And the Global Hawk saga continues

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posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 03:00 PM
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Good god it's like watching a slow moving soap opera. The latest round of drama with the RQ-4 Global Hawk has commenced.

The Air Force issued a pre-solicitation notice today of their intent to buy Lot 12 RQ-4 Block 30 aircraft. They have done everything in their power to retired the Global Hawk, but they were ordered by the FY13 NDAA to procure Lot 11 aircraft (3) so they are.

The Air Force has said that per their assessment the 18 Block 30 aircraft they have are sufficient to meet their needs, so the 3 additional aircraft will most likely immediately become "excess to need" and will be designated as backup aircraft inventory, or attrition reserve.


The US Air Force has issued a pre-solicitation notice to purchase additional Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk Block 30 unmanned air vehicles (UAV), despite the potential retirement of the existing fleet.

The Air Force released a pre-solicitation notice on 12 September, notifying the public of its intent to buy Lot 12 aircraft.

The Block 30, initially purchased to augment and eventually replace the Lockheed Martin U-2 as a high-altitude intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft, has come under fire for reliability and sensor problems. A low rate of mission readiness coupled with the high cost of operation has led the USAF to repeatedly attempt to cancel the programme, saying that the U-2 and a classified platform could fulfill Global Hawk's mission. The sensors Global Hawk carries, the Enhanced Imagery Sensor Suite (EISS) and Airborne Signals Intelligence Payload (ASIP), received mixed reviews.

www.flightglobal.com...




posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 03:55 PM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 


Just another waste of money by a Senator who wanted to keep his local plant open. All Lobbying should be illegal. Fix and buy more Raptors you worthless lawmakers!! Get rid of the JSF program and make the Raptor carrier landing capable. Air Force fixed for the next 50 years!



posted on Sep, 22 2013 @ 04:31 PM
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Thers they go, plain as day stating they dont need the Global Hawk, as the U2 and that Classified Aircraft can do its job. We know then its not a Northrop Grumman airframe as they'd say ditch that buy this? Deal.



posted on Sep, 22 2013 @ 04:39 PM
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reply to post by Astr0
 


Actually it is a Northrop program. But chances are it's not built in their district so they lose out on the bribes, I mean campaign contributions.



posted on Oct, 2 2013 @ 10:22 PM
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And here we have the next chapter. Despite the Air Force wanting to retire all of the Global Hawks from their fleet, Rolls Royce just won a $49M contract to set up a depot facility at Tinker AFB for the AE 3007H engines that power the aircraft.



posted on Oct, 11 2013 @ 05:08 PM
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Zaphod58
And here we have the next chapter. Despite the Air Force wanting to retire all of the Global Hawks from their fleet, Rolls Royce just won a $49M contract to set up a depot facility at Tinker AFB for the AE 3007H engines that power the aircraft.


I wonder if the Global hawk is the only drone with that engine? or maybe some one with a new toy needs engine help too?



posted on Oct, 11 2013 @ 05:10 PM
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reply to post by Astr0
 


It could be the "Super Sentinel". That engine is a pretty decent engine for its size, but I'm not sure on the specs for it, so I'm not sure if it would use the same engine or not.



posted on Oct, 11 2013 @ 05:21 PM
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Zaphod58
reply to post by Astr0
 


It could be the "Super Sentinel". That engine is a pretty decent engine for its size, but I'm not sure on the specs for it, so I'm not sure if it would use the same engine or not.


Still haven't explained where those high altitude engines went to from NASA storage. You know, the ones who were needed until another 'high altitude' engine could be developed.



posted on Oct, 11 2013 @ 05:22 PM
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reply to post by Astr0
 


Still digging into it. I've managed to hit a number of dead ends, and lost some of my notes, including the name of the company involved (how the HELL you lose something when your entire house is a 72 inch sleeper I don't freaking know, but I did).



posted on Oct, 11 2013 @ 05:47 PM
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www.flightglobal.com...

LORAL HAS briefed the US Air Force, Army and Navy on its proposal for a heavy-lift, high-altitude, unmanned air vehicle (UAV) to be used as a sensor and weapons platform for cruise- and ballistic-missile defence.

The UAV, with a flyaway price of about $5 million, could be fielded in as little as 18 months from project inception, Loral says.

The Loral/Frontier Systems W570 flying-wing-concept vehicle has a 50m wingspan and a gross take-off weight of between 11,700kg and 13,800kg. It would be able to loiter at 80,000ft (24,400m), with up to 42h on station, fielding an unrefuelled range of 34,600km (18,700nm) and a total mission duration of 60h. The W570 would carry payloads of 4,540kg and heavier.

Loral proposes that the UAV be used for a range of missions, including cruise-missile defence and boost phase interception of tactical ballistic missiles.

If funding becomes available, Loral proposes that 24 General Electric engines, built in the 1980s for high-altitude UAVs and now in wind tunnel testing at NASA Ames, could be pressed into service as interim power plants.



posted on Oct, 11 2013 @ 05:52 PM
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reply to post by Astr0
 


Thanks. Maybe now I can get past the last dead end I hit.



posted on Oct, 11 2013 @ 06:05 PM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 


Air Vehicle Specifications - Developmental Systems
Shephard's Unmanned Vehicles Handbook 2007
The Shephard Press, 1996


Frontier Systems was the company that Abe Karem and key members of Leading Systems founded after Amber. Loral provided the overall program management and sensor integration management. One of the development efforts they had working on was a 26,000 lb flying wing concept for theater missile defense, called the W570A. (A slightly smaller version for ISR and communications relay missions for export and civilian use, was called the Arrow.) Reportedly, $10M was invested in its development. A scaled down version of the W570, the 3500 lb Shadow flying wing, was studied under the Tier II+ Phase I, and built in April 1996 as a high altitude endurance flight test bed and high altitude UAV trainer.

'High Altitude UAV Trainer'. That's a novel idea.



posted on Oct, 11 2013 @ 06:10 PM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 


Hell, I thought you were going to post a story about them converting it to a manned aircraft and replacing the U-2. That's just about the only path that the Hawk hasn't taken by now.



posted on Oct, 20 2013 @ 03:39 PM
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reply to post by TDawgRex
 


That would definitely be cool! RQ-4 sysetm is definitely still in use on the daily and doesnt seem to be leaving soon IMO. On the subject of the U2 though, I'd love to see an updated platform! they're dated as hell but can stay up there for hours on end which I guess still serves the purpose. Ever heard one take off? Even miles away it still shakes everything!





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