F-35 and X-47B

The F-35 compared with other modern jets.
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Unread post14 Aug 2017, 20:31

Future C2 system key to drones flying off Navy carriers
14 Aug 2017 Adam Stone

"The Navy says it is moving full-throttle on plans to fly unmanned aircraft off of carriers.

The planned MQ-25A will serve primarily as a refueling platform, with the capacity to carry out some intelligence missions. The first unmanned craft to fly off a carrier, it is slated to deploy on the aircraft carriers Dwight D. Eisenhower and George H.W. Bush as early as 2019.

At the heart of the effort is development of a command-and-control system known as the Unmanned Carrier Aviation Mission Control System, or UMCS. Integrating this into the existing Navy communications infrastructure is “the first step” in ensuring successful operations, said Capt. Beau Duarte, the Unmanned Carrier Aviation program manager.

The service is reporting progress on that front. Planners executed a successful demonstration this spring and say they can now utilize the mission-control system located aboard an aircraft carrier to control and transmit information to the future UAV. Ongoing development of this C2 system is key to long-term success of the MQ-25A mission.

Much of the C2 hardware platform derives from other existing Navy assets, including the Naval Sea Systems Command’s Common Display System and the Common Processing System from the guided-missile destroyer DDG-1000 and other Aegis ships. By sticking with known systems, the service says it sought to ensure compatibility and availability.

“These components were chosen to leverage existing capabilities, infrastructure and supply chains. They are also shipboard certified for use in the dynamic [carrier] environment,” Duarte said.

In designing the UMCS, planners also tapped the Navy’s Common Control System, or CCS, a software architecture managed by the Strike Planning and Execution Systems office of Naval Air Systems Command. CCS provides “an open-software architecture that is agile and scalable<script id="gpt-impl-0.24085685475761642" src="https://securepubads.g.doubleclick.net/gpt/pubads_impl_142.js"></script> to support evolving requirements,” Duarte said.

The system will support the UAV’s primary mission control, mission planning, dynamic airspace, external messaging and communication, and sensor product payload. Even as the development team has leaned heavily on existing, internal C2 assets, it has also left open the window for outside participation.

While CCS covers most common functions, planners anticipate incorporating third-party software to carry out vehicle-specific capabilities. They say the ability to successfully integrate such outside tools has been a key success factor in the program so far.

To test the capabilities of their evolving system, developers have used the command systems to operate a mobile aviation interoperability lab — a truck that’s been wired up to simulate the responses of a UAV. The team has tested connectivity between the simulated UAV systems and shipboard network systems.

The team has also verified the ability to exchange data between the systems, to share dynamic mission-planning in information, and even to operate electro-optical/infrared cameras.

“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,” Jaimie Grubb, UMCS team lead, said in a Navy release.

The Navy aims to spend more than $2 billion on unmanned refueling platform development through 2021, according to the Government Accountability Office. Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson told the Senate Committee on Armed Services last fall that the MQ-25 is “the leading edge” of the effort to modernize the service.

“I am driving this as quickly as possible so we can capitalize on the step increase in capability [that] unmanned systems will offer us in the future,” he said...."

Photo:"A team from the U.S. Navy's Naval Air Systems Command simulates the operation of the future MQ-25 during a demo of the Unmanned Carrier Aviation Mission Control System at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. (Navy)" https://www.armytimes.com/resizer/fX3wJ ... uality(100)/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-mco.s3.amazonaws.com/public/JL6QOVUZTBFVHDGI72BZCVYELM.jpg


Source: http://www.defensenews.com/c2-comms/201 ... -carriers/
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Unread post01 Sep 2017, 01:49

MQ-25 Stingray Unmanned Aerial Tanker Could Almost Double Strike Range of U.S. Carrier Air Wing
31 Aug 2017 Sam LaGrone [BEST READ it all at source]

"The inclusion of the unmanned MQ-25 Stingray aerial tanker into the U.S. carrier air wing could increase the effective strike range of the strike fighters aboard aircraft carriers by up to 400 nautical miles, the commander of Naval Air Forces told U.S. Naval Institute’s Proceedings. [ https://www.usni.org/magazines/proceedings ]

Air Boss Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker said the service’s goal was for the Navy’s first operational carrier-based unmanned aerial vehicle to be able to deliver about 15,000 pounds of fuel at 500 nautical miles from the carrier to the air wing’s strike fighters, which would almost double their operational range.

“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,” Shoemaker said in an exclusive interview 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 strike range of a carrier air wing is now only about 450 nautical miles – the effective unrefueled radius of a Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. The additional 300 to 400 miles could potentially extend the reach of the fighters up to or beyond 700 nautical miles....

