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X-45 UCAV unmanned combat aircraft

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posted on Mar, 1 2004 @ 09:45 PM
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So the US is making an unmanned strike aircraft....

This sounds like a good idea, in theory. My question is are we ready to trust remote control to carry out our missions? Isnt there a high probability that electronic warfare would prevent comunication with the plane, therefore rendering it useless?

heres a link




posted on Mar, 2 2004 @ 04:23 PM
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This is the second try at an armed UAV. The first was the Dark Star (crashed at Edwards during testing). The predators have proven this concept with hellfire missiles and 500 lbs bombs (testing laser guided bombs now).



posted on Mar, 2 2004 @ 04:28 PM
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Guess they are scared to use the anti-gravity machines in public. Besides, its not their money they are spending,its yours.



posted on Mar, 2 2004 @ 04:44 PM
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Huskers, was the dark star A to G only or did it have A to A abilities as well.



posted on Mar, 2 2004 @ 07:28 PM
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Low Cost Autonomous Attack System (LOCAAS).

anyone want to comment on what this is ? I know what it is.....

Its a small drone that looks like a flying coffee can that has a pre-programed target identification program.

Basically it flys down to the battlefield, matches up with a weapons system signature (through a variety of sensor formats) and then flys into the preprogramed target type, setting off its weapons payload which can be HE, GAS, Anti- Personel, etc

They just fly around looking for their targets.



posted on Mar, 2 2004 @ 07:39 PM
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You got - points madman and i thought i was the only bad one on these forums.



posted on Mar, 2 2004 @ 07:48 PM
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Got some stuff on LOCASS here...

xmb.stuffucanuse.com...



posted on Mar, 2 2004 @ 07:48 PM
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T-BO...what's up?
Question:

Did you have anything to further add that would be related to this topic?

Your imput is valued here and as a valued member of the ATS community, having you contribute further information related to any particular topic or thread would be an awesome concept. What do you think of the X-45 UCAV?





regards
seekerof

[Edited on 2-3-2004 by Seekerof]



posted on Mar, 2 2004 @ 07:54 PM
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Zion Mainframe has some real good information on the X-45 UCAV also:


"Boeing X-45 UCAV: Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (X-45)"
www.air-attack.com...




Good information.


regards
seekerof

[Edited on 2-3-2004 by Seekerof]



posted on Mar, 2 2004 @ 07:58 PM
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This LOCAAS thing seems truely revolutionary - it is a straight up smart munition that can loiter over the battle field!! Those guys at Lockheed are incredible. Sure am glad to have them on my side!




You got - points madman and i thought i was the only bad one on these forums.


hahahahaha!! yeah, well this isnt my usual name on this sight - i forgot my password and since my original name is on an email account i no longer have the PW to *sigh* im stuck being the madman for a little while

PS - my other name aint much better


[Edited on 7-3-2004 by American Mad Man]



posted on Mar, 2 2004 @ 08:17 PM
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thats some good stuff seekerof


1 question:

Any chance these things could carry anti air weapons, or will it be strictly a ground attack platform?



posted on Mar, 2 2004 @ 08:20 PM
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To be perfectly honest, I haven't meddled with nor researched this enough to tell you for certain if the X-45 UCAV could use anti-air missiles but given what I have read thus far, I would haphazard a guess and say yes?


Hopefully Zion Mainframe or intelgurl will see this thread and make a comment or two. Both are considerably knowledgable on such information.




regards
seekerof

[Edited on 2-3-2004 by Seekerof]



posted on Mar, 2 2004 @ 11:05 PM
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Originally posted by American Mad Man
My question is are we ready to trust remote control to carry out our missions? Isnt there a high probability that electronic warfare would prevent comunication with the plane, therefore rendering it useless?


Encoded satellite remote control is coming of age -

The problem of interception, jamming or otherwise neutralizing the UAV's remote control signal is certainly a concern - especially with flight controls & command and control.
However the current advanced state of remote control via satellite is actually rather safe, utilizing "low probability of intercept" (LPI) communications antennas.
The stealth UCAV type aircraft is given it's tasks to perform, and intelligence is downloaded through encoded satellite links.
To help prevent enemy intervention or detection, antennas are on top of the aircraft to better communicate with the satellite and simultaneously shield them from electronic countermeasures and surveillance.




