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larger twin engined 'darkstar' variant ? Strike Star ?

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posted on Jun, 23 2008 @ 06:23 PM
First please let me point you to this little snippet from the magazine aviation week. Its about high flying U2 pilots seeing a Lockheed Martin stealthy UAV up at their altitude.

The aircraft is described by a U.S. Air Force official as a derivative of the "DarkStar" (Tier 3-minus) program that was canceled after the demonstration aircraft was test flown and then declared operationally unsuitable. The new Lockheed Martin UAV is "highly reliable," in part because of a much improved flight control system, the Air Force official said. "It's the same concept as DarkStar, it's stealthy, and it uses the same apertures and data links," he said. "The numbers are limited. There are a couple of airframes, a ground station and spare parts."

Right so we know its limited in scope, so its still early days / was early days.

Now lets get a description.

"It has the hull form of the DarkStar, only it's bigger,"

Ok so we get the idea. A larger more capable dark star like UAV. And thats where the information goes dead - or so I thought.

scrolling through alot of accounting documents and Pdf files on the net today I found a very interesting war games Pdf.

Its titled 2025, Strike Star. No that not a mistake. This paper look at 'air occupation' in lethal environments through stealthy., high altitude unmanned aerial vehicles.

2025 is a study designed to comply with a directive from the chief of staff of the Air Force to examine the
concepts, capabilities, and technologies the United States will require to remain the dominant air and space
force in the future. Presented on 17 June 1996, this report was produced in the Department of Defense school
environment of academic freedom and in the interest of advancing concepts related to national defense. The
views expressed in this report are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of the
United States Air Force, Department of Defense, or the United States government.

They have even given us a 'hypothetical layout' for Strike Star.

Identical hull form to the dark star, only much larger....

lets get some dimensions.

wowser thats a big capable bird. > 80,000 feet operating height ? thats up there with the U2....

Now, remeber those General Electric J97s that were in storage and rolled out again for a stealthy UAV program ?

The J97 was unusual in that it was designed to operate at up to 80,000 feet, an altitude at which most jet engines cough, stall, and quit. The Air Force does not send the stealthy B-2 and F-117 over hostile territory in daylight, because those planes could be easily spotted. But at 80,000 feet, six miles above a fighter’s cruising altitude, the sky is almost as black as night, and a UAV could survive at high noon. I suspect that both Polecat and the second, larger stealth UAV are currently undergoing high-altitude flight-testing at Area 51.

Free republic

Now, add this all together and i am presuming here, but I think this is almost a dead cert. It all adds up to a stealthy penetrator able to loiter at ultra high altitude over heavily defended airspace for a long amount of time.

The name Strike star may or may not be correct, but, couple that with the U2 sightings and comments within, I think I have found us a stealthy drone thats been flight tested in combat and is almost ready to be introduced possibly using the manafcturing processes and ideas developed from the Lockheed polecat project.

(all we need now is some pics from lockheed).

posted on Jun, 23 2008 @ 06:32 PM

Intersting find. Can you list the Date for the magazine and page numbers for refernece pourposes?


posted on Jun, 23 2008 @ 06:45 PM
Strikestar Pdf link for you fredTstrike star PDF file

There... I just downloaded another copy to test it and its all good. Hope that helps.

Just right click the link to save the file to disk.

Page 37 is the drawing.

[edit on 23-6-2008 by Dan Tanna]

posted on Jun, 23 2008 @ 06:57 PM
Crikey fred, sorry about forgetting the link to aviation week !

Aviation week 2003

Seems like the U2s ran into some thing others ratherd they didn't see or know about!

[edit on 23-6-2008 by Dan Tanna]

posted on Jun, 23 2008 @ 07:33 PM
It's an interesting platform proposal. Realize that it is a 12 year old report about future technology so I don't think you'll find much in the way of particulars. Still it shows the direction at least some of the officers in the AF are looking. I thought it did a good job of outlining the benefits of UAV use.

I was glad to see Ryan mentioned and given credit

posted on Jun, 23 2008 @ 07:47 PM
Cheers _Del_,
and man those ryan engines were the beast, they still are even today when you read just how efficient they are at high altitudes.

As for the Aviation Week article, well, if they had 'a couple of airframes' way back then, well, its doing a good job to keep itself hidden in the shadows.

