MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 26 May 2017, 19:49
by neptune
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ns-437671/

US Navy previews MQ-25 solicitations

26 May, 2017
SOURCE: Flightglobal.com
BY: Leigh Giangreco Washington DC

The US Navy is taking one of the final steps before sending out a request for proposals for its unmanned carrier-based tanker program, with the release of a notice informing the industry that the competition for the MQ-25 development contract will be limited to four companies. Naval Air Systems (NAVAIR) Command intends to issue the solicitation for engineering, manufacturing and development to Boeing, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, according to a 26 May notice posted on the Federal Business Opportunities website. NAVAIR also intends to release a solicitation to those companies for an accompanying contract for studies and analysis supporting the MQ-25 EMD program.

Before limiting the competition to less than open bidding, the US military's acquisition procedures require NAVAIR must notify the industry in advance. “These companies have refined their solutions and matured their technologies associated with the unmanned carrier-based aviation need and award to any contractor other than one of these four companies would result in significant schedule delays and require substantial duplication of costs which are not expected to be recouped by the government through full and open competition,” the notice states. The concepts coming out of the EMD phase are expected to take a stark departure from the preliminary designs, which industry created to support the navy’s original requirement for a stealthy, carrier-launched surveillance and strike aircraft (UCLASS). The navy has since changed course with the MQ-25 Stingray program, focusing on a carrier-based airborne refueling system (CBARS). The UAV will not penetrate into defended airspace and attack targets, but the navy is planning a surveillance mission with a 19-23in-diameter forward looking infrared sensor turret. In April, Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works division offered a glimpse of their MQ-25 concept, though the image showed an wing aerial refueling pod trailed by a Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet and did not illustrate a configuration.
:)

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 04 Jul 2017, 00:15
by neptune
http://aviationweek.com/

From Predator To Stingray, General Atomics Leads UAV Boom

Jun 29, 2017
James Drew

Its Predator revolutionized air warfare. Now General Atomics is taking aim at the next generation of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), from a ground-up redesign of its workhorse MQ-9/Predator B and a bid to transform carrier-based aviation to high-energy lasers and air-launched swarming drones. A privately held company formed 25 years ago by Neal and Linden S. Blue, with now-retired founding President and CEO Tom Cassidy, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. (GA-ASI) is going up against the world’s largest defense contractors in a multibillion-dollar competition to develop a fighter-sized UAS capable of operating from an aircraft carrier at sea. In keeping with its track record of staying ahead of requirements, GA-ASI has been preparing for this competition for years. Its privately developed Predator C Avenger jet-powered UAS has been flying since 2009. A development of the Avenger will compete against rival designs from Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman for the U.S. Navy’s MQ-25 Stingray program—an aerial refueling and surveillance unmanned aircraft that will relieve overworked Boeing F/A-18E/F fighters of tanking duties.

At the same time, GA-ASI is revamping its iconic MQ-9 Reaper surveillance/strike, long-endurance UAS to produce a version, the MQ-9B SkyGuardian, that can be certified to military and civil airworthiness standards. Equipped and approved to fly in national airspace, this will open untapped markets and operating regimes to medium-altitude, long-endurance UAS. Legacy is less important than where we’re going from here, Neal Blue tells Aviation Week in an interview at the company’s headquarters in Poway, California. What we’ve got today is marvelous compared to what we had yesterday. But what we have will look like a very primitive arrangement in the next decade, I hope.
That is certainly the case with the Navy’s plans to upgrade its carrier air wings. By the mid-2020s, Stingrays will be operating alongside manned Boeing Super Hornets, EA-18G Growlers, Lockheed Martin F-35Cs and Bell-Boeing CMV-22B tiltrotors on busy Ford-class carrier decks. Acting Navy Secretary Sean Stackley says the MQ-25 “mission tanker” is the first carrier-based unmanned program for the Navy, designed to extend combat range of the air wing while freeing up precious flight hours on the F/A-18E/F. He anticipates the release of a final request for proposals this year, followed by a down-select to one vendor in 2018. More than $2.4 billion has been earmarked in the Navy’s latest budget plan through fiscal 2022 to start development.
:)

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 05 Jul 2017, 03:44
by neptune
....the EMAL with 464MJ can easily launch a 100Klb of fuel and MQ-25 with an 80ft. wingspan, similar to the E-2D.
:)

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 21 Jul 2017, 18:08
by neptune
https://news.usni.org/2017/07/20/navy-i ... l-rfp-fall

Navy Issues New MQ-25A Stingray Draft RFP to Industry Ahead of Final RFP in the Fall

By: Sam LaGrone
July 20, 2017 7:26 PM

The Navy issued its latest draft request for proposals for what will be the service’s first operational carrier-based unmanned aerial vehicle, U.S. Navy officials confirmed to USNI News on Thursday. The Wednesday draft RFP for the MQ-25A Stingray unmanned aerial refueling tanker will be the last refinement of the program requirements before the final RFP goes out to four industry competitors in the fall, Rear Adm. Mark Darrah, Program Executive Officer Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons, told USNI News on Thursday. “What we’re looking for is.. our big next step in getting unmanned [aircraft] in the carrier air wing environment. The intent of this system is to extend the striking capability of the carrier air wing through organic tanking capability,” Darrah said. “We want to make better use of our combat strike fighters and extend the range of the carrier air wing, and that’s what this system is intended to do. That’s its primary mission.”

The draft RFP for a planned engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) contract award in 2018 was issued to directly to the four competitors – Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Boeing and General Atomics. The quartet will compete under new acquisition rules that allow the service to provide less specific guidelines for the Stingray as a rapid prototyping effort. For example, the MQ-25A effort only has two key performance parameters (KPP) for industry to adhere to in their crafting of the airframe for the MQ-25A. “In the NDAA 2017 language, the services were given the authority to designate one program as a pilot to reduce the number of key performance parameters that would be in our requirements documents,” Darrah said. “We have requested from OSD that permission in accordance with that language, and this program was selected, and we have two KPPs.”

According to MQ-25A program manager Capt. Beau Duarte those are:

- “Carrier suitability. The system needs to be able to operate off of the aircraft carrier and integrate with all of the subsystems of the carrier. That’s catapults, that’s existing launch and recovery equipment,” he told USNI News on Thursday.

- “Mission tanking. Sea-based tanker is the second KPP. It needs to be able to deliver a robust fuel offload at range to support an extension of the air wing and add flexibility of what’s available from a mission tanking perspective. There are a number of key system attributes or other requirements lower than that that are subsequent to [those] and are of lower importance and that will allow us to focus on those two key areas on tanking and carrier suitability and let those be the primary design drivers. “

Both Duarte and Darrah were reluctant to outline more specifics on the effort other than to say the bids have to use existing aerial refueling systems already in the fleet. “We are saying that you do have to use the existing aerial refueling store that F/A-18s [and] S-3s have used – and that’s externally carried – and that’s to reduce development, cost and timeline and risk,” Duarte said. “But how you configure the air vehicle to deliver that fuel is up to industry.”

Both Boeing and Lockheed Martin have published vague artist’s concepts of their bids showing an existing Navy buddy tank hanging from a wing like the current Super Hornets. Darrah and Duarte didn’t talk cost estimates or ranges they’ve provided to industry. “We have history. We’ve seen how [past] programs work,” Darrah said. “When we put a number out there, eerily they tend to get to that number and go backwards, go backwards in their development so they hit that number. We are taking a different approach this time. We’re not going to define the that number at this point and direct them to provide us with their input so that we can adequately and accurately determine what they truly can do.”

While the air segment is the most visible part of the Stingray program, the physical UAV is only a third of the effort, which also includes the Navy-developed control system and data links to control the aircraft. While previous iterations of what is now Stingray have been based on developing new technologies, Darrah stressed the new airframe effort is less about developing new tech and more about mixing and matching existing systems to make unmanned tanking a reality on the carrier. “The program has been structured so there isn’t any new development. There’s no new science here. This is an air system that will deliver an aeromechanical machine that can do the requirements,” he said. “The government will be the lead systems integrator for those 70-plus programs of record which we feel gives us the capability to incorporate open architecture, flexibility for change in the future, and we’re driving the contractor to plug in into that architecture, that existing Navy architecture in the carrier environment.”

As to when the MQ-25A will be operational, Darrah said the program was aiming for the 2020s. However, officials have said that Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson is pushing to have a real-world unmanned aircraft fly off a carrier as early as 2019. The imperative is to alleviate the strain on the strike fighter fleet currently tasked with refueling the carrier air wing. The Navy estimates 20 to 30 percent of Super Hornet flight hours are used for tanking. To support that effort, the Office of the Secretary of Defense directed the service to reshape the craft in early 2016 from an off-cycle intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platform with a light strike capability to into a refueling tanker.
:)

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 21 Jul 2017, 19:51
by sferrin
neptune wrote:The Navy estimates 20 to 30 percent of Super Hornet flight hours are used for tanking. To support that effort, the Office of the Secretary of Defense directed the service to reshape the craft in early 2016 from an off-cycle intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platform with a light strike capability to into a refueling tanker.
:)


Hmmm, retire all your long range strike aircraft, fighters, and tankers and now 20-30% of all Hornet hours are for tanking? I wonder what they thought was going to happen. :doh: :bang:

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 22 Jul 2017, 00:12
by neptune
sferrin wrote:
neptune wrote:The Navy estimates 20 to 30 percent of Super Hornet flight hours are used for tanking. To support that effort, the Office of the Secretary of Defense directed the service to reshape the craft in early 2016 from an off-cycle intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platform with a light strike capability to into a refueling tanker.
:)


Hmmm, retire all your long range strike aircraft, fighters, and tankers and now 20-30% of all Hornet hours are for tanking? I wonder what they thought was going to happen. :doh: :bang:



....how about a QS-3...I know where there are about 85 that are real cheap!
:D

http://alert5.com/2017/07/22/poll-shoul ... a-program/


Poll: Should an unmanned S-3 compete for the MQ-25A program?

The latest draft request for proposals for the MQ-25A competition suggests the U.S. Navy is only keen on having the aircraft acting as a mission tanker and less emphasis is given on its intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities. An artist concept from Lockheed Martin showed a Navy buddy tanking pod hanging on a pylon. Do you think the company might just refurbish the S-3s under storage and offer them as unmanned tankers?

Should an unmanned S-3 compete for the MQ-25A competition?
Yes (74%, 32 Votes)

No (26%, 11 Votes)

Total Voters: 43

Back in 2014, the aerospace giant had wanted to bring back its S-3 by modifying those in storage to compete for the C-2 carrier onboard delivery (COD) replacement program. The Navy ultimately selected the CMV-22B. The idea of taking a manned aircraft and turn it into an unmanned platform is not new to Lockheed Martin, the company had proposed to do it on the U-2 spy plane. It also team up with Kaman to offer the unmanned K-MAX for cargo delivery missions in Afghanistan. The four-seat, twin-engine anti-submarine aircraft had been flying off carrier decks since the 1970s. An executive from the company was quoted back in 2014 as saying that those airframes in storage have an average of 9000 flight hours remaining. The Viking was also flown as a aerial refueling tanker during its career in the Navy. With Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson reported to be keen on having a MQ-25A catapulting off a carrier as early as 2019, an unmanned S-3 could be a viable option to meet that tight deadline.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 13 Aug 2017, 16:06
by neptune
http://aviationweek.com/awindefense/mod ... -mq-25-bid

Modified X-47B Breaks Cover As Testbed For MQ-25 Bid


Aug 12, 2017
Guy Norris

LOS ANGELES—Northrop Grumman is using an X-47B unmanned air vehicle (UAV) as a flying testbed for air refueling systems in support of its proposal for the U.S. Navy’s upcoming MQ-25A Stingray unmanned aerial refueling tanker contest. First details of Northrop Grumman’s preparations for the MQ-25A bid have emerged in photographs obtained by Aviation Week of a modified X-47B at the U.S. Air Force’s Plant 42 facility in Palmdale, Calif. The photos appear to show the UAV configured with a wing air refueling pod (WARP) under the left wing and a drop fuel tank under the right wing. The aircraft also displays an aerial refueling probe over the right wing, which indicates this particular vehicle is likely AV-2/502, the second of two X-47Bs that flew in the Navy’s unmanned carrier air system demonstration (UCAS-D) program that wrapped up in 2015. Though details are difficult to discern through the heat haze, the WARP appears similar to the Cobham 34” (inch) series which operates over an air speed range of 200 to 325 knots. The power for the system, which can transfer fuel at 400 US gal/min, is provided by a ram-air turbine, which is clearly visible on the nose of the WARP. The pod under the right wing is thought to be a standard auxiliary fuel tank similar to the 330-gallon FPU-8 or 480-gallon FPU-11 drop tanks used by the F/A-18 Hornet and F/A-18E/F Super Hornet respectively. One photo also shows what appears to be an open access panel or possible housing for an electro-optical/IR sensor set in the upper fuselage above the centrally located engine inlet. Little has been seen or heard about the X-47Bs—dubbed "Salty Dogs" by the Navy—since their departure from Naval Air Systems Command’s Patuxent Rover, Md., facility back to Palmdale in January and February this year. The aircraft had been in storage since the end of the UCAS-D program, facing an uncertain future when Northrop took them back with the intention of using the assets as flying testbeds for future development programs. The appearance of the modified X-47B comes as the Navy prepares to issue a formal request for proposals (RFP) later this year for the MQ-25A, the service’s first operational carrier-based unmanned aerial vehicle. The call for proposals follows a draft RFP issued in June for a planned engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) contract award in 2018. The request, which is targeting the ability of UAV tankers to extend the range of carrier air wings from as early as 2019-2020, was sent directly to Boeing, General Atomics, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman. Northrop Grumman was contacted for a response to the emergence of these images but declined to comment.
:)

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 13 Aug 2017, 17:06
by PhillyGuy
Look a high end unmanned deep strike naval platform is inevitable. The Navy figures they have the superbug, it can launch a ton of ordinance and great sensors, they also have the F-35C coming online which will bring the stealth abd network element to the fleet. They just want an organic tanking ability to extend range and allow them to conduct complex and elusive combat operations against an adversary to whom you cannot get to close. It's understandable.

The Chinese will have a very hard time finding a carrier on the move with organic tanking and stealth fighters. Not to mention supreme ISR in the form of the E-2 and also P-8/Triton. We will know where they are and can maneuver around them and strike around obstacles etc...

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 13 Aug 2017, 21:19
by XanderCrews
sferrin wrote:
neptune wrote:The Navy estimates 20 to 30 percent of Super Hornet flight hours are used for tanking. To support that effort, the Office of the Secretary of Defense directed the service to reshape the craft in early 2016 from an off-cycle intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platform with a light strike capability to into a refueling tanker.
:)


Hmmm, retire all your long range strike aircraft, fighters, and tankers and now 20-30% of all Hornet hours are for tanking? I wonder what they thought was going to happen. :doh: :bang:


Maus needs to blame the F-35 again and quick!

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 14 Aug 2017, 21:14
by neptune
https://smnewsnet.com/archives/417713/m ... ated-test/

MQ-25 Program Validates Future Mission Control System Through Simulated Test
April 17, 2017

The Navy’s MQ-25 program completed its first demonstration representing how the mission control system located aboard the aircraft carrier will control and transmit information to an unmanned air vehicle in the future. The April 11 demonstration validated the first build of the MD-5 Unmanned Carrier Aviation Mission Control System (UMCS), a combined hardware and software product, using representative shipboard equipment and a simulated air vehicle at NAS Patuxent River. Capt. Duarte, PMA-268 program manager, observed the test event and said he was very pleased with the progress the team has made over the last year. The government team worked across multiple program offices, Navy and Air Force commands in addition to industry partners to prepare for the demonstration. “As Lead Systems Integrator (LSI), we have the ability to really drive interoperability and affordability across the program,” he said. “We have had the opportunity to leverage many existing technologies and capabilities from other Navy platforms and integrate them into this program.”

Within the LSI construct, PMA-268 maintains responsibility for the architecture, configuration, production, development and sustainment of the UMCS. The UMCS hardware builds on NAVSEA Common Display System (CDS) and Common Processing System (CPS) from DDG-1000 and other Aegis ships. It also incorporates the Navy’s Common Control System (CCS), a software architecture managed by PMA-281 that features a common framework, user interface and components designed for use with a variety of unmanned systems. The PMA-268 team integrated an open mission systems platform to support the reuse of government owned mission management, mission planning and sensor control applications. UMCS 1.0 demonstrated that third party software can coexist with the CCS framework, thereby proving the UMCS architecture is viable, Duarte said. During the demo, the UMCS communicated with a Mobile Aviation Interoperability Lab (MAIL) truck, simulating a UAV, verifying command and control. The team tested connectivity between the UMCS and shipboard network systems and verified voice trunking (internet protocol to serial) capability between the air vehicle operator and the simulated UAV. The team also performed limited control and data dissemination between the UMCS and simulated UAV to include Automatic Identification System (AIS) detection, Electro-optical/Infrared (EO/IR) Camera operation and dynamic mission re-planning. “The Surface Aviation Interoperability Lab (SAIL) and System Test & Integration Laboratory (STIL) were integral in making this demonstration a success,” said Jaimie Grubb, UMCS team lead. “By doing demos in the lab first, we are able to prove the control system concept before providing the UMCS to the air system vendor and undergoing test, which provides significant risk reduction as well as schedule and cost savings.”

