Classified UAV Projects
Whether they are "classified", "top secret", or "black" projects, it is a certainty that there are undisclosed military UAV projects underway,
the challenge of course is that there is just too much guessing and opinions and not enough facts concerning these projects.
I thought it would be interesting to consolidate some of the info that has been leaked out to the various forms of media in order to form a better
picture of just what may be "out there".
Global Hawk - the nonaggressive UAV
Although the Global Hawk is not a classified project, I found the following information of interest.
The USAF does not desire to use the Global Hawk as a "hunter/killer" because they need it to be used in peacekeeping surveillance missions and it
would be dificult if not impossible to get flyover rights from some countries if it was easily "weaponized".
Battle Brews over UAV Dominance, AW&ST; Jan 2, 2002
(No Link Available)
Above: Global Hawk with ground crew
Northrop/Scaled Composites Model 395/396
One of our own, ATS's Intelgurl
has had... or does have
something to do with this project out at Indian Springs Auxillary Air Force Base in Nevada.
Around the first of 2005 an accelerated development program was started to weaponize a UAV prototype based on the Scaled Composites Proteus designed
by Burt Rutan.
on Thursday, February 24th 2005 Northrop Grumman successfully demonstrated the ability to release munitions from the Scaled Composites Model 395
This event marked the culmination of work which took place at Indian Springs Auxillary Air Force Base, where after only a 30 day rapid prototyping
process a successful proof-of-concept test for a new weapons delivery system took place.
Able to carry almost any weapon in the USAF inventory up to an EGBU-28 5,000-lb. bunker buster, the Model 395 uses the centerline of the fuselage
instead of the wings to carry it's payload - this means it won't have asymmetrical load issues which can cause instability in flight.
The aircraft can carry multi-spectral sensors to detect and track targets and release a myriad of munitions to destroy those targets, thus reducing
the time from sensory to kill, a process known as the "Kill Chain".
The Model 395 meets the DoD's "Hunter-Killer" requirements of being able to stay aloft for over sixteen hours with a 3,000-lb. external load of
munitions and can stay aloft for nearly 30 hours if configured for the ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) role.
Lockheed's "Minion" UCAV
From Lockheed Martin "Skunk Works" the DoD is or was developing an air-launched UCAV called the "Minion".
The Minion has a launch weight of 7,500 lbs and can carry an ISR payload, a jamming system, a high-power microwave weapon, or 4 GPS-guided
small-diameter bombs. It can also be used as a decoy, though it would need to have radar reflectors on itsince it is described as being extremely
Aviation Week & Space Technology
09/22/2003, page 32
Above: The super stealthy Lockheed Minion UCAV
Expanded Stealth Capabilities
One branch of research that is serving to enhance the survivability of future manned and unmanned aircraft is stealth across as many necessary
frequency bands as possible.
There is not much information available about this research but suffice it to say that this research is aimed at negating the stealth-busting effects
of longwave radar, PCL, etc.
Also, according to sources there is active development on visual stealth UAV's at various remote locations.
Many thanks to Intelgurl for much of this information, specifically the Model 395 info.