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Global Hawk and An-70 in crisis

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posted on Apr, 18 2006 @ 11:30 AM
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The USAF's RQ-4 Global Hawk and the Antonov An -70 both hit financial troubles this week according to Flight International.

In the case of the Global Hawk it has reached 'critical overspend' level and is being threatened with being scrapped unless its continued existance can be justified .
Several programmes have been identified as having overspent, including the V-22 and F-22 but it is only the RQ-4 that faces imminent cancellation if it cannot be justified as vital for national security by June 5th

Whats the view on here, can the Global Hawk be thrown away with no great loss? It is being considered for the RAF as a replacement for the Canberra so its loss would be a blow to the UK.

Regarding the An-70 transport, it has been announced that Russia is withdrawing from the project, whatsmore Ukraine is facing the prospect of reimbursing Russia for the money it has spent on development, amounting to 72% of programme costs.

Reasons cited by Russia include 'poor performance' and Ukraines ambitions of joining NATO.

Does this spell the death of the programme or does the Ukraine have the strength to carry on?




posted on Apr, 18 2006 @ 12:39 PM
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I had no idea the global hawk faced financial troubles... I thought it was a very smooth project... Any links to web-sites with more fact....??



posted on Apr, 18 2006 @ 12:51 PM
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Originally posted by Figher Master FIN
I had no idea the global hawk faced financial troubles... I thought it was a very smooth project... Any links to web-sites with more fact....??

It's been in the news a few times last few weeks. Today's article contains no new info, I've already posted an article about this on march 16: US budget watchdog calls for suspension of Northrop RQ-4B UAV full production
You can check my Global Hawk news archive for more stories on this.
_________________________________________________________

I dont know much about the AN-70 so I can't really comment on that programme. The Global hawk, however, is a program I've followed for quite some time now.
I highly doubt the RQ-4(B) program will be cancelled, it's one of the few programs that's actually really worth it. It's logical oversight groups are critical about the F-35 JSF and Raptor, they were designed decades ago for threaths that no longer exist.

The U-2 has been in service for 4 decades now, it's missions are increasingly becoming more dangrous for an on-board pilot. It can only operate for 12 hours max, the pilot needs to be concentrated enough to land it, which isn't easy.
The Global Hawk has an endurance of 30+ hours (I believe it's 42 hrs), the Air Force simply needs them, they can't rely on satellites alone. I don't know what the benefits of the larger RQ-4B are, but killing the entire Global Hawk program is pretty much out of the question. The Air Force is very committed to it's UAV programs.
The debate is about high costs of research/production of the B version. When the UK and Australia buy a couple, unit costs will go down. They also showed off the Global hawk to Japan recently. It performed a test flight over Japan and other Asian countries.

Several nations are considering buying Global Hawks: Australia brings HALE UAV project forward by a year.
Australia could buy some Global Hawks with Japan, Singapore and Thailand. They will then share that 'pool' of Global Hawks between the participating countries and the US.
It would be dumb to cancel the program when it has such a potential.


[edit on 4-18-2006 by Zion Mainframe]



posted on Apr, 18 2006 @ 01:00 PM
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I Believe that there has already been over 1200 drawing changes out of the 2500 For the RQ-4B. Congress have concerns that there will be more, pushing up the cost and that the Global Hawk will at the end of it will still not be as capabale a platform as the U-2.



posted on Apr, 18 2006 @ 01:24 PM
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Sounds like the death of the An-70 to me... Where are the customers ? And a big blow to Antonov as well ? Now, will Ukraine try and join the A-400 program ? That would be ironic.



posted on Apr, 18 2006 @ 02:43 PM
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Originally posted by echoblade
...Now, will Ukraine try and join the A-400 program ? That would be ironic.


Naah, the An-70 is more than a third cheaper. The Ukraine couldnt afford, and also wouldnt really need a significant amount of those anyway.

But I think they should try and team up with Airbus to build parts for the A400M to speed up the production, many customers are not pleased with the manufacturing timeline that extends until 2021, and this could also improve its attractivity to additional export customers. I even think a merger of Airbus Military (which is not a direct part of Airbus) and the Antonov company could result in a formidable company.

[edit on 18/4/2006 by Lonestar24]



posted on Apr, 18 2006 @ 08:06 PM
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Originally posted by Lonestar24
[But I think they should try and team up with Airbus to build parts for the A400M to speed up the production,


Ask Pratt and Whitney Canada about trying to produce parts for the A400.

At anyrate We are talking about the big winged version of the Global Hawk aka RQ-4B. It is about 7000 lbs heavier and has a longer wingspan and more length (same engine and payload as the already in service RQ-4A variant.

So this would kill the big winged version, but not the actuall UAV itself



posted on Apr, 18 2006 @ 08:35 PM
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Ahh, thanks for clearing that up about the Global Hawk.

Sorrey to hear about the An-70, from what little I've heard, it sounds promising.



posted on Apr, 19 2006 @ 04:34 AM
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Fred, cheers, I didn't realise it was referring to only a single version of the RQ-4.

Regards the An-70, I wonder if China might be tempted to step into the breach and become a major partner in Russia's place? After all they already produce quite a few Antonov designed types already, such as the Y-8.



posted on Apr, 19 2006 @ 10:25 AM
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Only last week a new Global Hawk Squadron stood up at Beale AFB.

This was the 18th RECON SQ. That now makes 3 Squadrons at Beale AFB. 12th RS, 13th RS and the 18th RS



posted on Apr, 19 2006 @ 06:50 PM
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Originally posted by waynos
Fred, cheers, I didn't realise it was referring to only a single version of the RQ-4.

Regards the An-70, I wonder if China might be tempted to step into the breach and become a major partner in Russia's place? After all they already produce quite a few Antonov designed types already, such as the Y-8.


Maybe, but China is to the point where IT should be able to undertake a major transport a/c on its own without handholding unless the got such a deal they could not refuse.

The RQ-4B is also sometimes refered to as the EuroHawk so if its killed perhaps all those potential exports would go by the wayside as well. But I don't think any EU country has committed to buy one



posted on Jun, 3 2006 @ 12:54 AM
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Perhaps the Air Force was too overeager to jump on the UAV bandwagon. Trying to completely replace a manned aircraft with an unmanned one is always bound to cause trouble. If Global Hawk is to be successful, it needs to be simplified to compliment, not replace the U-2. Even I knew Global Hawk was going to fail before it even took off, just because an unrealistic demand was placed on it. UAV are good at some roles, but not all roles. That's why Duncan Sandys' prediction was never fulfilled. The unmanned alternative proved less capable and more costly, because it was trying to fill the whole void. Guns are still installed on fighters for a reason. Missiles can't do it all, no matter how much you spend.
And with that in mind, Global Hawk should be cancelled and a new, more realistic aircraft, be built.



posted on Jun, 3 2006 @ 06:22 AM
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China are worried political risk very much so that ordered Il-76 not An-70, despite the An-70 is really better than Il-76 for economic aspect.
To Global Hawk, I didn't see any superior ability on it except it can keep long time to fly.

[edit on 3-6-2006 by emile]




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