Skip to comments.Boeing Receives First Engines for X-45C Unmanned Combat Aircraft
Posted on 11/26/2004 1:22:19 PM PST by dumpdaschle
ST. LOUIS, November 18, 2004 - The Boeing [NYSE: BA] Company accepted the first two engines for the Joint Unmanned Combat Air Systems (J-UCAS) X-45C aircraft program Nov. 10 in a ceremony held at a General Electric plant in Lynn, Mass.
Boeing is building three X-45C aircraft in St. Louis as part of the J-UCAS program. Each of the aircraft will be powered by a single F404 engine.
"With the F404 engine, the X-45C will be able to fly a combat radius of more than 1,200 nautical miles, cruise at 0.80 Mach, reach altitudes of 40,000 feet and carry a 4,500 pound weapon payload," said Darryl Davis, Boeing J-UCAS X-45 vice president and program manager. "With that range, speed, and lethality, this unmanned system is truly revolutionary."
The first X-45C flight is scheduled for early 2007, with the initiation of an operational assessment by the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy beginning that same year. The assessment will culminate in a demonstration of the capabilities of the J-UCAS system and the X-45's ability to conduct suppression of enemy air defenses; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; and strike missions.
The X-45C will be 39-feet long with a 49-foot wingspan. It is designed to be a highly-survivable weapons system that will include advanced sensors and a robust communication system demonstrating advanced target detection and engagement capabilities.
The J-UCAS X-45 program is a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)/U.S. Air Force/U.S. Navy/Boeing effort to demonstrate the technical feasibility, military utility and operational value of an unmanned air combat system for the Services.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses. Headquartered in St. Louis , Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $27 billion business. It provides network-centric systems solutions to its global military, government and commercial customers. It is a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems; the world's largest military aircraft manufacturer; the world's largest satellite manufacturer and a leading provider of space-based communications; the primary systems integrator for U.S. missile defense and Department of Homeland Security; NASA's largest contractor; and a global leader in launch services.
That is the problem with elections and other big events. They bring out all the moonbats. I recall the same thing happening at the turn of the millenium (ah, the good old "Y2K spam" threads) and the 2000 election. That is why I have hardly posted in the past few months, too many morons.
Don't worry, most of the "kewl" posters will have an attack of "short-attention-spanitis" and just, er, "move on".
Good post. Thanks.
That's a cool looking plane.
To those who aren't In The Know, a 0.8 mach cruising speed means that's its "efficient" cruising speed. Kind of like your car is typically geared to cruise at 65 MPH. The big deal with the F22 (one of them) is that it has the ability to cruise at mach 1+ without turning on the afterburners and dumping a lot of fuel (and losing range).
Somehow, I suspect that if they want it to go supersonic, it will. Kind of like if you want your car to go over 70. Just step on the gas a little harder.
Like the plane - thanks for the pic.
LMAO! So that's how we got it past the blue congresscritters.
I love new developments in aerospace. Thanks for the great post. Keep it up.
If it is a non event, why did you come here and post your non event.
Anyone tried to JAM one of these things ?
Has ECM vulnerability even been considered ?
My apologies...or congrats! Whichever is appropriate. Daschle fought Boeing tooth and nail and pushed getting the Air Force to buy its next gen tankers from Airbus. I'm glad the bastard is toast.
Three cheers for South Dakota!
Ignorance is bliss..............................
I believe one of the reasons why Rumsfeld was loathed so much by the senior brass in the military was because he wants to cut the number of Divisions. Not the end strength of the military or Army, but realign them so that there are less higher HQ at Div and those Corps and Army/DA get leaner. This of course means less jobs for one and two star generals (Cut two Div). A Div has three generals per. An ADC-M, ADC-S and the CG himself. As an O-6 or a O-7 Id be worried about this too. But this is an opinion.
Then throw in the fact that Rumsfeld saw the little empires of the various branches within the Armed forces or even within the branches of the Army itself. Crusader was crap. A pet project by the Artillery branch where a lot of money was spent to develop a super 155mm howitzer. Today we can do EVERYTHING Crusader can do while doing many things better, for cheaper, while being smaller and lighter with tube launched rockets. Raytheon builds them and they will eventually replace our tube artillery. But boy did Rumsfeld piss on someones turf when he canned Crusader.