This demonstration is the first of a continuing, annual series to demonstrate UMCS capabilities as development of the system progresses. Future demonstrations will show the ability to control a small UAS and establish the process for flight and cybersecurity approval s and the integration of software specific to the MQ-25A air vehicle. The UMCS, part of the MQ-25’s Control System & Connectivity (CS&C) segment, is one component of the system. The MQ-25 effort also includes an air segment and a carrier segment. The program plans to release a request for proposal for the air segment this summer and is working shipboard installations for the carrier segment. Operationally, the MQ-25 will provide a robust organic refueling capability to make better use of the Navy’s combat strike fighters and extend the range of the carrier air wing. It will also have a secondary intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability.
:)

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 14 Aug 2017, 21:33
by neptune
http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/11 ... q-25-drone

Navy Reveals Which Carriers Will First Field Their Dumbed-Down MQ-25 Drone

By Joseph Trevithick
June 13, 2017

The U.S. Navy has disclosed plans to modify two carriers as part of the service’s MQ-25 Stingray drone program. These ships will be the first to receive the upgrades necessary to control the unmanned aircraft, which will eventually become a component of all carrier air wings. Just what the drones will do once they reach the fleet is another matter entirely.
Contractors will install control stations and data links for the Stingrays first on the Nimitz-class USS Dwight D. Eisenhower and USS George H.W. Bush, Jamie Cosgrove, a spokeswoman for Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), told USNI News, according to a June 12, 2017 report. There was no word as to when the Navy expected to start that work, what the timeline would be for installing the equipment on the rest of the Nimitz-class carriers, or whether the gear would be standard on the up-coming Ford-class ships.

“MQ-25 Stingray will pioneer the integration of manned and unmanned operations, demonstrate mature complex sea-based ... technologies, and pave the way for future multifaceted multi-mission UAS [unmanned aircraft systems] to pace emergent threats,” the Navy said in a review of the highlights from its budget proposal for the 2018 fiscal year. “FY 2018 will continue work that was begun under UCLASS [Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike] and leverage previous work completed, focusing on the three segment areas: air, control system and connectivity, and carrier development.”

According to NAVAIR, the modifications to Eisenhower and Bush fall under the “connectivity” and “carrier development” portions of the program. To help pay for the changes, with Congressional approval, the Navy shifted $26.7 million in funding the service had previously set aside for a planned 4-year refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH) for their sister ship the USS George Washington. The Pentagon’s fiscal year 2018 budget request included approximately $222 million for general research and development of the MQ-25A aircraft itself. The expectation is that the experience with the previous Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) project and the experimental X-47B unmanned aircraft will make these portions, or at least certain elements within them, relatively simple. While the exact final design of the aircraft, or even its basic configuration, remains almost entirely unknown, the control systems and connections necessary to launch, operate, and land a drone of this size are not. The control station for the Stingray will most likely be the notional MD-5A, which the Navy has had in the works for years already.

In its formal request for the control station's nomenclature in 2014, the Navy described the carrier version of the UCLASS Mission Control System, or CVN UMCS, as a line-of-sight and beyond-line-of-sight control setup using a “integrated Government-Off-The-Shelf (GOTS) solution” including the Common Display System (CDS), Remote Common Electronics Module (RCEM), and Common Processing Systems (CPS), as the key hardware components. The system would use the Common Control System (CCS) software suite for unmanned aerial systems, as well as gear to connect all of these systems to the carriers existing computer networks. The 2016 request for what became the MQ-25 designation also mentioned the aircraft’s data links would be compatible with the Distributed Common Ground Station-Navy intelligence production and sharing network as part of continued plans for a limited surveillance mission. The author previously obtained both of these documents via the Freedom of Information Act. Beyond those parameters, the Navy may actually already have a pretty good idea of the size constraints and any signal interference issues of installing the control systems, which would be some of the bigger considerations. Bush previously hosted Northrop Grumman’s X-47B during a series of at-sea flight tests. The ship was responsible for the first ever catapult launch of a drone on May 14, 2013. The next month, the vessel recovered the drone in the first ever arrested landing by an unmanned aircraft. Afterwards, the USS Theodore Roosevelt took over as the flight test ship.

Earlier in 2013, Navy officials had sent the X-47B out to the USS Harry S. Truman, but just to see whether it would be compatible with the Nimitz-class’ hangar bays, aircraft elevators, and existing communication systems. With so many transmissions already going in and out of an aircraft carrier, it was important to see if the pilotless plane’s systems would be confused by that, interfere with the workings of other systems, or both. The sheer volume of radio and radar emissions on warships means that the Navy has to be especially conscious of the potential hazards, which even include accidentally setting off electrical fuzes inside bombs and missiles. As such, the service relies on munitions with features deemed Hazards of Electromagnetic Radiation to Ordnance (HERO) “safe” in order to prevent potentially deadly incidents.

It’s also worth noting that when the Navy decided to in 2016 to change the Stingray’s planned mission set, from strike and intelligence duties to acting as a recovery tanker with a secondary surveillance function, it only requested a new designation – MQ-25A rather than the previous RAQ-25A moniker – for the future aircraft, not the control stations. The requirements for the MD-5 series remained conceptually unchanged. It’s unclear whether the future MQ-25 with its new functions will ultimately make use of the previously proposed shore-based MD-5B or mobile, land-based MD-5C. The MD-5A will likely continue to be the nomenclature for the carrier-specific system workers install on Eisenhower and Bush.

.The actual design and ultimate operational concept for the Stingray will undoubtedly continue to be the more complicated portion of the program, which now appears to be simply called Unmanned Carrier Aviation (UCA). When the Navy fundamentally changed the UCLASS' proposed function in 2016, it initially referred to the refocused aerial tanker drone program as the Carrier-Borne Aerial Refueling System (C-BARS). On April 23, 2017, the service announced it had awarded contract modifications worth more than $18 million each to Boeing, General Atomics, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman, for additional design work on their MQ-25 proposals. So far (13Jun17), only Lockheed Martin has released any artwork specifically associated with the project, showing only an under-wing probe-and-drogue tanking pod, similar in size and shape to existing buddy-tanking pods the Navy has already had in service for years. The designs the four companies had initially proposed for the UCLASS program – Boeing's Phantom Ray, General Atomics' Sea Avenger, Lockheed Martin's Sea Ghost, and Northrop Grumman's X-47C – all had low-observable shapes and features based around the idea of strike and intelligence missions in an so-called "anti-access/area-denial" (A2/AD) environment, which may no longer be necessary for an unmanned aircraft that the service now expects will mainly orbit near the carrier itself. "The Navy came out with these requirements perhaps in the last six to eight months, and they still haven’t given us the final system requirements document – that should be coming any day – with specifically what they want this tanker to do," Rob Weiss, head of Lockheed's Skunk Works advanced projects office, which was responsible for the Sea Ghost design, to USNI in March 2017. "From our viewpoint, the requirements, as they are currently unfolding, are going to require a new design from all of the competitors."..

An unnamed Navy spokesperson told USNI News that the program was still too “pre-decision” to even speculate on when a production aircraft might actually be combat ready. Other sources told them that the service hoped to introduce the MQ-25 into carrier air wings sometime between 2019 and 2020. So, even if the design for the control stations and data links remain relatively consistent, the very concept of the MQ-25 itself may change radically as the research and engineering development stages continue and the Navy’s priorities continue to evolve. In a world full of evolving threats in space, hypersonic weapons, and other advanced challenges, the Stingray could easily experience more fundamental changes in both design and overall purpose before it finally reaches the fleet.
:)

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 14 Aug 2017, 22:44
by neptune
https://www.defense.gov/News/Contracts/ ... e/1151543/

Release No: CR-184-16 Sept. 23, 2016
The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Missouri, is being awarded a $43,354,421 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to conduct risk reduction activities in support of the MQ-25 unmanned carrier aviation air system, including refinement of concepts and development of trade space for requirements generation in advance of the engineering and manufacturing development phase of the program. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity (N00019-16-C-0084).

Release No: CR-071-17 April 13, 2017
The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Missouri, is being awarded $19,145,579 for modification P00005 to a previously awarded cost-plus-fixed-fee contract (N00019-16-C-0084) to conduct additional risk reduction activities in support of the MQ-25 Unmanned Carrier Aviation Air System, including refinement of concepts and development of trade space for requirements generation in advance of the engineering and manufacturing development phase of the program. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

Release No: CR-184-16 Sept. 23, 2016
Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Palmdale, California, is being awarded a $43,606,518 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to conduct risk reduction activities in support of the MQ-25 unmanned carrier aviation air system, including refinement of concepts and development of trade space for requirements generation in advance of the engineering and manufacturing development phase of the program. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity (N00019-16-C-0086).

Release No: CR-071-17 April 13, 2017
Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Palmdale, California, is being awarded $18,893,482 for modification P00006 to a previously awarded cost-plus-fixed-fee contract (N00019-16-C-0086) to conduct additional risk reduction activities in support of the MQ-25 Unmanned Carrier Aviation Air System, including refinement of concepts and development of trade space for requirements generation in advance of the engineering and manufacturing development phase of the program. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

Release No: CR-190-16 Oct. 3, 2016
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., Poway, California, is being awarded a $43,736,111 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to conduct risk reduction activities in support of the MQ-25 Unmanned Carrier Aviation Air System, including refinement of concepts and development of trade space for requirements generation in advance of the engineering and manufacturing development phase of the program. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity (N00019-16-C-0085).

Release No: CR-071-17 April 13, 2017
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., Poway, California, is being awarded $18,735,000 for modification P00005 to a previously awarded cost-plus-fixed-fee contract (N00019-16-C-0085) to conduct additional risk reduction activities in support of the MQ-25 Unmanned Carrier Aviation Air System, including refinement of concepts and development of trade space for requirements generation in advance of the engineering and manufacturing development phase of the program. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

Release No: CR-201-16 Oct. 19, 2016
Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., El Segundo, California, is being awarded a $35,752,362 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to conduct risk reduction activities in support of the MQ-25 Unmanned Carrier Aviation Air System, including refining concepts and developing trade space for requirements generation in advance of the engineering and manufacturing development phase. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland is the contracting activity (N00019-17-C-0017).

Release No: CR-071-17 April 13, 2017
Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., El Segundo, California, is being awarded $24,797,517 for modification P00007 to a previously awarded cost-plus-fixed-fee contract (N00019-17-C-0017) to conduct additional risk reduction activities in support of the MQ-25 Unmanned Carrier Aviation Air System, including refinement of concepts and development of trade space for requirements generation in advance of the engineering and manufacturing development phase of the program. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 14 Aug 2017, 23:12
by popcorn
Why 2 contract awards to General Atomics?

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 15 Aug 2017, 00:26
by sferrin
And why does NG get the LEAST amount of money? :doh: :bang:

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 15 Aug 2017, 00:29
by neptune
popcorn wrote:Why 2 contract awards to General Atomics?


Each contractor has a mod "to conduct additional risk reduction activities in support of the MQ-25 Unmanned Carrier Aviation Air System, including refinement of concepts and development of trade space for requirements generation in advance of the engineering and manufacturing development phase of the program"

...sorry, I missed the NG mod, previously..
:oops:

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 15 Aug 2017, 00:55
by sprstdlyscottsmn
sferrin wrote:And why does NG get the LEAST amount of money? :doh: :bang:

Because otherwise it would be too easy. Grumman is NavAv

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 15 Aug 2017, 01:02
by neptune
sferrin wrote:And why does NG get the LEAST amount of money? :doh: :bang:



Boeing $43,354,421 N19-16-C-0084
Boeing $19,145,579 mod P00005
Boeing $62,500,000
LM $43,606,518 N19-16-C-0086
LM $18,893,482 mod P00006
LM $62,500,000
GA $43,736,111 N19-16-C-0085
GA $18,735,000 mod P00005
GA $62,471,111
NG $35,752,362 N19-17-C-0017
NG $24,797,517 mod P00007
NG $60,549,879
TOTAL $248,020,990

....maybe a used $2,000,000 vehicle??
:wink:

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 11 Sep 2017, 23:45
by neptune
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ts-441032/

US Navy tightens unmanned tanker requirements

11 September, 2017
BY: Leigh Giangreco Washington DC

The US Navy solidified parameters for its unmanned MQ-25 Stingray, setting up a spartan platform that will satisfy not much more than carrier suitability and air refueling requirements. Following years of fluctuating requirements and various UAV incarnations, the navy appears to have nailed down its vision for MQ-25 in its final requirements documents. The service is focusing on the MQ-25’s basic ability to operate from a carrier and adjusted the mission focus for air refueling, according to a Government Accountability Office report released this week. The Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC) validated two requirements this July and the service is capping MQ-25’s development costs at $2.5 billion, with funding projected to jump from $89 million in 2017 to $554.6 million in 2022. Although the navy has identified an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability as part of MQ-25’s portfolio, the Pentagon directed the navy last year to shift its focus away from ISR and toward an unmanned carrier based air refueling aircraft. That move reflected a crackdown on MQ-25’s development, which has seen several iterations since the program’s inception early in the last decade.

The navy originally set out to acquire an unmanned tanker but by 2013, the program had evolved into the Unmanned Carrier Launch Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) platform. Three years later, the service restructured the stealthy UCLASS into the Carrier Based Aerial Refueling System, which the navy designated MQ-25. Four companies are bidding for the contracts to develop and produce the MQ-25 fleet: Boeing, General Atomics-Aeronautical Systems Inc, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman. As the navy reins in its capabilities for MQ-25, the service is also constraining the program’s development schedule to a maximum of eight years after the start of development, which is scheduled for summer of 2018. The navy plans to limit technology risk during development by mandating the aircraft carry proven subsystems. “If a technology is identified that does not meet this criteria, the navy plans to push that technology into the future and include it only when it reaches the specified level of maturity,” the GAO report states. “As we reported in March 2017, failure to fully mature technologies prior to developing the system design can lead to redesign and cost and schedule growth if later discoveries during development lead to revisions.”
:)

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 12 Sep 2017, 01:51
by popcorn
As the navy reins in its capabilities for MQ-25, the service is also constraining the program’s development schedule to a maximum of eight years after the start of development, which is scheduled for summer of 2018.

Can't happen soon enough.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 12 Sep 2017, 15:42
by neptune
popcorn wrote:As the navy reins in its capabilities for MQ-25, the service is also constraining the program’s development schedule to a maximum of eight years after the start of development, which is scheduled for summer of 2018.

Can't happen soon enough.


....Is that a waffle on the CNO desire for it to be flying in 2019??
:)

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 12 Oct 2017, 03:12
by neptune
https://news.usni.org/2017/10/10/navy-r ... d-revealed

Navy Releases Final MQ-25 Stingray RFP; General Atomics Bid Revealed

By: Sam LaGrone
October 10, 2017

Naval Air Systems Command has quietly released the final request for proposals to industry for the unmanned MQ-25 Stingray aerial tanker, USNI News has learned. Last week, the Navy issued the RFP to four industry competitors for the air segment of what will be the service’s Navy’s first operational carrier-based unmanned aerial vehicle ahead of an anticipated contract award by September of next year, a NAVAIR spokeswoman told USNI News on Tuesday. The competitors are Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman and General Atomics. The Navy wants to field the capability on its carriers to alleviate the strain on the existing F/A-18E/F Super Hornets that are burning through flight hours while serving as a refueling tanker for other aircraft attempting to land on the aircraft carrier. Up to 20 to 30 percent of Super Hornet sorties are refueling missions.