Originally posted by huskers
This is the second try at an armed UAV. The first was the Dark Star (crashed at Edwards during testing). The predators have proven this concept with hellfire missiles and 500 lbs bombs (testing laser guided bombs now).

Dark Star #1 crashed during testing in 1996, but the program continued on into June of 1998 with Dark Star #2.

It is a little known fact (not suposition) that a derivative of the "DarkStar" URAV program was used in Iraq just prior to hostilities. An un-named US Air Force official described it as being the same concept as DarkStar, in that it is stealthy and it uses the same apertures and data links. (AW&ST Jul. 6, 2003)

The classified UAV's operation apparently caused concern among USAF U-2 pilots who noticed high-flying aircraft operating within their flight corridor over Iraq, a proximity they considered too close for comfort. The mysterious aircrafts' flights were not coordinated with those of the other manned and unmanned surveillance aircraft, they said.

An unidentified Navy official said that it had the hull form of the DarkStar, only that it was larger than the original Dark Star, yet it is smaller and carries a "less robust" payload than the U-2.
The Air Force has had a long-standing requirement for a very-low-observable, high-altitude UAV that can fly 1,000 naut. mi. to a target, penetrate modern air defenses such as the SA-10, SA-12 and SA-20 anti-aircraft missile systems, loiter for at least 8 hr. and return to base.

Lockheed's Skunk Works has also been developing a classified UCAV demonstration program at least since 2000 with the idea of competing against Boeing's X-45 and Northrop Grumman's X-47 UCAV demonstrators (AW&ST Sept. 25, 2000, p. 28).





Originally posted by American Mad Man
...was the dark star A to G only or did it have A to A abilities as well?

There is probably very little or no information for this in the public sector...
The technology certainly exists, and therefore the capability exists - but overall the UCAV's point and purpose is Recon and ground attack, not attacking other aircraft.
As the UCAV's develop more over the coming years you will probably see an emergence of A2A capabilities such as AIM-9's, AMRAAM's or ASRAAM's - but don't expect to see remote control dogfights with guns blazing.



posted on Mar, 2 2004 @ 11:20 PM
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thanks for the info





It is a little known fact (not suposition) that a derivative of the "DarkStar" URAV program was used in Iraq just prior to hostilities. An un-named US Air Force official described it as being the same concept as DarkStar, in that it is stealthy and it uses the same apertures and data links. (AW&ST Jul. 6, 2003)


so we already have these things in the hangers?



posted on Mar, 2 2004 @ 11:24 PM
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Originally posted by American Mad Man
thanks for the info


so we already have these things in the hangers?

Actually they are probably in large boxes resembling truck trailers and assembled just before use.



posted on Mar, 3 2004 @ 09:41 AM
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Yup, they're moved around in containers. You can see one of those containers in this pic: www.air-attack.com...

It also uses a ground control station, which looks like this: www.air-attack.com...




Any chance these things could carry anti air weapons, or will it be strictly a ground attack platform?

From what I could find, they can only be used for air-ground engagement.
It would technically be possible, but flying a UAV while in a dogfight would be quite a challange for it's 'pilot'. And, it would also require a lot more camera's aboard the plane, so they have a clear view of what's flying nearby.

I found this USAF document (dates back to Dec 1996):
www.au.af.mil...



Operational Mission and Mission Task Concepts

The study group assessed UAV contributions to Air Force missions and promulgated 22 missions/tasks to which UAVs can contribute. The following nine missions are representative of UAV mission needs and serve as a context in which to address technology opportunities. In no particular order, they are:

Counter Weapons of Mass Destruction
Theater Missile Defense-Ballistic Missiles/ Cruise Missiles
Fixed Target Attack
Moving Target Attack
Jamming
Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses
Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance
Communications/Navigation Support
Air-to-Air


So they probably are working on it!

