NAVY SECRETS
The Flying Triangles
Raytheon Submits KillerBee
Unmanned Aircraft System Bid to US Navy
By Raytheon on June 12, 2009 at 5:03 am
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TUCSON, Az: Raytheon Company submitted its KillerBee unmanned aircraft system in response to the U.S. Navy's Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Tier II request for proposal.

The KillerBee UAS features a blended-wing aircraft body design. It also has systems for land or sea launch, recovery and ground control. The unique design of KillerBee enables growth for future payloads and additional mission capabilities.

"KillerBee is the affordable, integrated solution to the U.S. Navy's need for persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance in the littoral environment," said Bob Francois, Raytheon Missiles System's vice president of Advance Missiles and Unmanned Systems.

KillerBee is designed to provide the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force with a UAS for their respective Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Tier II missions. KillerBee has the ability to insert persistent reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition into the battlespace and is ideally suited for force protection in an expeditionary environment.

Raytheon Company, with 2008 sales of $23.2 billion, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world. With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 73,000 people worldwide. 

SOURCE: http://www.defencetalk.com/...

Raytheon
The Best View of the KillerBee You Will (Hopefully) Ever Get
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By Mark Wilson, 3:15 PM on Thu Oct 2 2008

In a competition to secure big UAV contracts with the Marines and Navy, Raytheon just gave an impressive demonstration of their KillerBee's flight capabilities. Parking in the middle of the desert and setting up the system in just 45 minutes, the Raytheon crew flew the UAV for four hours during which time it was able to maintain communication with both Army and Navy computer systems. Raytheon still has to outfit their device with a new custom jet engine to qualify for contract consideration, but their KillerBee takes a heck of a photograph all the same:

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SOURCE: http://gizmodo.com


X-45C and X-47B
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DARPA is the DOD agency responsible for advanced technology development.  DARPA is currently funding two major UAV development programs, both capable of delivering :

1.  Boeing's X45 


2.  Northrop Grumman's X47


Boeing X-45A
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The two X-45A technology demonstrators have flown more than 30 flight test missions.
Credit: Boeing Photo Neg. #DVD-182-02
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The two Boeing J-UCAS X-45A unmanned aircraft are prepped prior to their first simulated combat 
mission and 50th flight Feb. 4, 2005, at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards AFB, Calif. 
Credit: Boeing Photo Neg. #DVD-956-233
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The X-45A Joint Unmanned Combat Air System technology demonstrator
Credit: Boeing Photo Neg. #DVD-685-243
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U.S. Air Force Airmen load an inert precision weapon on the X-45A.
Credit: Boeing Photo Neg. #DVD-685-024
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The X-45A flies a test mission at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., with a NASA F-18 flying chase.
Credit: Boeing Photo Neg. #DVD-691-10
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The X-45A Joint Unmanned Combat Air System aircraft is prepared for a flight test mission.
Credit: Boeing Photo Neg. #DVD-685-228
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The X-45A drops an inert, precision weapon and flies into aviation history.
Credit: Boeing Photo Neg. #DVD-691-02
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The X-45A is prepared for a test flight while the sun rises at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Credit: Boeing Photo Neg. #DVD-692-016
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The X-45A Joint Unmanned Combat Air System aircraft takes off on a flight test mission.
Credit: Boeing Photo Neg. #DVD-692-096
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Two Boeing X-45A technology demonstrator aircraft made their second and third coordinated flights recently
at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The flights were made using 
Boeing's latest Block 3 software. Credit: Boeing Photo Neg. #DVD-789-01a
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One of two Boeing J-UCAS X-45A unmanned aircraft lands after completing their first simulated
combat mission and 50th flight Feb. 4, 2005, at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards AFB, Calif.
Credit: Boeing Photo Neg. #DVD-956-204

SOURCE: http://www.boeing.com/


Boeing X-45C
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The aft "carry through" frame of Boeing's first X-45C Joint Unmanned Combat Air System aircraft
sits in a holding fixture. Credit: Boeing Photo Neg. #DVD-766-061
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A glimpse into the future was unveiled today when the Boeing [NYSE: BA] Joint Unmanned Combat Air Systems (J-UCAS) X-45C full-scale model made its debut at the Farnborough International Air Show.
Photo Credit: Boeing Photo Neg. #DVD-782-1
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The Boeing Joint Unmanned Combat Air Systems X-45C, represented by this full-scale model, will be powered by an F404 engine. Credit: Boeing Photo Neg. #DVD-883-1
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SOURCE: http://www.boeing.com/

