this got pushed back while Northrop Grumman worked to correct an asymmetric braking issue uncovered during taxi tests.

The second aircraft, AV2, has meanwhile completed its design limit load tests up to 130% with “no test anomalies,” says Pamiljans. The test indicates the airframe is able to withstand the 2.4g loads it may see during air-to-air refueling maneuvers. “This aircraft is clearly carrier-capable,” he adds. AV2 is being prepared for the start of fuel testing before being transferred to Edwards around March. First flight is expected in August. “The primary function of AV2 is as a test workhorse to demonstrate carrier landing and launch, as well as operations in and around the carrier. But it is also designed to expand the envelope, with higher g maneuvers and to demonstrate the ability to take on fuel inflight,” says Pamiljans.

AV1 is expected to transfer to Patuxent River, Md., at the end of 2011 where it will undertake Block 2 tests covering shore-based catapult and arrestment evaluations before being hoisted onto a carrier for compatibility tests on deck. In the second half of 2012, the X-47B will conduct a series of shore-based operations from Norfolk in carrier-controlled airspace within the Virginia Capes Range Complex, as well as make the first low approaches to a carrier. Shore-based tests will move to Lakehurst, N.J., at the end of the year for aircraft launch and recovery equipment checks.

In parallel, a program to test and evaluate the carrier element is under way with a Boeing F-18 flying as a UCAS-D surrogate. “We’ve been flying the software in a pallet load with F-18s over the last couple of months,” says Engdahl. Both open- and closed-loop carrier approaches have already been made. “The next milestone [targeted for April] is to take the F-18 surrogate and do actual approaches to the ship using the X-47B software,” he adds. The surrogate will also fly later this year with the early release U5.0 software. Incorporating guidance, navigation and communications protocols to interface with the carrier, as well as air-to-air refueling and full envelope control, U5.0 will be used to guide the F-18 to the first carrier touchdowns in February and March 2013. When four completely autonomous traps have been accomplished, this will clear the way for the first landings by AV1 and AV2. Autonomous aerial refueling tests with a Boeing KC-135 and other tankers will run from late 2013 into mid-2014."

Unread postPosted: 14 Feb 2011, 01:41
by spazsinbad
X-47B Pegasus UCAV-N

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ ... /x-47b.htm

"...Under terms of the agreement, Northrop Grumman will adapt its current X-47B UCAV design to accommodate a consolidated set of Navy and Air Force science and technology objectives. The common objectives include a combat radius of 1,300 nautical miles with a payload of 4,500 pounds, and the ability to loiter for two hours over a target up to 1,000 nautical miles away. In addition to developing the air vehicle and its autonomous control system, the contract also calls for development of a UCAV mission control system.

The focus of Phase IIB of the Naval UCAV program is to design, develop and integrate a UCAV demonstration system that can demonstrate the critical and enabling technologies, processes and system attributes (TPSA) relevant to operations on and around an aircraft carrier. These TPSAs include development of a robust air vehicle; shipboard integration; deck operations; carrier air space operations; command, control and communications suitable for a carrier environment; human-systems interface suitable for a carrier environment and reliable, repeatable catapult takeoff and arrested landing performance...."

Unread postPosted: 14 Feb 2011, 03:31
by VarkVet
Frigging engineers need to be banned from the cinema and design something that is useful to the USA!
http://movieclips.com/PdEpT-independenc ... en-attack/

Unread postPosted: 15 Feb 2011, 03:06
by FlightDreamz
:offtopic: I kinda liked Independence Day VarkVet but those F-18's on the air force flight line kill me every time :lmao: (and for that matter since when does an F-18 have a parachute to slow it's landing)? :roll: But as far as movies go, I still think it's enjoyable.
:ontopic: Interesting that Air Force requirements are being mentioned again. I thought the USAF wasn't interested at this time and the X-47B was strictly a navy project?

Unread postPosted: 15 Feb 2011, 03:29
by spazsinbad
Good story with pics/videos here: X-47B - stealth UCAV for US navy

http://robotpig.net/robotics-news/h-47v ... navy-_2025

"...A proposed bigger X-47C variant for the USAF, will have the exact wingspan of a B-2 and it is possible that the NGB will be optionally manned, unifying a big UCAV and manned bomber under the same project...."

http://robotpig.net/_images/posts/x47b_1.jpg

Unread postPosted: 15 Feb 2011, 13:59
by munny
Is it just me or is that a 2D TVC nozzle in this photograph? Looks like the bottom panel of the exhaust is pitched up at quite an angle doesn't it?

http://tinyurl.com/x47btvc

Unread postPosted: 15 Feb 2011, 17:22
by dragorv
No idea how recent this picture is, but it looks like the nozzel is unmoving.

http://img12.imageshack.us/f/x47bassembly.jpg/

Unread postPosted: 15 Feb 2011, 22:23
by spazsinbad
X-47B First Flight - The X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstrator 02/10/2011

"An X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstrator completes its first flight at Edwards Air Force Base. The Unmanned Combat Air System Carrier Demonstration program will demonstrate the capability of an autonomous, low-observable unmanned aircraft to perform carrier launches and recoveries."

http://www.sldinfo.com/?p=15357
references:
http://www.sldinfo.com/?p=162

From our earlier article on the Naval UCAS: http://www.sldinfo.com/?p=162

The program brings a number of key enhancements to the table, and these contributions suggest a template for the types of new programs, which should be supported even in a constrained fiscal environment.

First, it extends the strike range of an already funded core capability, namely, the carrier task force. Tactical aircraft have limited range; the UCAS has much greater range and reach. This makes it valuable in and of itself, but extending the reach of the new tactical aviation asset to be deployed to the fleet, namely the F-35, enhances its value. The sensor and communication capabilities of the F-35 are significant, but the reach of the aircraft remains within tactical ranges; the UCAS has forward strategic strike reach as well as ISR and communications reach-back to the tactical assets.

The UCAS can spearhead the entire sensor and strike grid put up by the carrier task force. Second, the UCAS will be the first unmanned system developed in the wake of the deployment of the new F-35. The F-35 as a “flying combat system” should be a generator of change in the unmanned fleet.

The development and then deployment of the UCAS will be integrally interconnected with the F-35, and as such can take advantage of commonality in sensors and communications with the new manned aircraft. Shaping a common concept of operations between the F-35 and the UCAS can provide an important stimulus for change for the US Air Force as well.


Third, it is highly likely that the US Air Force new bomber program will be shifted to the right in funding priorities. This provides a significant opportunity for the US Air Force to learn from the US Navy’s experience in deploying the UCAS with the F-35 to shape a possible unmanned successor for the manned bomber.

A template could be shaped by the Navy, which could provide important lessons learned in shaping the US Air Force’s strategy to work the future of its unmanned programs with manned aircraft.

Fourth, the company building the UCAS demonstrator, Northrop Grumman, can draw on significant lessons learned in their other unmanned programs, such as Global Hawk, and on their core contributions in sensors and communications to the F-35 to provide a realistic development to production program for the new UCAS aircraft.

In other words, the program evidences a number of key qualities, which makes it worthy of finding even in a stringent environment. It leverages significant capabilities already paid for and deployed. It leverages new capabilities coming into the fleet. It provides a way to enhance synergy between both power projection forces. It provides a learning curve, which the US Air Force can use in shaping its future development and acquisition approach. (see: http://www.sldinfo.com/?p=162 )"

Unread postPosted: 16 Feb 2011, 00:35
by spazsinbad
FANKS Mr. DEWline:

X-47B UCAS First Flight Music Video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... Iq5dT7D_ic

"Two minute musical revue of historic first flight of the U.S. Navy's X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System demonstration aircraft, designed and built by Northrop Grumman Corporation. Flight occurred Feb. 4, 2011 at Edwards AFB, Calif."

VIDEO: In-depth look inside X-47B first flight By Stephen Trimble on February 15, 2011

http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/the-d ... e-x-4.html

"Northrop Grumman has released new footage of the X-47B flight about 11 days ago. It includes a few rare peaks inside the X-47B's internal bays, including landing gear, weapons and electronics. Boeing's Phantom Ray team preparing for first flight in the second quarter is officially on notice. We want good video!"

Unread postPosted: 16 Feb 2011, 00:43
by FlightDreamz
spazinbad
the UCAS will be the first unmanned system developed in the wake of the deployment of the new F-35. The F-35 as a “flying combat system” should be a generator of change in the unmanned fleet.

Sharing sensors and equipment seem's common sense enough (especially for a naval aircraft where deck space can be tight). Wonder if the Navy is going to take a page out of the Army's book - IE: I've heard that AH-64 Apaches are being upgraded to control UAV's wonder if the the F-35C will be upgraded with a similar option?

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2011, 05:07
by neptune
FlightDreamz wrote:
spazinbad
the UCAS will be the first unmanned system developed in the wake of the deployment of the new F-35. The F-35 as a “flying combat system” should be a generator of change in the unmanned fleet.

Sharing sensors and equipment seem's common sense enough (especially for a naval aircraft where deck space can be tight). Wonder if the Navy is going to take a page out of the Army's book - IE: I've heard that AH-64 Apaches are being upgraded to control UAV's wonder if the the F-35C will be upgraded with a similar option?


Wow, if a flight of these could maintain formation with and datalink to the -35"Sea" while passing IRST or passive AESA data to the -47 with -9X or -120D for targeting then the -35 could pack a lot of punches with the X-47B/C. Sure adds a lot of options to the -35 stealthy weapons capacity. :idea: :D

Re: RE: Re: RE: F-35 newest competitor on the same flight de

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2011, 17:46
by netcentric
spazsinbad wrote:X-47B first flight update, making history - and new video by Guy Norris at 2/5/2011

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/de ... d=blogDest

On landing, the aircraft touched down around 60-ft ahead of where it was expected to hit, but “right on the centerline”, he adds. The touchdown was the equivalent of catching the ‘number one wire’ in Navy parlance, and gives the flight test team a good starting point from where to fine tune flight control software says Pamiljans. [Someone seems to have their arsebackwards referring to No.1 rather than probably No.4 wire? No.3 would be target wire with No.4 being approx. 60 feet 'ahead'? WHATEVER :twisted: ]




I think the article gets it right. Landing 60 feet 'ahead' IMO means it touched down before its intended location. In older 4 wire carriers the
space is 35-40 between. 60 more feet and he would line up to catch the
3 wire. 1 wire is closest to fantail.

trivia of the day: The two newest carries only have 3 wires.

