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F-35 (UCAV Variant)

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posted on Aug, 16 2006 @ 09:13 PM
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hi all, what do people know about this??

www.defensenews.com...

is it a joint project between various nations like the manned F-35 jsf (lighting)?, would love to hear some more info about it




posted on Aug, 17 2006 @ 06:16 AM
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I've heard rumors about this, but all the evidence (as well as common sense) suggests that this is a long way off. It certainly is a "joint project" in that Lockheed-Martin is using the multinational F-35 as a starting point, but for now an RQ-35 (?) is just a concept. As it says in your article:



“We’re focused on our manned F-35 now,” Mauro said, “but will pick up the unmanned version as interest among the military grows. And, unlike J-UCAS, we have a vehicle flying now.”

The final production version of the F-35 has yet (IIRC) to make its maiden flight. However, it has been suggested for some time that Lockheed-Martin might make a move like this, and if they "build in" (so to speak) UCAV capability, it is probably a good idea. Another article I've read had this to say:

From the Global Defense article:



After studying submarine-launched UCAV concepts with DARPA, Lockheed Martin proposed an unmanned version of its F-35 joint strike fighter that could be in service soon after the manned aircraft is operational with the US Air Force and navy. Commonality of components, avionics and weapons systems and maintenance would reduce design, development and through-life costs drastically.

What I find really interesting is how a program like this could cut costs for individual airframes by increasing the number of aircraft produced.

[edit on 17-8-2006 by PhloydPhan]



posted on Aug, 22 2006 @ 10:18 AM
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just an update on this for those that are interested:-

www.flightglobal.com... (updated today).



posted on Aug, 22 2006 @ 10:30 AM
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st3ve,
just how much is an F-35 going to cost? Do they really think that it cannot be done cheaper with alot more stealth built in ala JUCA ect ect?? There seems to be this weird desire to push the F-35 for all missions and now includes UCAV..


I don't think this will get the nod on expense alone, i actually see it as an attempt to keep the production line open just in case some one wants more manned craft that are not bugeted to. if its easy to make them unmanned, surely its simple to make them manned ?

Nasty ugly plane any way. Bring back those sleek UCAVS.



posted on Aug, 22 2006 @ 11:26 AM
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Originally posted by D4rk Kn1ght

Nasty ugly plane any way.


Yeah, but Boeing's X-32 was even uglier
.

Back to the subject. UCAV isn't really a mission. It's a whole other aircraft. This means that the dev teams won't have to concentrate on putting things into a cramped area to make sure the pilot doesn't do someting stupid. A UCAV would make that unnecessary, meaning you don't even need that stuff in there, therefore freeing up space for something else if need be. Heck, you could stick some ballast in there, and leave it at that. Instant cost cuts.



posted on Aug, 22 2006 @ 03:10 PM
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Holy be Damned yeah the X-32 is the damnest ugliest thing EVER to lift off a runway!

Man that plane should carry an eye sore rating and a warning sign......SHUDDERS......

But come on though, surley a F-35 UCAV is a tad expensive and unrealistic isn't it?

A faster, stealthier airframe could be made, and not have to have the bulge where the pilots station should of been... nasty nasty waste of money from lockheed ...


to that idea.



posted on Aug, 22 2006 @ 11:26 PM
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Originally posted by Darkpr0
meaning you don't even need that stuff in there, therefore freeing up space for something else if need be.

Lockheed has said that the extra space would be used to hold more fuel.

I think its a pretty good idea...as long as its cost effective. Since its widely known that UAV's are cheaper then piloted aircraft.



posted on Aug, 23 2006 @ 01:13 AM
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Most of the space saved by not having a "cockpit" and all the life support, etc that goes along with it will probably be used on ISR and targeting type hardware.
Also bear in mind a ucav of this sort could deliver weaponized directed energy - anyone remember the research that has gone into the laser for the F-35? Of course there are other DEW options other than lasers...



posted on Aug, 23 2006 @ 08:08 AM
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Hi Intelgurl, interesting blog you have there *bookmarked*


From what I've understood from this article, Lockheed wants to build not only a fully unmanned F-35 version, they also want to build a version that can be both piloted or remotely controlled:



Lockheed Martin expects an unmanned F-35 would cost roughly the same as a standard plane with a pilot, he said. The company estimates that a plane rated for either piloted or remote operation would cost only 3% more than the baseline F-35 jet.

