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Mystery UCAV/UAV over Afghanistan

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posted on Apr, 13 2009 @ 11:42 AM
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CAn you guys link up greebo's thread to this one again? I recall that the image with the f-16 chase was debunked. It may even still be in my debunked thread though I'm not 100% sure.

If I can find his thread i'll post it up again.
****www.abovetopsecret.com...

As a word of caution though these UAV/UCAV flying wings all look a lot alike and a low quality image can easily be faked (before we resurrect anything).

[edit on 13-4-2009 by Canada_EH]




posted on Apr, 13 2009 @ 10:29 PM
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Interesting stuff. I'm surprised it's being used in combat roles before being released publicly, but then again I'm not surprised at the same time


Didn't know about the six star thing, either. Good to know!



posted on Apr, 14 2009 @ 05:55 AM
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reply to post by Shadowhawk
 


I thought you had said Yucca Lake for the Prowler and thats why I mentined the unit patch.....
I basing that of the 5+1 pattern that comes from Trevors book. It could also indicate other areas ont he Nellis Range.

Im not sure where he got all of those. The into to his book he talks about meeting several people because that patches themselves I guess are not classified which seems odd to me to say the least. Some may have been released for disinformation reasons as well.

If you havent looked at it its quite interesting and while I realize that some may simply be disinformation some projects like Minotaur and Vindicator are worthy of further study but there is not alot out there on them.



posted on Apr, 17 2009 @ 01:25 PM
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Originally posted by Zaphod58
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]


It has a cranked trailing edge wing, a swept leading edge. The LG are in the wing instead of the fuse. It is much more than just a jet engine on a B. The intake is very far forward on top of the fuse over the wing. Watch the next issue of AvWeek & Space Tech

[edit on 17-4-2009 by Wakeupcall]



posted on Apr, 17 2009 @ 02:00 PM
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Originally posted by Wakeupcall

Originally posted by Zaphod58
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]


It has a cranked trailing edge wing, a swept leading edge. The LG are in the wing instead of the fuse. It is much more than just a jet engine on a B. The intake is very far forward on top of the fuse over the wing. Watch the next issue of AvWeek & Space Tech

[edit on 17-4-2009 by Wakeupcall]




Here is a link to the Aviation Week Web site with a picture of the Jet powered Predator C

Nice Looking UAV.



PREDATOR C PICTURE



posted on Apr, 17 2009 @ 06:21 PM
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I've not seen it confirmed but I'm increasingly confident in my original assesment. Aside from the stabilisers, which from a distance and at certain angles could be missed, it fits the description.



posted on Apr, 17 2009 @ 06:35 PM
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reply to post by Mike_A
 


Actually, no it doesn't fit the Predator C at all. The wing is too cranked back, the engine exhaust is supposed to look like the Polecat exhaust, and it has two humps, that almost look like intakes on either side of the "fuselage" that the Predator C doesn't have.



posted on Apr, 17 2009 @ 07:27 PM
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Remember we’re not talking about a detailed observation but a quick glimpse at long range, on a hazy day and from behind the aircraft.

The exhaust is described as a half moon shape; the Avenger’s is shallower but nevertheless not a million miles away from that of the Polecat or the artist’s impression. The original description mentions a fat wing chord which is evident in the Avenger pics. It also says that the unknown aircraft has a large central fuselage fairing which could be explained by the inlet. The two blisters on the aircraft don’t fit on the face of it but could be explained by the vertical surfaces being seen from a great distance through the haze.


The Predator C is far from a B with a jet slapped on and a swept wing, in the circumstances that have been reported I can see how it could well fit the description of the mystery UAV.



posted on Apr, 17 2009 @ 08:25 PM
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reply to post by Mike_A
 


I don't think we're talking about a Predator C. I could see if the humps were seen at the back of the aircraft, mistaking them for the tail, but I really don't see how you could mistake those long thin tails for two fat humps like that. I would think that someone that knows UAVs would recognize it as still being a Predator. Just looking at the picture, while there are changes, it still has the basic Predator look. The pictures were went to an analyst who couldn't identify it. If I saw the Predator C without any supporting details, I'd still say it was a Predator, or Predator spin off without any problems.