Northrop Grumman X-47A PEGASUS
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X-47A Artist Drawing
Credit: Northrop Grumman
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X-47A First Flight February 23, 2003
Credit: Northrop Grumman
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X-47A First Flight February 23, 2003
Credit: Northrop Grumman
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X-47A Rollout July 30, 2001
Credit: Northrop Grumman
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X-47A Rollout July 30, 2001
Credit: Northrop Grumman
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X-47A Rollout July 30, 2001
Credit: Northrop Grumman
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X-47A Rollout July 30, 2001
Credit: Northrop Grumman
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X-47A Rollout July 30, 2001
Credit: Northrop Grumman
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X-47A Rollout July 30, 2001
Credit: Northrop Grumman
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X-47A Rollout July 30, 2001
Credit: Northrop Grumman
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X-47A Check-out
Credit: Northrop Grumman
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X-47A First Taxi Test  July 19, 2002
Credit: Northrop Grumman
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X-47A Sunset
Credit: Northrop Grumman

Adding Firepower to Naval Unmanned Aviation
October 16, 2008
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A good article from Inside the Navy from Monday called ‘We Know It’s Coming’, Admiral: Navy Requirement For Arming Drones Likely In The Future. Zachary M. Peterson with Marcus Weisgerber offer a look into the future of naval unmanned aviation warfare.

Right now, the Navy has no official plans to arm Fire Scout or any other unmanned aerial systems in the fleet.

“Armament requirements are evaluated on a platform-by-platform basis,” Navy spokesman Lt. Clay Doss told Inside the Navy. “There are currently no specific studies looking at that issue, but the Navy continuously evaluates the roles and missions of platforms, including UASs.”

Though no existing UAS programs have a requirement to carry weapons, the Navy’s Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS), which is currently a demonstration effort, could in the future have a weapons requirement. The carrier-based demonstration effort aims to mature critical technologies and reduce risk for aircraft carrier integration of a low-observable platform in a relevant environment, Doss explained. Northrop Grumman is working on the UCAS demonstrator for the service.

If the Navy moves forward with a UCAS acquisition, the service could potentially field the new drone beginning in 2025, according to current plans.

“Current [UCAS demonstration] designs could support carriage of internal weapons payloads of approximately 4,500 pounds,” Doss said. “Operational UCAS payload weights have not yet been determined.” Northrop announced last month that the company is ahead of schedule in its UCAS demonstration efforts and now plans for the first flight test in November 2009. The first carrier landing and sea trials are slated for 2011.

    This fiscal year, the Navy will conduct a capabilities based assessment (CBA) to evaluate a range of potentially “game-changing” capabilities that can be provided by naval aviation to address future needs, Doss noted.

It takes time to develop requirements for major weapon systems. I for one appreciate the Navy is working through the process. Process matters to programs, and getting unmanned systems right is important.

The major hurdle for unmanned systems isn't payload though, the hurdles are bandwidth, C2, and redundancy/ recovery capabilities that will be required when links are disrupted from electronic attack. While we may be using unmanned technology today against lesser capable threats of terrorists and non-state actors, the "game changing" capabilities will be those that can create tactical complications for peer opponents at the upper spectrum of warfighting.

All ahead slow is a solid approach, as long as the speed remains steady. Unmanned systems is the 21st century strategical and tactical evolution, and efforts that build the evolutionary approach (as opposed to revolutionary money pit) should be supported. I for one hope we don't hear about the F-XX Fighter Replacement like we did a few months ago unless by some necessity in the near future the Navy requires a pure interceptor. Lets get the F-35 out and take a look at UCAS before we look too far in the future. I still believe the Navy needs to keep open the possible necessity of launching Reapers from Marine ships like the LHA(R), as that is a good example of an unmanned combat system being called to meet the warfighter requirements in today's war.

Posted by Galrahn at 8:40 AM 

SOURCE: http://www.informationdissemination.net


Northrop Grumman
47B PEGASUS
Operational Concept
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X-47B Landing
Credit: Northrop Grumman
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X-47B Coastline
Credit: Northrop Grumman
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X-47B Take-Off Prep
Credit: Northrop Grumman
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X-47B Weapon Release
Credit: Northrop Grumman
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UCAV-N Landing
Credit: Northrop Grumman
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UCAV-N Op Concept Getting Ready to Launch Near FA 18a
Credit: Northrop Grumman
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X-47B Field Landing China Lake
Credit: Northrop Grumman
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X-47B Field Landing Close Up
Credit: Northrop Grumman
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X-47B Landing on Deck 
Credit: Northrop Grumman
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Taxi Cat
Credit: Northrop Grumman
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X-47B Carrier
Credit: Northrop Grumman
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X-47B Over CV Source: DARPA

X47B Pegasus Sightings
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Video Gallery
X-45A Inert Unguided Weapon Release 
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Youtube Link
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X-47A Pegasus First Flight
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Youtube Link
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Northrop Grumman X-47B UCAS
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Youtube Link
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