While the Navy has been reluctant about the specific goals of the program, the service’s basic requirements will have the Stingray deliver about 15,000 pounds of fuel 500 nautical miles from the carrier. “The MQ-25 will give us the ability to extend the air wing out probably 300 or 400 miles beyond where we typically go. We will be able to do that and sustain a nominal number of airplanes at that distance,” Air Boss Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker said in the September issue of Proceedings. “That will extend the reach of the air wing, and when we combine that with additional weapons we are buying, we will get an impressive reach.” The current effective strike radius of a Super Hornet is about 450 miles, and the MQ-25 could extend the range to more than 700 nautical miles. Of the four companies vying for the business, General Atomics has released the first complete images of its planned bid for Stingray. The aircraft is a wing-body-tail design that shares design characteristics with the General Atomics Avenger design, including a turbofan engine and V-shaped tailfins. The image, provided to USNI News, show the GA Stingray concept fielding a standard D-704 buddy tank refueling system. While company representatives didn’t reveal details of the bid, like aircraft dimensions or internal fuel capacity, they did point out some features unique to the GA bid. The aircraft will have an electro-optical ball like GA’s MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper UAVs; landing gear that pulls into the fuselage, which is reminiscent of the old S-3 Viking anti-submarine warfare aircraft; and a system for maneuvering around the flight deck using gestures from the flight crew, retired Rear Adm. Terry Kraft who now works for General Atomics told USNI News on Saturday. In addition to the carrier suitability requirements set by the Navy, GA has included a margin for growth. “You can see a future for weaponizing, you could see a future for ISR capability. The Navy has already asked us to put hooks in there for a radar and I think it’s very logical that the first spiral would be some type of radar installation,” Kraft said. “At the end of the day, the UAV is a truck.”
:)

....KS-3A modified can carry 30klbs. of JP-5 for 530mi. (combat radius); ten (or more, 90+ are in storage) could be flown manually for a year while the others are converted to QS-3 with the same control systems as the MQ-25 Stingray and flown in 2019 as requested by CNO.
This would relieve the SBugs from tanking, prepare the CVN for unmanned tanker operations and allow for the initial development of the Stingray in a cost effective manner. Simply swap the certified MQ-25 for the QS-3!
:D

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 26 Oct 2017, 02:31
by neptune
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... on-442510/

Northrop Grumman pulls out of MQ-25 competition

25 October, 2017
BY: Leigh Giangreco

Washington DC
Northrop Grumman has withdrawn from participating in the US Navy’s competition to develop the MQ-25 Stingray, saying the company would have been unable to execute the program under the terms of the service’s request for proposals.
The announcement came as a surprise during a 25 October third quarter earnings call with Northrop CEO Wes Bush, who told analysts the company would not submit a bid for the Stingray following aggressive internal analysis. Northrop’s decision leaves three other companies bidding for the contracts to compete for the MQ-25 contract: Boeing, General Atomics-Aeronautical Systems Inc and Lockheed Martin. It also comes after the USN has narrowed the scope of the MQ-25 mission to providing in-flight refueling for manned, carrier-based fighters. The refueling mission evolved after the USN discarded a series of previous concepts for a carrier-based, unmanned jet, which included stealthy and non-stealthy versions of surveillance and attack requirements. “Our objective is not just to win, but if you can’t execute on it then you’ve done the wrong thing,” Bush says. “We’ve worked hard to have great clarity on what our objectives are. When you’re entrusted by the US government to do something in the defense arena, that’s a bond of trust.” In September, a Government Accountability Office report emphasized a no-frills version of the MQ-25, focusing on the basic ability to operate from a carrier and adjusted the mission focus for air refueling. Last year, the Pentagon attempted to rein in the Stingray’s projected development costs by directing the navy to shift its focus away from surveillance and toward air refueling.

The announcement marks the third time in the last decade Northrop has pulled out of a bid for a contract to develop a US military aircraft.

-US Air Force’s T-X trainer program:

Last February, the company announced it would bow out of the US Air Force’s T-X trainer program after Bush hinted during an earnings call that Northrop was reassessing the business case for submitting a bid. In that case, Northrop decided the financial benefits of winning the contract outweighed the costs. In 2010, Northrop withdrew a bid for the

-USAF’s air refueling tanker program based on the Airbus A330 multi-role tanker-transport:
USAF’s air refueling tanker program based on the Airbus A330 multi-role tanker-transport, forcing Airbus to compete as a prime contractor against the ultimately victorious Boeing KC-46.

-Carrier Based Aerial Refueling System:
The US Navy has changed requirements for the Stingray program several times. The concept has evolved from a stealthy, strike and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platform dubbed the Unmanned Carrier Launch Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS), into a more pared down Carrier Based Aerial Refueling System, which the navy designated MQ-25.

....would passive EO/DAS visuals, IFF and/or GPS (Tacan/JPALS type??) linked to a "tanking a/c" from the Stingray be of benefit to the pilot/ system?

....so much for the X-47B lineage
:(

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 26 Oct 2017, 02:34
by rheonomic
Not too surprised with the rumors I've heard on MQ-25.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 26 Oct 2017, 02:53
by popcorn
“Our objective is not just to win, but if you can’t execute on it then you’ve done the wrong thing,” Bush says.

So what was the deal breaker for NG? Inability to meet some technical requirement? Or their platform solution (likely based on X-47B) would have been engineering overkill and not price-competitive?

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 26 Oct 2017, 02:59
by rheonomic
I'd say probably a combination of changes in the requirements (it's the Navy after all, they don't know what they want and change their minds every 5 min; see rule #15) and an unrealistic cost/schedule.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 26 Oct 2017, 04:10
by popcorn
rheonomic wrote:I'd say probably a combination of changes in the requirements (it's the Navy after all, they don't know what they want and change their minds every 5 min; see rule #15) and an unrealistic cost/schedule.

Perhaps but that would apply to all vendors equally. Obviously NG did not think it was worth the risk which would be smart business. Winning the LRSB competition gives them a cushion.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 26 Oct 2017, 22:17
by blain
rheonomic wrote:Not too surprised with the rumors I've heard on MQ-25.


My guess is that they could not leverage the X-47 into a competitive platform. The photo of the X-47 with refueling pod/ext tank indicates they tried. But I don't think the cranked arrow planform lends itself to performing as a tanker and/or carrying an adequate fuel load, internally or via external tanks.

The GA proposal and hints by Boeing and LM that they were shifting to a more traditional planform indicates that a cranked een arrow/flying wing was not the preferred planform.

There are a lot of unknowns because a carrier based unmanned tanker has never been attempted previously. On the surface its is hard to imaging that a modified Avenger would be able to carry 15,000 lbs out to 500 nm. Maybe with 480/600 gal external tanks too? Idk. And what will be the mission profile? Fly out to 500 nm and top off the package and then orbit for the return, or will a different MQ-25 head out for the return leg?

And how much will the MQ-25A weigh? Certainly more than 50,000 lbs. But who knows.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 16 Nov 2017, 19:31
by neptune
http://aviationweek.com/defense/us-navy ... mq-25-snub

U.S. Navy Shrugs Off Northrop’s MQ-25 Snub

Nov 15, 2017
James Drew


NAS PATUXENT RIVER, Maryland—
Northrop Grumman’s departure from the U.S. Navy’s MQ-25 Stingray competition hasn’t fazed Naval Air Systems Command (Navair), the organization in charge of acquiring up to 72 carrier-based unmanned tankers. Rear Adm. Mark Darrah, program executive officer for unmanned aviation and strike weapons at Navair, says, “It’s their decision,” and Northrop continues to support the program under a contract for concept refinement that runs through March 2018. “We’re going to move forward with our strategy,” Darrah said during an interview with Aviation Week at Navair’s headquarters at Patuxent River here. “We’ve got a very robust request for proposals [RFP] and feel we’re in a good position with whoever remains behind to give us a proposal.” Boeing, Lockheed Martin and General Atomics Aeronautical Systems are still in the hunt for the multibillion-dollar program. The RFP was released Oct. 4, and proposals are due by Jan. 3, 2018.

Northrop would have been a leading contender had the Navy not switched focus from a carrier-based unmanned surveillance and strike aircraft to an aerial refueling platform for topping-up strike fighters. The company had developed, delivered and flown two prototype X-47B aircraft in support of the former Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike program, but seemed to lose enthusiasm when the Navy instead asked for an MQ-25 tanker to be developed on a fixed-price incentive contract. Northrop CEO Wes Bush announced the company’s withdrawal on Oct. 25 during an earnings call, saying, “We could not put forward an attractive proposition to the Navy that would represent a reasonable business case for our company.”

Darrah confirms that a down-select to one vendor for MQ-25 is expected by late summer 2018. The development contract will deliver four aircraft for testing and evaluation. The winner must then prove themselves by delivering the promised capability on time and on budget. If successful, they could receive follow-on contracts for the production phase. Darrah says the program of record calls for 72 aircraft capable of operating from Nimitz or Ford-class carriers. “We want to go as fast as we can and get them out there as quickly as we can. We’re incentivizing [the contractor] to do well in the engineering and manufacturing development phase,” he says.

The only two KPP (key performance parameters) are carrier integration and mission tanking. To qualify, the proposed aircraft must be capable of offloading 14,000 lb. of gas starting at 500 mi. from the carrier. The Navy says all other design attributes are “trade space” that can be exchanged for greater performance or lower costs in other areas. Secondary attributes previously being considered, like 12 hr. of endurance, were removed. No new development is planned for this aircraft, just integration of mature, existing capabilities, including the government-furnished aerial refueling system (ARS), or buddy store. The MQ-25 will carry an electro-optical/infrared sensor ball and have space, weight, power and cooling provisions for a potential maritime surveillance radar.

Instead of specifying how many MQ-25s will embark at a time, the Navy has told contractors how many refueling “hoses” it needs for carrier operations. The service also has provided contractors with a “spot factor” value, the maximum amount of real estate their platform can occupy on the carrier deck, including peculiar support equipment. Darrah says many of the competitors are already working on advanced prototypes, including flying and non-flying test articles. Based on what the contractors may or may not have already shown the Navy already, he teased that people might see something flying sooner than expected after contract award.

Darrah says the tanker will not carry weapons, but future carrier-based drones might. The purpose of the MQ-25, he says, is to develop an aircraft optimized for tanking that will extend the operational range of the carrier air wing and free up Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornets for combat missions. “We want an aircraft design from the start to do that mission,” Darrah says. “It’s about utilizing aircraft in a more efficient way.”
:)
....with NG secure in the B-21 program and having proven the unmanned program by bringing it aboard the carrier, it indicates it will now wait for the resurrection of the UCLASS program.

....sadly, I am beginning to believe that Boeing will win the competition by simply submitting the F/A-18D as the MQ-25 competitor. It has "existing" operations, maintenance and supply requirements in place and 100s (for the required 72) of existing planes/ spare parts that can be "upgraded" each with; an excess fuel load capability with the existing a-a refueling operating experience and it is f-b-w, a technology that Boeing has experience "un-manning" the QF-16 program. And lastly the F-35 program will be replacing (retiring) the -18D, thus they are available. This might also explain the exit of NG (all others are no competition).
:(

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 17 Nov 2017, 02:57
by popcorn
MQ-25...No mission creep please. Mitigate risk to costs and schedule.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 18 Nov 2017, 00:41
by blain
Regarding the unmanned legacy hornet idea - I can understand how this might make some sense. Reduce development time and reuse an airframe that has already been paid for. But I would be shocked if this concept was proposed and selected.

1. The airframe isn't optimized for tanker duty. It has two engines. One would be more fuel efficient - maximizing the amount of fuel that could be off loaded.

2. It could carry four external fuel tanks. Pushing total volume over 20,000 lbs if it is able to carry the SH's 480 gallon tanks. I am not sure if that is enough to meet the off load requirement at 500 nm.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 18 Nov 2017, 03:01
by neptune
blain wrote:..would be more fuel efficient - maximizing the amount of fuel that could be off loaded... to meet the off load requirement at 500 nm.


....could F/A-18D be capable of offloading 14,000 lb. of gas starting at 500 mi. from carrier for a/a refueling?
:)

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 18 Nov 2017, 03:55
by madrat
Too bad F-35C couldn't be stretched in a couple of spots in the fuselage to provide it plenty of internal space. Of course it would probable spin off a strike version making tankers unnecessary...

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 19 Nov 2017, 16:15
by Dragon029
I bet the internal weapons bays could carry quite a bit of gas if they were sealed up :wink:

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 20 Nov 2017, 05:14
by neptune
....having reviewed the QF-16 program, Boeing is converting the fbw F-16 for $2mil ea. So, "assuming" similar cost for droning the fbw F-18 at 72 ea., the MQ-25 program should be in the order of $153,556,390 and still maintain the 9?G performance without the "tanking software".
...Maybe now we can determine the cost of the "MQ-25 tanking software"!, from Boeing.
...this would be "small potatoes" for NG, maybe not worth the effort!
:shock: :)

....Holy Crxp!, I solved all the OBOGs problem for $2mil. per a/c. How much do "Barcaloungers" cost for each pilot?
:doh:

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 20 Nov 2017, 19:37
by wrightwing
The QS-3 sounds like the best plan. There are over 90 already available. They can carry 30k lbs of fuel to 530nm, and have plenty of space for ISR gear, and weapons.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 21 Nov 2017, 03:37
by madrat
QS-3 would be nice for utility work. Could bring back the Viking for other duties like ASW and augmenting ECM by the Growlers, too. Maybe the tank bladder is removable and you ferry spares and other material in and out with them, too. Mail, anyone?

QF-117A would be a good land-based bomb truck for dropping smart bombs on a schedule. Unfortunately its poor for utility duty. Could you justify QA-10 as a utility platform?

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 21 Nov 2017, 03:48
by neptune
madrat wrote:QS-3 would be nice for utility work. Could bring back the Viking for other duties like ASW and augmenting ECM by the Growlers, too. Maybe the tank bladder is removable and you ferry spares and other material in and out with them, too. Mail, anyone?

QF-117A would be a good land-based bomb truck for dropping smart bombs on a schedule. Unfortunately its poor for utility duty. Could you justify QA-10 as a utility platform?


....as proud as Boeing is of the fbw QF-16, there is no doubt that with EOTS added to the QA-10, it would easily allow for ground controlled loitering air support. Perhaps even add a small AESA and fuse EOTS with ISAR for "erie" identification and prioritization. Sniping the officers and squad leaders!
:doh:

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 21 Nov 2017, 16:23
by SpudmanWP
I doubt that a QF-117 would be economically viable.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 22 Nov 2017, 05:08
by rheonomic
SpudmanWP wrote:I doubt that a QF-117 would be economically viable.


Also, why would you event want to do that? There are existing LO UAS that would do a better job at the role.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 23 Nov 2017, 02:44
by madrat
You're kidding, right? A paid for platform with no future use that didn't exactly need a pilot 90% of the time isn't viable? Not only do you not break any current platform on the conversion, you have a platform looking for justification for all the lost money they sank into storage overhead. Unlike other legacy aircraft, there isn't a lot you can reclaim nor afford to let just any scrapper take custody.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 23 Nov 2017, 03:39
by SpudmanWP
It's not viable because it cost's too much to maintain the LO due to its early version. Combine that with economy-of-scale issues makes it not economically viable.

Doing some quick Google-Fu came up with these apples-to-apples numbers. As you can see, it was more expensive to operate than the F-16/15/etc. Add on top of these costs the multiple personnel required to operate a UCAV over an above the normal "1" pilot.

Image

http://www.pogoarchives.org/labyrinth/08/03.xls

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 27 Nov 2017, 16:58
by neptune
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ar-443649/

NAVAIR studies plugging MQ-25 ground system into carrier ATC

27 November, 2017
BY: Stephen Trimble

Washington DC
As three companies continue vying for the contract to develop the MQ-25 Stingray, the US Navy is quietly making progress with the design of the carrier-based, unmanned tanker aircraft’s mission control system.The Naval Air Warfare Center’s Aircraft Division in Lakehurst, New Jersey, is polling industry sources for a vendor that can develop an interface to plug the MQ-25’s carrier- and shore-based mission control station into the aircraft carrier’s air traffic control system. The request for information released on 22 November is a further sign that Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) is laying the groundwork for the MQ-25 to be ready to enter service by the mid-2020s. Northrop Grumman withdrew from the competition, leaving three bidders still pursuing the contract;

– Boeing,
- General Atomics Aeronautical Systems
- Lockheed Martin

Last April, NAVAIR announced that a demonstration had validated the first software build for the MD-5 unmanned carrier aviation mission control system (UMCS). The control system is divided into two components, according to the Lakehurst center’s RFI;

- The MD-5A will be integrated on the navy’s fleet of aircraft carriers, directing the Boeing F/A-18E/F-sized MQ-25 during takeoffs and landings. The MD-5A version of the UMCS must integrate with the shipboard air traffic control system (SATCC). The new interface that Lakehurst is studying would translate audio messages from a human air vehicle operator for the MQ-25 into voice-over internet protocol, so it can communicate with the SATCC.

- The MD-5B will be a shore-based control system, using satellite communications to monitor and control the aircraft during the mission phase.

The requirements also include a system that can handle classified plaintext data as well as encrypted ciphertext. NAVAIR released a request for proposals for the MQ-25 development contract in October.
:)

....IMHO, NAVAIR intends the MQ-25 to be a launch and recovery tanker, only!

- A radiating, remote controlled tanker would be a liability away from the carrier, to either the stealthy F-35 or even the LO F-18 variants (emanating bait for the trap).

