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N-UCAS Contract - News?

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posted on Jul, 16 2007 @ 09:53 PM
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I was reading an old thread about the X-47B in which Intelgurl stated that a contract for N-UCAS program would be announced by the Navy in April of 2007. Well, it's July and information on the net about either the X-47B or N-UCAS is scarce to come by and not updated. Does anyone know what has happened to this program, is it still active, canceled or in development/funding hell?


[edit on 16-7-2007 by WestPoint23]




posted on Jul, 17 2007 @ 07:42 AM
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Westy,

The decision on the UCAS-N is forthcoming any day now.
(It has changed names to the "UCAS-D" for "Unmanned Combat Air System Carrier Demonstration").

As you know there is a competition between Boeing's X-45N and Northrop-Grumman's X-47.

Northrop's X-47 has been favored by the Navy since the competition was for the "J-UCAS" - while Boeing has been the USAF's favorite for the same period of time.

When the USAF abandoned the J-UCAS program Boeing was left out in the cold and has spent much of their time trying to redirect their wooing efforts towards the Navy, but by now Northrop's X-47 has been so ingrained in the thinking of Navy brass it is (in my opinion) unlikely that the X-45N will be the Navy's choice.

If Boeing's X-45N does become the choice it will most likely be a political reason (as they all are), but in this case it would be to sustain Boeing's military aerospace division which is coming to the end of the last incarnation of the F-18, the EF-18 Growler.


A little more about the looming decision:
Decision Looms on U.S. Navy’s UCAS-D - Defense News.Com



posted on Jul, 17 2007 @ 12:45 PM
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Thanks for the reply and excellent news intelgurl, as always. Northrop does seem to have an advantage and the X-47B airframe seems to be more capable on paper. However I'm wondering if are there any major capability/design differences between the X-45C and X-45N?



posted on Jul, 17 2007 @ 01:05 PM
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Major differences between X-45C & X-45N will include a beefier suspension to enable carrier landings, and some major tweaks on the software. Probably additional weather/saline protection as well.





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