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Originally posted by firepilot
So who put that graphic together? There is a bit of a problem with it
The UAV in question is from Lockheed Martin. It is called the Desert Prowler, which by the way you can see the patches for it from Trevor Paglins book. I guess I'm not sure why all the speculation when all the evidence has been laid out already by AVweek and Bill Sweetman. Lockheed developed the UAV from the failed Darkstar. Not to be confused with the Polecat-175 which was built and tested for a different mission if you will, although you could call it an improved and enlarged version of the UAV in question. Northrop does not have anything like that ready. It's more of a stealthy Predator if you will from Lockheed, and yes it does deliver weapons albeit the small kind like what the Reaper carries, only it was built with limited/basic stealth in mind. I believe this was already discussed a few threads ago. BTW all of this info is freely available through Google if you know how to weed through all the search results concerning aviation topics such as this. One more thing, I assume this project is going "Grey" and when it is formally released, it will make the Predator a little obsolete based on press reports of what it can do. Being an almost ten year old system costs have probably come down for Lockheed and if it goes grey/white subsequent orders will make it even cheaper than the predator C. I'm even willing to go out on a limb and say quite a few of the so called Predator Hellfire strikes, were probably a cover story for strikes from Lockheeds UAV.
Originally posted by firepilot
I sent a link to that article regarding the Kandahar UAV sighting to a friend of mine who is in USAF in a job position that highly involves UAV ops. His reply was something along the lines of "Of course I cant talk about that". If he had known nothing, he would have just probably said so.
Originally posted by satcom
reply to post by intelgurl
You are close but the relationship with GA is moot, I posted a while back what the system is and although the graphics you presented could be close, I'm just not sure. Here is what I speculated a few months back about Lockheed's UAV.
The military intelligence source said that the Blackwater/JSOC Karachi operation is referred to as "Qatar cubed," in reference to the US forward operating base in Qatar that served as the hub for the planning and implementation of the US invasion of Iraq. "This is supposed to be the brave new world," he says. "This is the Jamestown of the new millennium and it's meant to be a lily pad. You can jump off to Uzbekistan, you can jump back over the border, you can jump sideways, you can jump northwest. It's strategically located so that they can get their people wherever they have to without having to wrangle with the military chain of command in Afghanistan, which is convoluted. They don't have to deal with that because they're operating under a classified mandate."
"Some of these strikes are attributed to OGA [Other Government Agency, intelligence parlance for the CIA], but in reality it's JSOC and their parallel program of UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles] because they also have access to UAVs. So when you see some of these hits, especially the ones with high civilian casualties, those are almost always JSOC strikes." The Pentagon has stated bluntly, "There are no US military strike operations being conducted in Pakistan."
Since April, a steady string of reports have detailed sightings of a mysterious, unidentified UAV prowling the skies above Kandahar. Grainy, Loch-Ness-Monster-like photos revealed a flying-wing-type aircraft with stealth features....
A photograph of the Beast of Kandahar, the classified stealth UAV first reported in April, has emerged on a blog linked to left-wing French newspaper Liberation.
The photo confirms that the previous artists' impressions were largely accurate. The jet has long, slender outer wings, spanning as much as 80 feet, mated to a stouter, deeper centerbody with a pointed nose. One important detail: the overwing fairings are not B-2-like inlets, but cover some kind of equipment - satcoms on one side, perhaps, and a sensor on the other.
The most likely provenance of the airframe is Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works, and it is very likely to be associated with the Desert Prowler program - unearthed by historian Peter Merlin and "patchologist" Trevor Paglen. More background here, but it should be noted that Dave Fulghum reported in June 2001 on a plan to acquire 12-24 high altitude, stealthy UAVs. The effort had gathered pace after a US EP-3 SIGINT aircraft was forced to land in China in April, and went further underground after 9/11. It's believed that the first of a small batch of aircraft flew in late 2005 and were operational in Afghanistan in 2007 (where this photo was probably taken.)
Despite superficial similarity the Desert Prowler is not an immediate relative of the Polecat technology demonstrator tested in 2006. The latter incorporated advanced aerodynamic and structural features for a future long-range, very high-altitude UAV, while Desert Prowler is more conservative.
Perhaps the biggest mystery, though, is what the birds were doing in Kandahar. Why use a stealth aircraft against an adversary that doesn't have radar? And if it was part of some Secret Squirrel operation against the Taliban, what in the blue blazes was it doing outdoors in daylight?