Not so interesting trivia: The Navy A/C I worked on, had their automated landing software DE-tuned. So that they did not constantly hit the 3 wire. It was wearing out the wire too fast.



/I hope the first carrier landing is not a bolter!
//I would pay to be on that deck. To see/hear it at the break, the 180 and the 90...

RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: F-35 newest competitor on the same fligh

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2011, 20:02
by spazsinbad
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/ahead
'ahead': "a·head (-hd) adv.
1. At or to the front or head.
2. a. In advance; before: Pay ahead, and you'll receive a discount.
b. In or into the future; for the future: planned ahead.
3. a. In an advanced position or a configuration registering the future: Set the clock ahead.
b. At or to a different time; earlier or later: moved the appointment ahead, from Tuesday to Monday.
4. a. In a forward direction; onward: The train moved ahead slowly
----------

ahead [??h?d] adj
(postpositive) in front; in advance
adv
1. at or in the front; in advance; before
2. onwards; forwards go straight ahead

I know youse Yanks try to re-invent the King's English but using 'ahead' in the context of the X-47B landing was plain silly. I'll concede that "'before' the target wire" would have been a better choice of words or similar. However in my part of the world 'ahead' means "in front of" or similar. Whatever. I guess our writer was attempting to be sound faux nautical (such as 'full steam ahead') and he did not succeed.

The X-47B and/or equivalent will land from a straight in approach via JPALS (see other threads).

RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: F-35 newest competitor on the same fligh

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2011, 20:16
by spazsinbad
Air Traffic Control and Combat IdentificationProgram Office Landing Systems
Joint Precision and Approach Landing System (JPALS) Program Overview

Presented to CNS ATM Conference on June 26, 2008

http://www.afceaboston.com/documents/ev ... -26.08.pdf (1.3Mb)

RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: F-35 newest competitor on the same fligh

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2011, 20:22
by spazsinbad
Automated Carrier Landing of an Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle Using Dynamic Inversion

http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?Lo ... =ADA469901

RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: F-35 newest competitor on the same fligh

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2011, 21:05
by spazsinbad
JPALS Program Update CAPT Drew Williams, US Navy
NAVAIR PMA-213 15 APRIL 2010

http://www.afceaboston.com/documents/ev ... 20Williams).pdf (2.5Mb)

RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: F-35 newest competitor on the same fligh

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2011, 21:17
by spazsinbad
Secure, Robust CNS Technologies for Naval Aviation
via the Joint Precision Approach and Landing System
I-CNS Technologies Conference Briefing 1 May 2002


Glenn Colby (NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND)
Kenneth Wallace (ARINC)
Howard McGrath (Booz-Allen & Hamilton)

http://acast.grc.nasa.gov/wp-content/up ... allace.pdf

RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: F-35 newest competitor on the same fligh

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2011, 21:24
by spazsinbad
The 2025 PNT future:

National Positioning Navigation and Timing Architecture Update
Civil GPS Service Interface Committee Meeting
Karen Van Dyke, DOT/RITA/Volpe Center LCDR Jeff Vicario,
National Security Space Office 24 September 2007

http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/pdf/cgsicMee ... 5B1%5D.pdf (1.8Mb)

RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: F-35 newest competitor on the same fligh

Unread postPosted: 19 Feb 2011, 00:49
by spazsinbad
A Quick Look At The USAF's New Bomber Requirements by David A. Fulghum at Feb/18/2011

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/de ... d=blogDest

"The Pentagon’s next bomber will protect itself against enemy aircraft and air- or ground-launched missiles with an electronic attack weapon, probably based on an active, electronically scanned array (AESA) that can produce effects at the speed of light around the battlespace.

Moreover, that device or a supplemental AESA will also likely serve as a long-range, anti-electronic weapon and possibly as a network invasion weapon to disable or spook air defense surveillance, network integration and communications systems.

Or the bomber could coordinate the use of these capabilities installed on supporting aircraft, unmanned systems or missiles.

“The purpose of this aircraft is to survive in an Anti-Access Area Denial [A2AD] environment,” says Maj. Gen. David Scott, U.S. Air Force deputy chief of staff for operations, plans and requirements. “ Part of the requirements will be self defense. Do I think AESA is a valid technology that the Air Force will look at on all offensive platforms? I do. Do I think that airborne electronic attack is a valid defensive system that we will need on all future A2AD platforms? You bet.”

The bomber segment of the Long Range Strike family of systems has yet to be defined, much less designed, but clues are accumulating about what the U.S. Air Force is asking for.

It needs less than a day’s endurance, it has to be stealthy, it must be able to carry weapons both internally and externally, it will likely have a large active electronically scanned array for radar surveillance and some sort of associated capability for defensive electronic attack of enemy aircraft and air- or ground-launched missiles.

There will eventually be 80-100 of them as part of the total of 150 bombers operated by the U.S. Air Force. Of these, 90 will be combat coded. Initial operations of the first unit are slated for 2024-26. The aircraft will be expected to operate for about 50 years. It’s missions will include electronic attack (which means a long-range weapons capability against electronic systems) strike and command and control.

Under the Long Range Strike (LRS) program, “You have a platform – the next bomber we’re going to build, a stand off missile that we’re working on right now and Conventional Prompt Global Strike that we’re still trying to figure out,” says Maj. Gen. David Scott, deputy chief of staff for operations, planning and requirements. “It includes the [Navy’s] conventional Trident missile and things that the Air Force is working very closely with such as the hypersonic test vehicle.

A major component of LRS is “some kind of penetrating airborne electronic attack, persistent surveillance and reconnaissance and command and control that works all [those pieces] in an Anti-Access Area Denied [A2AD] environment,” Scott says. “What that gives those of us in the joint world is a national asset to hold any target in the world at risk.”

A key part of the bomber's design – that also is expected to keep cost down – is an “open hardware architecture” that will let payloads be slipped in and out of the aircraft to tailor it for various missions.

Moreover, “as technology enables it, we will work the maturity level of the bomber,” he says. “F-35 has some outstanding capability that we can leverage with this system [including AESA, electronic attack and infrared or electronic surveillance]. We will have trade space available to let us mature this aircraft because its going to be around for 50 years.

The electronic attack and jamming capability being developed for the new bomber will not be the Navy’s Next Generation Jammer [NGJ], but it will be related to and compatible with it.

“We are working with the Navy on NJG,” Scott says. “That doesn’t mean we’re going to employ it on our aircraft.”

The services will work together to ensure the electro-magnetic spectrum is covered from the high to low ends. So far, the EC-130 Compass Call and some of the pods on the Predators operate in low-end conflict environments and counter-IED operations. The next generation pods will tackle the mid-level to contested regimes.

“The F-22 and F-35 have AESA capability on board [that can be used for electronic attack],” he says. “The miniature air-launched decoy (Mald) and Mald-Jammer are the kind of things that we look at for the high-end [conflict].

“We do some pretty neat [defensive electronic attack] things with the B-2, and we’ll try to improve that as we work it through [new] survivability issues,” Scott says. “We will work distributed electronic attack on this aircraft and Mald and Mald-J are prime examples of that. We’re [already] working through what increment two of Mald-J will be.”

The bomber is supposed to use existing technologies so odds are that the aircraft will be subsonic. It also is supposed to be optionally manned.

“Today we have remotely manned – Predator and Reaper – and autonomous – Global Hawk,” he says. “ We’re very good in the unmanned world. What we have to figure out is the concept of operations. This is not an aircraft that is going to be persistent for days. We would like it to persist like we currently do with other platforms. It’s going to go in, do the mission and come back out.”

The Air Force bomber will be air-refuelable and there is the possibility that the Navy’s planned carrier-capable, unmanned strike aircraft will be as well."

Unread postPosted: 19 Feb 2011, 01:10
by outlaw162
This is not an aircraft that is going to be persistent for days.


Whew. Not only would it need to be air-refuelable, but also air-reoilable.

OL

Unread postPosted: 13 Apr 2011, 08:46
by spazsinbad
Northrop Grumman details future of UCAS-D By Zach Rosenberg DATE:11/04/11 SOURCE:Flightglobal.com

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/20 ... cas-d.html

“Northrop Grumman has detailed flight test plans for the X-47B, the experimental aircraft intended to demonstrate unmanned carrier approaches.

US Navy Capt Jaime Engdahl, speaking at the Navy League’s annual Sea Air Space Exposition on 11 April, revealed that the first carrier landing is expected in 2013, and that the necessary planned modifications have already been installed on the aircraft carrier the USS Eisenhower.

The first X-47B aircraft is currently grounded for modifications to its navigation system in preparation for a second round of test flights. AV1, which first flew in February at Edwards AFB, California, is scheduled to be in the air again by the summer.

During ‘late fall’ the aircraft will be brought to the navy’s flight test centre at Patuxent River, Maryland, where it will begin carrier suitability testing in early 2012. The aircraft is scheduled to make its first carrier landing in early- to mid-2013 as part of the USN's unmanned combat air system demonstration (UCAS-D) programme.

Equipment will be installed in a Boeing F/A-18 and a Beechcraft King Air to simulate the X-47. In the aircraft itself, human intervention will be limited to “a click of the mouse [that] says go, a click of the mouse [that] says come home,” says Northrop programme director Janis Palminjans.

“We have a multi-blocked flight test programme established, developed back in 2007,” he says. “We haven’t deviated from it; we’ve added one more block, called Block 6, for the air-to-air refuelling.”

AV1 has conducted three flights to test its handling and aerodynamics. AV2 is slated to begin taxi tests in the fall of this year. Once finished demonstrating compatibility with the aircraft carrier, both aircraft will be re-modified for Block 6, including precision software already tested on manned aircraft. They will be tested using both hose-and-drogue and boom refuelling capability.

