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X-47B Carrier Launch  
User currently onlineoly720man From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 6744 posts, RR: 11
Posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 4904 times:

Today marked another first in the world of UAVs with the catapult launch of the X-47B from an aircraft carrier.

No videos or photos yet, but I'm sure they'll be along in due course.

http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=74120


wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
41 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinecjg225 From United States of America, joined Feb 2013, 837 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 4823 times:

Looks like some photos are up now in the article.

Cool stuff.



Restoring Penn State's transportation heritage...
User currently onlineoly720man From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 6744 posts, RR: 11
Reply 2, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 4760 times:

Quoting cjg225 (Reply 1):
Looks like some photos are up now in the article.

Interesting to see.



wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
User currently offlinecanoecarrier From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2839 posts, RR: 12
Reply 3, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 4709 times:

What's the navy's plan with drones on carriers? They offer a significant space savings don't they? The AF has been studying them for years as well for bombers and/or fighters, I would suspect the navy is doing the same.


The beatings will continue until morale improves
User currently onlineoly720man From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 6744 posts, RR: 11
Reply 4, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 4692 times:

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 3):
What's the navy's plan with drones on carriers?

Part of the scheme to have a westward influence to counter the growth of the Navy in China and their high tech advances, from this link

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/13/op...between-the-us-and-china.html?_r=0



wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
User currently offlineDaus From United States of America, joined May 2005, 288 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 4686 times:

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 3):
They offer a significant space savings don't they?

With wings folded she is about 33% smaller than an F-18 from a length and width standpoint. And a little more than half the height. Stack them 2 high.  


User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5611 posts, RR: 8
Reply 6, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 4674 times:

Here's a link with video:
http://www.northropgrumman.com/Capab...lities/X47BUCAS/Pages/default.aspx

While the guys on the deck were cheering, I wonder if the fighter pilots were doing the same....

Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlineDaus From United States of America, joined May 2005, 288 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 4659 times:

Additional Video from a different vantage point.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FMvNrkwmi0&feature=player_embedded


User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1721 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 4614 times:

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 3):
What's the navy's plan with drones on carriers? They offer a significant space savings don't they? The AF has been studying them for years as well for bombers and/or fighters, I would suspect the navy is doing the same.

See the Navy's UCLASS program. The Navy is looking for a persistent ISR with secondary strike capabilities. In other words, they want a intelligence gathering drone with the ability to drop a bomb on occasion.


User currently offlinecjg225 From United States of America, joined Feb 2013, 837 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 4568 times:

Quoting tugger (Reply 6):
Quoting Daus (Reply 7):

Thanks for the video links!

One thing I've wondered... if this is supposed to be totally autonomous, are they *programmed* to do things like flap checks or is that still being commanded by a remote operator? Seems like when you have to have humans interfacing with the aircraft on the deck (or even if it's a ground-based aircraft) that there needs to be some way to communicate to the aircraft or to a remote operator that something doesn't look right.



Restoring Penn State's transportation heritage...
User currently offlinetommytoyz From Tonga, joined Jan 2007, 1353 posts, RR: 6
Reply 10, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 4553 times:

The question for me is will the US Navy be able to talk it's way out of the F-35 or at least get away with ordering far fewer numbers, if UCLASS proves effective, which I am sure it will.

[Edited 2013-05-14 17:51:41]

User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1721 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 4460 times:

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 10):
The question for me is will the US Navy be able to talk it's way out of the F-35 or at least get away with ordering far fewer numbers, if UCLASS proves effective, which I am sure it will.

If anything, UCLASS will supplement and complement the F-35 in the carrier's air wing. The concept for UCLASS is for a drone specialized in ISR with a secondary strike capability. The F-35 will be the premier strike and air defence platform for the carrier air wing for decades to come.


User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 12, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 4362 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 8):
See the Navy's UCLASS program. The Navy is looking for a persistent ISR with secondary strike capabilities. In other words, they want a intelligence gathering drone with the ability to drop a bomb on occasion.