...In addition to the extension of the air wing’s lethal radius, Shoemaker said the Stingray would take pressure off the current Super Hornets that refuel the air wing. At the moment, 20 to 30 percent of Super Hornet missions are for refueling other aircraft.

The Super Hornet has two refueling missions — recovery and mission tanking — that will be taken over by the Stingrays. Mission tanking extends the operational range of aircraft hundreds of miles from the strike group while recovery tanking missions happen close to the carrier and are a hedge against aircraft running out of fuel during landing.

“The MQ-25 will be much more efficient than the Rhino (Super Hornets), and it will give us the ability to get out there and refuel four to six airplanes at range,” Shoemaker told Proceedings. “It will also work as a recovery tanker for cyclic ops, with the ability to cover at least three cycles. Launch one airplane, and it goes overhead, drops back down for the recovery, and goes back up to altitude to wait for the next recovery. We will not be putting any wear and tear on Super Hornets for the tanking mission, which is good. … Right now, the focus is to make it a tanker to extend the reach of the air wing and reduce some of the fatigue life expenditure on our Super Hornets. The only tankers we have in the air wing are the Rhinos.”

“We also have precision landing modes we are delivering in Super Hornets and [EA-18G] Growlers that will make landing on the carrier much easier. I think the combination of having extra gas airborne and the precision landing modes will reduce the number of tankers needed because the air wing’s ability to recover much more efficiently,” he said....

...Shoemaker’s comments are the most specific information yet on the Navy’s refueling goals for MQ-25A program. Naval Air Systems Command has been more vague on the Navy’s goal for Stingray....

...NAVAIR released a draft request for proposal for the MQ-25A’s air segment, which will be the last refinement of the program before an anticipated fall full RFP to competitors Northrop Grumman, General Atomics, Boeing and Lockheed Martin. The Navy is developing the datalinks and ground control system for the effort.

USNI News understands that Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson wants the first Stingrays operating from carriers as early as 2019."

Source: https://news.usni.org/2017/08/31/mq-25- ... r-air-wing
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Unread post01 Sep 2017, 03:10

15,000 lbs. of fuel is about 2,344 gals. at 6.4 lbs. per gallon. It would take up about 313.3 cubic feet of space. That's about a cube of 6 ft. 10 inches on a side. Wonder if the X-47B has that much volume available plus that required for fueling it's own engine?
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Unread post01 Sep 2017, 03:29

WOT if you go back one page of this thread to here: viewtopic.php?f=55&t=20468&p=373599&hilit=pitcha#p373599

STINGray has to use current ARF equipment so drop tanks being carried is not a stretch but it is wonderful to speculate without any details eh. AND... viewtopic.php?f=55&t=20468&p=372187&hilit=aerial#p372187
"...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.”..."
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Unread post01 Sep 2017, 13:24

wolfpak wrote:15,000 lbs. of fuel is about 2,344 gals. at 6.4 lbs. per gallon. It would take up about 313.3 cubic feet of space. That's about a cube of 6 ft. 10 inches on a side. Wonder if the X-47B has that much volume available plus that required for fueling it's own engine?


It has two weapons bays.
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Unread post13 Sep 2017, 08:59

Navy Unmanned Aerial Refueling System:
Acquisition Addresses Validated Requirements and Reflects a Knowledge-Based Approach
06 Sep 2017 GAO-17-647

"FAST FACTS
The Navy is planning to begin its MQ-25 program, which is a drone with two key requirements: it should be able to operate from an aircraft carrier, and refuel other aircraft while in flight.

We found that the Navy's planned approach to acquire the MQ-25 generally looks sound. With the program still quite early in its life cycle, program success will largely depend on the Navy’s ability to (1) make a business case for starting development in 2018, and (2) effectively implement its planned approach.

What GAO Found
The MQ-25 requirements have been validated by DOD's Joint Requirements Oversight Council. The Navy has identified two primary requirements: carrier suitability, which means the ability to operate on and from the Navy's aircraft carriers; and air refueling, which is the ability to provide fuel to other carrier-based assets while in flight. While the MQ-25 system is also expected to possess intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities; those capabilities are not considered primary requirements. According to the program's acquisition strategy, the MQ-25 system will consist of three segments: the Air segment; a control and connectivity segment, which will interface with existing command and control systems; and an aircraft carrier segment, which will make modifications to upgrade existing carrier infrastructure. These three segments will be managed and integrated by the Navy's Unmanned Carrier Aviation program office, acting as a Lead Systems Integrator (see figure below)."

GRAPHIC: Integration of Essential Segments of the MQ-25 System https://www.gao.gov/extracts/611c77607b ... image4.png


Source: Highlights & Full report PDFs here: https://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-17-647
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Unread post11 Oct 2017, 10:03

Navy Releases Final MQ-25 Stingray RFP; General Atomics Bid Revealed
10 Oct 2017 Sam LaGrone

"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.”...

