F-35 and X-47B

The F-35 compared with other modern jets.
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spazsinbad

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Unread post30 Oct 2020, 00:46

Navy aviators learn to “fly” the MQ-25 unmanned aerial refueler
29 Oct 2020 NavAirSysCom

"Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md.
--
U.S. Navy aviators are already learning how to “fly” the MQ-25 unmanned aerial refueler before the first air vehicle comes off the production line.

Four Navy air vehicle operators (AVOs) from VX-23, the Navy’s developmental test squadron, and VX-1, the operational test squadron, recently traveled to Boeing’s St. Louis facility for an immersive three-day simulation designed to train them to operate a flight from start-up to shut-down from the ground control station (GCS) – the MQ-25’s terrestrial or CVN-based “cockpit.”

This course was possible due to the experience gained by flying T1, the Boeing-owned MQ-25 test asset developed prior to the Navy awarding Boeing the MQ-25 Engineering, Manufacturing and Development contract in August 2018. T1 first flew in September 2019 and to date has accumulated nearly 30 flight hours during its initial phase of testing. T1 recently underwent a planned modification to integrate an aerial refueling store (ARS) and is currently in ground testing prior to resuming flight testing. Navy AVOs will have the opportunity to serve in the co-pilot role, AVO No. 2, when flights resume.

Lt. Venus Savage, the VX-1 MQ-25 assistant operational test director, said the training was a unique opportunity to learn about the command and control processes used to interface with and operate the MQ-25 long before the first aircraft is delivered to the Navy.... [more joy at the jump]

Photo: "Lt. Venus Savage, MQ-25 assistant operational test director for VX-1 and MQ-25 air vehicle operator, participates in MQ-25 simulation training (photo courtesy of Boeing)." https://www.navair.navy.mil/sites/g/fil ... C05635.JPG


Source: https://www.navair.navy.mil/news/Navy-a ... 92020-1541
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Unread post01 Nov 2020, 02:55

Navy Announces Release of Draft Environmental Assessment for MQ-25A Stingray Home Basing 29 Oct 2020

Documents: https://media.defense.gov/2020/Oct/23/2 ... -FINAL.PDF (5.6Mb)
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https://media.defense.gov/2020/Oct/23/2 ... NDICES.PDF (5.6Mb)
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Unread post01 Nov 2020, 17:43

That's a neat wing folding trick.
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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Unread post10 Dec 2020, 21:56

Boeing, Navy Complete First MQ-25 Test Flight with Aerial Refueling Store
10 Dec 2020 SEApower

"ST. LOUIS — Boeing and the U.S. Navy have for the first time flown the MQ-25 T1 test asset with an aerial refueling store (ARS), a significant milestone informing development of the unmanned aerial refueler, the company said in a Dec. 9 release.

The successful 2.5-hour flight with the Cobham ARS – the same ARS currently used by F/A-18s for air-to-air refueling – was designed to test the aircraft’s aerodynamics with the ARS mounted under the wing. The flight was conducted by Boeing test pilots operating from a ground control station at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Illinois.

“Having a test asset flying with an ARS gets us one big step closer in our evaluation of how MQ-25 will fulfill its primary mission in the fleet – aerial refueling,” said Capt. Chad Reed, the U.S. Navy’s Unmanned Carrier Aviation program manager. “T1 will continue to yield valuable early insights as we begin flying with F/A-18s and conduct deck handling testing aboard a carrier.”

Future flights will continue to test the aerodynamics of the aircraft and the ARS at various points of the flight envelope, eventually progressing to extension and retraction of the hose and drogue used for refueling...."

Photo: "Boeing and the U.S. Navy flew the MQ-25 T1 test asset with an aerial refueling store (ARS) for the first time on Dec. 9, 2020. The successful flight with the Cobham ARS – the same ARS currently used by F/A-18s for air-to-air refueling – tested the aircraft’s aerodynamics with the ARS mounted under the wing. Boeing / Dave Preston" https://seapowermagazine.org/wp-content ... medres.jpg


Source: https://seapowermagazine.org/boeing-nav ... ing-store/
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Unread post11 Dec 2020, 04:37

VIDEO: MQ-25A Stingray Prototype Makes First Flight With Aerial Refueling Stores
10 Dec 2020 Sam LaGrone

"Boeing’s prototype for its naval unmanned aerial tanker proved this week it can operate with the refueling system that will give gas to the carrier air wing, the company announced.

