posted on Jul, 24 2004 @ 04:18 PM
Originally posted by Murcielago
Originally posted by namehere
umm no, it IS for the Air Force AND the Navy, quote from the site "The J-UCAS X-45 program is a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency/U.S. Air
Force/U.S. Navy/Boeing effort to demonstrate the technical feasibility, military utility and operational value of an unmanned air combat system for
both the Air Force and the Navy."
[edit on 19-7-2004 by namehere]
Ya, they say that but if its really for both then why is the navy funding the X-47?
The X-45 and X-47 were originally two separate, unrelated programs. The X-45 was being developed by the Air Force under the UCAV program and the X-47
by the Navy under the UCAV-N program. A couple years ago, the two efforts were combined into the J-UCAS program, which stands for Joint Unmanned
Combat Air System.
The project is similar to the Joint Strike Fighter effort in that it is not a true head-to-head competition between the two aircraft. It is instead a
technology demonstration funded and managed by DARPA to see if unmanned combat aerial vehicles are mature enough for military use.
Nevertheless, the two contractors (Boeing and Northrop Grumman) both see J-UCAS as a competition and expect that the winner will be bought by both
services just like the X-35 was the winner of the JSF contract.
The original X-45A and X-47A were small aircraft designed to demonstrate basic technologies. For example, the X-47 was built purely to test automatic
landing systems that could allow an unmanned plane to land on the deck of an aircraft carrier. Once J-UCAS was started, the requirements for the
aircraft became far more ambitious. The two planes are now designed to carry 4,500 lb of payload over a range of 2,000 miles. That is why the current
X-45C and X-47B concepts are so much bigger and different looking than the original prototypes. Boeing also has two slightly different versions of
its plane. The X-45C is the USAF model while the Navy version is called the X-45CN. The two are nearly identical except that the X-45CN has a
slightly thicker fuselage to accomodate larger landing gear needed for carrier suitability.
Each concept has two internal bays that can carry five weapons: the Mk-84 and BLU-109 versions of the 2,000 lb JDAM, the 1,000 lb JDAM, the 500 lb
JDAM, and the Small Diameter Bomb. The first four can be carried one in each bay while a four-place bomb rack can be carried in each bay for the
The J-UCAS program is gearing up for a major flight test effort between 2006 and 2009. If successful, a "winner" could be selected around 2010 to
build a production UCAV for both the Navy and Air Force.