Although the aircraft are equipped with weapons bays, they are currently used to carry test instrumentation pods, with no plans in place to carry weaponry.”

Re: RE: F-35 newest competitor on the same flight deck!

Unread postPosted: 13 Apr 2011, 09:58
by 1st503rdsgt
FlightDreamz wrote:
Angels255
Has the Boeing product been sidelined or is that too still in the pipeline?

My understanding is that Boeing's U.C.A.V. is out of the running for the Navy (at least for now), but might pop up in USAF colors down the road. Then again with U.S.A.F. thinking about long range bombers again perhaps not (see http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/ ... ike%20Plan). Bear in mind that's just an educated guess on my part, I don't have the links/data to back up my theory as to Boeing's future U.C.A.V. plans at the moment (quietly braces himself for a shellacking) :whistle:

I'm hopeful that the Northrop-Grumman X-47B will put back some of the long range into the navy's strike plans (other than missiles anyway). How this will fit in the budget and when it will be ready for service is another story (fingers crossed).


As I understand, the X-45 was dropped because:
(1) It was threating the F-35's funding.
(2) The Predator C (flying since 2009) will do the same thing sooner at a much lower cost (props to General Atomics for showing the way).

I'm sure the X-47B will do a lot more, but doesn't loading a drone up with expensive capability defeat the purpose of having an RPA system in the first place? With cuts coming, we may actually see the USN switching to the Predator C, but the future here is still anyone's guess. And shouldn't this thread be under the "Drones" topic?

RE: Re: RE: F-35 newest competitor on the same flight deck!

Unread postPosted: 13 Apr 2011, 13:17
by munny
Isn't the X-47b made from recycled f-16 parts?

RE: Re: RE: F-35 newest competitor on the same flight deck!

Unread postPosted: 13 Apr 2011, 15:37
by lb
The X-47B is a fighter sized UCAS with an F100 engine and a max weight of around 45,000lbs. It's a different class of UCAS than the Predator (including the C). It has to be robust enough for carrier operations and it's also low observable. It's really an unmanned stealthy strike fighter. Also recall this is a demonstration program and how close a production variant might be is an open question.

Moreover, it's concept of operations, as has been mentioned, is a bit different. It's not exactly going to be remotely piloted. In a variety of ways this aircraft is a game changer. It also gets the USN back to long range strike.

The only real question if it gets into service is how long before the USAF fields a fighter sized UCAS and how many manned fighter wings it replaces in the force structure?

RE: Re: RE: F-35 newest competitor on the same flight deck!

Unread postPosted: 13 Apr 2011, 23:39
by geogen
Good points lb, all around.

The Pred-C type and N-UCAS type UCAV/UCAS will indeed become game-changing components to USAF/USN TACAIR functions in the mid-term. Even if initially land-based, they could be operated by Navy in long-endurance support role via mid-air refueling by USN SH.

And as you correctly state, one valid question remains for sure: how many future orders for manned (incl TACAIR) assets will be replaced, perhaps starting as early as FY17/FY18(?) by operational variants of either or both of these two types mentioned above? As near-term Defense budgets are reduced, as part of the broader austere budget realities ahead across the board... emerging technologies such as these unmanned assets will most likely become a larger part of the acquisition process within the combat air procurement budgets. Something probably not yet taken into account by the general public weighing in on these discussions. imho.

RE: Re: RE: F-35 newest competitor on the same flight deck!

Unread postPosted: 13 Apr 2011, 23:59
by spazsinbad
geogen said: "...emerging technologies such as these unmanned assets will most likely become a larger part of the acquisition process within the combat air procurement budgets. Something probably not yet taken into account by the general public weighing in on these discussions. imho."

I disagree. Any General Public remotely interested in aviation of any kind will have been exposed to many fanciful UAV ideas over the years including 'the last manned combat aircraft' via the F-35 or whatever takes the writer's fancy at the time. Who knows the future - only early days for the robots. Robotic UAVs will be able to conduct mutual robotic air refuelling soon BTW.

RE: Re: RE: F-35 newest competitor on the same flight deck!

Unread postPosted: 14 Apr 2011, 00:25
by geogen
I'm just saying that when either (or both) of these two mentioned operational UCAVs do in fact become a piece of the FY17 or FY18 (or FY19 if delayed) procurement cycle... the budget they will come out of (most likely a future decreasing DoD budget than currently projected), they will likely come out of different aviation portions of the overall procurement budget, INCLUDING combat (tacair). Something not yet factored into the forward-looking combat air budgets of today (yet which should). imho.

RE: Re: RE: F-35 newest competitor on the same flight deck!

Unread postPosted: 14 Apr 2011, 00:37
by SpudmanWP
Remember that the X-47B has a big X in front. It is not meant to be operational and would go through a further developmental cycle before it would become operational (ala YF-22 to F-22, X-35 to F-35, etc)

Re: RE: Re: RE: F-35 newest competitor on the same flight de

Unread postPosted: 14 Apr 2011, 01:03
by 1st503rdsgt
geogen wrote:emerging technologies such as these unmanned assets will most likely become a larger part of the acquisition process within the combat air procurement budgets. Something probably not yet taken into account by the general public weighing in on these discussions. imho.


I'm not sure if that's directed toward me, but I think I qualify as something more than the "general public" seeing as I do have practical experience operating under these systems. I understand first hand their capabilities and and limitations.

Drones/robots are well suited for the "3 D's" (dull, dirty, dangerous), but the X-47B appears to be an effort to to go far beyond this paradigm. As consequence, it will probably be almost as expensive to build and maintain as a piloted aircraft. In my mind, that negates the true value of a drone, its lack of value. That's not to say that RPAs (or their mouse-click piloted counterparts) are expendable, but the fact remains they lose much of their utility when they become too costly.

As for the "general public," the taxpayer's opinion has been of paramount importance to weapons procurement since the USN's first frigates were built over 200 years ago. Engineers, generals, and admirals up on their high horses may have the best knowledge of what systems are needed, but congress-persons still have to answer to John Q. Public for where they spend the money.

RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: F-35 newest competitor on the same fligh

Unread postPosted: 14 Apr 2011, 01:12
by spazsinbad
A ROBOT TANKER UAV for the USN aircraft catches my imagination - apart from any other use (ISR/Strike). I guess the drones have their place along with ROBOT Aircraft in the future. Many possibliies will emerge as the technology improves and is proven.

Re: RE: Re: RE: F-35 newest competitor on the same flight de

Unread postPosted: 14 Apr 2011, 01:25
by popcorn
SpudmanWP wrote:Remember that the X-47B has a big X in front. It is not meant to be operational and would go through a further developmental cycle before it would become operational (ala YF-22 to F-22, X-35 to F-35, etc)


Yes, the X-47B is a technology demonstrator isn't it? I'd expect the USN to implement substantial modifications in any future derivative of the design. IMO they will probably want something with a bit more range.

Re: RE: Re: RE: F-35 newest competitor on the same flight de

Unread postPosted: 14 Apr 2011, 01:37
by sferrin
popcorn wrote:
SpudmanWP wrote:Remember that the X-47B has a big X in front. It is not meant to be operational and would go through a further developmental cycle before it would become operational (ala YF-22 to F-22, X-35 to F-35, etc)


Yes, the X-47B is a technology demonstrator isn't it? I'd expect the USN to implement substantial modifications in any future derivative of the design. IMO they will probably want something with a bit more range.


Do you in fact know what the X-47B's range is?

RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: F-35 newest competitor on the same fligh

Unread postPosted: 14 Apr 2011, 01:38
by geogen
Popcorn, the wingspan is already getting pretty massive? Can it truly be extended that much more, unless they are pulling most of the other aircraft from the deck (as they apparently did when making U-2 landings)? The range should be sufficient, especially when coupled with long-range stand-off ordnance e.g., JASSM-ER class munition. That is where an 'operational' spec should be centered on with regards to the N-UCAS... with the internal capacity for JASSM-ER sized ordnance. imho.

Re: RE: F-35 newest competitor on the same flight deck!

Unread postPosted: 14 Apr 2011, 01:43
by neptune
[quote="FlightDreamz"][quote...My understanding is that Boeing's U.C.A.V. .. but might pop up in USAF colors down the road. ...quote]

X-45 in flight.. http://www.boeing.com/Features/2010/12/ ... 10_10.html

Boeing plans to launch a 10-flight test series with the Phantom Ray, a company-funded derivative of the X-45 developed by the US Air Force and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/20 ... -over.html

Re: RE: Re: RE: F-35 newest competitor on the same flight de

Unread postPosted: 14 Apr 2011, 01:56
by neptune
sferrin wrote:[..Do you in fact know what the X-47B's range is?


Maximum speed: "high subsonic"
Cruise speed: 0.45 mach
Range: 2,100+ NM (3,889+ km)
Service ceiling: 40,000 ft (12,190 m)

We have a multi-blocked flight test programme established, developed back in 2007,” he says. “We haven’t deviated from it; we’ve added one more block, called Block 6, for the air-to-air refuelling.”

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/20 ... cas-d.html

RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: F-35 newest competitor on the same fligh

Unread postPosted: 14 Apr 2011, 02:11
by spazsinbad
geogen, any USN carrier aircraft will be designed to fit normal operations with other ordinary USN carrier aircraft. This will always be the case. Non-Naval Designed aircraft have to take their luck onboard as they find it. Not many make the cut :cheers: - as we know. :roll:

Unread postPosted: 14 Apr 2011, 12:06
by popcorn
The specifications for the future UCAS is far from fixed at this point. The primary role for the UCAS seems to be ISR with the debate being on the right balance between survivability and endurance. The final UCAS configuration could have significant differences from the X-47B.

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/ ... ull&next=0

Unread postPosted: 14 Apr 2011, 18:47
by neptune
popcorn wrote:..primary role for the UCAS seems to be ISR ..


Not to disagree; the weapons bay can carry -9x, -120C, and various JDAMs,etc....and it could carry ISR systems, as well. Mission configurable, no doubt. Adding an AESA for radar and communications; could allow the other flight a/c to remain in their passive mode (making them even more undetectable). :)

Unread postPosted: 06 Jul 2011, 04:08
by spazsinbad
Navy UCAS Achieves Milestone Aboard Eisenhower Patuxent River, MD - 7/5/2011

http://www.thebaynet.com/news/index.cfm ... y_ID/23048

"The Navy is one step closer to demonstrating the first carrier-based recoveries and launches of an autonomous, low-observable relevant unmanned aircraft.

Aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) July 2, a team from the Navy Unmanned Combat Air System program office (PMA-268) accomplished the historical first carrier touchdown of an F/A-18D surrogate aircraft emulating an unmanned vehicle using systems developed as part of the Unmanned Combat Air System Carrier Demonstration (UCAS-D) program.

“What we saw here today is cutting edge technology for integrating digital control of autonomous carrier aircraft operations, and most importantly, the capability to automatically land an unmanned air system aboard an aircraft carrier,” said Capt. Jaime Engdahl, N-UCAS Program Manager. “Successfully landing and launching a surrogate aircraft allows us to look forward to demonstrating that a tailless, strike-fighter- sized unmanned system can operate safely in the carrier environment.”

Demonstrating the UCAS-D system with a proven carrier aircraft, the F/A-18D, significantly reduces risk of landing an unmanned system aboard the ship for the first time. The F/A-18 surrogate aircraft, provided by Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23, is controlled with actual avionics and software that are being incorporated on X-47B UCAS-D aircraft.

“Surrogate testing allows us to evaluate ship systems, avionics systems, and early versions of the unmanned vehicle software with a pilot in the loop for safety,” said Glenn Colby, team lead for UCAS-D Aviation/Ship Integration. “With this we can verify our interfaces and functionality while minimizing the risk to an unmanned vehicle.”

Along with the F/A-18, the test team employed a King Air surrogate aircraft operated by Air-Tec, Inc. According to Colby, the King Air gives the team a low-cost test bed to evaluate the ability of the UCAS-D avionics and ship systems to properly adhere to existing carrier operations procedures. PMA-268 is using the King Air to test all of the system functionality that does not require actually landing on the ship.

“The most important thing we have done is adapted the ship’s systems to handle a vehicle without a pilot, then seamlessly integrated it into carrier operations,” said Rob Fox, UCAS-D Aviation/Ship Integration deputy team lead. “We’re using both current aircraft carrier hardware and software systems and processes, and introducing new systems and processes to accommodate an unmanned system.”

The vast majority of today’s carrier flight operations are flown manually and visually by Naval Aviators. The pilot gives the ship information about the aircraft over the radio; all air traffic control instructions are by voice and even a good portion of navigation data has to be read over the air by the ship. The purpose of the UCAS-D integration effort is to digitize the communications and navigation information flow to incorporate capabilities required for UAS flight operations aboard a carrier, with minimal impact to existing hardware, training and procedures.

“This test period shows us very clearly that the carrier segment hardware and software, and the Precision Global Positioning System (PGPS) landing technologies are mature and ready to support actual unmanned operations with the X-47B,” said Engdahl.

To support an autonomous vehicle, PMA-268 has modified shipboard equipment so that the UCAS-D X-47B air vehicle, mission operator and ship operators are on the same digital network. For current fleet aircraft, the Landing Signal Officer (LSO), who is charged with safe recovery of aircraft aboard the ship, uses voice commands and visual signals to communicate with a pilot on final approach. Since a UAS cannot reliably respond to voice and visual signals, the LSO’s equipment communicates directly with the aircraft through the digital network via a highly reliable interface. Similar digital communication capability has been integrated with the ship’s primary flight control (“tower”) and Carrier Air Traffic Control Center (CATCC) facilities. Most importantly, the UAS operator’s equipment, installed in one of the carrier’s ready rooms, is integrated with the very same network.

In addition to communications, an unmanned system requires highly precise and reliable navigation to operate around the ship. Today’s first arrested landing of the F/A-18D surrogate aircraft aboard the Eisenhower was enabled by integrating Precision Global Positioning System (PGPS) capabilities into the ship and the aircraft.

According to Engdahl, these tests demonstrate that PGPS landing technologies and the carrier segment hardware and software are mature and ready to support actual unmanned operations with the X-47B. In addition, these capabilities have the potential to make manned aircraft operations safer and more efficient.

“Our team has worked vigorously over the past five years to modify and develop systems required to operate unmanned aircraft around and aboard a carrier,” said Adam Anderson, team lead for UCAS-D Aviation/Ship Integration System Build, who has worked on the program since 2006. “This was a very complex and challenging task that required innovative, hard-working and dedicated individuals to get the job done.”

The first experiments supporting unmanned carrier operations were conducted in 2002 followed by at-sea testing of a King Air in 2005. With the basic concept proven, the UCAS-D team began the detailed design of the carrier integration in 2007. The PMA-268/NAVAIR team worked closely with experts from PEO (Carriers) and the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) to determine the details of system installation on a carrier, while working to minimize impact to ongoing missions and capabilities aboard the ship. Initial capability of the ship equipment was verified in January 2010 during testing aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln.

In fall 2010, ship modifications began on the Eisenhower. The UCAS-D team worked closely with ship’s company personnel to lessen disruption to other activities required for normal operations and maintenance of the ship. Initial surrogate testing took place during the ship’s sea trials the week of June 13, which validated the system’s readiness for carrier landings.

“This was truly a team effort with our industry partners, including Northrop Grumman, Rockwell Collins, Honeywell, L-3 Communications, SAIC, ARINC and Sierra Nevada Corporation, PEO Carriers, NAVSEA and, of course, the crew of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower,” Engdahl added. “The exceptional support and collaboration of the entire team has set us up very well to achieve our ultimate milestone –autonomous landing of an actual unmanned, low-observable relevant aircraft on the aircraft carrier in 2013.”

The UCAS-D program continues ship integration and X-47B flight test activities in preparation for sea trials in 2013. Flight testing is underway at Edwards Air Force Base and will transition to Pax River later this year."
_______________

"As part of the Navy's Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstration program, a F/A-18D from the "Salty Dogs" of air test and evaluation squadron (VX) 23 makes and arrested landing aboard aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower(CVN 69), July 2. (U.S. Navy photo) http://www.thebaynet.com/images/news/fu ... 5BB0A6.jpg

Image

Unread postPosted: 07 Jul 2011, 20:49
by spazsinbad
Navy One Step Closer To UAV Carrier Ops July 7th, 2011

http://defensetech.org/2011/07/07/navy- ... rrier-ops/

"The U.S. Navy just got a little closer to its goal of routinely flying combat drones off carriers by the close of the decade when an F/A-18 Hornet landed itself on the deck of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) using flight control software designed for the Northrop-Grumman-built X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstrator or UCAS-D.

On July 2, the F/A-18 (shown above) performed dozens of arrested landings without any input from the pilot in the Atlantic Ocean off the Virginia Capes. What’s really interesting about this is that the jet wasn’t controlled by someone in the carrier the way current drones are controlled from ground stations. No, this jet simply received a command from the carrier’s air traffic control to enter the landing pattern and execute the landing all on its own; the same way a piloted jet would.

“Once he’s on his approach, we actually take control of the aircraft via the systems we have installed as part of the demo and actually the aircraft is controlled by flight [rules] we put in place, all the way down to trap,” said Don Blottenberger, Navy UCAS-D Dep. Principal Program Manager during a phone call with reporters this morning. “There is no remote control of the aircraft, there is no pilot control of the aircraft; we’ve given it instructions and it executes those instructions.”

Just to make it clear, Blottenberger added:

“There is no remote control, meaning there is no joystick, there’s no one that’s flying this aircraft from the carrier, we give it commands via the network we have in place … tying in with existing carrier systems and then the aircraft executes those commands.”

The system, which uses precision-GPS navigation data transmitted over Rockwell Collins’ Tactical Targeting Network Technology (which I thought was defunct), allows the air traffic controllers, air boss and landing signals officer to tell the plane to enter the approach and perform all the necessary adjustments in heading, altitude and speed necessary to perform a trap. In the final phase of the approach, the LSO can even order the jet to wave off using his terminal that has been modified to communicate with an unmanned jet, according to NAVAIR officials.

According to the Hornet’s pilot, Lt. Jeremy DeBons, the landing felt no different from when an F/A-18 lands using the Automated Carrier Landing System, although. Still, he kept his “hands very close” to the controls during the ‘hands-off’ landings.

The new, GPS-based system developed for the UCAS-D has 360-degree coverage around the ship; the ability to control multiple aircraft and allows the actual airplane to determine how it will fly according to the commands from air traffic control. The older radar-based auto-land system has limited coverage off the stern of the carrier, determines what type of stick and throttle inputs should be performed for the plane and can only control a limited number of aircraft, according to NAVAIR officials.

Now the Navy has proven the auto-landing system works, the two X-47Bs will be flown to NAS Patuxent River in Maryland where they’ll do everything from perform cat shots and arrested landings to practice operating on a crowded carrier deck mock up and flying in its airspace throughout next year. If all goes well, this will pave the way for an actual carrier landing by an X-47B sometime in 2013, according to NAVAIR."

Unread postPosted: 08 Jul 2011, 22:55
by spazsinbad
F/A-18 Shows UCAS-D Can Land On Carrier | Jul 8, 2011 By Graham Warwick

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/ ... ine=F/A-18 Shows UCAS-D Can Land On Carrier

“Surrogate flight tests of the software and systems for the Northrop Grumman X-47B unmanned combat aircraft system demonstrator (UCAS-D) have resulted in “hands-free” landings of an F/A-18 Hornet on a U.S. Navy carrier.

Controlled by the avionics and software from the X-47B, the F/A-18 conducted 58 coupled approaches to the USS Eisenhower on July 2, including 16 intentional touch-and-gos and six arrested landings, program officials say.

The tests keep the UCAS-D program on track for carrier trials of the unmanned X-47B in 2013. The first aircraft has flown at Edwards AFB, Calif., and both air vehicles will be delivered to the NAS Patuxent River, Md., test center for shore-based testing in 2012.

Acting as a surrogate, the F/A-18 showed the X-47B will be able to land autonomously under command from the ship. The tests included 28 straight-in, or Case 1, instrument approaches where the unmanned system took over control 8 mi. behind the ship.