Taking off from the company’s test site at the MidAmerica Airport in Illinois near St. Louis, Mo., the MQ-25A Stingray prototype flew for two and a half hours with an aerial refueling store (ARS) slung under its wing....

...The plan is for the service to buy 72 of the aircraft for about $1.3 billion to relieve the stress on the Navy’s fleet of F/A-18F Super Hornets – the current refueler for the carrier air wing. The service had said it wanted to field the tanker by 2024 but has backed off a specific time frame.

USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) will be the first carrier equipped with the Unmanned Carrier Aviation Mission Control System (UMCS) to operate the aircraft."

Photo: "Boeing tested MQ-25A T1 prototype with a an aerial refueling store (ARS) on Dec. 9, 2020. Boeing Photo" https://news.usni.org/wp-content/upload ... .26-PM.png


Source: https://news.usni.org/2020/12/10/video- ... ing-stores

Boeing Tests MQ-25A Stingray Unmanned Aerial Refueling System https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfsqQdavgdU

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Unread post19 Mar 2021, 19:46

Boeing scores new test milestones for MQ-25A test asset
18 Mar 2021 Richard Scott

"...T1 – the company’s own flight test asset – recorded its longest flight to date at more than six hours. The air vehicle has also achieved its highest altitude so far, with test points recorded at 30,000 ft....

...The MQ-25A is expected to deliver up to 15,000 lb of fuel to aircraft up to 500 n miles away. Aerial refuelling operations will be undertaken using two Cobham 31-301-7 Aerial Refuelling Store (ARS) pods – one under each wing – paying out a refuelling hose and basket. These buddy stores are already in service on USN F/A-18E/F Super Hornets.

T1 begin flying testing with the ARS pod in 2020. Flight testing initially focused on evaluating the aerodynamic effects of the buddy store at various points in the flight envelope. The T1 will next test its ARS hose and drogue, including wake surveys. This will be followed by receiver flights with an F/A-18 Super Hornet."

Photo: "Boeing’s MQ-25A T1 test asset flew for the first time in its aerial refuelling configuration [WITH ONLY ONE POD] on 9 December. (Boeing)" https://www.janes.com/images/default-so ... -11179.jpg


Source: https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news ... test-asset
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Unread post20 Mar 2021, 11:12

Drones Could One Day Make Up 40% of a Carrier Air Wing, Navy Says
19 Mar 2021 PATRICK TUCKER

"The Department’s new unmanned plan directs focus not just on drones but on their “enabling technologies.”

One day, drones may make up nearly half of a carrier air wing — but don’t expect that overnight, the Navy’s warfighting requirements chief told lawmakers this week. “We think we could get upwards of 40 percent of the aircraft in an air wing that are unmanned and then transition beyond that. So I think the logical step would be trying to follow a logical crawl, walk, run,” Vice Adm. James Kilby told lawmakers gathered for a Thursday hearing....

...The service is looking at converting its MQ-25, a yet-to-be-deployed long-range tanker drone, into an attack aircraft that could go after targets too dangerous for manned ships and aircraft to approach,. But first comes a long, multi-step process of experimentation and development.

“There is some payload capacity in that vehicle that we think has great promise for us,” Kilby said. “Let's figure out how to handle it in the air wing. Let's move to [intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance], maybe electronic attack, strike, and then other things as complexity grows across that mission set. But I think the MQ-25 has great promise for us.”...

...Said Kilby: “The MQ-25 will most certainly provide promise to us because it will be able to perhaps exceed the endurance of a manned aircraft.” Boeing expects to deliver a fully-operational MQ-25 in 2024.

But Kilby cautioned that there is a lot more experimentation and research ahead to get the drone performing the tanker mission alone. “We need to introduce those with successive, increasing levels of complexity to complement the airwing that we have today so that we make it relevant to move in the forward,” he said.

One of those levels may be enabling pilots in aircraft to control the drones flying alongside them. “Let's say there's a refueling area for a strike or some other mission area,” he said. “It'd be great if a manned pilot saw weather” and could order the drone to divert “and not have to go to the carrier to do that control.” The next step would likely be drones equipped for electronic attack, Kilby said.