But drone-only versions could cost 3% less than the baseline aircraft, according to these projections. For example, the company has envisioned that two piloted fighters could be accompanied by four unmanned fighters without the full suite of high-tech sensors.


Am I right about that, or is this article incorrect??

Also, a couple of months ago, The Air Force announced it was interested in an unmanned version of the F-117's. As they are about to retire, wouldn't is be a lot cheaper to convert those into unmanned versions, instead of unmanning BRAND NEW F-35's?
If those drones are only going to serve as extra 'external bomb carriers' for manned fighters, convert the F-117 into a drone version and you're done!

[edit on 8-23-2006 by Zion Mainframe]



posted on Aug, 23 2006 @ 09:48 AM
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Damn a drone F-117..... Time to get playing in photoshop and spoofing up a few ideas..... Nice idea though.

have a two seat f-22 loitering at the forward edge of battle, with a complement of four f-117's doing the dirty work. Their tech has been proven to work, and if you converted the whole fleet, that would give you one hell of a strike capacity with a 100% stealthised force.

I'll work on the photoshop ideas .



posted on Aug, 23 2006 @ 11:15 AM
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THIS IS A PIECE OF PHOTOSHOP ARTWORK. I do not claim it to be real or a portrail of any thing real. it is for fun and to post a concept that i would LIKE TO SEE.

img217.imageshack.us...

A tailess FB-22A UCAV. I would love to see this baby rock and roll. No tails because it doesn't need high angle of attack control as it is a strike bomber UCAV..


Like it? I got more of those.....



posted on Aug, 23 2006 @ 12:34 PM
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^^
very impressive



posted on Aug, 23 2006 @ 02:20 PM
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Originally posted by Zion Mainframe
Hi Intelgurl, interesting blog you have there *bookmarked*


Lockheed Martin expects an unmanned F-35 would cost roughly the same as a standard plane with a pilot, he said. The company estimates that a plane rated for either piloted or remote operation would cost only 3% more than the baseline F-35 jet.

Am I right about that, or is this article incorrect??

Also, a couple of months ago, The Air Force announced it was interested in an unmanned version of the F-117's. As they are about to retire, wouldn't is be a lot cheaper to convert those into unmanned versions, instead of unmanning BRAND NEW F-35's?
If those drones are only going to serve as extra 'external bomb carriers' for manned fighters, convert the F-117 into a drone version and you're done!


Zion,
Using retired F-117's as UCAVs, specifically in the unmanned strike role is without a doubt an intelligent option.

The problem with the F-117 is that it lacks the space for the additional ISR and targeting hardware. Sure you can cram all kinds of racks and modules into the cockpit area, but it is not adequate space for a complete F2T2EA cycle friendly electronics suite. This issue does not preclude the F-117 from an unmanned combat role but it does mean that some other asset will have to be used in conjunction with the F-117 UCAV if future doctrines are to be adhered to.

Does this mean there is a place for the F-35 manned/unmanned version in US inventory? It probably will not happen due to cost although it does have room in all the right places for a complete F2T2EA cycle friendly electronics suite.
However I could see a few F-35 manned/unmanned units being produced as prototypes to demonstrate unmanned swarming and somehow finding their way to a small operational "black squadron".

I'll put my money on the unmanned F-117 as an interim solution to some as yet unnamed UCAV with a full suite and pinpoint ground strike capability.



posted on Aug, 23 2006 @ 04:10 PM
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Flight has got an article about the F35 UCAV. Pilotless F-35 breaks cover

The idea seems to be to dump the sensors as well as all the enviroment and life support stuff. This reduces the cost of the aircraft by over 35%. The resulting craft would be used as a bomb truck in conjunction with manned aircraft, shareing data over an air to air link from the manned crafts sensor suite.