Why did we build Comanche? Ever hear of a drone? Which Corps or Division main effort are we trying to locate? A system which was obsolete before being built since the wall fell in 89. A system where other technology and development basically give us as capable platforms where humans are not risked and for less money. Again, he smashed someones pet project and hurt many peoples feelings.
I believe the military as a whole was lacking vision and leadership for a long time. We had no real leaders at our helm and they lacked all vision (Im not just using these buzzwords, they are truly appropriate here) under Clinton. When all else fails you just keep doing what you always did and just try to do it a bit better. Besides, true change (Not tacky berets) requires a leader to deal with resistance. So we were just going to improve old concepts and force structures. Build a better cannon, rethink how to use the old force structure to meet new demands.
However, Rumsfeld completely redesigned our armed forces! Today we fight smaller conflicts at a level where Corps and DIV HQ are seldom needed at all and tend to suck up resources while contributing little. We are no longer trying to stop a Russian Corps from penetrating our Division along the Fulda gap! Those times are over. The fights in Liberia, Haiti, Afghanistan, Somalia, even Iraq today are BDE and bellow. Our organization was set-up to fight a HUGE mechanized enemy that out numbers us while we fight him in a mobile defense in western Europe. We dont do that now, we wont even do that in the defense of the Korean Peninsula should that happen. New technologies made the procurement of more modern evolutions of old concepts obsolete. Thats what Crusader and Comanche were (Old potatoes warmed up again. A super Paladin and a super Kiowa). Rumsfeld is rebuilding the armed forces! Not much attention is given to this, but he is single handedly the most influential military leader within the DoD since WW2. There are no big photo opportunities so its not worth a big news story, but the UA (Unit of Action concept) and the redesign of the force structure will have a huge impact. Hated by the media because he does not cater to them, often aggravating people by smashing their empires and not going with the status quo he is in reality the best thing that ever happened to the DoD. I write this because sometimes you DO get leaders who are concerned, bottom line focused and think more in terms of function vs. form and less about their empire.
I think your drones will be adopted by the DoD in even larger scale. Hunter, Global Hawk, Predator, Shadow and another one make up 5 drones that I know of myself. The AF, Navy, or Marines may have their own systems in addition. Im pretty sure Comanche was scrapped because the intent is to go to a drone. These guys (Rumsfeld, Myers and Scoomaker) ARE looking for a better mouse trap, not job protection pans or touchy feely we want to make everyone happy projects.
Just an opinion.
How would you like to fight a war against an enemy who had a few hundred of these babies stealthing their way to the middle of (for example) Damascus, flying most of the way at 40,000 feet in the wee hours of the morning carrying 4500 pound valentine gifts?
Hopefully so my plummetted stock will rise
"That could be the air intake for the jet. Placing it on top and further back would help reduce it's radar signature."
Yep. Planform alignment (surfaces are parallel in 4 or in this case 6 axes are also a reduced signature feature.
Actually the reduced signature, while clearly low on this platform, is really about a controlled signature. With Planform alignment, you know exactly where your radar returns are going (and can maneuver to avoid 'flashing' threats), which is just as important as reducing your radar signature.
This puppy should be pretty stealthy. It would be really cool if they could put the bomb-bay on top, too, and execute a half roll to unload ordnance.......maybe the next platform.
my bet this vehicle hill be matched with metalstorm technology.
"Why only mach 0.8? That doesn't seem too revolutionary...at least in terms of speed."
Speed can be overrated... Too fast, and you can track it by it's sonic boom, or more easily with IR. a M .8 aircraft can be pretty fuel efficient using proven techniques, engines, and designs.
They'll get there though......one step at a time - and when you don't have to worry about killing a pilot, you can evolve pretty quickly.
"It's interesting even the Navy is interested in them"
The Navy needs them most, at least nowadays. Too bad they fumbled the A-12. They pretty well ceded stealth missions to the zoomies on that one - relegated to support.....but rest assured the Navy isn't sitting idly by....
With advances in radar technology and signal processing, ECM keeps these, and older stealth platforms viable.
As advanced as these designs are, they are still not invulnerable - you ECM boys make them much more so....