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Kandahar Mystery UCAV confirmed!

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posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 10:17 AM

More info to come. I will host images and pull info from previous articles and list of articles from all sites posting news as it becomes available!

DONT FORGET TO FLAG!! We need to get the info out there on ATS about this breaking news!

Previous possible images of mystery UCAV

Previous threads on subject of mystery UAV/UCAV

If you look at the last image you should note style of landing gear doors and the fact the it appears to be similar to the new or main image of the article. One more reason they are the same plane.

[edit on 1-12-2009 by Canada_EH]

posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 10:25 AM
The original story on Flight Global.

Kandahar's Loch Ness monster has been spotted again. This time an actual photo of the beast was published by French journalist Jean-Dominique Merchet, who writes for the Liberation newspaper, on his Secret Defense blog. We last saw the mystery Kandahar aircraft in a drawing by Shephard's Unmanned Vehicles and a very grainy photo published by Air & Cosmos.

The new photo offers a slightly better view of the nose. Is that a canopy screen above the nose? I wondered in May if this might actually be a manned aircraft, even if it was first sighted on If there is a cockpit, where is the air intake for the engine? The half-moon exhaust pipe strikingly resembles the P175 Polecat, a Skunk Works product.

Regardless of how it is piloted, the Kandahar aircraft's existence raises several existential questions: What does it do? Why do you need a stealthy-looking aircraft to spy on Al Qaeda and the Taliban? What's all the secrecy about? While I'm asking, can somebody please get a head-on picture?

posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 10:29 AM
beautiful !!

line 2

line 3

posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 10:36 AM
Scale of the aircraft appears to be quite small if you notice the blue taxiway light on a post . Those lights are normally a foot in hight. If we use that measure this plane would appear to be too small to be manned.

taking it one step further say I take our height minus the last bit of landing gear and try and get a idea of the wingspan?

*Keep in mind this is all very rough estimates

[edit on 1-12-2009 by Canada_EH]

posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 10:41 AM
the landing gear is also too strong for some "standard" usage of the craft. It must be designed to take very heavy load or to land on rough land . It looks good . When is it going to be mass produced? like 100 000 000 by China?
) then you can apply "Swarm Artifficial Inteligence" to that !

posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 10:45 AM
Agreed about the gear looking heavy duty. Its been said on other sites that it appears to look similar to A-6/F-14/E2 landing gear.

What is stumping me is these 2 bulges on either side of the main body. they appear on everything image wise but what is their function?

[edit on 1-12-2009 by Canada_EH]

[edit on 1-12-2009 by Canada_EH]

posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 11:00 AM
reply to post by Canada_EH

Air intake for the jet engines, maybe?

posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 11:10 AM
I would say that the two bulges on either side are intakes.

The taxiway light in the background cannot be used to measure scale. It is too far away and the relative size is distorted by forced perspective, an artifact of using a telephoto lens.

posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 11:15 AM
Good points Shadowhawk. If they are the intakes then the main fuselage would be more open for sensor packages and the like. Also I do think you can get a bit of the idea of scale but your right to caution reading to much into trying to nail down the dim 100% from a image that appears to have been taken from a telephoto.

Its a interesting day for black/grey projects eh Shadowhawk?

[edit on 1-12-2009 by Canada_EH]

posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 11:35 AM
looks a little like a more rugged modified/updated Project Taranis (raven) to me.

posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 11:42 AM
Agreed but it also looks like a updated Polecat or updated x-45. The issue is a lot of UAV design seems to come to the same solution and look very similar. It is hard to link this just on the looks of the plane. If you check the first post it links previous threads that highlight the possible manufacture of the aircraft and explains why. The company that keeps getting mentioned though is Lockheed.

posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 12:32 PM
I am guessing the twin bulges are avionics/surveillance/radar packages since there would not be much of the nose left to accommodate due to the single intake.

Another speculation would be that there is a cockpit and those are air intakes. This seems highly unlikely due to the small size of the craft!

posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 04:50 PM

Originally posted by Shadowhawk
I would say that the two bulges on either side are intakes.

The taxiway light in the background cannot be used to measure scale. It is too far away and the relative size is distorted by forced perspective, an artifact of using a telephoto lens.

This, measure the height of the plane by the height of the standardized wheels.

posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 10:06 PM
Based on reviewing many opinions about images, there appears to be two aircraft - a "Hunter" and a "Killer" - by possibly two different contractors. The "Hunter" variant is the UAV in the first and third images released while the "Killer" is the manned aircraft in the second.

These aircraft are too small to carry any amount of armament after a lengthy ISR mission. When you run an analysis for a span loader aircraft, you find out the lack of trimmed lift (no tail), the mach numbers needed for turbofan, the pressure recovery on the LO inlets and the overall wing inefficiency (due to bulges, etc.) kill your endurance.

