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Final MQ-25A Stingray tanker RFP released, GA releases concept

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posted on Oct, 10 2017 @ 05:51 PM
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Naval Air Systems Command has quietly released the final request for proposals to industry for the unmanned MQ-25 Stingray aerial tanker, USNI News has learned.

Last week, the Navy issued the RFP to four industry competitors for the air segment of what will be the service’s Navy’s first operational carrier-based unmanned aerial vehicle ahead of an anticipated contract award by September of next year, a NAVAIR spokeswoman told USNI News on Tuesday.

The competitors are Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman and General Atomics.

The Navy wants to field the capability on its carriers to alleviate the strain on the existing F/A-18E/F Super Hornets that are burning through flight hours while serving as a refueling tanker for other aircraft attempting to land on the aircraft carrier. Up to 20 to 30 percent of Super Hornet sorties are refueling missions.

While the Navy has been reluctant about the specific goals of the program, the service’s basic requirements will have the Stingray deliver about 15,000 pounds of fuel 500 nautical miles from the carrier.


news.usni.org...




posted on Oct, 10 2017 @ 05:54 PM
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This should prove to be stupid, if previous performance is any indication.



posted on Oct, 10 2017 @ 06:02 PM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
This should prove to be stupid, if previous performance is any indication.


Agreed.

Plot twist though. Look at what the navy (Or individuals in uniform) have been telling ga what to put in there. Keep the EO? Hooks for radar? Etc.

I smell factional bunfight! So yeasty!



posted on Oct, 10 2017 @ 06:06 PM
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a reply to: anzha


retired Rear Adm. Terry Kraft who now works for General Atomics



Shore tours for Kraft have included duty in VA-128, Air Command and Staff College, Current Operations Directorate (J31), U.S. Pacific Command, and the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Cambridge, Massachusetts. After flag selection, he reported to the Pentagon, Chief of Naval Operations staff, first in N88 as head of Maritime Aviation, Unmanned Aerial Systems and Aviation Training Plans and Programs, then in N2/N6 as director, ISR Capabilities.

en.m.wikipedia.org...

Business as usual.



posted on Oct, 10 2017 @ 06:19 PM
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I have very little knowledge about the workings of govt aviation projects. So much of this is greek to me. But I really enjoy these posts. It shows what a diverse group we have here at ats.

Thanks and keep up the good work!



posted on Oct, 10 2017 @ 08:11 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

And then some. We ever cross paths in the Mojave, it'd be a fun talk.

This competition is Northrop's to lose. We've both said that. The thing that hobbles all the rest is the software (as we have both noted). However, the Navy is not above giving it to a competitor. Note folks! What the gov paid for is theirs. Ever develop something for the gov? Do it on your dollar and then have them fund the testing. Test is theirs: IP is not. Boeing learned this the hard way.

Boeing might be in second position upon reflection. GA needs to get on a carrier and demonstrate their software: I'd hope they'd already done so with the cats and traps the navy has on land. However...



posted on Oct, 10 2017 @ 10:10 PM
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Politics and crappy pentagon procurement process aside the winglets make it look pretty cool. ALthough the rending of the F-35 make it less stealthy than the tanker with those hardpoints




edit on 10/10/17 by FredT because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 11 2017 @ 06:08 AM
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a reply to: anzha

I swear to God, every time I think they've hit bottom, someone says, "Hold my beer".



posted on Oct, 11 2017 @ 07:37 AM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: anzha

I swear to God, every time I think they've hit bottom, someone says, "Hold my beer".


At least it looks like it could carry more fuel than Northrops bird... 4x 600gal wing tanks?

I dont see how they possible could catch up to Northrop though. There doesnt seem to be enough time until the Navy plans to make a decision.
They cant give it to a contractor offering little more than renderings and a unproven prototype. Or can they?!



posted on Oct, 11 2017 @ 08:03 AM
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a reply to: mightmight

Why not? All of them are unproven. You're assuming Northrop is offering the X-47B as their offering. They haven't confirmed what they're offering, but the thinking is that it will be based on it, but won't be the X-47.



posted on Oct, 11 2017 @ 08:24 AM
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Here's an idea for Boeing. Sell autonomous Rhinos to use as Tankers. They can carry more fuel at farther ranges than the RFP requires, the Navy already has the infrastructure to support them and if they retain the ability to carry a pilot, can be rotated through the fleet to take other birds in for maintenance.
Plus I'll bet they can be given a strike mission option with the right software upgrade.



posted on Oct, 11 2017 @ 06:12 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58
I think after they bolted the pods onto the X-47,looked at it they went...Hhhhhmmmm naaaaaahhh.Like we all did..



posted on Oct, 11 2017 @ 06:13 PM
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a reply to: Blackfinger

Even with the externals, and using the bays, they can't carry enough fuel to meet the requirements I don't think.



posted on Oct, 11 2017 @ 06:21 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Actually, I dont think any of the "as is" aircraft we've seen can do that other than a Robo Viking, yes?

The Avenger would have to be majorly souped up compared to its current payload capacity...IDK about the X-47B, but given it was a demo plane rather than a tanker...



posted on Oct, 11 2017 @ 06:25 PM
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Any thoughts that is simply a backdoor way to fund a UCAV? I mean the Army is basically buying a totally new tank with the SEP3 package and the new active protection system but don't have to really go through a whole budget appeal etc.



posted on Oct, 11 2017 @ 06:34 PM
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a reply to: anzha

I don't know about the Avenger, because there's not enough data, but the X-47B can only carry about 10,000 pounds that's transferable, so that puts them 5,000 pounds short or so.



posted on Oct, 11 2017 @ 06:55 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

So basically all of them will need to get beef caked.

I wonder how the navy thinks it can have something on deck in 2019 then?



posted on Oct, 11 2017 @ 07:02 PM
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a reply to: anzha

Eternal optimism? Insanity? Stupidity? Pentaweenies in charge? All of the above?



posted on Oct, 11 2017 @ 07:04 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Damnit. Here I was hoping it was "it's already flying and this is for show" was the answer.



posted on Oct, 11 2017 @ 07:07 PM
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a reply to: anzha

Seriously? Have you been watching the same procurement program I have been?





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