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CBARS loses ISR mission

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posted on Aug, 19 2016 @ 12:31 PM
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There have been several articles today talking about finding the so called sweet spot between tanker and ISR platform for the MQ-25 under the CBARS program, but the Navy has just quietly stated that the ISR mission won't be there anymore.

In a statement the Navy talked about the articles mentioning it being a stealthy tanker, and said, "Those two things don't go together with this platform". Without stealth the survivability of an ISR platform in a non-permissive environment is almost non existent. In other words, they've taken UCLASS and turned it into a carrier mounted Predator that refuels aircraft.

www.flightglobal.com...




posted on Aug, 19 2016 @ 01:11 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

WTF? Do they have flyboy on the brain?



posted on Aug, 19 2016 @ 01:13 PM
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a reply to: mbkennel

The Navy doesn't want UAVs on deck. They don't like them and they see them as taking away from their other funding priorities. They've been fighting since UCLASS was announced.



posted on Aug, 19 2016 @ 07:33 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

How much fuel can these lift in comparison to a fighter?

I understand the basics but are we talking about simply topping fighters up after their launch or are we talking about long range refueling?

As usual, thanks for these threads.

P



posted on Aug, 19 2016 @ 08:50 PM
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a reply to: pheonix358

Same as with buddy pods. It'll give them a couple more shots at the deck or enough to get to their Bingo alternate.



posted on Aug, 20 2016 @ 02:40 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

makes perfect sense. why would they want to change their mission? automated refueling would be huge for the carrier wing. I'd take it over anything else too.



posted on Aug, 20 2016 @ 04:55 AM
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With ISR mission gone I can see the other forces picking up the slack..Seems the only ones they were interested in were blimps decades ago.



posted on Aug, 20 2016 @ 05:57 AM
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a reply to: aholic

Because the entire point of the original UCLASS program was to give them a stealthy ISR and strike aircraft. Not an automated tanker.



posted on Aug, 20 2016 @ 04:32 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Sad to see the navy change the requirments so much that the vehicle will never have a chance to make it to IOC.



posted on Aug, 21 2016 @ 06:01 AM
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With such a promising platform I can see a three lettered agency picking it up and using it in the future.



posted on Aug, 21 2016 @ 09:03 AM
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a reply to: Blackfinger

Not if it's not stealthy. They'll have to almost totally redesign it to do what they need it to.



posted on Aug, 21 2016 @ 03:54 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

I'm not sure it's going to loose it's entirety of ISR. They are talking about scrapping most of the stealth yes, 1, mainly to preserve industrial base and 2, to better fulfill the tanking mission. No, it won't do the deep inland endurance ISR that we all hoped for, but it will be a great maritime ISR platform and a huge win for the CSG. It's still going to be a very sensor rich aircraft and will be crucial to 5th gen on CAP in the outer air battle.



posted on Aug, 21 2016 @ 03:58 PM
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a reply to: Bfirez

The money is there and it's currently being ultra-fast tracked. I think you'll see it much sooner than you think.



posted on Aug, 21 2016 @ 03:59 PM
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a reply to: aholic

The problem is that they're talking about missions in contested airspace. As good as it is it will never last. As far as ISR at sea, yes it'll still have that, but it's only going to be OK at it. If you look at the initial requirements, when it was UCLASS, to now, this program has turned into a bigger joke than the KC-X program was.



posted on Aug, 21 2016 @ 04:09 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Oh, entirely. It's the Navy being the Navy. You say worse than the KC-X, this is shaping up to be almost as bad as LCS! The Navy loves to "rename" their way out of problems, don't they.

It's pretty clear what happened. They were under a lot of pressure, years ago, to address a counter-terrorism issue. The money was given to them for that purpose and they changed to requirements to better suit their (the Navy's) need. I'm still excited about the program, as we've got plenty of amazing land based ISR assets.



posted on Aug, 22 2016 @ 12:09 AM
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a reply to: aholic

I hope we see it, even if it's just a gutted half-tanker it's better than having no UAV's onboard whatsoever. Clearly the tides are changing in respect to UAVs, there will always be a place for a manned mission but imo the unmanned side will be taking over most of the heavy lifting at some point.



posted on Aug, 22 2016 @ 05:21 AM
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Being a flying fuel tank will pretty much guarantee it wont be as stealthy as a IRS platform.From last year..
X47



Aerial refueling technology is central to the debates about UCLASS because larger fuel tanks affect the size, shape and contours of the body of the aircraft and affect its stealth properties by changing the radar cross-section of the aircraft. Some design proposals for UCLASS would make the drone less stealthy and less able to carry a larger weapons payload – yet be able to travel very long distances as an ISR platform. Other proposals focus more on stealth and weapons payload.

edit on 22-8-2016 by Blackfinger because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 22 2016 @ 02:19 PM
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a reply to: Blackfinger

It will still retain some stealth. Enough to forward deploy itself off the coast without causing a stir. Probably with the use of external (maybe drop) tanks for added endurance when stealth is a non-issue. Also remember this is going to be a datalink for the Lightning, so it'll need to be at least a bit survivable but won't be able to penetrate like it's companions.



posted on Aug, 22 2016 @ 02:59 PM
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a reply to: aholic

The way the Navy is talking now it won't be stealthy at all. The only real requirement is that it be a tanker, with limited ISR capability.



posted on Aug, 22 2016 @ 06:11 PM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: aholic

The way the Navy is talking now it won't be stealthy at all. The only real requirement is that it be a tanker, with limited ISR capability.


So any benefits to a tilt rotor doing the IFR? It just doesn't seem to need a UAV to do that.




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