Mystery UCAV/UAV over Afghanistan

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posted on Apr, 10 2009 @ 08:12 AM
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I just read on Flight about a mystery UCAV that has been spotted over Afghanistan. It's similar in shape to the Polecat, but the back of the wing isn't cranked like it was on the Polecat.


Amongst the distinctive features of the type is the 'fat' wing chord, and a large central fuselage fairing. The aircraft engine nozzle is the same half moon shape as the Lockheed P175 Pole Cat, but the wing is not cranked on its trailing edge like the Pole Cat is.

The fuselage fairing could support a large squared off intake, but is more likely to house a large satellite communications and sensor mix. Two large blisters either side of the central fairing are likely to the intakes for a single turbofan engine.

...
The large doors inboard of the main landing gear may be bomb bay doors, indicating a strike capability for the type.

Mystery UCAV

[edit on 4/10/2009 by Zaphod58]




posted on Apr, 10 2009 @ 08:37 AM
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Perhaps it is Lockheed Martin's mysterious Desert Prowler UAV. It has yet to be publicly acknowledged although it first flew in 2005.



posted on Apr, 10 2009 @ 08:39 AM
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The polecat has a 1000lb payload capacity. Perhaps this is tweaked version with a larger payload capacity necessary to deliver a bomb large enough to inflict some damage in the precarious mountain regions of Afghanistan. Perhaps a Mark 84 variant.



posted on Apr, 10 2009 @ 09:40 AM
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It may be a long shot but the Predator C has reportedly just made its “first” flight. The rumours I’ve heard is that it has gone through a pretty extensive redesign, not sure if it’s to that extent or not but I suppose it’s worth keeping in mind.



posted on Apr, 10 2009 @ 09:43 AM
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reply to post by Mike_A
 


Predator C is a jet powered Predator. From what I've heard, it's almost identical to the other models, using a small jet engine. I don't think they'd use the "C" designation if it was a radical redesign.

The only changes I've heard of to the Predator C are the jet engine, and new wing for the higher speeds.

[edit on 4/10/2009 by Zaphod58]



posted on Apr, 10 2009 @ 09:43 AM
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It was an Iranian UAV. I trust my sources on this one.



posted on Apr, 10 2009 @ 09:49 AM
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reply to post by Gawdzilla
 


Flying from a US airbase? It was seen on the ground and taking off from a US airbase, so somehow I don't think it's Iranian.



posted on Apr, 10 2009 @ 10:01 AM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 


Not when the pictures were taken, true. However . . .



posted on Apr, 10 2009 @ 11:08 AM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 


I'd heard that the changes were much more extensive, I wouldn't be that surprised if that was the original intention but things crept. Especially given its unusual gestation period.

Admittedly it’s the least likely possibility but I’m keeping it in mind.

Edit - Bill Sweetman has suggested that it could possibly be a development of BAE's Corax. I doubt that though, I'm not sure where they'd find the funds.

[edit on 10-4-2009 by Mike_A]



posted on Apr, 11 2009 @ 01:03 AM
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Originally posted by Shadowhawk
Perhaps it is Lockheed Martin's mysterious Desert Prowler UAV. It has yet to be publicly acknowledged although it first flew in 2005.


This is a distinct posibility. trevor Plagens book showed two unit patches for the airframe but there has been ZERO in terms of information about it.



posted on Apr, 11 2009 @ 01:05 AM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 


Yeah the Predator C looks like the other airframes. Based on the description its not that.

The Dark Star Tier III Minus IMHO went black and this may be a follow on.



posted on Apr, 11 2009 @ 01:40 AM
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reply to post by FredT
 


I thought that maybe this was the follow on to DarkStar, but the description that came out over Iraq was that it looked like the Tier III Minus but bigger. The wing shape of the DarkStar is all wrong

Interesting......

I just read the press release about the loss of the P-175. When asked if there was interest from a customer the briefer replied "Yes. I can't go into any details but there is interest."

