posted on Mar, 15 2016 @ 05:24 PM
Lockheed is strongly suggesting to the Navy to build a flying wing for the Stingray. Their argument is the Stingray will then be able to be upgraded
later with materials to make it stealthy since the flying wing shape is already a good place to start for stealth. That would allow the USN to
upgrade and update the platform as they go and even produce daughter systems (RAQ-26s, frex) that would allow for true strike, etc. at a reduced
This is not a bad suggestion, all things considered. HOWEVER!
This would probably give whatever winning contractor a serious lock on the flight deck for a long, long time. And that concerns me.
I'm an industrial base kinda guy. So....
There is a warning sign already about the MQ-25/MQ-XX/Stringray:
Multiple navy guys are saying the Stringray will do its fueling based on external pods it will carry rather than a large internal store. This will
only free up strike platforms, not really greatly increase the flight deck capability like I'd hope.
It would not be super hard to make a drone with a modular payload capability where a fuel tank could be attached and detached like the modular
passenger pods that were recently shown off. Rather I'd suggest something under the aircraft rather than on top, but grossly its the same thing.
It'll also allow for the pods to be fueled before the Stingray were to touch down, decreasing the time before it could be aloft again and fueling
aircraft. The modular bay would also allow for other modules to be put in, like, perhaps, a big missileer payload, as something like a mini arsenal
plane. As the missileer, the -25 could carry at least 12 Meteors (or whatever successor missile) if 1/2 the payload had to be dedicated to structural
and other mass.
Probably won't happen, but...