It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
This new system is said to be designed initially to collect intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance with advanced active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars. However, it also is being constructed with an eye toward employing both kinetic and/or nonkinetic weapons in some future phase of spiral development. The kinetic program--which would likely involve the 250-lb. Small-Diameter Bomb--is drawing less interest from defense and intelligence planners than nonexplosive weapons.
OF MORE INTEREST are new AESA arrays with the potential to be upgraded into weapons (see p. 50). Nonkinetic activities can be masked more easily by producing an effect that leaves an enemy unaware he's been attacked. The combination of sensor and weapon will give substance to a longtime Pentagon goal of producing "weapons effects" such as computer disruptions. It can also jam or allow penetration of computer and communications networks. Once inside enemy networks, U.S. operators can conduct intelligence-gathering or take control of networks for critical seconds or minutes during an air strike, for example. All of this would be done with no fingerprints such as bomb fragments or craters.
This new vehicle could become an unofficial competitor for the J-UCAS program. The Air Force and Navy are designing the stealthy J-UCAS system to collect intelligence, although USAF has also expressed interest in the ability to strike air defense radars and execute electronic attack missions. However, these aircraft are designed for some low-altitude and high-speed flight, which would hamper long-endurance missions.
New Lockheed UAV
Originally posted by FredT
Intelgurl, could this be the Dark Star followon that was rumored to have been used in DSII?
Originally posted by Zion Mainframe
They call it an Intel UAV, so is this another secret skunk works UAS, or is it the same program?
Originally posted by Wembley
I'm a bit puzzled about the weapon system. I can see AESA being used as a directed EMP device to burn out electronics including missile seekers, radar, comms and computers, but I don't see how you would use it for hacking networks. Taking them down by brute force, sure, but why would you need something so powerful just for hacking?
Originally posted by ShadowXIX
It seems only natural that UAVs would be developed like this. UAVs Like the Global hawk wouldnt stand much of a chance against a advanced air defense I think.
I would like to see this new UAV go the high and fast route like the SR-71.
Originally posted by ShadowXIX
Do you know if modern R.A.M can even take temperatures at Mach 3+ speeds? I always wondered if there was major issues with R.A.M at higher temps.
As for the "Son of DarkStar", I think when all is revealed about it - you'll find it is a very stealthy high flyer with not much speed but a lot of loiter time...