It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

The MQ-NEXT Reaper Replacement: It's flying wings all the way down

page: 1
11

log in

join
share:

posted on Sep, 20 2020 @ 02:38 PM
link   
The Reaper has become the workhorse replacement for the Predator UAV ("drone") and is used extensively around the world. General Atomics has built nearly 200 of the ISR/strike UAVs since the Reaper's first flight in 2001. The Reaper will remain in service for at least another 10 years. The Reaper does work and work well against lower tier enemies. This would include insurgents and whatnot. However, against near peer or even second rate adversaries, the Reaper is so much lunch meat. As such, the US Air Force has decided it finally needs to replace the MQ-9 Reaper.

This has launched the MQ-NEXT program. The intent this time is for being able to use the Reaper replacement against near peers and even peer adversaries. This means higher levels of stealth for one. It also wants more missions than the MQ-9 can do. While there's a danger of mission creep, this new bird isn't just going to be an upgraded Reaper. There is a desire to reduce the number of people needed to support the aircraft, too. Esp in logistics. Additionally, it needs to be able to function in the environment where GPS has been denied. The desire is to see the new UCAV operational by 2031.

So far, three companies have released images of their concepts. All of them are variants of flying wings. To be sure, the Northrop is a cranked kite (gasp! shock! horror! surprise!), but even General Atomics has decided a flying wing is the way to go rather than continuing the Predator->Reaper->avenger bauplan evolution. Take a look and comment:

General Atomics:


Lockmart:


Northrop:



If they look familiar, they should, at least for two of them. The Lockheed and Northrop birds look very closely like their proposals in the UCLASS and what became the MQ-25A stingray programs.

Boeing appears to have not released an image as yet. They are planning on pursuing the program though.

Before everyone gets too excited, it should be remembered that the USAF started to replace the Reaper before. The MQ-X program was cancelled. 2012.

I am /really/ surprised this program isn't a candidate for the so-called 'e programs' that go from cad to aircraft in short order. The NGAD did this for its demo. the MQ-NEXT should be even easier to do than the NGAD. However, I've not heard rumblings or even whispers of this being included there. Time will tell.

If the MQ-NEXT does go forward, it's looking more and more like a flying wing of some sort will be used. Unless, of course, Boeing surprises us and surprises the Pentagon with being able to stay on budget and have good program management.

www.airforcemag.com...

www.defensenews.com... reaper/

www.flightglobal.com...

www.nationaldefensemagazine.org...




posted on Sep, 20 2020 @ 05:27 PM
link   
Rq180 anyone?



posted on Sep, 20 2020 @ 06:11 PM
link   
a reply to: Blackfinger

Too big and expensive.



posted on Sep, 20 2020 @ 06:54 PM
link   



posted on Sep, 21 2020 @ 08:45 AM
link   

originally posted by: anzha
I am /really/ surprised this program isn't a candidate for the so-called 'e programs' that go from cad to aircraft in short order. The NGAD did this for its demo. the MQ-NEXT should be even easier to do than the NGAD. However, I've not heard rumblings or even whispers of this being included there. Time will tell.


Why bother, chances are at least half of them are already flying in one form or another.



posted on Sep, 21 2020 @ 12:03 PM
link   
a reply to: mightmight


Why bother, chances are at least half of them are already flying in one form or another.


are you so sure of that?



posted on Sep, 21 2020 @ 03:06 PM
link   
a reply to: anzha

Do you think the 7 Avengers the CIA is operating is the only LO capability they have after two decades of constant drone warfare?

A larger Sentinel was spotted years ago. And there were also rumors about kites in Afghanistan. So that's LM and NG.

I'm far more interested in the story behind the GA entry though.



posted on Sep, 23 2020 @ 04:38 PM
link   
a reply to: anzha
Your Lockmart and Northrop images are not proper jpg images so they don't show up in firefox browser, this is what I see:

The opera browser is more forgiving of malformed images and it displays the images anyway.
I checked some other jpeg images that work, and they all seem to begin with "FF D8 FF E0 00 10 4A 46 49 46" and end with "FF D9", so I presume the lack of those markers in the files that won't display has something to do with why they won't display. That, plus malformed images have been used in certain types of attacks, which is probably why firefox blocks them instead of displaying them. That doesn't mean all malformed images are evil, only some specially crafted malformed images are evil and there are supposed to be patches for known vulnerabilities, but maybe firefox is worried about unknown vulnerabilities too?

Flying wings make sense for drones since they are very efficient, and you need efficiency more than maneuverability in many drones.

edit on 2020923 by Arbitrageur because: clarification



posted on Sep, 23 2020 @ 05:36 PM
link   
a reply to: Arbitrageur

I cut and pasted the img tags generated by ATS. I use Firefox and I see them in the thread just fine.



posted on Sep, 24 2020 @ 12:42 AM
link   

originally posted by: anzha
a reply to: Arbitrageur

I cut and pasted the img tags generated by ATS. I use Firefox and I see them in the thread just fine.
I believe you. Your version of firefox, like my version of Opera, have chosen to ignore the errors in the jpeg files. That doesn't mean there aren't errors. This is the message from my version of firefox which chooses not to ignore the errors in your Northrop image:



ATS is unlikely to be the problem here, whatever errors are in the images were likely there before you uploaded them to ATS.
edit on 2020924 by Arbitrageur because: clarification



new topics

top topics



 
11

log in

join