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Boeing has unveiled the "Bird of Prey" technology demonstrator - a once highly classified project that pioneered numerous aircraft design, development and production technologies during the 1990's. New stealth concepts, rapid prototyping techniques and cost-effective 3-D virtual reality design and assembly processes were among the technologies pioneered by the bat-like Bird of Prey that have since become industry standards, removing the need to keep the aircraft's existence a secret.
The subsonic, single-seat technology demonstrator, the aircraft completed 38 test flights as part of its flight-demonstration program. Its first flight took place in fall 1996. Bird of Prey has a wingspan of approximately 23 feet and a length of 47 feet, and weighs nearly 7,400 pounds. Powered by a Pratt & Whitney JT15D-5C turbofan engine, the Bird of Prey has an operational speed of 260 knots and a maximum operating altitude of 20,000 feet.
"Early investments in technology demonstration projects such as Bird of Prey have positioned Boeing to help shape our industry's transformation," said Jim Albaugh, president and CEO of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems. "With this aircraft, we changed the rules on how to design and build an aircraft, and what we've learned is enabling us to provide our customers with affordable, high-performing products. Projects such as Bird of Prey have provided the catalyst for integrating speed, agility and reduced cost into the processes we employ to introduce new commercial and military systems to market."
The Bird of Prey is closely related to the Boeing X-45A Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle currently under development, which also has stealth capabilities.
'Target confirmation, arm and release consent.' With those three commands from its human operator, a Boeing X-45A unmanned combat aircraft made aviation history by releasing an inert (non-explosive) Global Positioning System-guided Small Smart Bomb and hitting a ground target at the US Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division Range in California in mid-April (2004).
'For the first time, an unmanned combat system has demonstrated that it can successfully deliver precision weapons on target,' said Boeing Integrated Defense Systems President and CEO Jim Albaugh.
'Unmanned systems like the X-45 are well suited for high-risk missions like the suppression of enemy air defense and precision strike. Once fully developed, these systems will provide commanders with effective and affordable solutions that compliment and support fighters on the ground, in the air, or at sea.'
During the test an operator authorised release, and when the aircraft determined it was within range the Joint Unmanned Combat Air Systems (J-UCAS) X-45A technology demonstrator dropped the guided 250-pound weapon from its internal weapons bay at 35,000 ft. and 0.67 Mach (approximately 442 mph). The aircraft autonomously performed all manoeuvres, bay door operations, and weapon-away release sequences under human operator supervision.
The next major milestone for the X-45 J-UCAS program will be the demonstration of multiple-vehicle coordinated flight. That event will take place following a series of single-vehicle checkout operations and coordinated flights between an X-45A and a manned T-33.
The X-45C, a much larger version of the A model, is being built by Boeing IDS in St. Louis, with its first flight scheduled for mid-2006. The J-UCAS X-45 program is a Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency/U.S. Air Force/U.S. Navy/Boeing effort to demonstrate the technical feasibility, military utility and operational value of an unmanned air combat system for both the Air Force and the Navy.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Integrated Defence Systems is one of the world's largest space and defence businesses. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defence Systems is a $27 billion business. It provides systems solutions to its global military, government and commercial customers. It is a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; the world's largest military aircraft manufacturer; the world's largest satellite manufacturer and a leading provider of space-based communications; the primary systems integrator for U.S. missile defence; NASA's largest contractor; and a global leader in launch services.
By Joseph Farah
© 2005 WorldNetDaily.com
WASHINGTON – In the latest evidence Iran is seriously planning an unconventional pre-emptive nuclear strike against the U.S., an Iranian military journal has publicly considered the idea of launching an electromagnetic pulse attack as the key to defeating the world's lone superpower.
Congress was warned of Iran's plans last month by Peter Pry, a senior staffer with the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse Attack in a hearing of Sen. John Kyl's subcommittee on terrorism, technology and homeland security.
In an article titled, "Electronics to Determine Fate of Future Wars," the journal explains how an EMP attack on America's electronic infrastructure, caused by the detonation of a nuclear weapon high above the U.S., would bring the country to its knees.
Originally posted by tomcat ha
LCKob rifles which can shoot around corners already existed in ww2.
Originally posted by tomcat ha
I think reinventing the wheel is something more suitable than evolutionairy.