The other 30 were visual, or Case 3, approaches where the system took over control as the F/A-18 passed the carrier on the downwind leg and then turned the aircraft on to its final approach,
says Capt. Jaime Engdahl, Navy UCAS program manager.

Flights were conducted using precision GPS and Tactical Targeting Network Technology high-speed data links to navigate relative to the carrier and send commands to the aircraft.

Engdahl says the tests demonstrated the Navy’s distributed control concept, in which a mission operator on the carrier always has positive control of the aircraft, but the ship’s air traffic controller, the air boss in the tower and landing signals officer on the flight deck can send commands to the unmanned vehicle as they would to a manned aircraft.

“You send basic commands to the aircraft and the system calculates all the paths itself and puts together a profile,” says Don Blottenberger, deputy program manager. “The carrier exercises oversight and override, everything else is automated.”

The next steps are to complete flight-envelope expansion at Edwards and then ship the X-47Bs to Patuxent River for shore-based catapult launches, arrested landings and carrier pattern work through 2012, Engdahl says.

Further surrogate test flights are planned next year, working with the USS Truman, and one of the X-47Bs will be hoisted aboard the carrier to evaluate maneuvering of the unmanned aircraft on the flight deck.

Carrier trials of the X-47B in 2013 will be followed in 2014 by flight tests of autonomous aerial refueling. Flight tests for this phase of the program will begin late this year using a Learjet as a surrogate.”

Unread postPosted: 13 Jul 2011, 09:47
by spazsinbad
U.S. Navy Awards Study Contracts For Unmanned Carrier-borne Stealth By: Bill Carey July 2011

http://www.ainonline.com/ain-defense-pe ... no_cache=1

"Four American companies will demonstrate concepts for an unmanned carrier-launched airborne surveillance and strike (UCLASS) aircraft to the U.S. Navy. Study contracts worth about $500,000 each were awarded late June to General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI, which offers the Sea Avenger version of the jet-powered Predator C); Lockheed Martin (a version of the still-secret RQ-170 Sentinel); Northrop Grumman (already flying the X-47B under a previous Navy contract) and Boeing (which will adapt the recently flown Phantom Ray). The Navy is looking for a carrier-based persistent intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR) and strike capability by 2018.

In a recent briefing to journalists, Darryl Davis, Boeing Phantom Works president, described UCLASS as “a program that’s emerging rapidly. [It is] probably the next program of record that goes to a down-select in the next 12 months or so.”

Davis said Boeing is about to conduct a handling demonstration of the Phantom Ray on a simulated carrier deck, using human gestures and radio frequency devices to control the aircraft. The Phantom Ray completed its first flight April 27 at Edwards Air Force Base, California.

GA-ASI first described the Sea Avenger in May 2010, and completed a wind-tunnel test last February. The test validated low-speed characteristics of a new folding wing, resulting in higher endurance and lower approach speeds, GA-ASI said. The design features a structure that is reinforced for carrier operations, and has a retractable electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensor, air-refueling probe and internal weapons bay.

Meanwhile, GA-ASI told AIN that it is building three more Predator C Avengers. The prototype first flew in April 2009. This aircraft completed weapons testing in April at Naval Air Station China Lake, Calif. The company declined to specify which weapons were tested, but they could include Hellfire missiles and GBU-38 joint direct attack munitions (JDAMs). The UAV is powered by a Pratt & Whitney PW545B turbofan. GA-ASI said the second Predator C is expected to fly before year-end. The company has begun construction of the third aircraft and has ordered long-lead items for a fourth. The Predator C has been developed on company funding, according to GA-ASI, and no customer has yet been announced."

"General Atomics is developing a marinized version of its Predator C jet-powered UAV, named Sea Avenger, for the U.S. Navy’s UCLASS requirement. (Photo: General Atomics)"

http://www.ainonline.com/index.php?eID= ... or_C-1.jpg

Unread postPosted: 15 Sep 2011, 07:00
by spazsinbad
U.S. Navy/Northrop Grumman X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Honored by Defense News

http://www.irconnect.com/noc/press/page ... l?d=231766

"Tailless, First-of-Its-Kind Aircraft Headed Toward First Carrier Landings, Launches in 2013
SAN DIEGO, Sept. 8, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aerospace trade publication Defense News has selected the U.S. Navy/Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) -developed X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) as its Unmanned Technology & Innovation Achievement for 2011....

...The autonomous X-47B is the air vehicle for the Navy's Unmanned Combat Air System Carrier Demonstration (UCAS-D) program. It will be used in 2013 to demonstrate the first carrier landings and launches by a tailless, low-observable-relevant unmanned system. The fighter-sized aircraft features an innovative, GPS-based navigation and landing system that will enable it to land autonomously, with precision, on the moving deck of a Navy aircraft carrier....

...In addition to the planned carrier launches and landings in 2013, added Pamiljans, the program will also demonstrate the ability of the X-47B to conduct autonomous aerial refueling operations in 2014...."

Unread postPosted: 15 Sep 2011, 07:20
by 1st503rdsgt
Hmmm, surprised this thread hasn't been moved over to the drones section yet.

Unread postPosted: 30 Sep 2011, 23:15
by spazsinbad
X-47B UCAS Flight Test Highlights -- Summer 2011 [We see da hook]

"Uploaded by northropgrummanmedia on Sep 29, 2011
Two minute review of recent flight test activities for U.S. Navy's X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System demonstration aircraft at Edwards AFB, Calif. The X-47B was designed, developed and produced by Northrop Grumman, the leader in unmanned systems."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Oq4qah5 ... _embedded#!

Unread postPosted: 10 Oct 2011, 09:33
by spazsinbad
"Some 'Mothers' Do UAV 'Em" PDF attached with an .FLV video embedded in the PDF page. Youse'll need Adobe Reader 10.1.1 to view it. Any other viewers I dunno. ['Mother' is the home carrier in NavySpeak.]

For those who dunno: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Some_Mothers_Do_'Ave_'Em

Unread postPosted: 10 Oct 2011, 16:20
by arkadyrenko
One wonders how they're going to fix the following problems:

1) Communications with UAVs, especially in an environment when you want the UAV to be totally stealthy and when communication networks may be compromised.
2) UAV navigation without GPS
3) UAV finding the carrier when the carrier trying its hardest to not be found. This will be a particularly tricky problem because the long duration of the UAV missions means the carrier could move quite a distance during the missions duration.

On the other hand, UAVs will be necessary to return long range strike capacity to the carrier flight deck.

Unread postPosted: 10 Oct 2011, 16:47
by shep1978
arkadyrenko wrote:One wonders how they're going to fix the following problems:

1) Communications with UAVs, especially in an environment when you want the UAV to be totally stealthy and when communication networks may be compromised.
2) UAV navigation without GPS
3) UAV finding the carrier when the carrier trying its hardest to not be found. This will be a particularly tricky problem because the long duration of the UAV missions means the carrier could move quite a distance during the missions duration.


A 4th problem; Viruses

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/10 ... one-fleet/

Unread postPosted: 10 Oct 2011, 19:20
by spazsinbad
'Onboard JPALS' [+DGPS] (NOT JUST LAAS Afloat) is the key. The Carrier UAVs are autonomous also. Read up on JPALS on several forum threads. Here is onsuch:

http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopi ... rt-15.html

with other links to other info on JPALS capacity there such as:

And on similar thread: http://www.f-16.net/index.php?name=PNph ... e&start=30

JPALS Program Update CAPT Drew Williams, US Navy NAVAIR PMA-213 15 APRIL 2010
http://www.afceaboston.com/documents/ev ... 20Williams).pdf (2.5Mb)

http://attach.high-g.net/attachments/jp ... nt_100.gif
http://attach.high-g.net/attachments/jp ... ps_214.gif

Image
Image

Unread postPosted: 10 Oct 2011, 19:26
by arkadyrenko
That slide is pretty interesting, and it has to be hiding something.

It says that ship to airplane contact at 200 and 60nm work even under EMCOM. This suggests several possibilities. One, the ship has to broadcast and break EMCOM and the slide is basically useless. A ship cannot broadcast its position and be under EMCOM. Especially if the other side has UAVs up, with sophisticated electronic tracking systems, looking for you. It gets worse, does anyone think that E-2s can enforce a 200nm clean zone from stealth UAVs? That seems unlikely; though it should be an area for future research.

Second, there is a provision for another platform to contact the UAVs (E-2?). Third, super secret comm technology.

For viruses, I think that autonomy will probably be the best defense against viruses. Think of the UCAS as a returnable and re-directable cruise missile. Especially for long range recon missions. But, those problems will have to be fixed before UAVs get used in a full war involving two roughly technologically comparable countries.

Unread postPosted: 10 Oct 2011, 19:31
by SpudmanWP
One word, SATCOM, ie no direct line of communication and does not give away it's location.

Unread postPosted: 10 Oct 2011, 19:31
by spazsinbad
This thread page has some answers to the super secret secure one way communication issues: http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopi ... rt-15.html Shipboard GPS Reference Station.

http://attach.high-g.net/attachments/jp ... pt_213.gif

Image

Unread postPosted: 10 Oct 2011, 23:30
by arkadyrenko
I think I have the technology now: essentially its a radio transmitter on the carrier which broadcasts a signal to all and sundry which is designed to contain no information about the broadcasters position. Probably this contains inherent data issues, so the information encoded in the signal has to be minimalistic. Hence why at 200nm there is much less information than at 50 and 20 nm.

The key question is how long can the Navy rely on that signal not being useful? I bet they'll have to offshore that signal onto a UAV orbiting near the carrier and only within say 20nm do the actual hand-off to the carrier for approach control. Then we'll have UAVs controlling UAVs....

Unread postPosted: 10 Oct 2011, 23:47
by bumtish
arkadyrenko wrote:I think I have the technology now: essentially its a radio transmitter on the carrier which broadcasts a signal to all and sundry which is designed to contain no information about the broadcasters position. Probably this contains inherent data issues, so the information encoded in the signal has to be minimalistic. Hence why at 200nm there is much less information than at 50 and 20 nm.