...In addition to the carrier suitability requirements set by the Navy, GA has included a margin for growth. “You can see a future for weaponization, 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.”"

Graphic: https://news.usni.org/wp-content/upload ... amed-5.jpg "Artist’s Concept of the General Atomics MQ-25 Stingray. GA Image used with permission" & https://news.usni.org/wp-content/upload ... G_6584.jpg


Source: https://news.usni.org/2017/10/10/navy-r ... d-revealed
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Unread post23 Oct 2017, 23:05

Seems to me to be a TOTAL BOLLOCKS last sentence which was being/should have been deleted by a knowledgeable sub.
Navy Releases Request for Proposals for MQ-25 Refueling Drone
19 Oct 2017 Bill Carey

"... F/A-18, EA-18G Growler, F-35C Lightning II and E-2 Hawkeye pilots will fly the new drone." [This 'drone' is a ROBOT aircraft obeying commands so that it FLIES ITSELF on command - do this do that and so on and land all by itself - got it!?]

Source: https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news ... ling-drone
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Unread post25 Oct 2017, 21:11

Northrop pulls out of MQ-25 drone competition
25 Oct 2017 Valerie Insinna & David B. Larter

"WASHINGTON — Northrop Grumman will not put forward a bid for the U.S. Navy’s MQ-25 unmanned tanker aircraft, its CEO announced Wednesday. While the specific reasoning underpinning the decision was not fully explained, it appears the Navy’s final request for proposals — released earlier this month — raised questions among executives who worried that Northrop would be unable to develop a UAV that met specifications and still delivered profit for the company.

“When we’re looking at one of these opportunities, let me be clear: Our objective is not just to win. Winning is great, it feels good on the day of an announcement, but if you can’t really execute on it and deliver on it to your customer and your shareholders, then you’ve done the wrong thing,” Northrop head Wes Bush said during an Oct. 25 earnings call....

...Northrop’s exit from the MQ-25 program comes as a shock to the defense industry, as the company was once considered the likely front-runner for the program that evolved into MQ-25, called Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike, or UCLASS....

...Northrop was involved in a technology demonstrator program that was considered the precursor to UCLASS. It was widely thought the company’s stealthy, autonomous X-47B from that effort would form the basis of its UCLASS offering....

...Because both Northrop and Lockheed Martin are pursuing tankers designed as flying wings, Northrop’s departure raises questions as to whether Lockheed’s design is in jeopardy as well, said Jerry Hendrix, a retired Navy captain and analyst with the Center for a New American Security. “If Northrop is dropping, it‘s because they’ve looked at the requirements and decided the Navy isn’t looking for the plane they are offering,” he said.

That would leave Boeing and General Atomics — which developed aircraft designed with wings, a body and a tail — to duke it out for the contract.

Phil Finnegan, a Teal Group analyst that focuses on UAVs, said Northrop’s decision makes sense given the Navy’s transition from a high-end combat aircraft to a low-cost tanker. “That shifted the advantage to a company like Boeing, which has focused on cost throughout the competition. 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....

...Northrop will continue to make “significant investments” in unmanned technologies, which are becoming more and more autonomous, Bush said during the call. “We’re just incredibly excited about it. It’s a class of capability that is finding application across the spectrum,” he said, adding that the company sees new missions evolving and potential customers gaining interest in the technology. “We also want to make sure these systems are highly secure and that they can have the high degree of trust that would normally apply to a manned aircraft,” he said."

Source: https://www.defensenews.com/air/2017/10 ... mpetition/
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post25 Oct 2017, 21:17

WTTFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF

Northrup was the heavy favourite.
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Unread post25 Oct 2017, 21:53

sunstersun wrote:WTTFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF

Northrup was the heavy favourite.


Sounds like a shot across the bow that navy wants things cheaper than they can deliver. The navy can either cancel and reissue the RFP or accept what I would think would be higher risk to have others develop solutions at lower cost you can’t be certain they can rarely achieve.
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Unread post25 Oct 2017, 22:01

Bummer. The NG design could have been used as a basis for a strike platform latter on. Not much chance of the tailed platforms doing that.
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Unread post25 Oct 2017, 22:07

How many companies have experience putting an autonomous plane on a carrier deck again??
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Unread post25 Oct 2017, 23:02

I still feel that GA is very well positioned in the competition if LO is no longer a requirement.
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Unread post26 Oct 2017, 01:00

:devil: This is the WRAITH - a dirty Wraith - no more :doh: https://news.usni.org/wp-content/upload ... G_3460.jpg
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