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USN Unmanned Warfare Systems Office closes

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USN Unmanned Warfare Systems Office closes

Old 10th Feb 2017, 18:38
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USN Unmanned Warfare Systems Office closes

Apparently according to RUSI, it went 'swimmingly'

https://rusi.org/commentary/us-navy%...ent-swimmingly

Any thoughts for future UAS /UAV programs such as X-47B etc

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Old 10th Feb 2017, 22:15
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The thoughts are that there will be plenty of future UAV/UAS programmes, just that they'll be organised under regular navy structures rather than a separate navy office.
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Old 10th Feb 2017, 23:49
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Latest story on the UCLASS, then renamed STINGRAY (MQ-25), out of X-47B but still only not even a paper robot airyplane but one day USN will decide details / manufacturer etc.: 07 Feb 2017

U.S. Navy Moves Ahead On Carrier-based Drone | Defense content from Aviation Week
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Old 13th Jun 2017, 07:18
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Navy Has Picked the First Two Carriers to Fly MQ-25A Stingray Unmanned Aerial Refueling Tankers

USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) and USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) will be the first two carriers to field the Navy’s MQ-25A Stingray unmanned aerial refueling tanker, a spokesperson told USNI News. The two carriers will receive upgrades to include the control stations and data links needed to control the tanker, Naval Air Systems Command spokeswoman Jamie Cosgrove told USNI News.....

It’s unclear when the Norfolk-based carriers will be upgraded, but several sources have told USNI News that Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson intends to accelerate the deployment of the Stingray and get it on carrier decks as early as 2019. The aircraft is in high-demand because it would help alleviate the burden on the carrier air wing’s current refueling aircraft: the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. Anywhere from 25 to 30 percent of Super Hornet sorties are used for refueling missions, USNI News has previously reported. A Navy spokesperson told USNI News on Monday the program was “too pre-decisional” to comment on the operational introduction of the MQ-25A tanker. Service leaders have said they wanted the capability by 2020.

The service is set to release the request for proposals (RFP) to the four competitors for the business – General Atomics, Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Northrop Grumman – later this year. The Fiscal Year 2018 proposed budget included $222 million for research and development of the MQ-25A.

News of the first carriers set for the MQ-25A introduction comes as the Navy decided to reprogram $26.7 million for control systems and data link installation the MQ-25A will need to operate from an aircraft carrier, taking that money from the USS George Washington (CVN-73) during its four-year midlife refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH) in the Fiscal Year 2017 budget. Most of the attention for the Stingray program has been on the air segment, the data link and control stations make up the other two-thirds of the program and are being developed by the Navy inside NAVAIR.

While the Stingray program cycled through several iterations – the low-observable and heavily armed Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) and the subsequently blended light-strike and long-endurance surveillance UCLASS created drastically different concepts for the airframes – the fundamental work of the links and the control stations remained largely unchanged. The data link and control station will also be able to interface with future unmanned airframes as they’re developed for the service. Through the churn of the requirements for the air segment, the Navy has not outlined its next steps for unmanned carrier aviation beyond the limited goals for the MQ-25A. However, the UCLASS control system will be able to quickly add new aircraft to capable carriers, USNI News understands.
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Old 22nd Jul 2017, 11:37
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Navy has issued the KPP for the MQ-25 Stingray.... all 2 of them.

https://news.usni.org/2017/07/20/nav...all#more-26935

Alert 5 has been asking if LM should bid the S-3s in storage for the role.

Alert 5 » Poll: Should an unmanned S-3 compete for the MQ-25A program? - Military Aviation News

I am unsure. It might seem simple to take an existing airframe and convert it to a carrier based UAV vs converting or building a dedicated platform. But with the modifications to all the instrumentation and controls to handle the job autonomously to modern standards (look at the problems in getting the MQ-4 up to German/EU standards) and the landing and then deck handling requirements it might be more costly.

e.g. the UCAV had a plug in socket where the deck handler could plug in an walk it round the deck behind him. Not really a problem with the small concealed engine intakes. Not try adding one for someone to do the same thing safely with the S-3 with both engines running.
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Old 2nd Sep 2017, 04:48
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MQ-25 will offload 15,000lbs of JP5 at 500nm

Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker revealed to U.S. Naval Institute’s Proceedings that the MQ-25 is to deliver about 15,000 pounds of fuel at 500 nautical miles from the aircraft carrier for its mission tanker role.

Shoemaker added that this will extend the range of carrier-borne fighters by 300 to 400 nautical miles. The unmanned aerial tanker will also take the pressure off the F/A-18s supporting the tanker role.

“The MQ-25 will be much more efficient than the Rhino (Super Hornets), and it will give us the ability to get out there and refuel four to six airplanes at range.”
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Old 11th Oct 2017, 07:26
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Navy Releases Final MQ-25 Stingray RFP; General Atomics Bid Revealed

Naval Air Systems Command has quietly released the final request for proposals to industry for the unmanned MQ-25 Stingray aerial tanker, USNI News has learned.

Last week, the Navy issued the RFP to four industry competitors for the air segment of what will be the service’s Navy’s first operational carrier-based unmanned aerial vehicle ahead of an anticipated contract award by September of next year, a NAVAIR spokeswoman told USNI News on Tuesday. The competitors are Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman and General Atomics.

The Navy wants to field the capability on its carriers to alleviate the strain on the existing F/A-18E/F Super Hornets that are burning through flight hours while serving as a refueling tanker for other aircraft attempting to land on the aircraft carrier. Up to 20 to 30 percent of Super Hornet sorties are refueling missions. While the Navy has been reluctant about the specific goals of the program, the service’s basic requirements will have the Stingray deliver about 15,000 pounds of fuel 500 nautical miles from the carrier....... The current effective strike radius of a Super Hornet is about 450 miles, and the MQ-25 could extend the range to more than 700 nautical miles.

Of the four companies vying for the business, General Atomics has released the first complete images of its planned bid for Stingray. The aircraft is a wing-body-tail design that shares design characteristics with the General Atomics Avenger design, including a turbofan engine and V-shaped tailfins. The image, provided to USNI News, show the GA Stingray concept fielding a standard D-704 buddy tank refueling system.

While company representatives didn’t reveal details of the bid, like aircraft dimensions or internal fuel capacity, they did point out some features unique to the GA bid. The aircraft will have an electro-optical ball like GA’s MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper UAVs; landing gear that pulls into the fuselage, which is reminiscent of the old S-3 Viking anti-submarine warfare aircraft; and a system for maneuvering around the flight deck using gestures from the flight crew, retired Rear Adm. Terry Kraft who now works for General Atomics told USNI News on Saturday.

In addition to the carrier suitability requirements set by the Navy, GA has included a margin for growth. “You can see a future for weaponization, you could see a future for ISR capability. The Navy has already asked us to put hooks in there for a radar and I think it’s very logical that the first spiral would be some type of radar installation,” Kraft said. “At the end of the day, the UAV is a truck.”
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