I for one say 'roll it out ! I wanna see it! ' (and no, the Polecat didn't cut the mustard)

Also... the aviation week is not the only source that says about a scaled up and more capable version being tested.

However, it appears that this was not quite the end of the story, because during Operation Iraqi Freedom in March/April 2003, the USAF acknowledged the operational use of at least one prototype of a new stealthy high-endurance UAV. Other than being a scaled-up and more capable derivative of the DarkStar, nothing was revealed about this UAV.

dark star

[edit on 23-6-2008 by Dan Tanna]

posted on Jun, 23 2008 @ 08:01 PM
I meant Ryan Aeronautical Company who developed the -147 and the Global Hawk, etc.

A larger armed or unarmed version on the RQ-3 wouldn't surprise me really.

[edit on 23-6-2008 by _Del_]

posted on Jun, 23 2008 @ 08:28 PM
I was suprised.

Also, finding that Pdf which pre-dates the gulf war and seeing the drawings of this larger darkstar suprised me for one reason. The Dark star still as in its testing stages in 1996 . . . .which means this colonel who wrote the piece had a damn good idea of what it was to become.

Bigger, higher, stealthier and with longer range and loiter time.

Then... then it 'crashed' and got its funding stopped.

Then.... lo and behold a larger version was seen... just like the pdf study said it would do.. sooner, alot sooner than it proposed though.

So yes, I am suprised, thats why I bothered to post it.

posted on Jun, 23 2008 @ 08:35 PM
It was a good read -- I appreciated it being posted

posted on Jun, 23 2008 @ 08:48 PM

Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works is believed to be developing a high-altitude, stealthy unmanned aircraft system (UAS) for the US Air Force (USAF) under a secret programme, funded with money taken from the terminated Joint Unmanned Combat Air System (J-UCAS) project.

The existence of a classified air force UAS project was disclosed in a navy Fiscal Year 2007 budget document, which stated that the Pentagon "directed the J-UCAS programme to split into two separate programmes: one air force classified programme and a navy UCAV [unmanned combat aerial vehicle] programme".

The new UAV, sometimes known as the Penetrating High Altitude Endurance (PHAE), is believed to be capable of operating at the 70,000-80,000 ft altitudes used by the U-2.

theres that magic number again - The altitudes used by the U-2. 80,000 feet.

This is from a janes text in 2006.


So the J-UCAS system got split into two ? and lockheed got the PHAE slice of the pie ?

Very nice.

[edit on 23-6-2008 by Dan Tanna]

posted on Jun, 24 2008 @ 12:25 AM
I think Intelgurl and others determined that the full sized Darkstar had 2 operational airframes at the time that Gulf War 2 broke out.

These Darkstar UAV's were for surveillance only, they were not strike aircraft.

Link to the 2004 thread here on ATS:
Aircraft Projects » Black DarkStar


[edit on 6/24/2008 by bios]

posted on Jun, 24 2008 @ 04:45 AM
Yes but what about after ?

What about the further developments ? is it still going ? is it transforming into the PHALE prog. ?

I was just wondering as the Colonel who wrote it seems to want a multi mission craft..seems to me he knew just what was coming down the pipe line, why and what for.

As for the Pdf file, well, I hope you enjoyed the Colonels work.

[edit on 24-6-2008 by Dan Tanna]

posted on Jun, 24 2008 @ 10:20 AM
Like so many one and two off tech demo programs that produce an operationally capable system, the likelyhood that work continued on the Darkstar airframe design is negligible at best.

What Col. Charmichael's paper does is establish a philosophical roadmap and some great insight into the mindset of UAV initiatives 12 years ago.

If you are chasing after elusive black UAV's, you'd probably better serve yourself checking into the Polecat. Like the original DarkStar, the original Polecat crashed. But the Polecat is demonstrative of the current level of UAV tech coming out of Skunkworks and there may very well be a full size version or two of the Polecat.

It's certainly worth considering.

[edit on 6/24/2008 by bios]

posted on Jun, 24 2008 @ 11:36 AM
deleted because its not relevant at this minute.

Thanks Bios for the pointers, but, I still want to know whats going on with this bigger badder dark star derivative, as it looks as if it could be their PHALE design.

N.b. The polecat is sweet though. Would love some good quality pics of it.

I'll be damned.... thanks - you just made me put two and two together...

Cheers Bios !

[edit on 24-6-2008 by Dan Tanna]

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