In this article they claim the Predator can be armed with both air-to-ground and air-to-air missiles. I'm not sure if that's true though...do you know anything about this Intelgurl??



posted on Mar, 3 2004 @ 02:38 PM
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Originally posted by Zion Mainframe
they claim the Predator can be armed with both air-to-ground and air-to-air missiles. I'm not sure if that's true though...do you know anything about this Intelgurl??


As I said, the technology is here now to go A2A with a UCAV... although there really isn't a need at the present time.

The predator could just as easily be fitted with heat seeking A2A's as it could with ground attack munitions...
All it would take internally on the predator would be to slide in the avionics and boxes necessary to make it happen...



Along similar thoughts, you guys may find the following interesting...

The Air Force and DARPA are funding a program called "System Development and Demonstration (SDD) 0604731F UCAV, Project # 58".

This program contains the R&D and deployment of 14 UCAV systems, the Boeing X-45 being one of them.
Information is limited and vague, however the program is currently at a "Spiral 2" development stage which is the final stage before deployment.
Last year (2003) DARPA & the USAF spent $39,127,000 on this program; this year, (2004) DoD will spend $175,944,000.
In FY 2005 $423,447,000 has been allocated for this project and in FY 2006 $468,356,000 has been allocated.
As colleague told me when I came across this information, "that's one hell of a ramp up!"...

Let's face it, UCAV's are coming online in a big way over the next few years. While there will always be a place for manned aerial fighter/attack craft, the need for as many manned aircraft may dwindle as guidance, command/control and artificial intelligence sciences are further developed for both ground attack and air to air engagements.

Air to Air capabilities are already here, but not as 2 fighters would engage, a more likely scenario would be a stealthy UCAV lying in wait for an enemy aircraft in a known flight path or around an area to be protected. With current technology, the UCAV would likely attack the enemy aircraft with a heat seeking missile.

However, in the next decade we will most likely see unmanned fighter aircraft engaging enemy aircraft in a more blatant fashion.

Below: Missiles being loaded on an X-45



Sources:
"System Development and Demonstration (SDD) 0604731F", Department of Defense Technical Information Center

"Replacing Man with Artificial Intelligence in Combat Aircraft", Department of Defense, Scientific and Information Technical Network; Lt. Col. John Flade

"Molding the Shape of Future Air Combat", Janes Defense Weekly, July 16, 1997

Images from Raytheon & Darpa



posted on Mar, 3 2004 @ 05:26 PM
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UCAV can fire anything we want them to fire. Since a Predator can fire a hellfire, it can also fire its sister weapon (sparrow) while the two use seperate guidance systems the sparrow just needs a thermal lock and from then on its a fire and forget weapon, no active "painting" required.

UCAV can also have an autonymous flight mode akin to the Predator's (Station- Observe) mode. Just select a target and let the UCAV's flight control do all the work to keep the target in sight. This makes Dogfights easy as the target AQ system pushes the aircraft to maintain on target. Once Fire-Okay commands are given the UCAV can fire when the target system thinks it has a high probability of contact.



posted on Mar, 4 2004 @ 12:52 AM
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UCAVs are pesky little things, aren't they? Sort of like not having all of your eggs in one basket. Send in a manned fighter and the pilot can take out two or three UCAVs (boo hoo), while the rest, costing $1 mil apiece and packing one missile only, will simply scribble the human...

The solution is to go in with a UCAV "halo," perhaps.

BUT, the advent of solid state laser tech may render all these points moot. If lasers were to become powerful and long ranged enough, we would end up with no fighters, no UCAVs - only dedicated laser "bombers," and high speed tanks or armoured, laser-equipped choppers. Personally, I think the Pentagon has underestimated the impact the laser weapon will make - IF anybody else starts using it. Heck, the Germans were testing their own mobile chemical laser units in the 70s.



posted on Mar, 4 2004 @ 12:55 AM
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X-45 UCAV... Boeing design.

Isn't an Unmanned attack fighter too?



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