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EADS Details Secretive Barracuda UAV Program

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posted on May, 12 2006 @ 05:41 AM
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Finally! Back in February some pictures leaked out of the Barracuda doing ground tests. Yesterday, EADS released more details about this UAV, which is currenty Europe's largest:




'Barracuda' UAV demonstrator opens up new technology perspectives for EADS

The EADS Military Air Systems Business Unit has for the first time flight tested an innovative aircraft for the development of future operational Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).

During the recent 20-minute flight, the jet-powered air vehicle, which is known to initiated experts by its project name 'Barracuda', followed a pre-programmed course completely autonomously, merely being kept under observation from a ground station. This flight marked the successful completion of the first test phase, which also comprised an extensive series of ground tests. Following presentation at the International Aerospace Exhibition ILA in Berlin, the further development and testing will be continued.

"With the first flight of our technology demonstrator for unmanned high performance military systems we have thrust the door wide open to one of the most promising future global markets in our branch," said Dr. Stefan Zoller, the EADS Executive Committee member responsible for the company's defence and security business. "We now have an additional, more powerful test platform at our disposal for the further development of our core technological competencies in this extremely important field," Zoller continued.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


Very interesting program! The Barracuda will be put on display next week at the Berlin Air Show, so more high resolution pics will then become available.

Additional links:

- Barracuda UAV factsheet
- Barracuda's technical specifications





posted on May, 12 2006 @ 05:54 AM
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Slightly scary thought that soon completely automated planes will be flying around.



posted on May, 15 2006 @ 11:52 AM
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There's a video of the Barracuda flying here: www.eads.com...





posted on May, 15 2006 @ 12:32 PM
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Great pics planeman...
How do you find those...



posted on May, 15 2006 @ 01:21 PM
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Originally posted by Figher Master FIN
Great pics planeman...
How do you find those...

I hacked NASA's computer system and hijacked an Alien technology which allowed my to teleport back in time to the Spanish air base and then I used a digital camera with a top secret x4500 zoom lens concealed in my watch strap to take the pictures. but don't tell anyone about it.





ps. Click the link I posted to the EADS website and scroll down.



posted on May, 15 2006 @ 01:53 PM
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OK, these images are from an EADS press pack I have. I haven’t seen these pics on any other site so thank me on this one!

I have the press pack in PDF and it has more good pics than these and some good info to so if anyone has a website or anything and wants the PDF, just PM me.






Note the “saw tooth” wing trailing edge, a clear indicator of stealth design influences.



posted on May, 15 2006 @ 04:00 PM
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That UAV can't be true stealth.

It just doesn't resemble true stealth aircraft, sure it has the saw tooth configuration, but there's more to stealth than that.

The intakes looks like they made some attempt at stealth as well. What kind of gives it away is the fact that it is completely round on the bottom, and the frontal RCS has to be high. Also, the wings and empennage are probably bolted down from the inside and not blended with the structure, so those sharp corners will give away stealth too.

Just my input on the stealth, but over all it looks like a nice advanced technology demonstrator, but what's wrong with the Predator? Can't we just put that on loan?

It's ok if we can't, I'm just sayin'.

Shattered OUT...



posted on May, 15 2006 @ 04:22 PM
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Originally posted by ShatteredSkies
That UAV can't be true stealth.

It just doesn't resemble true stealth aircraft, sure it has the saw tooth configuration, but there's more to stealth than that.

The intakes looks like they made some attempt at stealth as well. What kind of gives it away is the fact that it is completely round on the bottom, and the frontal RCS has to be high. Also, the wings and empennage are probably bolted down from the inside and not blended with the structure, so those sharp corners will give away stealth too.

Just my input on the stealth, but over all it looks like a nice advanced technology demonstrator, but what's wrong with the Predator? Can't we just put that on loan?

It's ok if we can't, I'm just sayin'.

Shattered OUT...
Shattered, this is in a completely different class to the predator in every respect. This is more analogous with the X-45/47 program.


Re stealth, I don't agree. I do not understant certain aspects of this airframe shape but we know that the aircraft uses extensive use of composites, most of which are radar-transparent. Therefore the outer shape of the aircraft may not be what the radar "sees". The Intake is above the line of the engine meaning that it doesn't reflect off the turbine ("line of sight stealth", as on F-22). and the intake is on the top of the aircraft so it is masked from ground radars.

[edit on 15-5-2006 by planeman]



posted on May, 15 2006 @ 06:43 PM
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Originally posted by planeman

Originally posted by ShatteredSkies
That UAV can't be true stealth.

It just doesn't resemble true stealth aircraft, sure it has the saw tooth configuration, but there's more to stealth than that.

The intakes looks like they made some attempt at stealth as well. What kind of gives it away is the fact that it is completely round on the bottom, and the frontal RCS has to be high. Also, the wings and empennage are probably bolted down from the inside and not blended with the structure, so those sharp corners will give away stealth too.

