posted on Jan, 30 2019 @ 12:01 PM
a reply to: penroc3
Make it a big flying wing like the B-2 or QUARTZ with some sort of hyper-expensive low-POI conformal AESA built into the leading/trailing edges.
Having it be manned like an AWACS would be nice, but would also make it even bigger/more expensive, and I'm sure that in this era of high-speed
datalinks it could probably get away with being minimally manned, optionally manned, or even completely unmanned.
The big problem is that, like the QUARTZ, you end up with an aircraft that makes the B-2 look as cheap as an F-5 very, very, very quickly. That said,
I'm sure there have been plenty of design studies in the black world, and I wouldn't be shocked it someone hasn't flown a demonstrator or two over the
years, if only because the concept of a VLO AWACS bird is just *THAT* tantalizing.