They got a good enough look at it that they could identify possible weapons bays near the landing gear, so they got a pretty good look at it.


The image shown in the link below has been drawn directly from the photograph but none of the experts consulted by UV had any concrete idea of what the system might be.

The image shown to UV was taken from a long distance, as the aircraft taxied in on a hazy day, but the image was clear enough to show that this UAV’s design is like no other UAV in current operational service.

www.shephard.co.uk...

[edit on 4/17/2009 by Zaphod58]



posted on Apr, 18 2009 @ 07:06 AM
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I would say it’s vastly different from the Predator B, apart from the front section of the fuselage everything else is different. You may recognise a Predator from all the available photos but again that is not what was available to the analysts looking at the mystery UAV.

But at the end of the day I don’t think we’re going to find out what it was anyway. But I’m not ruling out an early Avenger deployment.


[edit on 18-4-2009 by Mike_A]



posted on Apr, 18 2009 @ 11:17 AM
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reply to post by Mike_A
 


It still shares a lot of commonality with Predator B, even with the changes. Whoever took the picture was close enough to identify possible bomb bay doors near the undercarriage, and distinctly said it was a flying wing.



posted on Apr, 20 2009 @ 09:11 PM
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Couple of thoughts here.

I was digging through one of my books on stealth planes and came across a picture of the Skunk Works 'Distant Star" which was a stealthy UAV. While the wings were not cranked its possible this may be a follow on of this as its fairly wide with an intake on top. ill scan apic when i get a chance.

Also, we talked about the Tier III Minus, but there also was a proposed "Tier III" which I have never seen a picture of.



posted on Apr, 20 2009 @ 10:25 PM
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posted on Apr, 21 2009 @ 12:16 AM
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www.aviationweek.com.../07073news.xml

2003 AWST article about unknown UAV's including a Dark Star Follow on.

weird the link does not work




STEALTH UAV GOES TO WAR


Not a lot has been written about new products from Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works during the last couple of years, but aerospace officials say the advanced projects company has produced prototypes of a classified, unmanned aerial vehicle--built strictly as an intelligence-gathering aircraft--that "has been used" operationally over Iraq.


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."


The classified UAV's operation caused consternation among USAF U-2 pilots who noticed high-flying aircraft operating within several miles of their routes over Iraq, a distance 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.


"It has the hull form of the DarkStar, only it's bigger," agreed a U.S. Navy official. "It's still far from a production aircraft, but the Air Force wanted to go ahead and get it out there. They have to determine if the intelligence they can gather from it is worth paying several times more than the cost of the [non-stealthy] Global Hawk."


Lockheed Martin conceded the non-stealthy UAV role to Northrop Grumman's Global Hawk, but company officials then committed themselves to a full court press to ensure they had a significant share of the Pentagon's stealthy UAV market.


FOR THE LAST DECADE, the Air Force and studies by Rand and other research organizations have expressed unwavering support of the need for a penetrating low-observable UAV, so the existence of the program comes as no surprise to other aerospace officials. The only surprise is that an early version of the aircraft has seen operational use so quickly.


A second Air Force official who once had oversight of UAV and unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) programs also described the Lockheed Martin UAV as a "DarkStar-like thing." The problems that loomed large in the project were flight controls, command and control and stealthy apertures--in particular low probability of intercept (LPI) communications antennas, he said. The aircraft is given new tasks, and intelligence is downloaded through satellite links. Therefore, the antennas have to be on top of the aircraft to shield them from electronic surveillance. Infrared signature reduction was also in the design.

www.aviationweek.com.../07073news.xml


[edit on 4/21/09 by FredT]



posted on Apr, 21 2009 @ 12:26 AM
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reply to post by FredT
 


Now what have we told you about being careful with your links? You went and dropped this one and broke it.



posted on Apr, 21 2009 @ 07:34 AM
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Here are a couple of interesting articles over at Ares:


Researcher and long-time collaborator Terry Mahon has passed on some observations regarding that other stealthy UAV, the one spotted at Kandahar recently. In fact, Mahon notes, this could be something that Aviation Week's been covering for some years.