- Only if the tanker were autonomous and observed EMCON could it provide tanking for tasking support in "Indian" country (500 miles from the carrier). Provided it implemented short range (<2.5 miles) FSO laser communications for crypto authorization.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 29 Nov 2017, 23:01
by neptune
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... er-443743/

Navy expects MQ-25 decision by summer

29 November, 2017
BY: Leigh Giangreco

Washington DC
The US Navy could select the winning bidder to develop a carrier-based, unmanned tanker called the MQ-25 Stingray by late summer, a top acquisition official says. After releasing a request for proposals in October, three bidding teams must submit responses by early January. The service will spend the next eight months reviewing proposals and expects to make a final source selection by late summer, Rear Admiral Mark Darrah told reporters. Last year, the navy awarded four risk reduction contracts to;

- Boeing
- General Atomics-Aeronautical Systems Inc
- Northrop Grumman
- Lockheed Martin

But Northrop withdrew from the competition shortly after the navy released the RFP, saying the company could not execute the program based on the terms. As the bidding progresses for the airframe, the Navy continues to develop two more elements of the program. Last week, the navy released a request for information for the Stingray’s carrier- and shore-based mission control station. The new interface would translate audio messages from the MQ-25’s human air vehicle operator into voice-over internet protocol to communicate with the shipboard air traffic control system (SATCC). “People are always focused on the air system part of this,” Darrah says. “There’s three segments, there’s the ground segment, and then the carrier integration segment...we’ve been working on those other two parts of it for the last several years getting that all ready to go, so that when we get that award, we go as quickly as we can.” The navy’s Stingray program has seen several incarnations over its developmental lifetime, evolving from the stealthy strike and reconnaissance platform known as the Unmanned Carrier Launch Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) and into the Carrier Based Aerial Refueling System, which the navy designated MQ-25. The service invested more than $839 million into UCLASS until fiscal year 2016, when the navy began risk reduction activities that would transition into the MQ-25 unmanned carrier aviation program, according to budget documents. The service budgeted $114 million in FY2016 as the program transferred to UCA. The navy has $2.4 billion in funding planned from FY2017 through 2022 for system development and demonstration work. The service has scheduled a design review for the air system portion in 2019 and is planning initial operational capability for the mid-2020s.
:)

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 13 Dec 2017, 03:38
by neptune
http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/13 ... ker-design

General Atomics Gives First Clues About its MQ-25 Drone Tanker Design

By Joseph Trevithick
August 17, 2017

More information has already been emerging about the competitors in the U.S. Navy’s MQ-25 Stingray carrier-based drone program and now General Atomics has given an official, if vague statement about its up-coming proposal. Depending on what airframe the company ends up going with, reported sales of the Avenger design to the U.S. government and potential foreign deals for that aircraft could improve its chances, especially as the Navy continues to water down its own requirements. David Alexander, president of aircraft systems for General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), disclosed the first details about its MQ-25 plans on Aug. 16, 2017. In addition to working on the Navy project and pitching Avenger to foreign militaries, GA-ASI is the firm responsible for the U.S. Air Force’s iconic MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aircraft, as well as the U.S. Army’s Warrior Alpha and MQ-1C Gray Eagle. “We’ve been following this thing for seven years. I think we’ve got it down and we’ve got the right airplane.” Alexander said, according to USNI News. “Our design is optimized.” He did not offer any additional details about how their design would meet the Navy’s needs, which are presently for an unmanned tanker, or confirm whether or not it would be based around the existing Avenger design. General Atomics has not released any MQ-25-specific concept art or other notional specifications. However, when Alexander says General Atomics has been keeping an eye on the Navy’s developments for seven years, he’s talking about when the company first pitched a version of the Avenger for what became known as the Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstrator (UCAS-D) program. The Navy’s initial plan with that carrier-based drone demonstration project to feed into the follow-on Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) project, which aimed to add a pilotless low-observable reconnaissance and strike aircraft to each carrier air wing. The Navy chose Northrop Grumman’s X-47B for the UCAS-D, but did include GA-ASI and its navalized "Sea Avenger" in the early stages of UCLASS. When the service abandoned UCLASS for the much less ambitious Carrier-Based Aerial-Refueling System (CBARS) concept, the company continued as potential contender.

In the tanker role, the existing Sea Avenger or another derivative of the basic airframe could start with certain advantages over the existing UCLASS concepts from Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman, all of which are tail-less stealthy flying wing designs with internal payload storage only. The Avenger platform has both an internal payload bay and the ability to carry stores on six under wing pylons. A theoretical load of five drop tanks and the Cobham buddy store refueling pod, which the Navy says each competitor must use in their proposal, plus additional fuel in the internal payload bay would give the aircraft a significantly larger fuel load over its rivals. Northrop Grumman just recently began testing flying an X-47B with a single drop tank under one wing and the buddy pod under the other. The Avenger has also shown promise as a sensor truck if the Navy decides it is still interested in having limited intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities on the MQ-25. The design could readily accommodate a variety of electro-optical cameras, infrared systems, imaging radars, and signals intelligence packages in its internal payload bay. The ability to carry stores under the wings means it could end up carrying modular, reconfigurable sensor pods, as well. In June 2016, pictures emerged of one of the drones equipped with the MS-177 multispectral sensor system.

Despite all of these capabilities, the Avenger had been something of a dark horse in the UCLASS program, a no-frills design with a modest price tag that wasn’t necessarily the best suited to the projected deep-penetrating strike and surveillance missions in high risk environments. But the design and its lower cost could actually make it a prime contender since the Navy has already transformed its requirements for the MQ-25 so dramatically. In March 2017, Rob Weiss, head of Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works advanced projects office, suggested the changes might require all four competitors to completely overhaul their proposals. Avenger might actually require the least work to get it set up for the far less demanding tanking mission.

Back in 2014, The War Zone’s own Tyler Rogoway, then writing for Foxtrot Alpha, had already suggested this might happen, explaining:

General Atomics' no-frills approach to the low observable, jet powered, unmanned combat air vehicle may actually help when it comes to the Navy's looming Unmanned Carrier Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) bid. This program is the Navy's first attempt at integrating an operationally relevant advanced combat drone into its carriers' air wings. Originally it was expected to require a deep penetrating, high subsonic, bat-winged, state of the art design, but now it seems more like its requirements were written based on the Avenger's sales brochure, with a greater focus on cost, surveillance, endurance, rudimentary capabilities like acting as an aerial tanker, and reliability, than deep interdiction against an enemy with an advanced air defense network. Thus General Atomics' "Sea Avenger," an outgrowth design of the baseline Avenger airframe, which was the dark horse in the contest originally, may be poised to take the prize.

Even the Avenger's physical form is low risk in nature, as it borrows the majority of its design attributes from the highly successful, but thirty five year old, "Tacit Blue" design. Yet if the Navy wants something that is by its very design low risk in nature, and more of a sensor and weapon truck than a super-fighter-like autonomous drone, then they have an option that also happens to possess the finest pedigree of any other unmanned systems manufacturer. That is not to say that the USAF, and possibly the CIA, are also not highly interested in the Avenger, which may have been a reason for its fading into the "gray world" over the last few years. Such occurrences often happen once a new technology like this lands a "customer."


Additional customers for the Avenger design could only help drive its cost down even further, making it more attractive to the Navy. The drone has apparently already snagged at least one contract. In his August 2017 press call, GS-ASI’s Alexander said that an unspecified U.S. government agency was flying seven of the unmanned aircraft, though he couldn’t say anything more on the subject. This number of planes is larger than one would expect from a flight test program and would imply there is an operational unit. When the US Air Force tested Avenger as part of its abortive MQ-X project, it acquired just a single example, even though it did send the aircraft to Afghanistan for field tests.

This would fit with an earlier statement that a GS-ASI vice president, Donald Cattell, made on Oct. 26, 2016, in which he revealed that an Avenger had performed a psychological warfare leaflet drop over Syria. As such, it seems mostly likely that this operator is either the U.S. military’s Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) or the CIA, which would fit with earlier reporting. The War Zone has already written in detail about a number of secretive aircraft supporting JSOC and other coalition special operations and intelligence activities against ISIS in both Syria and Iraq. Another possibility is the Missile Defense Agency, although we probably would have heard about such a large acquisition. On top of this U.S. government operator, GS-ASI’s Alexander said a foreign customer, whom he again couldn’t name, was interested in as many as 90 Avengers. The most likely prospective buyer would be the Indian Air Force, which reportedly inquired about purchasing as many as 100 of the aircraft, also known as Predator C, in 2016, according to Reuters.

In June 2017, the U.S. State Department already approved the potential sale of more than 20 maritime surveillance drones from GS-ASI to the Indian Navy. These aircraft were a derivative of the Reaper known as the MQ-9B Guardian, which has a Raytheon SeaVue multi-mode radar mounted prominently under the fuselage. Other countries could use a stealthy penetrating multi-role medium altitude, medium endurance drone like the Avenger. In particular Israel comes to mind. The Avenger could allow the IAF to field an asset that can be used for everything long-range surveillance to penetrating strike and electronic warfare missions. It could even be configured as a "loyal wingman" or a communications relay node. Still, we don't know exactly who might be in active negotiations for the type. Of course, the Navy’s MQ-25 program is still evolving and the requirements could easily change again before any of the competitors have a change to finalize their designs. But a capable, relatively affordable and adaptable existing design, such as Avenger, already in U.S. service and with a potentially strong foreign customer base, could be especially attractive no matter what the service ultimately decides it wants from the Stingrays.
:)

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 19 Dec 2017, 18:37
by neptune
https://www.defensenews.com/air/2017/12 ... ker-drone/

Boeing offers sneak peek of MQ-25 tanker drone

By: Valerie Insinna
19Dec17

WASHINGTON —
Boeing on Tuesday unveiled its entrant into the U.S. Navy’s MQ-25 tanker drone competition, a prototype wing-body-tail aircraft ready to begin tests this month. So far, Boeing has released one photo of the aircraft facing head-on to the camera, proving that the company has fabricated a prototype and that — as expected — it has moved away from the flying wing design it considered putting forward to the precursor of the MQ-25 program, when the Navy prioritized strike and ISR capabilities for its first carrier-based drone. “It’s an aircraft with the mission in mind, and we felt confident that the wing-body-tail design was the best for the refueling mission,” said Boeing spokeswoman Didi VanNierop, who added that the company incorporated lessons from its Phantom Ray unmanned demonstrator and other Boeing unmanned aerial systems. Boeing’s MQ-25 is slated to conduct engine runs by the end of the year at its St. Louis, Missouri, facility before moving on to deck handling demos early next year, the company said in a news release. During the deck handling demonstrations, the company will take the aircraft to the ramp, which will be marked to the measurements of an aircraft carrier’s flight deck, VanNierop said. There, operators will taxi the aircraft via remote control and move it within the confines of the deck. They will also validate that the aircraft will engage the launch bar of a catapult. However, the aircraft will not fly during those demonstrations, and Boeing has not set a date for first flight, she noted. “Boeing has been delivering carrier aircraft to the Navy for almost 90 years,” Don Gaddis, who leads the refueling system program for Boeing’s Phantom Works, said in a statement. “Our expertise gives us confidence in our approach. We will be ready for flight testing when the engineering and manufacturing development contract is awarded.”

Boeing has stoked conversation about its “mystery aircraft” for about a week. On Dec. 14, the company posted a short video of a stationary aircraft draped in a drop cloth on its Twitter account. “Robust? Check. Ready? Check. Changing future air power? Check it out!” read the caption, which then implored viewers to come back on Dec. 19 to see the plane’s reveal. Some aviation enthusiasts correctly guessed that Boeing would debut its MQ-25 offering, but others speculated that the new Phantom Works aircraft could be a new version of the Bird of Prey subsonic stealth aircraft, its Phantom Ray unmanned combat drone or even a new collaboration with Aurora Flight Sciences, which the company acquired this year. Boeing is the first of the MQ-25 competitors to formally show off a prototype aircraft. General Atomics has published concept art of its MQ-25 — seemingly based on its Avenger UAS, which bears a strong resemblance to the MQ-9 Reaper — and has mounted an intensive advertising campaign featuring a rendering of the aircraft. Lockheed Martin and Boeing have also released concept art of their offerings, but both opted not to show the full aircraft. Instead, the images show the refueling pods of each UAS connected by probe and drogue to a fighter jet. The Navy issued its MQ-25 request for proposals in October with proposals due Jan. 3, and the company plans to down select to a final vendor in summer 2018. From there, the service will purchase an initial buy of four systems before deciding whether to continue on with a 72-aircraft buy, Rear Adm. Mark Darrah, program executive officer for unmanned aviation and strike weapons, told Aviation Week. Competing aircraft must be able to deliver 15,000 pounds of fuel to fighters up to 500 nautical miles away from the carrier.

In October, Northrop Grumman unexpectedly dropped out of the competition — a move that surprised experts who had long held that Northrop’s X-47B was the favorite in the competition, as the company had already demonstrated it could conduct flying operations from a carrier. Northrop’s departure signaled to some analysts that the Navy’s requirements could favor wing-body-tail designs, not the flying wings thought to be proposed by Northrop and Lockheed. Phil Finnegan, a Teal Group analyst who studies UAS, told Defense News in October that Northrop’s exit could pave the way for Boeing to be the new front-runner, given the company’s extensive experience in naval aviation. “Boeing is expected to use parts that are used by the F/A-18 in a bid to keep costs down. It also has considerable experience with tankers since it builds the Air Force tanker,” he said.
:)

....interesting where this design appears to mitigate the non-LO concerns that were such an anathema to the speculators; V tails, single body line, upper fuselage engine intake and mounting and adequate fuselage area for an EOTS type ISR sensor package. Yet, it will be equally interesting to see the competition!
:wink:

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 20 Dec 2017, 03:25
by madrat
Flying wing with pelican tail?

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 20 Dec 2017, 04:13
by neptune
madrat wrote:Flying wing with pelican tail?


....and I'm curious about the utilization of carbon nanotube reinforced polymer (CNRP) materials in both structure and panels as "strength/ weight savings" as this goes to manufacturing. Now that the JSF program has proven the benefits and the manufacturing technologies, does this give LM an edge in the "future" ISR mission related vehicles?
:roll:

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 23 Dec 2017, 22:53
by neptune
http://www.executivegov.com/2017/08/nav ... c2-system/

Navy Reports Progress on MQ-25A Unmanned Tanker C2 System

Ramona Adams
August 15, 2017

.. said integrating the Unmanned Carrier Aviation (UCA) Mission Control System into the Navy’s communications infrastructure will be a key step for MQ-25A operations.

The Navy aims to deploy MQ-25A drones on the Dwight D. Eisenhower CVN-69 and George H.W. Bush CVN-77 aircraft carriers as soon as 2019, with a goal to eventually operate the unmanned tankers aboard Nimitz– and Ford-class ships.
..

The UMCS mission control system is based on current Navy technologies such as the Common Display System, Common Processing System and Common Control System, according to Duarte. Common UCMS functions are powered by CCS software architecture but program officials look to procure third-party software to support vehicle-specific operations, the report noted.
:)

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 24 Dec 2017, 00:58
by madrat
Image

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 04 Jan 2018, 03:47
by popcorn

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 04 Jan 2018, 04:36
by neptune


....more of the Boreing "peek-aboo" picts., thanks anyhow!
:)

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 04 Jan 2018, 07:39
by arian
Looks like Tacit Blue.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 04 Jan 2018, 19:11
by durahawk
If this thing is indeed LO/VLO, I think it is something the USAF should be taking a hard look at. They may balk at only 15,000 lbs of offload, but if this thing could be scaled up to the 25-50k range I think it could offer some real utility in escorting flights of F-35's or F-22's to deep targets to dangerous for the KC-46.

The obvious problem though is the boom vs. drouge...

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 04 Jan 2018, 22:26
by sferrin


Apparently Tyler Rogoway has been cribbing from Secret Projects. Look at the pics posted there, and those he's posted at the link above.

https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/ ... 6.855.html

What a d-bag.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 04 Jan 2018, 22:43
by count_to_10
Seems to have a lot in common with the YF-23.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 05 Jan 2018, 00:39
by sferrin
count_to_10 wrote:Seems to have a lot in common with the YF-23.


In that they're both a shade of gray?

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 05 Jan 2018, 04:09
by count_to_10
sferrin wrote:
count_to_10 wrote:Seems to have a lot in common with the YF-23.


In that they're both a shade of gray?

No, the nose is very similar, as are the all moving v tails and a lot of the lines. The wings are a lot thinner, but it’s hard to tell what they look like.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 05 Jan 2018, 04:10
by neptune
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... pr-444627/

FAA approves registration number for Boeing MQ-25 prototype

04 January, 2018
BY: Stephen Trimble

Washington DC
Boeing has received a US aircraft registration for the newly-unveiled demonstrator at the heart of its bid to make up to 72 MQ-25 Stingray carrier-based unmanned tankers for the US Navy, the company confirms to FlightGlobal. The Federal Aviation Administration assigned registration number, N234MQ, to Boeing for a St. Louis-aircraft model dubbed the “T1” on 26 December. The registration omits several typical details, including the model of the turbofan engine that powers the aircraft. Boeing is one of three bidders for a development contract scheduled to be awarded later this year. The deadline to submit bids for the three teams – Boeing, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems and Lockheed Martin – passed on 3 January. The bid deadline came as Boeing decided to reveal more details about its approach to the MQ-25 design. A photo tweeted by Boeing on 19 December offered a nose-on glimpse of the design, revealing extremely canted stabilizers and a conventional wing. The inlet in the 19 December appeared to be obscured.

