UCLASS to be Descoped for CBARS Conversion AKA MQ-25 Stingray

X-47B Carrier Takeoff Diagram

UCAS-D/ N-UCAS concept
(click to view full)

February 15/24: BAE Systems has inked a deal with Boeing to equip the US Navy’s MQ-25 Stingray aerial refueling drone with a new vehicle management system computer (VMSC). The upgrade will see quad-core processors installed onto the aircraft, optimizing its size, weight, and power footprint and allowing for future capability growth and reduced operational costs.


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UCAS-D/ N-UCAS concept (click to view full) The idea of UAVs with full stealth and combat capabilities has come a long way, quickly. Air forces around the world are pursuing R&D programs, but in the USA, progress is being led by the US Navy. Their interest is well-founded. A May 2007 non-partisan report discussed the lengthening reach of ship-killers. Meanwhile, the US Navy’s carrier fleet sees its strike range shrinking to 1950s distances, and prepares for a future with fewer carrier air wings than operational carriers. Could UCAV/UCAS vehicles with longer ranges, and indefinite flight time limits via aerial refueling, solve these problems? Some people in the Navy seem to think that they might. Hence UCAS-D/ N-UCAS, which received a major push in the FY 2010 defense review. Now, Northrop Grumman is improving its X-47 UCAS-D under contract, even as emerging privately-developed options expand the Navy’s future choices as it works on its new RFP. N-UCAS: Programs & Potential X-47B concept (click to view full) In early 2006 the future of DARPA’s J-UCAS program seemed uncertain. It aimed to create Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (UCAV) for the USAF and Navy that could approach the capabilities of an F-117 stealth fighter. […]

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