Seems an interesting idea, the F117 could be a perfect development aircaft for such scheme.



posted on Aug, 23 2006 @ 08:40 PM
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Sorry to say this, but this is a really lousy idea.

The JSF was intended to be a manned aircraft, and there's considerably more difference between manned fighters and UCAVs than sticking a fuel tank in the cockpit and upgrading the autopilot. The F-35 was optomized as a manned aircraft, and turning it into a UCAV is going to compromise the design. Making some changes is possible, but it's going to be expensive, as suggested by the previously mentioned 3% price hike on an aircraft that already costs $112 mil. each.

The "stripper" model holds little more promise. A 35% price decrease means $72 mil. invested in an aircraft with no sensors, designed only to opperate alongside manned JSF fighters. Considering that you can by an AESA-equiped F-15E for ~$60 mil., the performance/price ratio for this UCAV idea is kinda pathetic.

It's worth comparing JSF "UCAV" to an aircraft designed to be unmanned from the beginning: Boeing's X-45C (sorry to bring it up so often, it's the UAV I'm most familiar with). Compared to the JSF "stripper," you can get the same internal bomb storage, get more than 4x the range (2600 nm vs. 620 nm), carry your own sensors capable of detecting and reacting to threats... and the whole package was estimated as costing only ~$10-$15 mil. per plane.

Compared to something designed to be a UCAV from the start, the JSF "bomb truck" conversion just isn't worth the effort.



posted on Aug, 23 2006 @ 08:49 PM
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img223.imageshack.us...


hey people, what do you think to the sexy new FB-22A tailess bomber UCAV??

Heres a piccie with it in tight formation over alaska.

As before, I am posting conceptual aircraft that are my own ideas. These pictures I post are photoshopped images and creation.

I like the idea of a UCAV FB-22. It has a nice feel to it!

(Mods, i'm posting these to give people an idea of what they may look like if created. if you want me to cease, I will do so immediately.)



posted on Aug, 23 2006 @ 09:25 PM
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St3ve_0,
heres what going to beat all of them into submission when and if it enters service (And i for one pray to god that it does) The ultra sleek and very very sweet looking FB-23A.

Heres a picture that i have done which shows it in dark european cammo at day break. Enjoy.

img151.imageshack.us...



posted on Aug, 23 2006 @ 09:46 PM
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I think your photoshop skills could deffiniatly be improved apon.

no, I'm not saying I'm a photoshopping god, and I might not even be able to beat you...But one thing I noticed in all your pics.....pixelation...which I'm guessing you added in to help cover up the small noticable mistakes. (I'm not bashing you, its just some CC).

BTW...wouldn't it be more to the thread if you did a F-35 UCAV?

Also, the second raptor pic looked nice, but would look much better it the cockpit area didn't protrude.

[edit on 23-8-2006 by Murcielago]



posted on Aug, 23 2006 @ 10:08 PM
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Lol the noise is to simulate a photo grain and motion blur at high speeds....kinda failed if you didn't like it...lol.

Photoshop skills can always be improved upon, and so to improve i will do you an F-35 UCAV (An idea I hate, but then i think the f-35 is ugly!)


Oh and do you know how long each image took? 15 minutes max. If i took hours..... I'll do you an F-35.



posted on Aug, 23 2006 @ 10:25 PM
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Originally posted by D4rk Kn1ght
Photoshop skills can always be improved upon, and so to improve i will do you an F-35 UCAV (An idea I hate, but then i think the f-35 is ugly!)

Oh and do you know how long each image took? 15 minutes max. If i took hours..... I'll do you an F-35.

I think the F-35 looks pretty good. And every time I look at a X-32 pic...the 35 keeps looking better.


I'll spend an hour or two on one...either tonight or tomorrow, and I'll post it whenever I finish it.



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