However, a follow-video posted on 3 January by Boeing confirmed that the inlet in the nose is actually an auxiliary intake or perhaps a cooling vent. The real inlet for the turbofan engine is instead mounted dorsally and flush with the fuselage. It’s a rare configuration choice that evokes memories of Northrop’s Tacit Blue stealth demonstrator in the early 1980s. The video also revealed other intriguing details about Boeing’s MQ-25 design, including a retractable tail hook under the fuselage. But other details, including the full length of the wings and stabilizers – are still not shown. General Atomics previously has released a generic concept revealing a design that mixes elements of the fuselage and wing of the MQ-9 Reaper with the propulsion and empennage of the Predator C Avenger. Lockheed Martin has released only a fragment of its MQ-25 concept aircraft, showing only part of the underside of a wing and a refueling pod.
:)

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 05 Jan 2018, 07:10
by johnwill
I wonder if that inlet might be a variation of the NACA flush inlet duct.

vdsvrvre.jpg

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 05 Jan 2018, 08:37
by neptune
johnwill wrote:I wonder if that inlet might be a variation of the NACA flush inlet duct.

vdsvrvre.jpg


....I think it qualifies with the low/ no projection but I'm concerned about the slow airspeed approach for the trap and the quick engine speed variations (air flows) that are required for the approach. Delta Glide Path programming and boat data feed from JPALS seemed to mitigate any approach concerns for the X-47B but this new Boeing air inlet design is causing me concern, thus I'm not on the team!
:)

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 05 Jan 2018, 14:12
by sferrin
johnwill wrote:I wonder if that inlet might be a variation of the NACA flush inlet duct.

The attachment vdsvrvre.jpg is no longer available


AGM-129 (stealth cruise missile - that they retired) used one:

Dsc_6762.jpg

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 06 Jan 2018, 03:55
by Dragon029
Looking at this screenshot:

Image

If you check out the top left of the image (which is towards the nose) you'll notice that the line (which goes up over the top of the fuselage) that's part of the "JET INTAKE DANGER" box, seems to be distorted, curving downward and then upward again, with there being odd shadows and reflected light that shouldn't be present on something like the Tacit Blue's intake or on a normal NACA intake.

Here's a zoom-in on the area if that's not clear; again see the top-left of the image:

Image

I wouldn't be surprised if the design resembles more of a flattened DSI style intake, where there's a central bump and the intake begins to deepen first at the sides. The intention with such an intake could be to capture and control the vortices coming off the nose / fuselage chines, particularly when this aircraft is coming in for a carrier landing at an elevated angle of attack.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 01 Mar 2018, 23:38
by blain
SM-6 for the Super Hornet to restore Navy's long range interception capabilities.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articl ... 13137.html

What about a long endurance UCAV which would loiter several hundred miles from the carrier?

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 02 Mar 2018, 07:16
by element1loop
blain wrote:SM-6 for the Super Hornet to restore Navy's long range interception capabilities.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articl ... 13137.html

What about a long endurance UCAV which would loiter several hundred miles from the carrier?


What a bad idea (SM6 as AAM I mean ... and article shows a classic hornet image ...).

~400 nm radius increases to just 510 nm radius?

The F-35C with AIM-120 can do ~760nm radius now.

Just buy F-35Cs, with C7s.

AIM-120C7 has more range than AIM-54 and is far more lethal.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 02 Mar 2018, 18:30
by marsavian
AIM-120C7 has about 60-65% range of the AIM-54, the AIM-120D is about 90-95%.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 03 Mar 2018, 07:53
by element1loop
marsavian wrote:AIM-120C7 has about 60-65% range of the AIM-54, the AIM-120D is about 90-95%.


I can go with the D, even better.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 08 Mar 2018, 00:43
by blain
More info on Boeing's proposal for the MQ-25A. Interesting...

http://aviationweek.com/aviation-week-s ... 5-stingray

The aircraft seems small. I am curious to see how they plan to carry enough fuel to offload 14,000 lbs at 500 nm. I am guessing that in addition to a refueling pod that the aircraft will carry from two to four external fuel tanks. 480 gallon or 600? I am also curious as to the maximum take off weight and the internal fuel volume.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 08 Mar 2018, 05:12
by zero-one
blain wrote:More info on Boeing's proposal for the MQ-25A. Interesting...

http://aviationweek.com/aviation-week-s ... 5-stingray



Its behind the pay wall.
But anyway heres the picture

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 08 Mar 2018, 23:52
by blain
I thought the internal volume looks larger than a fighter. It seems about the size of a legacy hornet or super hornet. I'd guess the latter. Likely one engine. In the class of the F414?

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 09 Mar 2018, 00:57
by rheonomic
blain wrote:In the class of the F414?


Probably is an F414 for commonality with the Rhino.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 09 Mar 2018, 17:19
by zero-one
Non afterburning F414 maybe, or does it need to go break the barrier?

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 09 Mar 2018, 17:23
by SpudmanWP
NWIH that goes mach+

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 10 Mar 2018, 00:25
by blain
Non after burner, high bypass? Ideally you'd want it to be able to escort the package at a cruise speed close to a fighter. So what't the likely take off weight? +50,000?

And where's the intake? At the top of the fuselage like Tacit Blue?

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 10 Mar 2018, 00:35
by SpudmanWP
Tankers typically meet them to either top them off only once on ingress or egress. They do not typically "escort".

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 10 Mar 2018, 10:00
by zero-one
Paul Metz said that when the ATF program was conceptualized the contractors said to the DOD, Range, maneuverability, speed. Choose 2, you can't have all.

They cut range out of the equation. Now there are talks that maneuverability would be cut on the next program.

I have a hunch that this idea doesn't sit too well within the fighter community. Now whenever I see programs like this or the advent engine, I'm thinking some guys in today's fighter mafia still have some influence so that their next new toy won't be a stealth F-111 or YF-12

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 13 Mar 2018, 06:27
by Dragon029
Some new photos of the MQ-25:
Image
Image
In particular, check out the seams (or lack thereof) on the ailerons - flexible seals or a form of simplistic morphing wing?

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 13 Mar 2018, 07:13
by southernphantom
That is an awfully small airframe; I'd wager much if not most of its fuel offload capacity is going to be in external tanks.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 13 Mar 2018, 09:34
by Corsair1963
It was said that Boeings MQ-25 has been around for sometime. So, maybe the production version will be scaled up???

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 13 Mar 2018, 10:36
by element1loop
Dragon029 MQ-25:
Image

OK Boeing ... avionics ram duct ... is all wrong ... needs a horizontal red LED bar ... like Kit ... on Nightrider.

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/imag ... 09AZHAn82Q

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 13 Mar 2018, 13:10
by Dragon029
southernphantom wrote:That is an awfully small airframe; I'd wager much if not most of its fuel offload capacity is going to be in external tanks.

I think that's just the perspective / lens at play; it's not that small an aircraft:

Image

Boeing also says that their design considerably exceeds the CBARS requirements due to it originally being designed for UCLASS (which would have had to accommodate an internal weapons bay, etc), before modifying it.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 13 Mar 2018, 15:06
by pmi
element1loop wrote:Dragon029 MQ-25:
Image

OK Boeing ... avionics ram duct ... is all wrong ... needs a horizontal red LED bar ... like Kit ... on Nightrider.


MQ-25 Cylon?

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 13 Mar 2018, 15:48
by element1loop
Dragon029 wrote:Image

Boeing also says that their design considerably exceeds the CBARS requirements due to it originally being designed for UCLASS (which would have had to accommodate an internal weapons bay, etc), before modifying it.


Long wings and elevators for efficient high-alt slow loiter.

They wont put tanks and pods on it, that would really mess up its RCS and ruin its deploy speed and efficient loiter endurance.

Looks like it will be a single hose basket out of its rear, but with auto-tanking to speed things up.

Hidden survivable endurance, handy off-load capacity. 16,000 lb of fuel will keep a flight of 4 F-35 going for at least 7O mins at high-altitude. Time enough to get to another tanker before recovery

So, three tanker loads for a long-range strike flight of 4 x F-35C. One drink on the way, and two drinks on the way back (~8 hr flight).

Potentially delivering 48 x SDB (bye-bye air base), or else 8 x JSM, or 8 x JSOW (bye-bye fleet base).

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 13 Mar 2018, 16:09
by southernphantom
Dragon029 wrote:
southernphantom wrote:That is an awfully small airframe; I'd wager much if not most of its fuel offload capacity is going to be in external tanks.

I think that's just the perspective / lens at play; it's not that small an aircraft:

Image

Boeing also says that their design considerably exceeds the CBARS requirements due to it originally being designed for UCLASS (which would have had to accommodate an internal weapons bay, etc), before modifying it.


Wow, you aren't kidding. The photo I commented on made it look about the same size as a Hornet.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 14 Mar 2018, 01:22
by Dragon029
element1loop wrote:They wont put tanks and pods on it, that would really mess up its RCS and ruin its deploy speed and efficient loiter endurance.

Looks like it will be a single hose basket out of its rear, but with auto-tanking to speed things up.

Technically speaking it will use a pod; it's a strict requirement for CBARS proposals to utilise the Cobham buddy tanking pod used on the Super Hornet; this official Boeing graphic shows the pod as being mounted under the fuselage:

Image

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 14 Mar 2018, 02:58
by element1loop
Thanks for the clarification D. I suppose that makes it much quicker to swap out and replace a malfunctioning or damaged system to get it back in the air quickly. Makes sense from that angle.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 14 Mar 2018, 04:47
by rheonomic
It's one way to reduce risk (since it's already proven) and also still use existing equipment. IIRC the pod is GFE.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 14 Mar 2018, 04:49
by Corsair1963
If, they use the pump and the reel from the pod. Isn't it the same thing??? :?

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 15 Mar 2018, 01:02
by KamenRiderBlade
I really like the overall design of the Boeing option.

It just seems REALLY small for the amount of fuel they should be carrying.

They should be scaling it up to be as big as possible to maximize carry capacity in a predefined volume that is limited for Naval Aviation.

I'm thinking like the E-2 Hawkeye size when the wings are folded up.

Shouldn't this new Flying Gas Bag be able to carry more gas?

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 15 Mar 2018, 02:49
by Corsair1963
KamenRiderBlade wrote:I really like the overall design of the Boeing option.

It just seems REALLY small for the amount of fuel they should be carrying.

They should be scaling it up to be as big as possible to maximize carry capacity in a predefined volume that is limited for Naval Aviation.

I'm thinking like the E-2 Hawkeye size when the wings are folded up.

Shouldn't this new Flying Gas Bag be able to carry more gas?


Well, if it meets the mission requirements. Then it must be big enough!

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 15 Mar 2018, 05:16
by KamenRiderBlade
Corsair1963 wrote:
KamenRiderBlade wrote:I really like the overall design of the Boeing option.

It just seems REALLY small for the amount of fuel they should be carrying.

They should be scaling it up to be as big as possible to maximize carry capacity in a predefined volume that is limited for Naval Aviation.

I'm thinking like the E-2 Hawkeye size when the wings are folded up.

Shouldn't this new Flying Gas Bag be able to carry more gas?


Well, if it meets the mission requirements. Then it must be big enough!
Didn't they recently lower the mission requirements?

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 15 Mar 2018, 05:25
by KamenRiderBlade
How about some Napkin math for spit-balling some figures?:

So 15,000 lb of fuel delivered to 4-6 planes @ a range of 500 nmi, then the drone must return on it's own without refueling itself.

EMAL limit is 100,000 lb for Cat Launch so let's assume that's our Max Weight budget on takeoff.

85,000 lb for Aircraft structure + internal fuel for itself.

What ratio do you think they can get away with Structural Weight, to Internal Fuel Weight with room to grow?

Assuming Stealth is still a requirement, so no Propeller power plants of any sort!.

The Air Frame must fit in a E-2 Hawk-Eye space when folded up.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 15 Mar 2018, 09:05
by element1loop
Also, with two engines the size and available payload must be scaled with enough margin needed to keep it in the air in rough conditions on one engine.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 15 Mar 2018, 13:53
by sferrin
Corsair1963 wrote:
KamenRiderBlade wrote:I really like the overall design of the Boeing option.

It just seems REALLY small for the amount of fuel they should be carrying.

They should be scaling it up to be as big as possible to maximize carry capacity in a predefined volume that is limited for Naval Aviation.

I'm thinking like the E-2 Hawkeye size when the wings are folded up.

Shouldn't this new Flying Gas Bag be able to carry more gas?


Well, if it meets the mission requirements. Then it must be big enough!


Given it's probably running off a non-afterburning F414 it must have a pretty low thrust-to-weight. Even the X-47B used an F100 engine.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 15 Mar 2018, 14:56
by element1loop
"What if" they went with a non-afterburning version of F-135? Good thrust, much cheaper to design, build, maintain, far more internal volume available, efficient cruise burn.

Would they be so bold, and carry more fuel that way, in a small tanker?

Or maybe ... more bypass? ... Advent? ... strong thrust, outstanding efficiency at all altitudes and speeds ... if you could, and it was proven, you would, it's conceptually ideal.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 16 Mar 2018, 06:20
by KamenRiderBlade
I thought the spec required only 1 engine?

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 16 Mar 2018, 11:40
by element1loop
I googlated it:

Image

"... "Boeing Autonomous Systems is pleased to have the opportunity to collaborate with General Atomics on its MQ-25 proposal,” said Vice President and General Manager Chris Raymond. “We look forward to supporting GA with our aviation and autonomous experience.”

Pratt & Whitney’s high-bypass PW815 commercial engine, featuring the latest technology, will enhance GA-ASI’s offering. “Ensuring readiness for militaries around the world is core to our mission, and Pratt & Whitney is proud to offer the PW815 engine as part of General Atomics’ MQ-25 program,” said Military Engines President Matthew Bromberg. “The engine represents the state-of-the-art eco-design technology, developed and refined with more than 20 years of investment and effort.” The PW815 was intentionally designed with availability in mind. It is designed to be the easiest engine in its thrust class to access and maintain. Pratt & Whitney has extensive, recent experience meeting Navy propulsion requirements on the EA-6B (J52 engine) and the F-35 (F135 engine), as well as unmanned aircraft experience from the X-47B program (F100 engine).
... "

http://www.navaldrones.com/MQ-25-Stingray.html

Pratt & Whitney PurePower® PW815GA (15,680 lbf or 69.75 kN) Engine powers new Gulfstream G600

http://www.utc.com/News/PW/Pages/Pratt- ... -Cert.aspx

Wikipedia PW815
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pratt_% ... nada_PW800

----

Thrust = 15,680 lb

I'm guessing it has two. ;-)

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 16 Mar 2018, 13:04
by sferrin
element1loop wrote:"What if" they went with a non-afterburning version of F-135? Good thrust, much cheaper to design, build, maintain, far more internal volume available, efficient cruise burn.

Would they be so bold, and carry more fuel that way, in a small tanker?

Or maybe ... more bypass? ... Advent? ... strong thrust, outstanding efficiency at all altitudes and speeds ... if you could, and it was proven, you would, it's conceptually ideal.


That thing is wayyy too small to stuff an F135 in. It barely fits in an F35.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 16 Mar 2018, 13:05
by sferrin
element1loop wrote:I googlated it:

Image

"... "Boeing Autonomous Systems is pleased to have the opportunity to collaborate with General Atomics on its MQ-25 proposal,” said Vice President and General Manager Chris Raymond. “We look forward to supporting GA with our aviation and autonomous experience.”

Pratt & Whitney’s high-bypass PW815 commercial engine, featuring the latest technology, will enhance GA-ASI’s offering. “Ensuring readiness for militaries around the world is core to our mission, and Pratt & Whitney is proud to offer the PW815 engine as part of General Atomics’ MQ-25 program,” said Military Engines President Matthew Bromberg. “The engine represents the state-of-the-art eco-design technology, developed and refined with more than 20 years of investment and effort.” The PW815 was intentionally designed with availability in mind. It is designed to be the easiest engine in its thrust class to access and maintain. Pratt & Whitney has extensive, recent experience meeting Navy propulsion requirements on the EA-6B (J52 engine) and the F-35 (F135 engine), as well as unmanned aircraft experience from the X-47B program (F100 engine).
... "

http://www.navaldrones.com/MQ-25-Stingray.html

Pratt & Whitney PurePower® PW815GA (15,680 lbf or 69.75 kN) Engine powers new Gulfstream G600

http://www.utc.com/News/PW/Pages/Pratt- ... -Cert.aspx

Wikipedia PW815
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pratt_% ... nada_PW800

----

Thrust = 15,680 lb

I'm guessing it has two. ;-)


Read it carefully. That's for the GA entry that Boeing is helping on, not for Boeing's entry.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 16 Mar 2018, 14:46
by element1loop
They're just such a helpful bunch at Boeing. :doh:

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 16 Mar 2018, 23:39
by rheonomic
KamenRiderBlade wrote:Assuming Stealth is still a requirement, so no Propeller power plants of any sort!.