Overall I agree. Presence persistence for the X-47B or a derivative will permit the carrier group to stay further offshore and therefore at less risk from long range missile attacks, while at the same time gathering useful realtime intelligence.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 11):
The F-35 will be the premier strike and air defence platform for the carrier air wing for decades to come.

Like a rash, the F-35 will be around for quite a while, slowly destroying budget allocations intended for other applications. Premier ? A matter of opinion. Apparently a number of USAF pilots already have some strong opinions about it. This makes for some interesting reading:

http://pogoarchives.org/straus/ote-info-memo-20130215.pdf

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2013/03/f-35-blind-spot/



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 13, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 4348 times:

Anyone interested in looking at a real multi-role aircraft that was successful should check:

www.airspacemag.com/military-aviatio...Special-169358206.html?device=ipad

If you want to go for a ride:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGfQQWOsoB8

I'll cross-post to an F-35 thread just to make sure the weenies see it.



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlinetommytoyz From Tonga, joined Jan 2007, 1353 posts, RR: 6
Reply 14, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 4 days ago) and read 4284 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 11):
with a secondary strike capability.

What gives you this impression? Just because it will be capable of ISR, like most other aircraft, does not automatically mean that will be the primary role or purpose.


User currently offlineBthebest From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2008, 507 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 4243 times:

Quick question about the X-47B as different terms are being thrown about left, right and centre online.

Is it an Unmanned or Semi-autonomous vehicle?

In terms of:

Unmanned - controlled by pilot who is not carried by aircraft

Semi-autonomous - given all necessary instructions prior to flight, with actual flying operated independent of human interaction. Obviously various definitions exist as there is no pre-defined half-way point for autonomy.

Some sources are even calling it Autonomous - aircraft is operated without any form of human control. I think this is a bit of a way off yet.


User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 16, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 4230 times:

Quoting Bthebest (Reply 15):
Is it an Unmanned or Semi-autonomous vehicle?

In terms of:

Unmanned - controlled by pilot who is not carried by aircraft

Semi-autonomous - given all necessary instructions prior to flight, with actual flying operated independent of human interaction. Obviously various definitions exist as there is no pre-defined half-way point for autonomy.

Some sources are even calling it Autonomous - aircraft is operated without any form of human control. I think this is a bit of a way off yet.

Good point to raise. I looked at the NYT article myself and noted two basic errors:
- referred to X-47B as 'autonomous'. It is not, in fact photos provided show deck hands using a keypad to guide vehicle to cat. If it was autonomous, it would do that itself. I think semi would be a better term. I am quite sure it can fly a preprogrammed course, and as for landing, assuming it acquires the MLS, ultimately will figure out how to land. But it doesn't think for itself. If it is semi-autonomous, likely the preprogrammed routine can be overridden.
- article also mentioned X-47B landed on the carrier. It did not. Flew two approaches then departed for (I believe) Pax River.



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently onlineoly720man From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 6744 posts, RR: 11
Reply 17, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 4225 times:

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 16):
I am quite sure it can fly a preprogrammed course

You can do that with radio controlled/hobby aircraft these days with off-the shelf-autopilots and flight control systems with a gps. Certainly this aircraft will have that capability as a minimum.



wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
User currently offlineBthebest From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2008, 507 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 4204 times:

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 16):
- referred to X-47B as 'autonomous'.

That's what I was noticing, and I think they mean 'automated' - such that it can indepently perform all the functions of a controlled aircraft, as long as its been programmed/commanded to do so. In this case I think it has the capability although it hasn't yet been used, at least at sea.


User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1721 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 4122 times:

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 14):
What gives you this impression? Just because it will be capable of ISR, like most other aircraft, does not automatically mean that will be the primary role or purpose.

The Navy is emphasizing ISR in the UCLASS planning documentation and briefings, and are mentioning strike capabilities as a secondary feature.

Also, a comparison between all UCLASS contenders and their known specifications reveals that all contenders have a very small payload capability; at most maybe one bomb or two. A lot of emphasis is instead placed on the onboard sensors instead.

