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Lockheed Goes For Global Hawk's Feathers With Stealthy Optionally-Manned U-2

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posted on Aug, 19 2015 @ 02:20 PM
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Lockheed Goes For Global Hawk's Feathers With Stealthy Optionally-Manned U-2


This is interesting. So they want a new updated U-2 that's optionally unmanned for longer missions? And are looking to eat the global hawks lunch.

I wonder what this is going to look like.

looks in Zaph's direction.



Lockheed’s vaunted Skunk Works is setting its sights on developing a successor to its venerable U-2 Dragon Lady spy plane and Northrop Grumman’s RQ-4 Global Hawk high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) drone. This new aircraft will seemingly take the best of the unmanned and manned features of both aircraft, and fuse them into an updated stealthier airframe able to penetrate enemy airspace if need be.

Currently, both the U-2 and the RQ-4 are seen as strategic standoff surveillance platforms that are meant to operate in peacetime or during conflicts while outside the reach of enemy air defense systems. The Skunk Works’ updated design will have low observable features, which will allow it to get much closer to enemy airspace than either the U-2 or the Global Hawk can today, if not penetrate it altogether.

What they are calling the RQ-X/UQ-2 will be optionally manned so that it can leverage the endurance of a HALE drone when need be or the deterrence and flexibility of a piloted platform when the mission demands it. This will make access into and out of foreign airports and dense airspace much more possible than what the strictly unmanned Global Hawk experiences to this day.




posted on Aug, 19 2015 @ 02:56 PM
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a reply to: grey580

They've already tried the optionally manned route and the AF wasn't interested.



posted on Aug, 19 2015 @ 03:13 PM
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What happened to the Darkstar anyway, wasn't that it's job?



posted on Aug, 19 2015 @ 03:17 PM
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a reply to: cavtrooper7

Darkstar ran into its own issues.



posted on Aug, 19 2015 @ 04:58 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

What if it isn't just the AF who are interested. What if someone else is interested. I would only be guessing at who, obviously.



posted on Aug, 19 2015 @ 05:01 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Is it possible you can divulge on those issues, or is it jumpsuit time



posted on Aug, 19 2015 @ 05:06 PM
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a reply to: nelloh62

It was incredibly unstable and difficult to fly. The second flight ended with a crash, some budgetary issues.



posted on Aug, 19 2015 @ 05:11 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Was the programme abandoned after the crash or do you know if its technology was put to good use elsewhere, ie a FSW stealthy craft ?



posted on Aug, 19 2015 @ 05:18 PM
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a reply to: nelloh62

There have been rumors of a larger version of it flying but unconfirmed.



posted on Aug, 19 2015 @ 05:36 PM
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Okay, I could google it. And I will, but what the hell is Dark Star?
Zaphod, your knowledge of all things aerial is the stuff of legend.



posted on Aug, 19 2015 @ 06:08 PM
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a reply to: the owlbear

en.wikipedia.org...

I've seen one of the three remaining prototypes a few times, it is at the Boeing Museum of Flight.



posted on Aug, 19 2015 @ 06:21 PM
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a reply to: the owlbear

Tier III Minus, also known as Darkstar. It was a high altitude, long endurance penetrating uav developed by Lockheed in the 90s. When they started flight testing they discovered it was inherently unstable, even for modern designs, and the prototype crashed on the second flight.

It was canceled but there have been rumors of a larger aircraft that looks almost exactly the same flying over Iraq and Afghanistan.



posted on Aug, 19 2015 @ 06:40 PM
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Thanks Gents.
You can learn a little from the interwebs, but your input gives it more perspective.



posted on Aug, 19 2015 @ 06:47 PM
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As to a stealthier U-2, anyone that thinks Lockheed HASN'T played with the idea in the 40 or so years since stealth was developed, raise your hand.



posted on Aug, 19 2015 @ 07:49 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

I remember seeing either a rendering or a 3- view drawing for a two-engined darkstar somewhere, is that what you're talking about?

And LOL to the notion that there haven't been stealth U-2 prototypes in the past...



posted on Aug, 19 2015 @ 08:52 PM
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Rq170 and Rq180 platforms but with bigger wings?



posted on Aug, 19 2015 @ 09:55 PM
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I know...make it out of clear stealth material. that will make it next to impossible to see at altitude.



posted on Aug, 19 2015 @ 10:32 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

You would know better than I.
All signs point to yes.
Just don't keep the really neat stuff under wraps.



posted on Aug, 19 2015 @ 10:33 PM
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Agreed haha this seems more like proganda since they aren't ever aloud show/talk about all their cool things.



posted on Aug, 20 2015 @ 12:56 AM
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originally posted by: yuppa
I know...make it out of clear stealth material. that will make it next to impossible to see at altitude.


it may be a surprise to hear that The Germans tried that form of stealth a century ago in WW1 but found problems, genuinely



Construction of the R.I was largely of wood covered by transparent Cellon (Cellulose acetate)[Note 1] in the first prototype, R.I number 8/15, and lozenge camouflage fabric in the second aircraft, 40/16.[1]

Cellon was used with the intention of making the aircraft partially transparent and so less visible; however, the Cellon reflected sunlight, making the aircraft more visible, before quickly yellowing due to the effect of ultra violet radiation.


en.m.wikipedia.org...

Yes, technology is completely different now and you were maybe half joking anyway, but your post just made me think of this.



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