LO is not a requirement of MQ-25. There are only two KPPs -- the tanking requirement and a carrier suitability requirement.

This is pretty much a price shootout, so whoever can meet the threshold requirements at the lowest cost is almost certainly going to be the winner.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 17 Mar 2018, 01:30
by blain
element1loop wrote:"What if" they went with a non-afterburning version of F-135? Good thrust, much cheaper to design, build, maintain, far more internal volume available, efficient cruise burn.

Would they be so bold, and carry more fuel that way, in a small tanker?

Or maybe ... more bypass? ... Advent? ... strong thrust, outstanding efficiency at all altitudes and speeds ... if you could, and it was proven, you would, it's conceptually ideal.


I would think cost would be an issue. They will also want an engine that is optimized for endurance. I believe one of the proposals - GA? - was supposed using an engine from Gulfstream business jet. One engine would be cheaper and more efficient. But I don't see how one engine from a business jet would be able to provide enough thrust.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 17 Mar 2018, 01:49
by blain
So what's the mission profile for a 1,000 nm strike? The F-35C has a combat radius of almost 700 nm. Do you need to refuel on ingress or can you wait until the F-35C has delivered its weapons. Waiting would likely mean moving the MQ-25A pretty close to enemy territory.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 17 Mar 2018, 05:11
by Dragon029
You'd probably want to tank them going in, just in case they run into trouble and need to burn more fuel than expected, plus also to reduce the amount of fuel burned by the MQ-25 waiting for the F-35Cs to come back.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 17 Mar 2018, 15:17
by element1loop
" ... carries a ton of gas ... advanced sensor systems and ordnance. ..."

---

Is Boeing working on a second MQ-25 drone prototype?

By: Valerie Insinna

" ... Boeing’s prototype shows its UCLASS origins, with a large, robust fuselage “boat” that could carry fuel or — as originally developed — advanced sensor systems and ordnance.

One area of concern, however, is the thin wing design, which is clearly influenced by the previous high-altitude ISR mission,” he said.

“I would expect, as the MQ-25 mission tanker program goes forward, that this prototype would evolve the wings to make them wider from their front leading edge to back and also thicker. This would make the platform more robust for sustained tanking missions as well as add additional fuel capacity to the design.”

Boeing’s MQ-25 reuses the fuselage the company originally designed for the Navy’s UCLASS program, an ISR and strike aircraft that morphed into the service's current requirement for a tanker drone. The company internally rolled out the air vehicle in 2014. (Boeing)

... Boeing’s design features a flush dorsal jet intake that supplies air to the engine, which as of yet has not been specified by the company. According to Gaddis, the company’s MQ-25 stores its fuel in tanks surrounding the engine, and the inner section of its fold-up wings are “wet,” meaning the fuel moves freely within that part of the wing.

According to the Navy’s requirements, the MQ-25 must be able to deliver 14,000 pounds of fuel at distances of 500 nautical miles from an aircraft carrier.

Gaddis said Boeing’s design meets that requirement with margin to spare, telling Defense News that it “carries a ton of gas.” But with a competition still ongoing, he declined to detail exactly how much the air vehicle can carry. ... //

... In its fiscal 2019 budget request, the Navy announced that it would begin production in FY23 with a procurement of four drones, ahead of an initial operational capability in FY26. It plans to buy 72 aircraft over the course of the program.
..."

https://www.defensenews.com/unmanned/20 ... prototype/

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 18 Mar 2018, 18:07
by wrightwing
blain wrote:So what's the mission profile for a 1,000 nm strike? The F-35C has a combat radius of almost 700 nm. Do you need to refuel on ingress or can you wait until the F-35C has delivered its weapons. Waiting would likely mean moving the MQ-25A pretty close to enemy territory.

The F-35C has a longer combat radius than almost 700nm (the A model has a ~760nm combat radius). It's closer to >800nm, with current engines. That range will increase by ~35% in the next decade. Tanking at 500nm, will extend that reach further still. Lastly, depending on the warhead size, the LRASM can hit targets as far as 1000 miles distant. That gives a CBG a pretty good reach (especially 2025 forward.)

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 18 Mar 2018, 19:43
by SpudmanWP
The last official strike range of the F-35A was listed as 669nmi in the FY2018 SAR. The F-35C's range in that same SAR was still TBD. Hopefully, the FY219 SAR (which has already been leaked to some news orgs but not published) will set an actual number (yes, I have already filed a FOIA request).

fyi, The F-354A's 760nmi range was in A2A mode which is considerably lighter than it's A2G mode.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 18 Mar 2018, 19:55
by wrightwing
SpudmanWP wrote:The last official strike range of the F-35A was listed as 669nmi in the FY2018 SAR. The F-35C's range in that same SAR was still TBD. Hopefully, the FY219 SAR (which has already been leaked to some news orgs but not published) will set an actual number (yes, I have already filed a FOIA request).

fyi, The F-354A's 760nmi range was in A2A mode which is considerably lighter than it's A2G mode.

In any case, the C should likely be at (or above) 700nm, based upon the A's range. I suspect missions with JSM or AARGM-ER will be closer to the A2A numbers.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 18 Mar 2018, 21:41
by SpudmanWP
Yes, I believe the A2G range of the C will be damn near 700nmi.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 19 Mar 2018, 05:24
by element1loop
72 x MQ-25 planned, spread among 12 x CVN = 6 MQ-25 per carrier.

Realistic embarked would be 4 x MQ-25, per CVN.

8 x MQ-25 could be embarked for attack-surge capacity at the theatre level.

One MQ-25 in, one MQ-25 back (2 tankers) would support a 4 x F-35C JSM strike out to 1,400 nm track distance in radius.

So 8 (Boeing) x MQ-25 should be able to support Hour-1 deep strikes by 16 x F-35C, from each CVN in the theatre, simultaneously.

3 x CVN could mount a long-range (1,400 nm to 1,750 nm) initial attack, by 48 x F-35C, if utilising no less than 24 x MQ-25 supporting this first wave.

Equating to a strike potential of 96 x JSM internal, and 192 x JASSM-ER external, in the first wave.

Exterrnals launched while well outside of effective LOS radar coverage, keeping F-35C RCS low, but JSM has medium-standoff also, so there's little chance of effective VHF LOS early-warning detection if flying according to F-35C ESM cueing, in conjunction with MDF data on ESM contact's effective EW range.

This equates to 288 cruise weapons in the first long-range strike from 3 x CVN.

i.e. UAI will be enabled long before 72 x MQ-25 are built, so VLO cruise weapons can be almost anything.

Alternatively, 48 x F-35C could deliver 24 x SDBII out to 1,250 nm per jet, or:

48 x 24 = 1,152 SDBII ... in the first strike wave, using 3 x CVN, and 24 x MQ-25.

So the long-range strike ratio requires 1 x MQ-25, for every 2 x F-35C.

Long-Range reach thus falls within >1,250 nm and <1,750 nm track-distance radius from the carrier (depending on range of standoff weapon used, drag and launch point).

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 20 Mar 2018, 09:09
by Corsair1963
The USN could easily surge more MQ-25's as needed to the forward deployed Carriers. At least far easier than conventional Carrier Aircraft.
:wink:

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 20 Mar 2018, 13:06
by element1loop
Corsair1963 wrote:The USN could easily surge more MQ-25's as needed to the forward deployed Carriers. At least far easier than conventional Carrier Aircraft.
:wink:


OK, I said 8 per CVN only because I have no idea if they can store and practically move around more than that viably in rapid tempo.

If so, scale accordingly.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 21 Mar 2018, 00:59
by Corsair1963
element1loop wrote:
Corsair1963 wrote:The USN could easily surge more MQ-25's as needed to the forward deployed Carriers. At least far easier than conventional Carrier Aircraft.
:wink:


OK, I said 8 per CVN only because I have no idea if they can store and practically move around more than that viably in rapid tempo.

If so, scale accordingly.



Today USN CVW's (Carrier Air Wings) operate ~ 60 aircraft. Yet, could easily accommodate 75 or more...

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 22 Mar 2018, 01:03
by wrightwing
Corsair1963 wrote:
element1loop wrote:
Corsair1963 wrote:The USN could easily surge more MQ-25's as needed to the forward deployed Carriers. At least far easier than conventional Carrier Aircraft.
:wink:


OK, I said 8 per CVN only because I have no idea if they can store and practically move around more than that viably in rapid tempo.

If so, scale accordingly.



Today USN CVW's (Carrier Air Wings) operate ~ 60 aircraft. Yet, could easily accommodate 75 or more...


They could accommodate 90+.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 22 Mar 2018, 01:12
by count_to_10
So, could a refueler fly out with a strike package, top them off, return to the carrier, refuel, launch, and make it back to give fuel to the strike package on its RTB?

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 22 Mar 2018, 01:21
by element1loop
count_to_10 wrote:So, could a refueler fly out with a strike package, top them off, return to the carrier, refuel, launch, and make it back to give fuel to the strike package on its RTB?


If it was high supersonic.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 22 Mar 2018, 01:47
by madrat
Why not cascade an extra sortie pair to refuel the MQ-25 that followed the strike package on ingress - so itself can return outside its own range - to meet with the same package on egress. In that way finding rendezvous points don't reveal the carrier location.

I'm thinking 9-12 per carrier.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 22 Mar 2018, 03:06
by rheonomic
https://twitter.com/JamesDrewNews/statu ... 0551498752

Enter the Aquarium: On Monday, March 26, @AviationWeek will exclusively reveal @LockheedMartin Skunk Works’ MQ-25 proposal for the @USNavy’s Stingray competition. Rob Weiss: "We're going out strong, we’re going out confident, and we’re playing to win." @SeaAirSpace #SAS2018

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 22 Mar 2018, 03:58
by element1loop
The requirements may not be for LO, but the manufacturer's know it has to be a LO platform to survive in the task and appear to be betting USN will understand LO is essential.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 22 Mar 2018, 05:02
by KamenRiderBlade
Hopefully they can at least meet F-117 level's of LO.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 22 Mar 2018, 06:10
by wrightwing
count_to_10 wrote:So, could a refueler fly out with a strike package, top them off, return to the carrier, refuel, launch, and make it back to give fuel to the strike package on its RTB?

Not if it's refueling at 500nm from the carrier. That's why you'd use 2 tankers. 1 in, 1 out.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 22 Mar 2018, 08:05
by Dragon029
KamenRiderBlade wrote:Hopefully they can at least meet F-117 level's of LO.

If it's being used as a tanker I doubt it; that Cobham pod isn't in any way stealthy.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 26 Mar 2018, 13:45
by Dragon029
http://aviationweek.com/defense/lockhee ... 5-stingray

Image
Image
Image
Image

No actual prototypes have been built / will be built unless Lockheed is selected, this is because the requirements were too fluid and Lockheed's MQ-25 proposal wasn't finalised in design until mid-2017.

It's single engine (engine not disclosed at this time, but likely a commercial turbofan), has 2 offset hardpoints (one for the AAR pod, another for future ISR pods, etc), the multiple sensors in the nose are for increased remote pilot situational awareness when manoeuvring on the deck, there's supposedly a sensor ball (though maybe they mean the middle-bottom aperture of the 4 in the nose) for light ISR work, it's not designed at all for stealth (Lockheed claims the flying wing is optimal for aerodynamics and fuel capacity, the wings fold between the 2nd and 3rd flaperons on each wing, it uses the F-35C's landing gear, and Lockheed is aiming for their design to meet the CBARS objective requirements in regards to fuel offload (which are still not public, but the 14,000lb at 500nmi is the threshold requirement).

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 26 Mar 2018, 16:38
by element1loop
Looks' like the Boeing version is bigger. The pod looks huge under the small LM flying-wing render. The long sleek Boeing design may have the higher internal volume, especially if they thicken and broaden the inner wet-wing as now intended. But I suspect LMs flying-wing may cruise at higher atlitudes more efficiently, burning less fuel.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 26 Mar 2018, 16:57
by SpudmanWP
The Boeing design puts all of the fuel in the fuselage while the LM design distributes it throughout the wing.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 27 Mar 2018, 01:00
by weasel1962
Fuselage may be more survivable? But I supposed the design philosophy is probably don't even get detected in the first instance.

With all the talent they have at skunk works, I wouldn't be surprised if they find someway to incorporate a pair of self defence AAMs + jammers somewhere.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 27 Mar 2018, 01:14
by citanon
Why is there a ram air turbine on the refueling pod?

Edit: oh i see, it's to power the pump.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 27 Mar 2018, 01:27
by citanon
Free associating here: would it be possible to bounce AMDR beams off of these guys to get better over the horizon radar coverage?

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 27 Mar 2018, 01:47
by Dragon029
citanon wrote:Free associating here: would it be possible to bounce AMDR beams off of these guys to get better over the horizon radar coverage?


Not really; that fuselage isn't that flat and even then you'd get a very unstable beam that can't be easily or accurately directed where you want.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 27 Mar 2018, 01:54
by rheonomic
weasel1962 wrote:But I supposed the design philosophy is probably don't even get detected in the first instance.


It's not LO. The Skunk Works proposal is that a flying wing is more efficient for the tanking mission.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 27 Mar 2018, 04:51
by element1loop
rheonomic wrote:
weasel1962 wrote:But I supposed the design philosophy is probably don't even get detected in the first instance.


It's not LO. The Skunk Works proposal is that a flying wing is more efficient for the tanking mission.


It is LO (it has many LO design features), it'just not VLO. It will probably have sealed RAM coatings as well.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 27 Mar 2018, 05:01
by element1loop
SpudmanWP wrote:The Boeing design puts all of the fuel in the fuselage while the LM design distributes it throughout the wing.


This is not the case Spud, Boeing clarified recently the current inboard wings are already wet, and intend to redesign the wing to make it both wider and thicker (presumably for better alt performance and efficiency too, not just more fuel).

viewtopic.php?p=391027#p391027

" ... that could carry fuel or — as originally developed — advanced sensor systems and ordnance.

One area of concern, however, is the thin wing design, which is clearly influenced by the previous high-altitude ISR mission,” he said.

“I would expect, as the MQ-25 mission tanker program goes forward, that this prototype would evolve the wings to make them wider from their front leading edge to back and also thicker. This would make the platform more robust for sustained tanking missions as well as add additional fuel capacity to the design. ... //

.... According to Gaddis, the company’s MQ-25 stores its fuel in tanks surrounding the engine, and the inner section of its fold-up wings are “wet,” meaning the fuel moves freely within that part of the wing. ... //

Gaddis said Boeing’s design meets that requirement with margin to spare, telling Defense News that it “carries a ton of gas.” But with a competition still ongoing, he declined to detail exactly how much the air vehicle can carry. ... //


https://www.defensenews.com/unmanned/20 ... prototype/

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 27 Mar 2018, 06:44
by citanon
Dragon029 wrote:
citanon wrote:Free associating here: would it be possible to bounce AMDR beams off of these guys to get better over the horizon radar coverage?


Not really; that fuselage isn't that flat and even then you'd get a very unstable beam that can't be easily or accurately directed where you want.


No I meant by mounting a specialized antenna / signal repeater on the UAV.

You take advantage of the ship's power output with the UAV's altitude.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 27 Mar 2018, 07:51
by element1loop
Is it possible the pod could be ejected to reduce RCS in the event a threat gets near to an MQ-25 and it needs to prevent detection and vacate area unseen to survive?

(with a ready tanker in the air, during high threat condition, to replace any MQ-25 doing that, of course)

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 27 Mar 2018, 09:43
by Dragon029
element1loop wrote:Is it possible the pod could be ejected to reduce RCS in the event a threat gets near to an MQ-25 and it needs to prevent detection and vacate area unseen to survive?

(with a ready tanker in the air, during high threat condition, to replace any MQ-25 doing that, of course)


I doubt it; the airframe may give an air of low observability, but it's not really; round leading edges, rectangular flaperons, round intake and exhaust, exposed antennas and whatever is on the rear of the fuselage inboard of the flaperons (drain ports or whatever). Part of the reason for having unmanned systems is to have them be semi-disposable; a manned S-3 is worth a whole lot more to the Navy than an unmanned MQ-25 (even if the flyaway unit cost of the MQ-25 is comparable or higher).

citanon wrote:
Dragon029 wrote:
citanon wrote:Free associating here: would it be possible to bounce AMDR beams off of these guys to get better over the horizon radar coverage?


Not really; that fuselage isn't that flat and even then you'd get a very unstable beam that can't be easily or accurately directed where you want.


No I meant by mounting a specialized antenna / signal repeater on the UAV.

You take advantage of the ship's power output with the UAV's altitude.


I would imagine that not being very cost effective; power is going to have dropped significantly by the time it reaches the drone, plus AFAIK any repeater system that's designed to be able to control and steer the re-directed beam would need phase shifters and other hardware rated for a relatively high throughput power (dictated by a specified minimum operating distance from the AMDR array), meaning that you could just add the signal generator circuitry for a little extra money and get an AESA that's similarly capable / more capable at longer ranges than a repeater array, and isn't dependent on a destroyer, etc being nearby.