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 12):
Apparently a number of USAF pilots already have some strong opinions about it. This makes for some interesting reading:

Different topic for a different thread, so let's avoid a hijack here and if you want to discuss this, open a new thread.


User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 20, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 4110 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 19):
Quoting connies4ever (Reply 12):
Apparently a number of USAF pilots already have some strong opinions about it. This makes for some interesting reading:

Different topic for a different thread, so let's avoid a hijack here and if you want to discuss this, open a new thread.

Blah blah blah...

Your reply 11 let the F-35 cow into the discussion. IMHO, of course.



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlinecanoecarrier From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2839 posts, RR: 12
Reply 21, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 4071 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 8):
See the Navy's UCLASS program. The Navy is looking for a persistent ISR with secondary strike capabilities. In other words, they want a intelligence gathering drone with the ability to drop a bomb on occasion.
Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 19):
Also, a comparison between all UCLASS contenders and their known specifications reveals that all contenders have a very small payload capability; at most maybe one bomb or two. A lot of emphasis is instead placed on the onboard sensors instead.

Interesting, but as you say, it appears the X-47B has a small payload. Everything I read on the UCLASS program does indicate it's reconnaissance first, attack second. Maybe it is a candidate for carrying small diameter bombs for attacking radar sites?

edit: It looks like the new Ford-class carriers are planning on having a complement of X-47Bs. I wonder where they'll accommodate the equipment for remotely operating the aircraft?

[Edited 2013-05-15 14:21:47]


The beatings will continue until morale improves
User currently offlinetommytoyz From Tonga, joined Jan 2007, 1353 posts, RR: 6
Reply 22, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 4018 times:

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 21):
Everything I read on the UCLASS program does indicate it's reconnaissance first, attack second.

Care to share those readings?

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 19):
The Navy is emphasizing ISR in the UCLASS planning documentation and briefings, and are mentioning strike capabilities as a secondary feature.

Share or it's made up on your part, like your made up stories about the X-47B supposedly not having folding wings and your grapevine telling you the difficulty in handling the X-47B on the carrier because of that - except.......the X-47B does have folding wings.

[Edited 2013-05-15 15:44:59]

User currently offlinetommytoyz From Tonga, joined Jan 2007, 1353 posts, RR: 6
Reply 23, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 4008 times:

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 21):
Interesting, but as you say, it appears the X-47B has a small payload.

The X-47B's payload is irrelevant, as the X-47B was not designed nor intended as a combat capable UAV. However, it has a larger internal payload than any F-35 carries internally. Namely 4,500lbs compared to 2,000-4,000lbs max for the F-35. And before people jump up and down saying the F-35 can carry more externally, who is to say the UCLASS won't be able to carry external loads as well?

The Sea Avenger by General Atomics (builder of Reaper UAV), lists a proposed 3,000lb internal bomb payload for this carrier based UCLASS. They also list a 20HR endurance and 60,000 foot ceiling, which are way more than anything carrier based in the US Navy either now or in the near future, including the F-35.

This is clearly they way to go for the Navy. I think they'll order as few F-35s as they politically can. Look for Congress forcing them to take more than they want, like what happened with the C-17 and the USAF. All IMHO (not a phantom grapevine).



[Edited 2013-05-15 16:05:08]

User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1721 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 3916 times:

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 20):
Blah blah blah...

Your reply 11 let the F-35 cow into the discussion. IMHO, of course.

That's because someone asked if the F-35 program was going to be affected by UCLASS.

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 21):
Interesting, but as you say, it appears the X-47B has a small payload. Everything I read on the UCLASS program does indicate it's reconnaissance first, attack second. Maybe it is a candidate for carrying small diameter bombs for attacking radar sites?

That's a possible role.

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 21):
edit: It looks like the new Ford-class carriers are planning on having a complement of X-47Bs. I wonder where they'll accommodate the equipment for remotely operating the aircraft?

Somewhere probably deep in the hull, by reconfiguring the interior. There are a number of major design changes between the Ford's and the Nimitz, and some of these centre around aircraft handling, and crew size. The Ford's will have a smaller crew size compared to the Nimitz due to more extensive automation.