The key question is how long can the Navy rely on that signal not being useful? I bet they'll have to offshore that signal onto a UAV orbiting near the carrier and only within say 20nm do the actual hand-off to the carrier for approach control. Then we'll have UAVs controlling UAVs....


This is the nature of differential GPS. The corrections carried in the signal to UAV are with the carrier as the reference system and become less applicable or relevant with distance as the corrections adjust for local error. This error become increasingly "random" with distance and at 200 nm we are essentially working with the accuracy of the inertial/GPS navigation system of the UAV.

Unread postPosted: 11 Oct 2011, 02:02
by arkadyrenko
The problem for the carrier is that any EM signal it creates can be used to triangulate its position, and thereby enable a missile attack against it. I didn't really look into the issue of differential GPS, which seems to be focused more on boosting the UAV's positional accuracy.

So, if the carrier beams to SATCOM or GPS, that's breaking EMCOM. The question is how to broadcast its position to UAVs without broadcasting its position to Chinese UAVs / ELINT Sats / Subs etc.

Unread postPosted: 11 Oct 2011, 02:13
by SpudmanWP
Unmanned X-47B Begins Envelope Expansion Tests over Edwards

Image

Image

The X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstration aircraft reached a major milestone Sept. 30 when it retracted its landing gear and flew in its cruise configuration for the first time.


http://defense-update.com/20111010_unma ... wards.html

Unread postPosted: 11 Oct 2011, 02:18
by SpudmanWP
SATCOM can only be detected if you are between the carrier and the satellite (ie it's directional in nature).

Unread postPosted: 11 Oct 2011, 03:00
by spazsinbad
SWP, Nice photo of dat hook with the side view looking like a flying saucer. OhOH here we go....

Unread postPosted: 11 Oct 2011, 03:30
by spazsinbad
From previous page a look at USAF future (ships are included but not on graphic - must be USAF). New backbone of large USAF aircraft in 2018. USAF JPALS Accuracy Ashore from a Jan 2009 PDF (lots of good stuff - MADL mentioned also - amongst many other capabilities). I'll guess also that the X-47B will have a good NAV package that will allow for finding the carrier in an area of interest - if long range 'direct' finding becomes difficult - by robotic navigation. Carrier pilots develop a good sense of where the carrier might be after a sortie over blue water because the carrier will follow a plan - perhaps not but likely you may argue - and this is carrier route is given in the preflight briefing:

Electronic Systems Center New Horizons Symposium

http://www.afceaboston.com/documents/ev ... 20ELSW.pdf (9Mb)

"Rapidly Deploy Adverse Weather, Adverse Terrain, Survivable, Maintainable, and Interoperable Precision Approach and Landing System (Land and Sea) That Supports the Warfighter When Ceiling and Visibility are Limiting Factors"
&
"JPALS Increment 2
- 200 ft/ ½ SM; Supports Auto-Land, Mobile/Fixed Local Area Differential GPS
- Customers: Air Force, Army, Navy & Marines"

Unread postPosted: 11 Oct 2011, 09:01
by spazsinbad

Unread postPosted: 11 Oct 2011, 16:43
by tacf-x
Nice photos. I really like the view of the tailhook and side view of this UAS.

Unread postPosted: 11 Oct 2011, 21:00
by spazsinbad
BAE Systems, Northrop Grumman to Develop Anti-Jam ‘NAVWAR Sensors’ for the U.S. Air Force

http://defense-update.com/20111004_bae- ... force.html

"The U.S. is embarking on a development of a future Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver to better cope with hostile electronic attacks....

...Designed to replace traditional GPS elements in airborne GPS/INS systems the NAVWAR Sensor will be compatible with existing embedded GPS receivers, and offer 10 meter CEP location accuracy even under heavy jamming....

...Designed to operate in hostile electronic environment, the future receiver will also offer situational awareness acting as a signals intelligence sensor, enabling GPS jammer detection, characterization, geolocation and reporting of GPS jammers....:

ETC. at the jump....

Unread postPosted: 12 Oct 2011, 08:46
by spazsinbad
Lockheed Martin Powers on the GPS III Pathfinder
U.S. Air Force's GPS III Acquisition Approach Continues to Yield Excellent Results


http://www.lockheedmartin.com/news/pres ... s_gps.html

"NEWTOWN, Pa., October 10th, 2011 -- The Lockheed Martin [NYSE : LMT] team developing the U.S. Air Force’s next generation Global Positioning System has turned on initial power to the program’s pathfinder spacecraft, known as the GPS III Non Flight Satellite Testbed (GNST). The milestone gives the team high confidence in meeting the scheduled launch of the first GPS III satellite in 2014.

The GPS III program is the lowest risk solution to constellation sustainment and the most affordable path to meet the needs of military, commercial and civilian users worldwide. GPS III will improve position, navigation and timing services and provide advanced anti-jam capabilities yielding superior system security, accuracy and reliability...."

Unread postPosted: 13 Oct 2011, 06:00
by spazsinbad
Military jamming of GPS in Scotland suspended By Steven McKenzie BBC Scotland Highlands and Islands reporter 10 Oct 2011

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-h ... s-15242835

"Jamming of global positioning signals (GPS) during Europe's largest military exercise has been suspended, following complaints from fishermen. The Royal Navy issued warnings in September and October that GPS in parts of Scotland would be disrupted during Exercise Joint Warrior. But Western Isles fishermen said the first they knew was when their equipment went offline last Friday. The Royal Navy said the military would seek to address their safety concerns....

"...The spokesman said temporary jamming was routinely practiced in military exercises and was an essential part of preparation for operations...."

http://www.kinlochbervie.info/klb_docs/ ... 202011.pdf (1.8Mb)

Unread postPosted: 13 Oct 2011, 06:09
by geogen
Dang spazs, I'm wondering now if Blackberry went down from jamming, however not necessarily from some NATO exercise in Scotland? (maybe move next year's EJW exercise to Norway, or Canada, Greenland??)

Anyway, shout out to BAE... man those guys are everywhere - Anti-Jam NAVWAR systems, USAF helmets, DEWS management suites for next-gen F-15, etc, etc... :thumb:

Unread postPosted: 13 Oct 2011, 18:49
by southernphantom
I wonder if Galileo has the same susceptibility to EW as GPS. I remember there was a huge conflict between the US and EU over the system, and we have (had?) a policy that Galileo satellites would be shot down if the system was being used in attacks against the US.

Unread postPosted: 14 Oct 2011, 01:57
by FlightDreamz
Care to expand on that southernphantom or maybe post a link? I never heard this about the Galileo satellites before!

Unread postPosted: 27 Oct 2011, 21:34
by spazsinbad
X-47B UCAS First Cruise Flight

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... H_PxXNREgg

"Uploaded by northropgrummanmedia on Oct 27, 2011
Musical revue of the first "cruise" flight of the U.S. Navy's X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System demonstration aircraft. During this flight, conducted Sept. 30, 2011 flight, the aircraft's landing gear was raised and lowered for the first time, a key milestone in the envelope expansion phase of flight testing. The X-47B was designed, developed and produced by Northrop Grumman, the leader in unmanned systems."

Unread postPosted: 08 Nov 2011, 13:07
by spazsinbad
US Navy wants carrier-based X-47B drone to have aerial refueling capability

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... rUflr2Qtoc

"Uploaded by NMANewsDirect on Nov 7, 2011

DOWNLOAD: http://newsdirect.nma.com.tw/SingleItem ... 7_OINT_001

The US Navy is looking to add aerial refueling capability to its carrier-based X-47B stealth drone, which would extend the range at which carriers could strike targets and make them less vulnerable to attack. With refueling, the X-47B could remain airborne for up to 100 hours and posses a combat radius of 3,000 nautical miles. A fighter jet typically has a range of 400 miles and because it is limited by crew endurance can remain airborne for up to 10 hours. Source: Wired"
___________________

X-47B Drone Gets Upgrade By David Axe 07 Nov 2011

http://the-diplomat.com/flashpoints-blo ... s-upgrade/

"...The approximately 450-mile striking range of today’s carrier air wings could force the Navy to sail into China's main defensive zone in order to launch strikes on Chinese targets, thereby placing the carriers at risk.

But an unpiloted aircraft could fly as long as its equipment functioned and its onboard supply of lubricants and other fluids held out – ranging potentially thousands of miles over several days of flight. Carriers with armed, aerially-refueled drones could strike targets anywhere in the Pacific from mid-ocean safe zones.

It’s for that reason that a small contingent of analysts and officials fought to save the $1.5 billion X-47B development effort during a time, three years ago, when it was threatened by budget cuts and opposition from the Navy’s deeply traditional senior pilots. In 2008, analysts from the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments gave the X-47 a 50-50 chance of being canceled in the next budget.

So CSBA analysts Robert Work and Tom Ehrhard produced a hard-hitting report extolling the X-47’s virtues. And in early 2009, the Barack Obama administration tapped Work to be the Navy’s new undersecretary. Work’s growing influence guaranteed the X-47’s survival, and the decision to add refueling gear ensured it would meet its maximum military potential.

The Navy aims to equip its carriers with an operational, X-47-style drone warplane beginning in 2018."

More at the URL above....

Unread postPosted: 08 Nov 2011, 15:49
by popcorn
So are these extended range successors to the X-47B going to fly into enemy-controlled airspace beyond the reach of friendly fighter escort going to do so relying primarily on their stealth to avoid detection and destruction? Will they have some means of defending themselves BVR and WVR?

Best case is these robots would loiter over enemy territory for days at a time, providing continuous ISR and interdiction capabilities. Swarm logic would allow them to scoot off to a safe distance for A2A refueling then resume their station. Once they had expended their weapons, they would return to the carrier.. (begs the question though: do you still need a carrier if your robot plane has a 3000-mile combat radius?

Worst-case is we could see a reprise of the 8th AF conducting bombing raids over Germany before the advent of the P-51.

Unread postPosted: 10 Nov 2011, 06:30
by spazsinbad
Perhaps only relevant because of the innovation pointing to further development of X-47B or similar capabilities.