The Aviation Week article actually specifically mentions:

There are two hard points on the undercarriage positioned left and right of the centerline, which affords space for the engine to be dropped and swapped without modification. The Navy’s standard Cobham air-to-air drogue refueling pod is seen mounted on the left, while the second spot can accommodate a future sensor, such as a sea-surveillance radar or signals-intelligence pod.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 27 Mar 2018, 10:31
by element1loop
Dragon029 wrote:
element1loop wrote:Is it possible the pod could be ejected to reduce RCS in the event a threat gets near to an MQ-25 and it needs to prevent detection and vacate area unseen to survive?

(with a ready tanker in the air, during high threat condition, to replace any MQ-25 doing that, of course)


I doubt it; the airframe may give an air of low observability, but it's not really; round leading edges, rectangular flaperons, round intake and exhaust, exposed antennas and whatever is on the rear of the fuselage inboard of the flaperons (drain ports or whatever). Part of the reason for having unmanned systems is to have them be semi-disposable; a manned S-3 is worth a whole lot more to the Navy than an unmanned MQ-25 (even if the flyaway unit cost of the MQ-25 is comparable or higher).


Yairbut ...bear with me. Boeing's offering for instance, is derived from a LO airframe, and then there was the fugly X-32 tech development. Given it's been a looooong time since it was announced that curved surfaces could be built as LO as RCS shaped areas, plus newer coatings, how much can we really presume about the geometry that we see, and judge the relative RCS by eye?

If it is lower RCS, it would make sense to lose the pod if aspect and signature exposure analysis indicated detection was moments away.

Anyway you look at it, survivability of tankers equals survivability of other manned systems. Disposable, sorta, but not really. No one wants to lose one unnecesarily. It's still a plane shotdown.

So I'm really asking if it would be physically possible to just lose the whole apparatus?

Because as I see it, well within the life-cycle of a Stingray, that will become an issue. And only 72 are planned.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 27 Mar 2018, 10:48
by weasel1962
Thanks for the feedback. Decided to go back to basics and read up the rationale for the MQ-25.

http://www.ga-asi.com/MQ-25
https://www.gao.gov/assets/690/686963.pdf

The general atomics site explains it clearly (although the links stink cos everytime a link is clicked, need to click back as there is no link back to the original pg).

Basically the navy's intent is for the MQ-25 is to get the F-18 out of the tanking business.

What the GAO report confirms is that the intent is to operate the MQ-25 in permissive airspace i.e. stealth is not a priority. Stealth would be a mission creep in that sense (although a logical one since why not have a tanker that can operate in contested airspace?).

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 27 Mar 2018, 11:51
by element1loop
Say you have invested heavily in becoming skilled and competitive in cheap LO aircraft design and manufacture plus missile airframes, etc., so if you are bidding to build (anything) would you not use those skills and techniques to remain current and competitive?

You have to, because you competitors sure will build in LO tec as cheaply as they can, to remain proficient and price competitive in LO.

In the 1980s people talked about carbon fibre as a sort of nudge-nudge-wink-wink 'stealth technology'. Now it's airliners and GA aircraft tech.

Point is, what you build with you keep building with, to keep good at it, and doing it cheaper each time And you do need to be price competitive, so why not get good at cheap LO structures and shapes, on an MQ-25, at every opportunity? Sure, it's 'cheap' LO, but the designs are both trying to wring out as much cheap LO as possible for the bucks.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 28 Mar 2018, 01:02
by rheonomic
The requirements say nothing about LO. This program is essentially a cost shootout (it's also fixed price, so that increases risk for the contractor). So, you keep everything as close to TRL9 as you can, reuse stuff, and design to the requirements. LO is more expensive than non-LO, so if the customer doesn't want LO, you don't go LO. Sure, keep an upgrade path open for continued development (e.g. MQ-25B), but don't propose it initially.

Go find some YF-23 engineers and ask them how designing to the requirements they thought the customer had rather than the actual customer requirements turns out.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 02 Apr 2018, 13:35
by Dragon029
http://aviationweek.com/defense/general ... vals-mq-25

Image
Image
Image

So General Atomics have developed a derivative of the Avenger for their MQ-25 proposal.

It uses a 16,000lbf PW815 and while they're not building a full prototype at this time, they have built an engine test stand featuring their MQ-25 intake and exhaust to verify models and performance figures.

More importantly, they claim that it surpasses the Navy's range and fuel offload objective requirements, they've performed deck handling demonstrations using a company-owned Avenger, they have a gesture-recognition technology for automated deck manoeuvring, they're using MQ-9 and Avenger software & subsystems for risk reduction and they're partnered with Boeing Autonomous Systems which builds the ScanEagle (and is operating in isolation to the Phantom Works team), as well as P&W, UTC, Fokker, L3, BAE Systems and Rockwell Collins. GA also claims they can work more rapidly than the 'big company' LM & Boeing competitors (being able to beat the Navy's objective delivery schedule), although I'm not sure that applies when they're actually competing with Skunk Works and Phantom Works.

Overall looks like a less-fancy but pretty solid competitor; I'm not surprised that Boeing's hedging their bets on General Atomics.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 02 Apr 2018, 17:37
by southernphantom
If looks won competitions, I'd give it to GA. That is a very nice-looking aircraft, and I suspect it will have a lot of room for growth.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 03 Apr 2018, 04:56
by element1loop
However, only Boeing have something tangible that's ready to be refined, flown and proven. It's well ahead, if the USN accelerates its schedule.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 03 Apr 2018, 07:11
by Dragon029
On the flip side, the issue with Boeing having a prototype now though is that it's still a modification of a UCLASS prototype, so if they want to not make too many design changes they could potentially have some stealth baggage that adds cost to their design and potentially some unnecessary risk like that recessed intake.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 03 Apr 2018, 07:26
by element1loop
The GA having a second pod may be unnecessary, but a welcome addition for pilots to know there's a backup. A go, no-go item.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 03 Apr 2018, 15:54
by element1loop

Who Has Advantage In U.S. Navy MQ-25 Competition?

Apr 3, 2018 James Drew

Aviation Week & Space Technology

The MQ-25’s mission is to plug carrier air wings’ “tanker gap” and preserve the fatigue life of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornets now assigned to the tanking mission by taking over the air-to-air buddy refueling role.

The Navy is the assigned lead system integrator for the MQ-25, pulling together more than 70 subsystem programs of record and weaving them together for avcarrier-suitable unmanned tanker. The Stingray effort has been designated a rapid acquisition Maritime Accelerated Capabilities Office program, along with the Large Displacement Unmanned Undersea Vehicle.

There are three major program elements for the MQ-25: the control system and connectivity segment, carrier CVN segment and air vehicle segment. There are just two key performance parameters: mission tanking and carrier suitability. All else are key system attributes.

The chosen MQ-25 must have provisions to receive fuel from other aircraft. It will come equipped with a sensor ball for “light ISR” (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) and have size, weight, power and cooling margin to carry a maritime surveillance radar.

The Navy has not specified how many MQ-25s will embark on the carrier at a time but has instead set the minimum number of refueling hoses that must be available for operations as well as a maximum “spot factor,” the amount of physical space the aircraft and any customized or peculiar support equipment can take up on the flight and hangar decks.

Existing concept refinement contracts awarded to Boeing, General Atomics, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman will continue through this spring concurrent with the down-selection.


http://aviationweek.com/defense/who-has ... ompetition


Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 08 Apr 2018, 14:01
by element1loop
Boeing unveils MQ-25 prototype, teams with Rolls Royce for engine

April 06, 2018 | Lee Hudson

ST. LOUIS -- After years of development, Boeing unveiled its prototype for the Navy's MQ-25 Stingray unmanned tanker competition and revealed the air vehicle uses the same engine as the RQ-4 Global Hawk and MQ-4C Triton. Don "BD" Gaddis, MQ-25 program director at Boeing's Phantom Works division, told reporters here April 5 he is pleased the company is using the Rolls Royce AE 3007 engine for its MQ-25 prototype.


[paywall]

https://insidedefense.com/daily-news/bo ... yce-engine

----

In 1995,the AE3007H was selected by Teledyne Ryan for the Tier II+ UAV, requiring long-endurance at up to 70,000 ft (21,300 m). It was tested at these altitudes in February 1996 at the Arnold Engineering Development Center in Tennessee and the first was delivered in May 1996. ... AE 3007H (F137): Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton/RQ-4 Global Hawk

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rolls-Royce_AE_3007

----

Civilian AE 3007A
Max [b[takeoff[/b] thrust = 9,440 lbf
Applications: Embraer ERJ 135 / 140 / 145; EMB 145; Embraer Legacy 600/650; Cessna CitationX.

Military AE 3007H
Thrust: AE 3007H: 9,500 lbs
Bypass Ratio: 5

AE 3007H $3.76 million (2016)

" ... The AE 3007 is derived from the AE 1107C-Liberty turboshaft engine used on the Bell Helicopter Textron/Boeing V-22 Osprey. It was initially developed to create a turbofan member of the AE common core family for the regional jet and medium/large business jet markets but has subsequently been developed for military aircraft applications. A single AE 3007H engine allows the Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk to fly at 65,000 feet while providing over 32 hours. ... The AE 3007 also powers Germany's Euro Hawk and NATO's Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) aircraft. ..."

http://www.fi-powerweb.com/Engine/Rolls ... -3007.html

----

Much more fan than a turbojet ... plus dilutes thermal sig.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 09 Apr 2018, 18:17
by gideonic
Lockheed proposal

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 09 Apr 2018, 18:28
by element1loop
Boeing's MQ-25 Prototype 'Ready to Fly' As Industry Awaits Contract Decision

4/6/2018
By Vivienne Machi

...“We have done almost everything short of flying, which we will do shortly after [contract] award.”

Naval Air Systems Command is pushing to award a fixed-price contract to one of the three competitors — Boeing, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems or Lockheed Martin — to develop and build four aircraft by the end of this summer, less than a year after proposals were sent in, he said. .. /

“Normally it takes NAVAIR about 18 months to do a source selection like this. … They’re going to do it in six months,” he said. “When the CNO said he wanted to accelerate the schedule, he meant it.” .../

Procurement is slated to begin in 2023, with initial operating capability expected in 2026, according to the Navy. .../

It will carry a 330-gallon fuel tank and a Cobham air refueling pod.

Boeing recently selected Rolls Royce to provide its AE 3007 engine for the airplane, which has over 73 million flight hours under its belt and is already installed on the Air Force’s RQ-4 Global Hawk and the Navy’s MQ-4C Triton unmanned aerial systems, Gaddis said. The company has already conducted low- and high-power testing with the engine installed on the T-1 prototype.

... which included a deck handling demonstration completed in February, he noted. Boeing worked to make the demo as accurate as possible, painting a taxiway to replicate a carrier flight deck and performing various tasks with the prototype aircraft for the Navy to evaluate.

“We’re doing it with the brakes, the tires, the nose wheel steering, the launch port — all of that is the same” as what will be on the aircraft should Boeing win the competition, Gaddis said. .../


http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/ ... d-decision

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 10 Apr 2018, 09:35
by element1loop

Lockheed announces industry partners on Navy’s MQ-25 tanker drone offering


By: Valerie Insinna

Lockheed Martin’s unmanned MQ-25 tanker ... General Electric F404 turbofan engine that powers the Super Hornet and the F-35C landing gear ...

“That engine is already on the carrier and they would have everything they would need to support the MQ-25, no innovation required — extremely important in reducing the risk and overall cost,” Babione said. ...

Lockheed liked the higher range and low fuel consumption of a flying wing design, Weiss said. Another Lockheed official on the program added that most tankers store fuel in its wings, “but all we are is a wing,” potentially allowing it to carry more fuel.

Another big departure from its competitors is Lockheed’s sales approach, which has showcased the aircraft’s room to grow into other applications, including a penetrating strike mission.

A video revealed during the briefing Monday showed Lockheed’s MQ-25 launching two AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapons from the hard points that would usually carry its drop tank and refueling pod.

Meanwhile, while the MQ-25 is not a stealth aircraft, it’s a “a plane form that would lend itself to a low observable design,” Weiss said, and could be modified to be LO in the future if the Navy wishes. ...


https://www.defensenews.com/digital-sho ... -offering/

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 11 Apr 2018, 02:06
by zerion

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 11 Apr 2018, 06:26
by Dragon029
3:15 - General Atomics claims that their aircraft will more than double the strike range of the carrier air wing; that's pretty impressive considering that Lockheed's promo video said their Stingray would boost a fighter's combat radius by about 50%.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 11 Apr 2018, 08:43
by element1loop
Dragon029 wrote:3:15 - General Atomics claims that their aircraft will more than double the strike range of the carrier air wing; that's pretty impressive considering that Lockheed's promo video said their Stingray would boost a fighter's combat radius by about 50%.


OK, but "strike range" is different to "combat radius", depending on weapon used. If they mean LRASM on SH, they could be more or less correct, even if fuel off-load was approx the same from all MQ-25 offerings. Grain of salt I think.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 11 Apr 2018, 10:24
by zero-one
Okay so why is the intake there again??

http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/19 ... nker-drone

Comments by the author:
Flush inlet designs like this are notoriously problematic, especially during flight at elevated angles of attack—such as when landing aboard an aircraft carrier. Boundary layer airflow can also be a major issue, and separating it from the fuselage to provide stable, high volume air to the engine throughout the aircraft's flight envelope would seem to be highly problematic with such a design.

Just last week, Boeing announced that the engine used for their MQ-25 competitor is the Rolls Royce AE3007N
the same proven powerplant that is used on the RQ-4 Global Hawk and MQ-4C Triton.
Yet those high-flying unmanned aircraft provide a much more generous air intake to provide airflow to their AE3007s than what Boeing has devised for their MQ-25

A variant of the 9,000lb thrust class engine is also used on the Citation X and the Embraer 145. It's worth noting that General Atomics' entrant into the MQ-25 contest will be powered by the Pratt and Whitney PW815 turbofan that will be configured to generate 16,000lbs of thrust. How exactly Boeing intends on getting away with 43% less thrust while accomplishing the same mission is puzzling, but General Atomics does say they built extra margin into their design. Still, that's a big and peculiar thrust differential.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 11 Apr 2018, 11:22
by KamenRiderBlade
Is there anyway that Boeing can modify the fairings for the existing pod to be more "Stealthy / LO"? If the bloody pod is going to be stuck hanging outside due to requirements, wouldn't it make sense to give it a little bit of "Stealth Shaping / RAM coating?"

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 11 Apr 2018, 11:25
by KamenRiderBlade
zero-one wrote:Okay so why is the intake there again??
I can only assume for LO reasons.
It wasn't going to be on the bottom where ground radar can see it's reflection.
It wasn't going to be on the sides or in front where it could potentially reflect something back while refueling.
All that was left was the top where something flying high and above "Might" see a reflection due to a perfect angle matching which is unlikely.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 11 Apr 2018, 14:28
by zero-one
KamenRiderBlade wrote:It wasn't going to be on the bottom where ground radar can see it's reflection.
It wasn't going to be on the sides or in front where it could potentially reflect something back while refueling.
All that was left was the top where something flying high and above "Might" see a reflection due to a perfect angle matching which is unlikely.


I'm Worried about performance,
They're using a weaker engine, they are restricting the airflow (specially when landing) and they still need to carry 14,000 lbs of gas to give, 500 nm away.

What if they were not able to give the gas away and need to land under heavy weather conditions.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 11 Apr 2018, 16:03
by element1loop
zero-one wrote:I'm Worried about performance,
They're using a weaker engine, they are restricting the airflow (specially when landing) and they still need to carry 14,000 lbs of gas to give, 500 nm away.

What if they were not able to give the gas away and need to land under heavy weather conditions.



I included this on the previous page.

Military AE 3007H
Thrust: AE 3007H: 9,500 lbs
Bypass Ratio: 5


That's not just a 'high-bypass' turbofan, that's a very high-bypass turbofan.

Bypass that high does this; 5:1, which is to say, for every six packets of air entering the fan, only 1 packet (16.6%) is combusted in the core to drive the fan.

It is a ducted fan engine, driven by a small turbine.

The high speed fan then pushes out the rest of the unburned air (83.3%) through the outer-core duct.

Sound familiar?

It should be, as basically the AE 3007H will be as thrust responsive as a turboprop at low altitude, and low speed, in hot conditions.

In other words, it'll have much safer margins, due far better thrust and speed control than a typical mil jet engine on approach or departure.

It burns just 16.6 % of incident air, so is that much less prone to breathing combustion difficulties to keep that big efficient fan turning with plenty of speed, to both suck in the needed core air, and blast out the remainder like a large ducted turboprop.

High bypass engines, even near 3:1 ratio, are known for their characteristic high thrust and added stability at slow air and ground speeds.