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 23):
However, it has a larger internal payload than any F-35 carries internally. Namely 4,500lbs compared to 2,000-4,000lbs max for the F-35.

We have yet to see the internal weapons bay configuration of the X-47B. It could be that while it can handle 4,500lbs of weight internally, the actual number may be lower due to volume constraints.

And also of note the admiral in charge of the Navy’s drone development, Rear Adm. Matthias Winter, said that the demonstration model built for UCLASS, the X-47B, will “never carry a weapon.” So arguing about the payload of X-47B is a moot point.

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 22):
Share or it's made up on your part, like your made up stories about the X-47B supposedly not having folding wings and your grapevine telling you the difficulty in handling the X-47B on the carrier because of that - except.......the X-47B does have folding wings.
http://www.navair.navy.mil/index.cfm...DA3766-1A6D-4AEA-B462-F91FE43181AF
http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...mation-on-uclass-programme-384589/
https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=6698b069b45f6a64c0d4de703027f8a1&tab=core&_cview=0
Even the name says it: Umanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike System.

The Navy is remarkably consistent with the phraseology being used in emphasizing ISR first then strike.

Also, Congressman J. Randy Forbes, Congressman from Virginia's fourth district, Member of the House Armed Services Committee and Chairman of the Readiness Subcommittee, has also emphasized in an article last year has also emphasized ISR over strike in an article last year:
http://www.informationdissemination....hat-is-potential-and-what-are.html


25 kanban : I've seen quite a few quotes from military brass that were designed to direct attention elsewhere.. this may be one of those.. and while the X-47B ma
26 Post contains images tommytoyz : 1. Your links do not say what you claim they say, I assume that's why you didn't quote any passages 2. The name "Surveillance and Strike" does not sh
27 Post contains links ThePointblank : I recommend you read the last one. Congressman J. Randy Forbes placed a lot of emphasis in the article on ISR capabilities. Another article, an artic
28 tommytoyz : - Neither one US Congressman nor a newspaper decide US NAVY policy and planning and I don't think strike was mentioned as a secondary role for UCLASS
29 ThePointblank : However, he does sit on the House Armed Services Committee, and also is the chairman of the United States House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapow
30 tommytoyz : Who ever said strike as a primary role for UCLASS. Both ISR and strike go hand in hand in every single description of UCLASS including in the name. I
31 ThePointblank : However, F-35, which has ISR capabilities, is classified as a strike aircraft in the very same document, while having secondary ISR capabilities. Tha
32 tommytoyz : If you think it does, then good for you. I don't think that document means what you think it means. If the NAVY was thinking about the UCALSS in that
33 Spacepope : I think a cursory look at the beefy landing gear would confirm that. They're from an A-6. There's no reason to have that sized gear on that drone unl
34 Post contains links canoecarrier : Sure, "The future UCLASS drones will be primarily reconnaissance aircraft, scouting stealthily ahead of the main force to find targets for manned air
35 tommytoyz : Just to be clear, that quote is from the author, Sidney J Freedberg Jr., which is not any official source. An if small bombs is meant by 4,000lbs or
36 ThePointblank : He is a defence writer, and thus is highly knowledgeable and connected. The Navy has not defined the specifications of UCLASS yet. The Navy may in we
37 checksixx : I'm sure they were if any were around. There are NO plans to remove pilots from the cockpits, as the norm, for the foreseeable future.
38 checksixx : It would likely be a built-in self-test...much like a police traffic radar...which would alert the operator to anything being out of tolerance. There
39 ThePointblank : Indeed, UCLASS and F-35 will have complimentary roles in a carrier air wing. The Navy is barely scratching the surface with what UCLASS (assuming the
40 tommytoyz : Keep your own words in mind from the quote above when you proclaim to know the NAVY has a specific use in mind. The X-47B itself, already has a state
41 ThePointblank : The Navy has an idea of what they want, but they are debating the exact capabilities they want out of UCLASS. The Navy is said to be internally divid
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