Add weapons to the ISR and satcom gear weight, translates to induced drag which burns fuel, and so on. This points to the need to spread out the payloads into two birds - ISR and satcom equipment in the UAV and pilot and armament in the manned variant. Put a pilot in the Killer to make final decisions on critical strikes and to keep collateral damage minimized to keep the ops quieter longer. CONOPS may be that the Hunter UAV flies 8 to 12 hour (max) missions, at night to stay less visible. The Killer variant engages targets with precision due to a pilot in the loop, but less endurance - just enough gas to complete the engagement and ferry out.

Hunter Variant - Northrop?

There may be single forward inlet on the upper surface, like many other LO flying wings. Two upper surface port and starboard bulges may house a MilSatCom transceiver (see work done at MIT Lincoln Labs at and

The lower centerline bulge, in front of the port side main gear doors, may house an EO/IR or miniSAR 3-axis turret. The small black items on the turtledeck and port side upper surface may be radar warning receivers, due to the more stringent LO requirements and SAM threats encountered. This may also indicate they are dealing with SAM protected targets, not necessarily soft targets.

The main landing gear look similar to the Northrop/Lockheed X-47B (see, which indicates this variant may be done by Northrop. Notice, between the X-47B and the Hunter variant, that both main gear fold forward with a large drag brace from the front. Also there's a forward trunnion brace just above the main wheels.

The front gear door shows it's off-centerline and side folds. It could use a castoring wheel, with differential braking, like the Vari-EZE, for ground steering. The offset may allow the lower surface EO/IR turret to keep it's forward view for takeoff and landing. This allows manual piloting, like the Predator Ops. This allows the contractor to quickly field a UAV that has little time to perfect fully autonomous launch and recovery. There's a patent by Northrop for flying wings in cross winds at

Killer Variant - LM or Boeing?

There are differences with the first and third images released. The wing leading edge appears to not be linear, but could be the view angle. The front gear folds aft. Looks like a wind screen for a pilot on the upper surface which may require a bifurcated duct opening to the upper surface or a centerline inlet opening to the lower surface, similar to JASSM. There's a real problem with inlet stall at higher angles of attack, so for a manned aircraft it'd be safer to stick with the belly inlet. This variant may also not need to be as LO as the Hunter, as it may spend less dwell time over the target area and the threats would be mapped out already by the Hunter, allowing the Killer to steer around them.

Developing two airframes with different systems seems too much for one contractor to handle, so it seems logical to award competitors different versions. This would also encourage competition and a "best of" design idea sharing.

Just some speculative thoughts.

[edit on 2-12-2009 by TAGBOARD]

posted on Dec, 3 2009 @ 11:44 AM
I disagree. All three pictures clearly show the same aircraft. I think the aerial shots were even taken within a few seconds of each other. It's a UAV. There is no cockpit. It would be nice to get a front view, though, so we could finally resolve the issue of whether the two bulges are intakes or sensor domes. Intakes still seem more likely to me.

posted on Dec, 3 2009 @ 12:44 PM
From the little that we can tell do you think that the side bulges are to far away from the main fuselage to be a air intake? Sure anything is possible but it just strikes me as a simpler solution to have the single intake like the majority of previous UAV designs.

posted on Dec, 3 2009 @ 03:13 PM

What is this thing, photographed recently on the basis of Kandahar in southern Afghanistan? A drone and certainly new generation at that. According to testimony, the little craft out and returned immediately a U.S. warehouse. For the rest, mystery!

Online Magazine Unmanned Vehicles evoked in April a "mystery UAVs operating in Afghanistan", a mysterious drone operating in Afghanistan. It resembles the P175 Polecat Lockheed Martin, but it would be another model UCAV U.S., even if some consider it to be a British model. Air and Cosmos had mentioned such a secret program (black program).

Can anyone weigh in on what he means by this "photographed recently on the basis of Kandahar in southern Afghanistan?" I interpret it as "on the base".

Also in he goes on to say "returned immediately a U.S. warehouse". I assume the word "in" was missed in the translation and warehouse used in place of hangar.

Anyone have any knowledge of what major base this could of been out of?

[edit on 3-12-2009 by Canada_EH]

posted on Dec, 3 2009 @ 03:19 PM
new article by Bill Sweetman now release. 9a7&plckPostId=Blog%3a27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7Post%3a3a3730f4-c5f9-475c-be42-1fdc18846c1b&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest

sorry for the length but all info is very informative on possible answers.

he 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?

posted on Dec, 3 2009 @ 04:15 PM
Here is more from that article as well, putting the peices together and knowing how OSINT is used, and that some info is leaked intentionally.

Is it a psyop, brandishing advanced weaponry, or a case of loose lips sinking ships?

Gotcha! Desert Prowler Unveiled
Posted by Bill Sweetman at 12/1/2009 10:41 AM CST

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.

Be ast of Kandahar, the classified stealth UAV

[edit to add after thought]

If any of you or other members, are interested in working on a research project about, this feel free to u2u me.

It would be interesting to see an intensive study in regards to this.

[edit on 3-12-2009 by ADVISOR]

posted on Dec, 3 2009 @ 04:20 PM
In one of the last pages of my thread about this Shadowhawk came in and said there either was or was soon to be a classified UAV declassified. This seems to me to be like when the F-117 was declassified. There were a few drawings, some bad pics, then better, then finally a real pic.

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