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Program will pick up where J-UCAS program left off in 2006

As the U.S. military moves towards a more technologically advanced fighting force, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are becoming an increasingly important part of the U.S. air superiority plan. Military leaders are using UAVs to handle operations where a manned flight would put the pilot at serious risk.

Boeing has announced that it plans to demonstrate a new unmanned flying test bed aircraft using advanced air systems technologies. The internally funded program is being called Phantom Ray and is based on a prototype air vehicle originally designed by Boeing for the DARPA Joint-Unmanned Combat Air System program.

Boeing says that the Phantom Ray vehicle is scheduled to make its first flight in December 2010. Over a six-month period the aircraft will make 10 flights simulating a variety of missions possibly including intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, enemy air defense suppression, electronic attack, hunter/killer, and autonomous aerial refueling.

To meet the fast schedule of deployment and testing Boeing says that it is making extensive use of rapid prototyping techniques. The project is being run by the Boeing Phantom Works organization.

Boeing Phantom Works President Darryl Davis said, "Boeing's goals for the Phantom Ray program clearly demonstrate our commitment to rapid prototyping and are an important part of the company's efforts to be a leader in the unmanned aircraft business. We have mobilized our assets to continue the tremendous potential we developed under J-UCAS, and now will fully demonstrate that capability."

The Phantom Ray program will pick up where Boeing left off with its UCAS program in 2006. Plans for the aircraft are to show Boeing's unmanned systems development capabilities in a fighter-sized aerospace system. The Boeing UCAS program began with the X-45A, which flew 64 times from 2002 to 2005.

Boeing VP of Advanced Military Aircraft Dave Koopersmith said, "What is particularly exciting about Phantom Ray is that we will incorporate the latest technologies into the superb X-45C airframe design. As we gradually expand the vehicle's flight envelope, potential users will have access to a full range of unique capabilities that only this type of autonomous platform can provide."

The Phantom Ray project is scheduled for lab testing in late 2009 followed by ground testing and the first flight in 2010. The U.S. Air Force recently unveiled its first jet-powered UAV.



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Anyone see that movie Stealth?
By ryedizzel on 5/11/2009 12:27:11 PM , Rating: 1
Just wondering if it was any good...




By homebredcorgi on 5/11/2009 2:33:02 PM , Rating: 2
Based on the 10 minutes I have seen of it on TV, no it is terrible movie.

A minor quibble: The Predetor C (Avenger), jet powered UAV was unveiled by General Atomics and has not had any purchases by the Air Force or any other side of the military. General Atomics takes a pretty cool approach to their business in that they design a UAV up-front and then market it to the government rather than wait for a contract and then build what the government tells them. With that said, I can't imagine them not selling hundreds of that thing.


RE: Anyone see that movie Stealth?
By Smilin on 5/11/2009 4:45:30 PM , Rating: 2
I've seen it.

If you know what to expect then it's a great movie. If not then it's terrible.

What to expect: Very impressive visual effects. Lots of Fun. Lots of suspension of disbelief.

What not to expect: A worthwile plot, oscar level acting.

It's wortha blu-ray rental for sure. Maybe DVD.


By Chernobyl68 on 5/11/2009 6:24:33 PM , Rating: 2
Jessica Biel, Navy Whites...

...Worth watching!


RE: Anyone see that movie Stealth?
By BernardP on 5/12/2009 11:10:11 AM , Rating: 2
I have seen all of it. It's entertaining enough if you have 90 minutes to kill, and not as bad as I expected based on the reviews I had seen. All the standard clich├ęs are in it. There are some good moments and some corny sequences, as well as a few surprise twists. The ending is not as predictable as expected. The film seems to be aimed at the 12 to 16 year old audience.


The f22's retirement plan...
By inperfectdarkness on 5/11/2009 2:25:46 PM , Rating: 3
..you're looking at its forerunner.

in all honesty...we're <20 years away from when full-fledged combat between f22 & UCAS ends with a decisive victory on the part of the UCAS.




RE: The f22's retirement plan...
By FPP on 5/13/2009 12:49:53 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, maybe in 20 years. Nonetheless, UACV's are really just for a low threat environment. Put them in a real war environment with SAM's etc., and they'd get sawed up. The press just loves these things which is why no one ever discusses how easy it'd be to jam their sat comm links and compromise their navigation and sensors.


refueling
By Smilin on 5/11/2009 4:46:46 PM , Rating: 2
So sitting in the backseat of a refuling tanker and watching one of these approach for fuel would be downright spooky I think.




RE: refueling
By Diesel Donkey on 5/11/2009 11:33:33 PM , Rating: 2
It'll be less spooky when the refueling tanker is also unmanned.


Global Hawk
By gregpet on 5/13/2009 2:57:20 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The U.S. Air Force recently unveiled its first jet-powered UAV


Then what would you call a Global Hawk? I think they have been in service since around 2006...




"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs

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