Just my input on the stealth, but over all it looks like a nice advanced technology demonstrator, but what's wrong with the Predator? Can't we just put that on loan?

It's ok if we can't, I'm just sayin'.

Shattered OUT...
Shattered, this is in a completely different class to the predator in every respect. This is more analogous with the X-45/47 program.


Re stealth, I don't agree. I do not understant certain aspects of this airframe shape but we know that the aircraft uses extensive use of composites, most of which are radar-transparent. Therefore the outer shape of the aircraft may not be what the radar "sees". The Intake is above the line of the engine meaning that it doesn't reflect off the turbine ("line of sight stealth", as on F-22). and the intake is on the top of the aircraft so it is masked from ground radars.

[edit on 15-5-2006 by planeman]
The intake doesn't look like it's on a different level than the engine according to that transparent view image, or the front orthographic image.

And yeah, there's a corner where the wings and fuselage meet.



posted on May, 15 2006 @ 09:55 PM
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Re the intake-engine level of the Barracuda. Looking at the cutaway drawing, plus the level of the exhaust relative to the intake, I am sure that the turbine is BELOW the intake level. Based on an EADS side profile, here is how I see it:



posted on May, 16 2006 @ 11:20 AM
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OK, with the new data on the Barracuda, we can finally make a good comparision between it and other similar UCAV demonstrators. I am awaiting more info on the BAE Raven and SAAB Filur but here's a basic size comparison:



posted on May, 16 2006 @ 12:56 PM
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Barracuda the largest European U(C)AV?

I've been reading several articles and press releases about the Barracuda demonstrator, which state it is Europe's largest UAV. Data provided by Dassault, however, shows the nEUROn UCAV demonstrator is the largest.

nEUROn:
Length 10m || 33ft
Wingspan 12m || 40 ft

Barracuda:
Length 8.25 m || 27 ft
Wingspan 7.22 m || 23.7 ft

Perhaps, with this data, you could add the nEUROn UCAV demonstrator to the comparison image, you can find more info and images about it on my website.

nEUROn



Oh, according to a Saab press release, the "FILUR demonstrator will be 2.5 metres wide and 2.2 metres long":

[edit on 5-16-2006 by Zion Mainframe]



posted on May, 16 2006 @ 12:58 PM
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Neuron is still being designed though. It won't produce an actual aircraft until around 2010ish with a first flight probably around 2012.



posted on May, 16 2006 @ 01:43 PM
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Ok, I've added the FILUR and Raven but they are less certain in terms of size - the stated dimensions for the FILUR appear slightly off.



posted on May, 16 2006 @ 03:14 PM
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I think your pic of Raven is a little off, the wingspan seems fine but the pics I have I think show a much greater degree of sweep. A bit more like this imho





posted on May, 16 2006 @ 03:24 PM
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The intake doesn't look like it's on a different level than the engine according to that transparent view image, or the front orthographic image.

And yeah, there's a corner where the wings and fuselage meet.
That doesn't mean anything. If you just used that it would only be a semi stealth AC and not a true one.



posted on May, 16 2006 @ 03:29 PM
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Originally posted by Mike_A
I think your pic of Raven is a little off, the wingspan seems fine but the pics I have I think show a much greater degree of sweep. A bit more like this imho



Good skills Mike. Yep, I'd agree with that. It's hard to do with the very limited nuumber of pics I've seen.

PS. Good graphics skills, you should be entering the various design fly-off threads.



posted on May, 16 2006 @ 03:40 PM
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Thanks, it might well be way off though. If you want me to help out with graphics just give me a shout.

By the way did you get my email?



posted on May, 16 2006 @ 03:54 PM
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I did get the mail and replied. The doc was interesting.

Looking at the size comparison images above, I was surprised how much smaller the Alenia Sky-X is. Of interest with the Sky-X I now think that it does have a weapons bay of sorts - the payload bay is modular and can be configured as a weapons bay but more akin to modular cruise missiles rather than conventional bomb bay - given the fact it's allegedly a converted stores pylon that makes sense. It also hints at a fundemental conceptual difference between the Sky-X and the Neuron.

Re the Neuron, it is probably going to be not much bigger than the X-45 whereas the US UCAVs wil probably be bigger. I've done some thrust: weight and payload/fuel fraction calculations also. The Alenia Sky-X have worse thrust:weight ratios than the US equivilents. The Sky-X has far less fuel than the others but has the best payload fraction.



posted on May, 16 2006 @ 04:09 PM
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The Sky-X was to eventually gain an internal weapons carriage capability but I think this was dropped in favour of greater investment in Neuron. The original design did have this in mind though.

I thought you might have replied, I haven't got anything though, could you resend it to the other address I gave you (the mike one). Thanks.



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