Navy Wants Top UAV Billing

Navy Wants Top UAV Billing

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus has decided to make unmanned systems a top priority and wants the service to “be viewed as the leader in unmanned systems,” the top uniformed acquisition officer said at a UAV air show.

“We will work closely with other services but the Navy has every intention of being the leader in UAVs,” Vice Adm. David Architzel, principal deputy assistant SecNav for research, development, and acquisition, said at the beginning of the show in southern Maryland as part of AUVSI’s Unmanned Systems 2009 conference.

This was said with full knowledge of the Air Force’s aborted effort in 2007 to become the executive agent for UAVs. Architzel made clear his service was not aiming to become executive agent but would build the best underwater and air unmanned systems.

He spoke against the backdrop of Webster Field, the Navy’s test field for UAVs in St. Inigoes, Md., filled with dozens of tactical and strategic UAVs, some of them demonstrating long loiter times and the ability to land without a controller guiding them in.

Among the displays was a mock-up of Northrop Grumman’s UCAS, a futuristic unmanned vehicle currently being developed to operate from carriers. The first UCAS is slated for first flight and then a year of flight testing in November or December at Edwards Air Force Base, according to Capt. Martin Deppe, UCAS program manager.

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northrop and their UCAS.… rolling my eyes

The MQ-8B Fire Scout is leading to Operational Evaluation (OpEval) scheduled for this fall and is slated to deploy aboard USS McInerney during its next counter-narcotics trafficking deployment later this year.The US Navy prepares for a future with 11 carriers – but 10 carrier air wings. UCAS vehicles with longer ranges, and indefinite flight time limits via aerial refueling, solve these problems.Northrop Grumman’s UCAS could approach the capabilities of an F-117 stealth fighter,with improved stealth and no pilot fatigue limits.a UCAS-D wing could easily fly to hit targets 3,000 miles from their host carrier, while pilots inside the ship work in shifts. The X-47s could fly a much shorter distance back to tankers as needed, and return to the carrier later when its weapons have been used.Northrop Grumman made comparisons that pit the UCAV against a notional future Navy fighter (resembling a super-F-35 with a greater range). The big difference at long range is that the manned fighter can only run into the target once after hitting the tanker, because of human endurance limits. The UCAV is good for 50 hours endurance and can make four-to-six trips into the target before flying back to the carrier.Naval version of the Global Hawk,RQ-4N BAMS are known to be in trials to gain IOC by 2019.If true,than the USN would be operating their first major unmanned program after the unfortunate DASH Program .

The argument seems to lead to the conclusion that one service should be flying all the UAVs, Carrier based or land based. If so, why does the Navy need to be that service. Maybe it should be the USAF, or Army? Then there would be better economies of scale and the Surface Warfare folks would be clear of the Aviators.

I think there is room for the Army, USN, and USAF to be operating UAVs, although built for different roles.

The Army used to operate some fixed-wing reconnaissance aircraft and the USN is pressing forward with the X-47B, so I don’t see a reason for the USAF to operate them all.

Is the Navy looking at anything else than the MQ-8B and X-47B at the moment? Is Boeing’s X-45N still around?

The F-35C and X-47B should provide a capable strike force. Yet in my opinion the Navy needs a large air-superiority focused aircraft to serve as a true successor to the F-14D. Perhaps Boeing’s F/A-XX concept will provide this.

Seems to be a push for funding. Why else call to be “the leader” when everyone uses the UAV systems?

The systems will not likely be integrated with other services for years to come, so each service is developing its own platforms. Typical DoD scenario. Wasteful but might provide for rapid acquisition versus waiting for integration to take hold first.

I think UAV like this can best defend the country more if it have the robotic mind, w/o the manual controller, can fly at stealth mode and can carry multiple ammunitions, different type of multiple missiles and can outfly the GPS jammers of Russia and China.

