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Unmanned JSF, Remote Eagle, RoboFalcon.

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posted on May, 28 2004 @ 05:08 AM
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Ok this are just concepts and sugestions but I have read about a posibility to upgrade current fleet of F-16 and F-15 to UCAV role when JSF enters service and no buyers for those aircrafts are found. It could be simple because all they need to do is just to take down the cockpit and avionics and add computer flight control and comunication device. The aircrafts would be capable fly the same misions like before. The speed and manuevrability could be teoreticaly improved because of no cockpit present and no need to limit Gs when the human is not on board. The same with JSF - but it would be a stealthy UCAV. These unmaned fighters could fly air-to-ground misions but would be also capable for air-to-air misions (in oposition to X-45 which is designed for air-ground). So for example 2 F-35D(or RoboFalcons or Remote Eagles) could fly together with 1 f-22 like unmaned wingmans. There is also posiblity to upgrade F-16 to dual-role - so they could fly both manned and unmaned. The aircrafts should be stored in special containers for long time periods (5 years) and deployed only when needed - so very low maintance costs.



[Edited on 28-5-2004 by longbow]




posted on May, 28 2004 @ 11:23 AM
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F-16 UCAV sounds like a pretty good idea.I doubt though that an F-15 Eagle would be used in that way.Though it's aged the F-15 still has a powerful punch and taking the pilot out is too risky.



posted on May, 28 2004 @ 11:34 AM
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These concepts for converting manned airframes into UCAVs have been around since at least 1997. However, I think some of the potential advantages you describe are a bit optimistic. The airframes were originally designed for +9g, with some safety margin. Simply removing a pilot doesn't mean that the aircraft could pull more g's without extensive structural strengthening. I'm also skeptical about using unmanned aircraft for air-to-air combat. Stinger has been tested on the Predator for self-defense, but I doubt we'll see UAVs flying air defense missions anytime soon--certainly not without a man-in-the-loop. The primary advantage of UCAVs is the ability to strike well-defended ground targets without risking a pilot, but air-to-air combat requires a level of situational awareness that will be very difficult for a pilot in a ground control station to achieve.



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