[edit on 4/11/2009 by Zaphod58]



posted on Apr, 11 2009 @ 11:48 AM
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I would sure like to see the original photos from which the artist's concept was derived. I compared the image to one of the Polecat taken from the exact same angle. The resemblance is striking.

Both aircraft appear to have nearly identical planforms. The Polecat has two wheels on each main gear truck while the new UAV has one. The landing gear door configurations are different. The Polecat has two engines where the new craft appears to have only one, along with more prominent intakes.

The Polecat made its first flight in mid 2005 and Desert Prowler followed in late 2005. The Polecat was used to demonstrate rapid prototyping techniques. It was meant to fly at high altitudes (around 65,000 feet) but was lost during its third flight, before any significant envelope expansion had taken place. Desert Prowler's mission is unknown and no information has been released. Two mottos associated with the project are, "Alone and on the prowl" and "Alone and unafraid." The Polecat was tested at Area 6 (Yucca Lake) as a company sponsored project. Desert Prowler may have been tested at Area 51 (Groom Lake), or possibly at Area 6, with participation by personnel from the Red Hats unit of the classified test wing (Det. 3, AFFTC).

Of course, the mystery UAV may have no connection to either of these but the resemblance to Polecat is interesting.



posted on Apr, 11 2009 @ 11:54 AM
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reply to post by Shadowhawk
 


www.paglen.com...

Unit patches for the Prowler.

Not wanting to disagree with you but the 5 stars plus 1 on both patches usually indicate Groom lake testing

Look at the bottom of the above link. It shows a patch for a Big Safari porgram UAV called Avis???

[edit on 4/11/09 by FredT]



posted on Apr, 11 2009 @ 12:22 PM
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reply to post by FredT
 


AVIS IN SPECULIS Translates to "UPON OBSERVATION"



posted on Apr, 12 2009 @ 10:27 PM
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There have been rumors floating around for awhile. Some of the first were back in 2003
Mystery UAV in IRAQ

Basically it was a follow on/redesign to Darkstar. So maybe this is what was seen in Afghanistan. It seems Lockheed was tapped very early on (late 90's) to produce some basic LO UAVs. While Northrop was knocking out some aquisitions (Ryan Aero and TRW) during that time to get their feet wet with UAVs and pretty much lock up the White World UAV Market( G-Hawk, UCAS, FireScout, and Hunter. All the meanwhile Leading systems had the CIA/DARPA satisfied with the GNAT system which later morphed into Predator as we know it.

Rumors abound that Boeing Bird of prey design found itself into a unmanned demonstrator too. There is so much not to talk about too.



posted on Apr, 12 2009 @ 10:34 PM
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reply to post by satcom
 


I thought about that, but didn't that UAV have the perfectly straight wing like DarkStar did? I thought from the descriptions that it looked just like the DarkStar only bigger.



posted on Apr, 12 2009 @ 11:47 PM
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FredT, I'm not sure why you think you are disagreeing with me. I said that Desert Prowler may have been tested at Groom Lake. I believe it most likely was tested there. On the other hand, it may - like Polecat - have been tested at Area 6 but with assistance from organizations at Groom (in this case, the Red Hats). The patches certainly suggest their involvement. It's exactly the point I was making. Where did you think Trevor got those patches anyway?



posted on Apr, 13 2009 @ 06:15 AM
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You know what guys? I'm remembering the hamering that Mad Greebo took back in 2006 when he posted a UAV image that was dismissed asa fake but bears a strong resemblance to this, from what I remember.



posted on Apr, 13 2009 @ 07:05 AM
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reply to post by waynos
 


In my opinion Madgreebo lost a LOT of credibility when he went nuts on everyone over his SR-71 debacle thread. He took kind of a beating in that thread because of his attitude. I'm not sure if it's the same thing though. I looked at his picture again, and the chase plane looks a LOT like a T-38 or an F-16. I really can't see what an in service UAV (and it was a big one) would be doing with a chase plane, heading into theater.

They're not the same aircraft either way though. The one he posted looked like a B-2 with a single sawtooth in the back, like the early B-2 design. The one that they're talking about here doesn't have any protrusions in the back.





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