Rep. Michael John Gallagher, R-Wisc., asked about a missile-armed drone. “I think we will ultimately get to your goal,” Kilby responded. “I’m going to push on that window. We certainly have to get there,” but not until “we’ve met some of these rudimentary things to integrate capability in the air wing.”

Some of that figuring out will take place during an exercise next month that Kilby declined to detail in public session."

Source: https://www.defenseone.com/technology/2 ... ys/172799/
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Unread post20 Mar 2021, 19:56

Wow. I had no idea the MQ-25 is more stealthy than the F-35. I thought Boing denied denied denied when somebody had raised the topic when the MQ-25 had been revealed. I am truly shocked.

On the other hand... 40% aircraft capacity dedicated to tankers... sounds plausible over the Pacific...

Oh... and "a pilot [sees] weather and alerts the drone." Right. Gotcha. As a GA pilot, I can see weather. But I'm usually drooling for a radar map, or satellite image, or pining for a lightning detector. These guys need to come up with a better song and dance 'for they go spending untold billion$ more on these mythical programs. Hey, I got an idea... how about a little weather scout drone. Maybe the size of a MALD... send it on ahead to scout out the weather. It could even datalink back pictures to the pilot-in-control (PIC lol) so they could see the weather and alert the drones. :bang:
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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Unread post30 Mar 2021, 23:33

MORE on the story below with extra bits 'n quotes: https://news.usni.org/2021/03/30/navy-n ... ed-fighter

In this thread this article refers to VINSON being set up for both the STUNGRAID and the LIGHTENING TOO (yes I know).

viewtopic.php?f=55&t=20468&p=444988&hilit=Vinson#p444988
Navy’s Plans Call For New Drones To Shoot, Spy, Jam
30 Mar 2021 Paul McLeary

""I can clearly -- in my mind -- envision a way to say ‘fly a defensive combat spread, shoot on this target,’ and I will squeeze the trigger or I will enable that unmanned platform to shoot the designated target," Rear Adm. Gregory Harris says.

WASHINGTON: The Navy now aims to have 60% of its carrier air wing comprise unmanned aircraft as it replaces F-18s. The Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) effort, a joint effort between the Navy and Air Force, is still in its early stages, but the admiral in charge of the Navy’s air wing said today he would like to see a 60/40 mix of unmanned to manned aircraft to replace the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and electronic attack EA-18G Growlers.

“In the next probably two to three years, we’ll have a better idea whether replacement for the F-18 E and F will be manned or unmanned,” Rear Adm. Gregory Harris, director of the Navy’s Air Warfare Division, said at a Navy League event this morning. The service will initially try for a 40/60 unmanned to manned aircraft mix, leading to the 60/40 ratio as time goes on....

...A major part of the effort will involve Boeing’s MQ-25 Stingray refueling drone, which is separate from the NGAD effort, but will work alongside those aircraft. The Navy has been slowly shepherding the Stingray along through its design and development process. The USS Carl Vinson — the first carrier to be modernized to fly the F-35 for the Navy — has also been modified to allow it to operate the MQ-25.

In addition to refueling fighters, the Stingray is likely to serve as an extra sensing node in the sky, pushing data back and forth between crewed and autonomous surface vessels and giving the Navy and Marine Corps a new intelligence gathering asset. As a tanker, it will also extend the range of the Navy’s carrier-based aircraft by hundreds of miles.

Some of the work on the Vinson involved establishing an Unmanned Aviation Warfare Center on the ship, along with new network infrastructure and command and control equipment.

Harris suggested that the unmanned portion of the future air wing could be anything from an air-to-air platform that can conduct electronic warfare missions to an advanced early warning platform to replace the E-2D surveillance aircraft at some point in the future.... [then info on quotable quote from article sub heading]

...Navy CNO Adm. Mike Gilday has said he wants the next-generation carrier fighter in service in the 2030s, but the decisions that will need to be made first, as the Navy slowly begins integrating F-35s onto the flight decks of its aging carrier fleet, point to years of development before any large-scale marriage between manned and unmanned aircraft can operate together at sea."

Graphic: "Northrop Grumman depiction of Next Generation Air Dominance fighter" https://sites.breakingmedia.com/uploads ... NGAD-1.jpg


Source: https://breakingdefense.com/2021/03/nav ... t-spy-jam/
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