I'm fairly confident Boeing got this inlet geometry right given they already completed low and high thrust ground testing, which no doubt included wind tunnel simulated high AOA approach, at edge of envelope for ISA and flight conditions.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 11 Apr 2018, 16:32
by Dragon029
element1loop wrote:OK, but "strike range" is different to "combat radius", depending on weapon used. If they mean LRASM on SH, they could be more or less correct, even if fuel off-load was approx the same from all MQ-25 offerings. Grain of salt I think.

I'm not certain that's what they meant by strike range (being a trade-show floor interview, people misspeak), but regardless, using that definition of 'strike range', an % increase in strike range is more valuable than an equal % increase in combat radius.

Let's say a Rhino has a 450nmi combat radius and the LRASM reaches out another 300nmi for a 'strike range' of 750nmi.

If we increase the combat radius of the Rhino by 1.5x to 675nmi, the 'strike range' has then become 975nmi, which is only 1.3x greater than the previous 750nmi.

Or to flip it around; if we're increasing the 'strike range' by 2x instead, we go from 750nmi to 1500nmi. Take away the 300nmi from the weapon's engagement range and you have a combat radius of 1200nmi, which is 2.67x greater than the original 450nmi.

Remember, General Atomic is proposing an aircraft powered by an engine that's roughly twice as powerful as both Boeing and Lockheed's engine choices. It might not be as low-drag as the other 2 proposals, but I fully expect it to carry considerably more fuel than its competitors; it'll certainly be interesting to see what it's spot factor is (though certainly GA have made it meet threshold requirements in that regard; it does feature both folding wings and empennage).

As for Boeing and their inlet design, I'd assume for LO reasons as well, although if they've engineered it well (and I think it's fair to assume they will have) it could also reduce drag and overall fuel efficiency. During approach I'd also note that those chines around the fuselage will help prevent flow separation and will help feed the inlet. As Kamen said though; even if they wanted a recessed intake for reduced drag, having one on the bottom still would have been better if LO wasn't a concern.

As for making stealthy pylons, AAR pods, etc, I don't see much point; keep the "MQ-25A" as a basic tanker / slightly LO ISR platform and make a follow-on MQ-25B that has structural modifications for proper LO / VLO (more swept wings for Boeing / GA, redesigned inlets, better fuselage shaping for Lockheed / GA, internal weapon / utility payload bays, etc).

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 12 Apr 2018, 00:28
by element1loop
Boeing also claims to carry way more fuel than the required 14,000 lb, @ 500 nm radius, plus they plan to further widen and thicken their existing inboard wet-wing. While LM intimates they can just thicken their wing design, as required. So I don't see a capacity advantage here. A higher performance engine, for a larger heavier jet, also means a much higher fuel flow rate, so, grain of salt.

I read this last night, a very interesting bit of text which indicated LO perfornance and LO potential of a tanker family may become more important.

Future of Air Tanking: The Perspective of the 86th Wing Commander

04/11/2018

Robbin Laird

“The future of a large tanker will be to support more distributed and dispersed operations and we will be looking at small tactical refuelers providing fuel to tactical air combat assets – these tactical assets will likely be cheaper, unmanned and more expendable.

“That is where A3R comes in.

“I see an advantage in the automatic boom because it reduces the workload on the operator who in the future may be managing or controlling formations of UAV during AAR.

“As we learn to use this technology, it will be part of shaping the skill sets to transition to the next phase, of a large tanker replenishing smaller, automated tactical refuelers.

Another aspect of change associated with KC-30A is part of the evolution within the battlespace as seen by Group Captain Pesce.

Namely, the proliferation of communications and sensor technology throughout the air combat force will include larger platforms such as C-17 and KC-30A, by including new SATCOM and other linkage technologies.

This is designed to support not only a dispersed force but also provide network redundancy in a disrupted and contested EM spectrum.


https://sldinfo.com/2018/04/the-kc-30a- ... commander/


So, automated RAAF rear of fight boom-tanking, of a small automated drone tanker, with a podded hose basket? Or does this foreshadow another small tactical drone-tanker, but with a boom, for RAAF and USAF use, with F-35As?

Attritable tactical drone auto-tankers ... wow ... decentralised/distributed with more backup comms for degradation redundancy.

We're not in Kansas any more..

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 11 Aug 2018, 14:00
by forbin
SpudmanWP wrote:The last official strike range of the F-35A was listed as 669nmi in the FY2018 SAR. The F-35C's range in that same SAR was still TBD. Hopefully, the FY219 SAR (which has already been leaked to some news orgs but not published) will set an actual number (yes, I have already filed a FOIA request).

fyi, The F-354A's 760nmi range was in A2A mode which is considerably lighter than it's A2G mode.

Previous numbers right now more reliable for CR with only internal fuel ofc
F-35A 1080 or 1090 km new 1240 *
F-35B 830 km 935 km
F-35C 1110 km 1240 km

do a big difference 10+ % new reliable now ?
*https://fr.scribd.com/document/375751665/JSF-Selected-Acquisition-Report-FY19-2017

These new was yet published last year in FY 2018 President budget

How many with 2 Fts of 1612 l surely 150 - 200 km in more

Exist a special topic for range especialy ?



About futur embarked tanker there are completely different and much more limited than true tanke KC-135* or other thay can add some fuel but few in more F-35 host 8.9 tons !

The Navy's goal for the aircraft is to be able to deliver 15,000 lb (6,800 kg) of fuel total to 4 to 6 airplanes at a range of [i]500 nmi (580 mi; 930 km)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MQ-25_Stingray[/i]

F/A-18E/F host 6.8 and 6.3 tons

* Total 92 tons 17 tons transferable to 2000 kms the max to short range seems 68 tons ? other common tankers host 70 -160 tons about 2/3 transferable dépends distance Chinese H-6U is the less capable with only 36 tons, 18.5 transferable

USN had before
KA-3 with 13 tons the total in general refueled to 460 mn
KA-6D with 11.7 tons in 1990's 4 by CAW
F/A-18E/F host 12 tons with 4 FTs

So a MQ-25 with IIRC 6.8 tons don't refuel completeley a F-35C ... in fact he refuel in part some F-35C

For embarked tanker numbers in futur Sqn with 12 and about 10 + for training, in reserve USN have 9 CAW do about 6 by Sqn which can refuel 4 F-35C a flight or in part 50 % about 9 almost a Sqn or 6 or 12 F/A-18E/F

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 14 Aug 2018, 00:48
by Corsair1963
Personally, I would like to see Boeing win the T-X Advanced Trainer and Lockheed Martin the MQ-25A Contests. Just saying...
:wink:

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 14 Aug 2018, 02:56
by sferrin
Corsair1963 wrote:Personally, I would like to see Boeing win the T-X Advanced Trainer and Lockheed Martin the MQ-25A Contests. Just saying...
:wink:


I'd swap that.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 14 Aug 2018, 03:58
by Corsair1963
The Boeing T-X is more advance and likely cheaper to operate overall than the T-50 based trainer from Lockheed Martin. In addition the Lockheed Martin MQ-25A Flying Wing is more Efficient and Stealthier than the Boeing Model. So, personally I'll stick with my choices...
:wink:

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 14 Aug 2018, 07:38
by zero-one
How exactly is Boeing's T-X more advanced?

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 14 Aug 2018, 07:52
by Corsair1963
Boeing T-X is an all-new aircraft designed specifically for the U.S. Air Force training mission.

Boeing’s design takes advantage of the latest technologies, tools and manufacturing techniques. It is an advanced aircraft designed to evolve as technologies, missions and training needs change.

The design is more affordable and flexible than older, existing aircraft.

“Our T-X is real, ready and the right choice for training pilots for generations to come,” said Boeing Defense, Space & Security President and CEO Leanne Caret.

The Boeing T-X aircraft has one engine, twin tails, stadium seating and an advanced cockpit with embedded training. The system also offers state-of-the-art ground-based training and a maintenance-friendly design for long-term supportability.

https://www.boeing.com/features/2016/09 ... 09-16.page


https://www.defensenews.com/breaking-ne ... -aircraft/


https://www.boeing.com/features/2017/11 ... tters.page

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 14 Aug 2018, 08:04
by Corsair1963
Trade off here is the Boeing T-X is a "clean sheet" design. So, it has more risk than an existing design like the T-50. Yet, that risk is modest. While, the Boeing design offers a more custom approach and lower life cycle cost over the life of the program....


Honestly, I personally think it's odds of winning are good....(or at least I hope)

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 14 Aug 2018, 10:13
by quicksilver
Yeah, it’s more advanced cuz BA said so. And, there will be no ‘discovery’ in development or fight test.

:salute:

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 20 Aug 2018, 05:31
by KamenRiderBlade
I'm honestly rooting for Boeing for the T-X competition, it's design makes the most sense in TCO & customizability and looks the best in terms of capability and aesthetics.

The Boeing T-X can be a future budget aircraft to sell to 2nd & 3rd world nations like the F-5 back in the day.

As far as the MQ-25, the Boeing or General Atomics design are the only two I'd consider.

The Lockheed Martin Flying wing seems to shift too hard to LO over fuel capacity and operational endurance in comparison to the other two.

The Boeing design seems to have enough LO built in while having really good fuel capacity / endurance.

The General Atomics design seems to favor raw endurance and fuel capacity with minimal if any LO.

That's why I'm thinking Boeing has a slightly higher chance then General Atomics in this category.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 20 Aug 2018, 08:58
by Corsair1963
KamenRiderBlade wrote:I'm honestly rooting for Boeing for the T-X competition, it's design makes the most sense in TCO & customizability and looks the best in terms of capability and aesthetics.

The Boeing T-X can be a future budget aircraft to sell to 2nd & 3rd world nations like the F-5 back in the day.

As far as the MQ-25, the Boeing or General Atomics design are the only two I'd consider.

The Lockheed Martin Flying wing seems to shift too hard to LO over fuel capacity and operational endurance in comparison to the other two.

The Boeing design seems to have enough LO built in while having really good fuel capacity / endurance.

The General Atomics design seems to favor raw endurance and fuel capacity with minimal if any LO.

That's why I'm thinking Boeing has a slightly higher chance then General Atomics in this category.


I am with you with the Boeing T-X. As for the MQ-25A contest. I would be surprised if the Boeing and/or General Atomics Contenders offer better performance than Lockheed Martins offering. As flying wings are very efficient. Plus, that doesn't take into account their lower RCS. Which, is a must regardless what the Government would like us to believe.......

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 23 Aug 2018, 10:01
by KamenRiderBlade
Corsair1963 wrote:I am with you with the Boeing T-X. As for the MQ-25A contest. I would be surprised if the Boeing and/or General Atomics Contenders offer better performance than Lockheed Martins offering. As flying wings are very efficient. Plus, that doesn't take into account their lower RCS. Which, is a must regardless what the Government would like us to believe.......
But the problem with the tanker is what mix of Tanker to Stealth ratio is suitable?

I know all 3 competitors won't release how much past the min spec requirements for unloadable fuel they can handle, but you have to have some Stealth factor.

Each one of the competitor is unique in that "Maximum Refueling past Min Spec required vs How much Stealth (Despite the Government saying it's not important, we all know it is)"

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 31 Aug 2018, 02:11
by blain
Does anyone have any thoughts on a mission profile for a flight of 4 F-35s?

Top off with 2 MQ-25s close to the carrier after launch? Depending how much fuel the F-35 burns to get to altitude.

Then a top off at 500 nm or can they wait until they egress?

I am thinking you will need at least four tankers to support a 1,000 nm strike by a flight of F-35s.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 31 Aug 2018, 03:10
by popcorn
A strategic win for Boeing. Positions it for follow-on Navy UAS programs.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 31 Aug 2018, 05:41
by weasel1962
I see it as a hedge for Boeing. If USAF awards KC-Y / KC-Z to Boeing, I doubt Boeing will push this very much to the air force in order not to dilute KC-46 sales. If KC-Y goes to someone else i.e. Airbus, then I'd bet Boeing will pitch MQ-25 as a potential game-changer for air tanking. Hopefully navy will learn from the air force regarding cost overruns.

It would be interesting to see what kind of changes to the prototype would be made, if any. Will they keep the pair of 31-301s?

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 31 Aug 2018, 07:17
by wrightwing
blain wrote:Does anyone have any thoughts on a mission profile for a flight of 4 F-35s?

Top off with 2 MQ-25s close to the carrier after launch? Depending how much fuel the F-35 burns to get to altitude.

Then a top off at 500 nm or can they wait until they egress?

I am thinking you will need at least four tankers to support a 1,000 nm strike by a flight of F-35s.

That depends on how much fuel the MQ-25 can offload. The requirement was 14,000lbs/500nm, but it's been said that it carries more than that even in its current form. With thicker wings, the fuel load will increase further. 2 tankers at 500nm could give each F-35 at least 7,000lbs of fuel (and possibly 8,000 to 10,000lbs.) On the return trip, they'll be a lot lighter without ordnance. That might just be enough for the entire trip, with a third tanker on standby, in case anyone needs some extra fuel.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 31 Aug 2018, 09:56
by weasel1962
Each 31-301 carries 300 gal. Could that add 5000 lbs of fuel with 2?

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 31 Aug 2018, 13:18
by hornetfinn
I could really see some other roles for MQ-25 besides being a tanker and light ISR platform. ASW and dedicated ISR versions definitely come to mind. It could also replace or complement Growlers as future EW/ESM platform due to ability to carry a lot of equipment and loiter for a long time. It might be possible to make a fully automatic AEW/C2 version. Of course it could act as a BACN node, but that might not need dedicated version. It would also be interesting to develop a cargo variant to replace C-2 Greyhound.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 31 Aug 2018, 15:24
by hythelday
hornetfinn wrote: It would also be interesting to develop a cargo variant to replace C-2 Greyhound.


How will that thing deliver a F135? :shock:

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 01 Sep 2018, 00:59
by KamenRiderBlade

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 01 Sep 2018, 21:23
by forbin
wrightwing wrote:
blain wrote:Does anyone have any thoughts on a mission profile for a flight of 4 F-35s?

Top off with 2 MQ-25s close to the carrier after launch? Depending how much fuel the F-35 burns to get to altitude.

Then a top off at 500 nm or can they wait until they egress?

I am thinking you will need at least four tankers to support a 1,000 nm strike by a flight of F-35s.

That depends on how much fuel the MQ-25 can offload. The requirement was 14,000lbs/500nm, but it's been said that it carries more than that even in its current form. With thicker wings, the fuel load will increase further. 2 tankers at 500nm could give each F-35 at least 7,000lbs of fuel (and possibly 8,000 to 10,000lbs.) On the return trip, they'll be a lot lighter without ordnance. That might just be enough for the entire trip, with a third tanker on standby, in case anyone needs some extra fuel.


14000 lbs i am French so do 6,350 fuel tons :)
F-18E host 6,8 t/F 6,3 t int + 5,8 ext
F-35C : 8.9 tons + after 5.1 t ext

So MQ-25 dépends the number by Sqn and CAW i think surely possible 6 only complete in fuel about a VFA to maximum no comparison with a true big tanker ofc

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 01 Sep 2018, 21:29
by forbin
U.S. Navy Awards Boeing Contract to Design & Build MQ-25A Tanker Drone

The U.S. Navy awarded a contract to The Boeing Co. Aug. 30 for the MQ-25A Stingray, the first operational carrier-based unmanned refueling aircraft. This fixed-price-incentive-firm-target contract with a ceiling price of $805.3 million provides for the design, development, fabrication, test, delivery, and support of four MQ-25A unmanned air vehicles, including integration into the carrier air wing for an initial operational capability by 2024.

...

https://www.navyrecognition.com/index.p ... drone.html

MQ-25A Stingray.jpg

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 03 Sep 2018, 08:45
by noth
So with 72 to be ordered, how many per CAW would you think they'd assigned?

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 03 Sep 2018, 09:52
by Corsair1963
Not really surprising but disappointing nonetheless. As the Lockheed Martin MQ-25A had far more potential..... "IMHO" :bang:


MQ-25-unmanned-tanker.png

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 03 Sep 2018, 11:31
by hornetfinn
hythelday wrote:
hornetfinn wrote: It would also be interesting to develop a cargo variant to replace C-2 Greyhound.


How will that thing deliver a F135? :shock:


I was thinking slightly larger and possibly more powerful variant for cargo ops but with otherwise similar layout. Of course USN has Ospreys for that now, but maybe in the future they could use MQ-25 type UAS for that role.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 04 Sep 2018, 20:29
by blain
noth wrote:So with 72 to be ordered, how many per CAW would you think they'd assigned?


I think previously they mentioned six, which isn't that much when you consider at least 1 will need to support cyclic ops.

Re: MQ-25 US Navy Stingray Program

Unread postPosted: 05 Sep 2018, 02:28
by Corsair1963
blain wrote:
noth wrote:So with 72 to be ordered, how many per CAW would you think they'd assigned?


I think previously they mentioned six, which isn't that much when you consider at least 1 will need to support cyclic ops.



Well, the MQ-25's don't have pilots and can be turned around rather quickly. So, considering only half our Carriers are ever deployed at a single time. (usually less) Means we should have more than enough Tankers to go around...