“it have the robotic mind “
The NG global hawk work w/o human controler in preprogramed fly “can fly at stealth mode and can carry multiple ammunitions, different type of multiple missiles ” the NG X-47 b should be capable to carry multiple ammunitions and diferent types of missiles
I have not idea about the jammers

Whether we like it or not (old fighter pilot talking here) UAVs are the wave of the future. So: catch the wave I guess-right? Regardless, I feel UAVs must have a permissive (air superiority/supremacy) environment in which to operate. I think they will still require the “person in the loop” or in this case ‘person in the aircraft’ to make critical time sensitive decisions based on situational awareness beyond that of machine sensors in the air to air arena. So far, that has not been achieved in an unmanned platform.
What was Darth Vader’s quote: “Don’t be too proud of this technological terror you have constructed…. The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the force” Spin that quote addressing UASs anyone??

We are at the Wright Flyer stage in the concept of implementing the UAVs. The idea of dropping bombs or missiles without a human eye in the loop is way too soon. The Hellfire missile shots in Aghanistan and Pakistan use the human to identify, target, and launch the attack. Computers aren’t there yet nor the immediate future. Stealth is absolutely needed for UAVs otherwise these air vehicles become target drones. Radar Cross Section is very important. But an overlooked aspect is that once missiles are launched or bombs dropped from an UAV, the whole airspace becomes alive with AAA activity. A deny-airspace combat patrol would immediately be looking for the UAVs that launched the non-stealthy weapons. The launch points would be known and it’s a matter of time before Mark 1 eyeballs would be looking for the UAVs along with infrared detectors. Open bomb bays are the non-stealthy achille heels of all stealthy vehicles. The radar waves would bounce all around the nooks and crannies of the structure and components of the bays. It’s a matter of how fast the ground borne radar would capture the few seconds of vulnerability when the bays are open. Multiple drops from the UAV would give away the current flight path of the vehicle. Remember the movie “Hunt for Red October”? The sonarman kept looking for “magnetic anomalies” and eventually found the track of the sub. That was good old fashioned human ingenuity and stubbornness. How do you teach a computer that?

What ever happened to the idea of services filling a specific role? For heaven’s sake … let the Army control the land, let the Navy control the water, and let the Air Force control the air. I know that view is overly simplistic, especially when overlaps exist, but I use it to prove a point. Each service needs to take ownership of its CORE function and then fight JOINT to accomplish an objective. Will the embarrassing interservice squabbling ever end? It’s getting old … fast.

not happening. Trust me, we will keep all the UAV’s. We need them seriously. Man may pilot the big ones, but look how much lives we saved in iraq. Please keep investing in them. But whatever will save the country money you know?

elgatoso, that’s cool. Hope our airforce, military or navy will produce 10 thousands or more of this. It can be usefull in the fight against terrorist/ criminals/ Al-quida/ Taliban in Afghanistan/ Pakistan, Iraq and other future potential attack from rougue nation like North Korea, Iran, China, or Russia.

For over a decade the Navy has consistently mouthed words that support UAVs while doing all they can to avoid their use — I saw it when I worked on BAMS concept of ops — which I suspect is STILL being worked on, worked Predator “trying” to support the Fleet and worked in Iraq as Preds ruled the skies, as least from an ISR standpoint.

The Navy has abdicated any modicum of leadership regarding UAV development and operation to the Air Force. Who is kidding whom

If this is true. It would be awesome to have these AUVSI’s Unmanned Systems on our defence line. It will save lives in the future. Let’s test 100’s of this in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq.

The SkunkWorks taught their UAV to fly itself into the ground!!! Way to go! (snicker..chuckle)

Sir for the past five years I have been working on what I call ‘ultra slow aerial refueling’ [USAR] at airspeeds between 60 and 150 knots. I’m an ex-bush pilot with 30 plus years of PIC time. Using my own plane I worked out just what would now be needed to allow single or twin-engine turboprop GA aircraft to be modified for USAR. My booming system will allow for the in-flight refueling [IFR] of the Fire Scout or other light utility helicopters manned or unmanned. I’m partnered with an Oregon aircraft manufacture ‘Sherpa Aircraft’ we would like to make it known to anyone in the military that this technology does exists. My contact e-mail is The last time the U.S. Military performed IFR using fixed-wing assets at airspeeds below 120 knots was get this 1929 sir. I have a back to the future technology that combines off-the-shelf STOL which allows for level flight at minimum controllable airspeed at Max T/O weight. If your not interested could you pass this infor to someone who might be interested Sincerely, Alan Sinsel


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