As Dave Fulghum and Amy Butler reported in September 2005:

Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works, perceived as lagging rivals Boeing and Northrop Grumman in the unmanned aerial vehicle field, is secretly developing a stealthy, long-endurance unmanned aircraft for penetrating deep inside hostile airspace to collect intelligence. By early next year at the latest, the company is expected to announce that - with the U.S. Air Force’s backing - it is building one or more demonstrators of what the Pentagon has newly designated an unmanned aircraft system (UAS).

This might have been Polecat, but that aircraft was strictly a private venture, and more of an aerodynamics technology demonstrator than an operational system. Then, in February 2006, the Washington Outlook column stated that:

The Pentagon is taking another look at an unmanned reconnaissance aircraft design that it rejected more than 10 years ago in favor of Northrop Grumman's popular Global Hawk. Planners are back looking at concepts similar to the two-engine, 125-ft. wingspan, low-signature B-2-like design offered for the competition. It was to fly at 70,000-80,000 ft. and pull from an inventory of two dozen classified engines in storage.

Article 1


Credit where credit is due: Steve Trimble reported the first flight of General Atomics' Predator C earlier this week, and now Shephard's Darren Lake has an artist's concept of what looks like a stealthy UAV or UCAV that was sighted at Kandahar recently - pictures apparently exist but have not been published.

Interesting question: are these events connected?

GA-ASI's jet has been in the works for years. The Predator B/Reaper was designed from the outset to accept either the Honeywell turboprop on the current aircraft or a Williams FJ44 turbofan, and the jet was almost ready to fly around the time of 9/11. However, due to strong interest from customers, this first Predator C was converted back to a prop job. Not long afterwards - I think it was Farnborough 2002 - GA-ASI boss Tom Cassidy was saying that the C had morphed into a new design.

Since then, it's been waiting for a customer and held back by the demands of the Reaper program - but its first flight and unveiling follows actions by two California congressmen to earmark funds to build two aircraft for deployment to Afghanistan, and as one of them comments, it will provide "strike" capability and "an additional covert capability."

So has someone made a quick deliberate security slip-up in Kandahar, as if to say: "Thanks, Congressman, but we've already got one of those"?

Article 2



posted on May, 13 2009 @ 05:14 PM
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France's Air & Cosmos magazine has published this photo of a mystery unmanned combat air vehicle flying over Kandahar in 2007. The magazine kindly provided the photo to The DEW Line for posting here. Interestingly, Air & Cosmos has owned this picture for two years. It was printed for the first time last month after UVonline.com reporter Darren Lake posted an artist's rendering of a similar (and perhaps identical) mystery UCAV also spotted at Kandahar. Air & Cosmos (subcription-only) also reports that its editors have also spotted a mysterious kite-shaped UAV flying over Kandahar as well.


Looks like someone snapped a pic of this and published it in France's Air & Cosmos magazine. Kind of looks like a B-2 from the side.

PHOTO: Mystery UCAV over Afghanistan



posted on May, 13 2009 @ 05:21 PM
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This an artist rendering based on (not so) classified and unpublished photos obtained by UVonline.com reporter Darren Lake. The photo of the unidentified flying object—which apparently is a mystery unmanned aircraft nobody has ever heard off—was taken in Kandahar in 2007, but has been published now by a french magazine.


Here's an additional link for your viewing pleasure.

UFO Sighted over Afghanistan is Secret US Airplane

[edit on 13-5-2009 by AlphaTier]



posted on May, 15 2009 @ 06:05 PM
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It could be any number of projects from the past.

Special operations units are given a budget. There are geeks (both military and civilian) employed by those units with top secret clearance and a lot of need-to-know. They will purchase pre-market technologies and modify them for the use of the unit.

Just because the politicians decide an aircraft is not going to be purchased for use by the regular forces does not mean an aircraft (particularly something like a drone) does not see use by special operations units.

Taking that into account, it would not surprise me to see evidence of a number of the different UAV/UCAV designs that are still under development for the USAF/USN deployed in service somewhere. The special operations units request a few special orders, have some in-house work done on them, and it all comes out of some budget that reads "classified" in the details section.



posted on May, 18 2009 @ 10:13 AM
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Interesting article. i first thought of the Predator C, but the design described is somewhat different. I can't believe that they would send anything untested and risk exposure to foreign intelligence unless these babies are actively in service in numbers. How accurate is the source?



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