Navy signs $17-million deal for armed drones By W.J. Hennigan, Los Angeles Times Nov 8, 2011

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-d ... 8298.story

"The Northrop Grumman deal calls for placing laser-guided missiles on the Fire Scout helicopter, which has been restricted to reconnaissance missions.

In 100 years of naval aviation, only the most experienced combat pilots have performed the difficult task of launching an attack on a nearby target and returning the aircraft to a ship as it bobs in the ocean.

Now that tricky task is being turned over to unmanned drones.

With a $17-million contract, the U.S. Navy has taken the first step in arming its fleet of drone helicopters with laser-guided missiles to blast enemy targets. The Northrop Grumman Corp.-made MQ-8B Fire Scout would be Navy's first sea-based unmanned system to carry weapons when it's delivered within 15 months.

"It's a very significant moment in naval history,"....

...The Navy has an order for 168 Fire Scouts.

"Robotry is the future," said Simon Ramo, the 98-year-old co-founder of former aerospace giant TRW Inc. — now part of Northrop — and author of the upcoming book "Let Robots Do the Dying."

"Helicopters, generally speaking, are running more dangerous missions than other aircraft: They fly lower to the ground and at lower speeds," he said. "If we can get that pilot out of harm's way and still get a mission accomplished, then we're gaining a great advantage."

JUMP TO THE URL FOR MORE...

Unread postPosted: 10 Nov 2011, 07:55
by SpudmanWP
This is what they are talking about,

Image

The Advanced Precision Kill Weapons System laser-guided 70mm rocket – in production for the Navy since 2010 – will allow ship commanders to identify and engage hostile targets without calling in other aircraft for support.

"By arming Fire Scout, the Navy will have a system that can locate and prosecute targets of interest," said George Vardoulakis, Northrop Grumman's vice president for tactical unmanned systems. "This capability shortens the kill chain and lessens the need to put our soldiers in harm's way."


More after the jump :)

http://defpro.com/news/details/29652

Unread postPosted: 10 Nov 2011, 08:09
by spazsinbad
And a pic of the natural environment of the Scout of Fire from the previous LA Times article:

http://www.latimes.com/media/photo/2011-11/65953201.jpg

"The Northrop Fire Scout hovers over the deck of the guided-missile frigate McInerney. So far, the Fire Scout has been restricted to reconnaissance work. (MC2 Alan Gragg, U.S. Navy / May 8, 2009)"

Unread postPosted: 10 Nov 2011, 08:27
by SpudmanWP
The unique thing with the APKWS vs other SAL guided 70mm systems is that it is a bolt-on guidance system that can use ANY Hydra 70 warhead. The standard warhead is a Mk151 10 pound warhead.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_P ... pon_System
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydra_70#Common_warheads

Unread postPosted: 10 Nov 2011, 17:20
by neptune
SpudmanWP wrote:.. it is a bolt-on guidance system that can use ANY Hydra 70 warhead"/rocket". ..


Great news!. By now, most of the Helo Hellfire a/c launchers can carry and target any of the Laser seeker 2.75"/ 70mm rocket systems. The certification was moving ahead quickly and it will be interesting to see the UAVs carry this more "economical/ lighter" system. Hellfire is a classic system and with the Hydra70 joining it, it will give the "boots" more of that caliber of accurate CAS. With APKWS II in LRIP 2 last year, it will also be interesting to see the certification for fixed wing A-10C, AV-8B in the next two years.

http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/apk ... ase-02193/

Unread postPosted: 11 Nov 2011, 10:38
by popcorn
Seems to work fine against stationary targets. I wonder how it would do against a fast and highly maneuverable vehicle, land or sea?


http://www.defencetalk.com/advanced-pre ... ing-38209/

Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System Aces Helicopter Testing


The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps recently successfully fired the first shots of the Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System II (APKWS) from a UH-1Y helicopter, in preparation for fielding in 2012.

Unread postPosted: 11 Nov 2011, 11:50
by spazsinbad
APKWS Test Video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLI70v2A ... r_embedded

"Uploaded by defenseupdate on Feb 14, 2011
Read more @ http://defense-update.com/wp/20110214_apkws2.html
The Navy and BAE Systems are entering a two-year Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (JCTD) program to integrate and demonstrate the Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System II (APKWS II) on the U.S. Marine Corps' AV-8B and U.S. Air Force's A-10 aircraft platforms."

Unread postPosted: 12 Nov 2011, 19:28
by neptune
ONR Hones Carrier Landings

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/ ... adline=ONR Hones Carrier Landings&channel=defense

ONR Hones Carrier Landings

Nov 11, 2011

By Michael Fabey/ Washington

The U.S. Office of Naval Research (ONR) is making sea-based aviation a funding priority and, with unmanned combat and rotorcraft looking to enter the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps fleet alongside planned Joint Strike Fighters, researchers are touting the potential for dramatic effects on the basic nature of naval aircraft design.

The latest effort unveiled is new flight-control software meant to help aircraft “stick” carrier landings more cleanly. It could lead to major aircraft redesigns that would save money, reduce wear and tear on future aircraft and improve overall performance.

“The precision that we can bring to carrier landings in the future will be substantial,” says Michael Deitchman, deputy chief of naval research for naval air warfare and weapons.

...

“The flight-control algorithm has the potential to alter the next 50 years of how pilots land on carrier decks,” Deitchman says.

...

The ONR plans to put the technology into a Northrop Grumman X-47B surrogate for “ride-along” in at-sea evaluations this fiscal year. Researchers intend to start flight tests in fiscal 2015.

Unread postPosted: 12 Nov 2011, 19:59
by spazsinbad
More aspects of 'neptune' post at: (as always keep scrolling scrolling scrolling... down)

‘Bedford Array’ May Have F-35C Uses After All 21 Oct 2011 entry

http://www.f-16.net/index.php?name=PNph ... onr#206591
________________

And seach the F-35 forum for JPALS for how UAVs will land with precision on CVNs in future.

Unread postPosted: 28 Nov 2011, 20:51
by spazsinbad
Second X-47B UCAS-D Flies by Graham Warwick at 11/28/2011

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/de ... d=blogDest

"Northrop Grumman has flown the US Navy's second of two X-47B unmanned combat air system demonstrators at Edwards AFB in California....

...Air vehicle 1 (AV-1), which has completed 16 flights since taking to the air for the first time on February 4, has wrapped up envelope-expansion testing at Edwards and will now be shipped eastwards to NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, to begin the work-up for the aircraft-carrier demonstration, scheduled for 2013....

...AV-1 will conduct "roll-out" catapult launches and arrested landings at Pax, where it will be joined by AV-2 later in 2012...."

http://sitelife.aviationweek.com/ver1.0 ... b.Full.jpg

Unread postPosted: 03 Dec 2011, 04:02
by spazsinbad
Long article about X-47B testing at PaxRiver and stuff:

Unmanned Combat Aircraft Tests Move Quickly Dec 2, 2011 By Graham Warwick

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/ ... 398723.xml

"Spring 2012 at NAS Patuxent River, Md., and an unusual shape joins the F-35 Joint Strike Fighters flying the pattern at the U.S. Navy’s test center. The tailless flying wing is Northrop Grumman’s X-47B unmanned combat air system demonstrator (UCAS-D), being prepared for autonomous landings on an aircraft carrier in 2013...."

...The speed of envelope expansion is due in part to the accuracy and predictability with which the 62.1-ft.-wingspan X-47B executes the preprogrammed test points. But it is also due to Northrop’s familiarly with its signature cranked-kite planform, and to extensive modeling and simulation. Engdahl says the aircraft simulation model accounts for about a third of the 3.4 million lines of software code for the UCAS-D program.

“The modeling and simulation is correlating so well with flight-test data that we can use it to add confidence and reduce on-aircraft testing. It significantly reduced the number of flights required to expand the envelope,” says Johnson. “The future for UAS with robust modeling and simulation is we will not have to fly the platform as much as manned systems, which are less predictable.”

“The aircraft is flying exactly the way the model said,” says Engdahl, adding no flight-control changes have been required. “Control-law development has been very robust,” agrees Johnson. “We’ve had no issues, but then our developers have quite a bit of experience with this planform design.”

Confidence in the aircraft’s behavior will be crucial at Pax, where the Lockheed Martin F-35B and C are being flight-tested and where disruption to normal operations when the X-47B is flying must be minimized. “When we begin flying there, operating an unmanned aircraft from an active naval air station, it will be a significant step forward,” says Johnson....

...Surrogate trials also validated the distributed control concept, in which a UCAS mission operator on the ship always has positive control of the aircraft, but the carrier air traffic control (ATC) center, primary flight control (Pri-Fly) or “air boss” in the tower, and landing signals officer (LSO) on the flightdeck can send commands to the unmanned vehicle as they would to a manned aircraft.

“Over the last 10 years the Navy has been digitizing its carriers. ISIS—the integrated ship information system—has automated and digitized the information flow around the ship, so ATC and Pri-Fly can share a picture of who’s flying, how much gas they have, etc.,” says Engdahl. For UCAS-D, a ship interface processor is installed to act as gateway between the X-47B mission control element and the carrier network. This allows ATC to pull in data such as fuel state and send commands to the vehicle, while the UCAS mission operator has access to all ATC and deck information....

...At-sea testing will evaluate handling qualities in crosswinds and headwinds, control power as the vehicle passes though the airflow “burble” behind the carrier, touchdown dispersion on the deck and lateral dispersion on “bolter” touch-and-goes. More than one carrier is to be outfitted to work with the X-47B for the 2013 demo. “We will work with the carrier schedule to get as much test time as we can. That’s when it will get interesting,” Engdahl says."

Excellent article - lots of detail - best to read it at the URL jump above...

Unread postPosted: 25 May 2012, 06:48
by spazsinbad
Navy, MIT Grapple With Managing Drones On Dangerous Decks By David Axe : May 22, 2012

http://defense.aol.com/2012/05/22/navy- ... rier-deck/

"The U.S. Navy's nuclear-powered aircraft carriers flight decks are some of the most chaotic and deadly real estate in the world. Teeming with scores of high-performance aircraft, wheeled vehicles and up to a thousand sailors generating up to several hundred sorties per day, flight decks "are fraught with danger," the Naval Safety Center warned in a 2003 publication. "You can get blown down by prop wash, blown over-board by jet exhaust, run over by taxiing aircraft or sucked up and spit out by a turning engine."...

