U.S. Navy Moves Ahead with Carrier Drone Project
August 19, 2013 9:55 AM
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Navy awards four contracts to develop carrier drone aircraft
The U.S. Navy has announced that it has awarded four development contracts for developing designs to compete for the Unmanned Carrier Launch Airborne Surveillance and Strike Air Vehicle, aka UCLASS.
Boeing, General Atomics Aeronautics Systems, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman were awarded contracts of $15 million each. The contract announcement says that the preliminary design review assessment is designed to support a UCLASS system able "to enhance aircraft carrier/air wing operations by providing a responsive, world-wide presence via an organic, sea-based unmanned aerial system, with persistent intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and targeting, and strike capabilities."
The X-47B makes its first carrier landing
Naval Air Systems command officials have stated that the competition for the final airframe design is expected to begin sometime after January 2014. UCLASS will be an operational jet aircraft with mission of carrying out persistent intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions. The aircraft will also be able to engage in strike missions at ranges of up to 2,000 nautical miles.
The United States Navy has been working with carrier-based drone aircraft for quite some time in the form of Northrop Grumman’s X-47B. The X-47B made its
first carrier landing
back in July 2013 aboard the USS George H.W. Bush. The demonstration was the first time an unmanned autonomous aircraft landed on a U.S. carrier.
The X-47B program has already produced two test aircraft with the first carrier launch having occurred on May 14, 2014. The landing in July completed the test program requirements.
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RE: Here comes Star Craft
8/19/2013 10:57:14 AM
So we see some giant zeppelin in the sky, carrying dozens of drone fighters all managed by some Korean fellow with over 200 APM.
Or the Europeans, I don't think America has any competent Starcraft players.
Now whether or not a giant zeppelin in the sky carrying air deliverable drones is feasible is an entirely different question.
RE: Here comes Star Craft
8/19/2013 11:37:53 AM
No worries. When the bodies start flying the US will be ahead of the curve. We never really good at "practice" anyhow. It's all about game time.
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