More at the Jump of course....

Unread postPosted: 16 Oct 2012, 19:27
by spazsinbad
Lots of good new stuff about X-47B and carrier landings/air refuelling here:

http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopi ... r-asc.html

Unread postPosted: 06 Nov 2012, 19:59
by spazsinbad
Navy UCAS lab gives the fleet a glimpse at future carrier-based unmanned aircraft operations 06 Nov 2012

http://www.navair.navy.mil/index.cfm?fu ... ry&id=5169

"NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md. — Navy representatives recently participated in tests for the Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstration (UCAS-D) that will drive recommendations for digital messaging implementation and unmanned aircraft integration into the carrier environment.

Air traffic controllers from USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) and USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) supported the final Human Systems Integration (HSI) modeling and simulation testing at the N-UCAS Aviation/Ship Integration Facility (NASIF) here. The HSI evaluations included analyses and tests of the displays, controls, environments, system communications, overall task allocations and operator situations.

The NASIF building contains Primary Flight Control (PriFly), Landing Signals Officer (LSO), Carrier Air Traffic Control Center (CATCC) and Mission Control Element (MCE) equipment required to direct manned and unmanned aircraft on and around a carrier. The UCAS-D program uses the facility for system integration, unmanned air vehicle and manned surrogate demonstration events.

“It was very exciting to see fleet CATCC controllers successfully demonstrate the technology our team has been developing for years,” said Capt. Jaime Engdahl, UCAS-D program manager, who observed USS Vinson controllers during tests in early October. “There was such a high level of energy in the room during their test periods. You really felt like you were observing a CATCC team actually conducting operations at sea.”

NASIF team members matured technologies for carrier suitable unmanned air systems by updating the current aircraft carrier systems’ software functionality and integrating them into a common digital network. Next year, this integrated carrier environment will be demonstrated using the Northrop Grumman-built X-47B, the first tailless unmanned aircraft designed to operate aboard an aircraft carrier.

“Due to the extremely limited availability of aircraft carriers for installation and testing of new aviation systems, shore-based emulation of shipboard systems and procedures is paramount to ensure cost-effective and timely integration,” Endahl said. “We support the fleet users. That’s why having them come down and test this technology early is so important.”

During recent tests using the program’s CATCC simulator, the NASIF team challenged controllers to conduct operations in a future digitized environment, far advanced from what they are used to in the fleet today. Presently, they control multiple aircraft using radar displays and issue flight instructions to pilots using voice radio communications. Inside the NASIF, they had the ability to send and receive digital instructions to aircraft, in addition to using voice instructions.

The Sailors utilized actual shipboard CATCC radar consoles with software modified to send air traffic controllers’ digital instructions and receive digital responses from the air vehicle. The program’s ship interface systems team lead Kevin Kjose noted that the air traffic controllers did not have to learn a new skill set, just a different way to deliver commands to aircraft.

“After the learning curve the first day, we realized it was not too much for our controllers to handle,” said Lt. John Woods, CVN 72 CATCC Officer. “We do see that there is a clear advantage to using this technology in the future.”

Each nine-person air traffic control team completed approximately 20 simulated test scenarios. Controller workload was captured during these scenarios by testing a combination of digital and voice messaging test conditions with a mixture of manned and unmanned aircraft. During early scenarios, the controllers relayed verbal commands to a UAV mission operator elsewhere on the “ship” who entered digital commands to control the vehicle. Later in the week they graduated to testing advanced scenarios, using integrated digital messaging capability and higher levels of system automation.

“A major objective for our program is to demonstrate a completely digital carrier control environment where any aircraft could utilize this technology in the future, but we need to introduce that technology incrementally to allow controllers to embrace change,” Kjose said. “As we bring the X-47B demonstrators to the carrier for sea trials, controllers will continue to use voice control for manned aircraft operations, but in the not too distant future, users will become more proficient with digital technology and will look for the ability to fully integrate air wing operations with manned and unmanned aircraft.”

The tests demonstrated the controllers’ effectiveness to manage operations in the carrier control area. Engineers measured the time it took operators to send and transmit messages, calculated from button actions, message times and voice recordings. They also looked at the impact on the controllers’ visual senses by using a tracking camera to record eye movement. Overloading visual senses can lead to reduced performance, which is why human factors engineers seek to organize the on-screen displays and controls in the most efficient manner possible.

“We wanted to find out if the system was easy to use; did the display promote effective mission task completion; and if users felt comfortable with autonomous operations,” said John Winters, a human factors engineer who helped design the software.

The concept provides functionality improvements with a goal of decreasing controller work load, which will help improve safety, Kjose said. For example, controllers will not need to ask pilots for fuel state updates every 10 minutes like they do today. Instead, updates will be automatically populated and displayed on the carrier’s Integrated Ships Information System (ISIS).

Another improvement is controllers can send digital messages to specific aircraft at any time during flight. Aircraft routinely land aboard carriers at 60 second intervals and controllers are restricted from speaking on the radios during the last 20 seconds prior to landing. For controllers, it’s a huge advantage to communicate directly with other aircraft while one is on final approach, he added.

“The digital data link definitely adds flexibility that is not there today,” said Chief Air Traffic Controller (SW/AW) Robert Rygg.

The extensive modeling and simulation of launch and recovery operations conducted in the NASIF by fleet users allowed the UCAS-D team to evaluate integration of manned and unmanned aircraft flight operations and the effects on human operators utilizing new digital messaging technology.

“The information the CVN 70 and CVN 72 teams gave this program is going to help revolutionize carrier operations, Kjose said. “We are laying the groundwork for future carrier-based operations.”

CAPTION: "USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) air traffic controllers conduct tests at Navy Unmanned Combat Air System Aviation/Ship Integration Facility (NASIF) in October at Patuxent River, Md. Using the program's Carrier Air Traffic Control Center (CATCC) simulator, controllers demonstrated the ability to operate manned and unmanned aircraft in a carrier environment using new digital message technology. (U.S. Navy photo)"

BIG PIC (5Mb)
http://www.navair.navy.mil/img/uploads/DSCN0036_1.JPG

Unread postPosted: 27 Nov 2012, 22:19
by spazsinbad
VIDEO: X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) Hoisted to USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sP3Baiig ... e=youtu.be

"Published on Nov 27, 2012 by usnavy
NORFOLK (Nov. 26, 2012) U.S. Navy Sailors assist with the onload of the X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator aboard the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). The air vehicle arrived by barge from Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. Truman is the first aircraft carrier to host test operations for an unmanned aircraft. The Navy plans to conduct X-47B carrier deck handling tests aboard the ship. (U.S. Navy Video/Released)"
_________________

VIDEO: X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) Hits the Flight Deck

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... YuKkB_9jA0

"Published on Nov 27, 2012 by usnavy
NORFOLK (Nov. 26, 2012) U.S. Navy Sailors assist with the onload of the X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator aboard the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). The air vehicle arrived by barge from Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. Truman is the first aircraft carrier to host test operations for an unmanned aircraft. The Navy plans to conduct X-47B carrier deck handling tests aboard the ship. (U.S. Navy Video/Released)"
________________

Photo: Sailors assist with onload of UCAS-D aboard USS Truman 26 Nov 2012

http://www.navair.navy.mil/index.cfm?fu ... ry&id=5195

"NORFOLK, Va. -- Sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) assist with the onload of the X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System demonstrator. The air vehicle arrived by barge Nov. 26 from Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md.

Truman is the first aircraft carrier to host test operations for an unmanned aircraft. The Navy plans to conduct X-47B carrier deck handling tests aboard the ship."

http://www.navair.navy.mil/img/uploads/ ... uman_1.jpg
&
http://www.navair.navy.mil/img/uploads/ ... uman_2.jpg

CAPTION 1: "Sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) assist with the onload of the X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System demonstrator. The air vehicle arrived by barge Nov. 26 from Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. (U.S. Navy photo)"
&
CAPTION 2: "USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) is the first aircraft carrier to host test operations for an unmanned aircraft — the X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System demonstrator. The Navy plans to conduct X-47B carrier deck handling tests aboard the ship. (Photo courtesy of Northrop Grumman)"

Unread postPosted: 28 Nov 2012, 02:53
by spazsinbad
A SAD Headline but this is Amerika (or is it?). :D

Combat drone takes first test flight off aircraft carrier VIDEO - News Report Mashup 28 Nov 2012

http://www.cbs8.com/story/20197640/comb ... ft-carrier

"SAN DIEGO [CBS 8] - An unmanned combat air vehicle is making history.

The drone, made in San Diego, is sitting aboard the USS Harry Truman in Norfolk, Virginia waiting for testing.

The X-47B will go through a series of tests over a three-week period. The tests will be performed in port and at sea to demonstrate the capabilities to work with manned aircraft.

The futuristic drone was largely developed by Northrop-Grumman's San Diego operation. It has a wingspan of over 62 feet.

In this News 8 video story, Shawn Styles has more." YEP he sure does!

Unread postPosted: 29 Nov 2012, 02:26
by firstimpulse
spazsinbad wrote:A SAD Headline but this is Amerika (or is it?). :D

Combat drone takes first test flight off aircraft carrier VIDEO - News Report Mashup 28 Nov 2012

http://www.cbs8.com/story/20197640/comb ... ft-carrier

"SAN DIEGO [CBS 8] - An unmanned combat air vehicle is making history.

The drone, made in San Diego, is sitting aboard the USS Harry Truman in Norfolk, Virginia waiting for testing.

The X-47B will go through a series of tests over a three-week period. The tests will be performed in port and at sea to demonstrate the capabilities to work with manned aircraft.

The futuristic drone was largely developed by Northrop-Grumman's San Diego operation. It has a wingspan of over 62 feet.

In this News 8 video story, Shawn Styles has more." YEP he sure does!


How paranoid would I be to say this whole deal reminds me of a certain entertainingly unrealistic movie?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=goPki_V34xA