New mysterious UAV photographed operating out of Afghanistan

      Home » Military Technology / Videos » New mysterious UAV photographed operating out of Afghanistan
More Military Articles

New mysterious UAV photographed operating out of Afghanistan

Photos have emerged of a new secretive stealth UAV operating in Afghanistan. Why is it there? Not for the Afghan situation but maybe because of Iran next door.

Afghanistan maybe the testing ground for a new, advanced but as yet undisclosed UCAV programme.

Amongst the distinctive features of the type is the ‘fat’ wing chord, and a large central fuselage fairing. The aircraft engine nozzle is the same half moon shape as the Lockheed P175 Pole Cat, but the wing is not cranked on its trailing edge like the Pole Cat is.

The fuselage fairing could support a large squared off intake, but is more likely to house a large satellite communications and sensor mix. Two large blisters either side of the central fairing are likely to the intakes for a single turbofan engine. These features probably won’t help the aircraft’s radar cross-section, although this probably isn’t important considering the theatre of operations in which it is flying.

The large doors inboard of the main landing gear may be bomb bay doors, indicating a strike capability for the type.

There are clearly the technological capabilities to build something like this inside Northrop Grumman, Boeing or Lockheed Martin. Looking at the shaping, our analyst said he would be inclined to think this comes from either Northrop or Lockheed.

Such UAV's might already be operating in Iran.

Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has targeted and downed an unidentified shining object after sighting it over Persian Gulf waters.
... Quote:
Glowing objects were sighted over the Persian Gulf. IRGC air defense targeted one of the objects successfully, forcing it to plummet and sink in the seas off Boushehr (Province).

The three bright objects were detected by our radars when flying over the Persian Gulf Islands of Khark and Khargou,.
said top regional commander, Brigadier Ali Razmjou.

Brig. Razmjou explained that when the radars indicated that they were not Iranian aircrafts, the IRGC fired at the three objects. He also added that the fallen objects' remains have not been found yet.

The exact time and location of the sighting and downing of the weird aircraft has not been announced.

mysterious-UAV.jpg - 19.72kb
By netchicken: posted on 2-12-2009

More information on it here

The jet has long, slender outer wings, spanning as much as 80 feet, mated to a stouter, deeper centerbody with a pointed nose. One important detail: the overwing fairings are not B-2-like inlets, but cover some kind of equipment - satcoms on one side, perhaps, and a sensor on the other.

The most likely provenance of the airframe is Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works, and it is very likely to be associated with the Desert Prowler program

Aviation week

It might be the Boeing X-45C The manufacturer today announced the new "Phantom Ray" testbed based on the unflown X-45C airframe will perform a series of 10 flights starting in 2010. A Boeing spokesman tells that the Phantom Ray is not focused at any particular program or competition.
By netchicken: posted on 2-12-2009

The U.S. Air Force has confirmed the existence of the UAV that was seen flying out of Afghanistan in late 2007.

The jet aircraft – a tailless flying wing with sensor pods faired into the upper surface of each wing – is the RQ-170 Sentinel, developed by Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works. An Air Force official revealed to Aviation Week Friday afternoon that the service is “developing a stealthy unmanned aircraft system (UAS) to provide reconnaissance and surveillance support to forward deployed combat forces.
... Quote:
The fielding of the RQ-170 aligns with Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates’ request for increased intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) support to the Combatant Commanders and Air Force Chief of Staff General Norton Schwartz’s vision for an increased USAF reliance on unmanned aircraft.
according to the statement.

The RQ-170 is flown by the 30th Reconnaissance Squadron at Tonopah Test Range, Nev. – home of the F-117 stealth fighter when the program’s existence was secret – and falls under Air Combat Command's 432d Wing at Creech Air Force Base, Nev. In Kandahar, the Sentinel was seen operating out of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems’ hangar.

Technically, the RQ designation denotes an unarmed aircraft rather than the MQ prefix applied to the armed Predator and Reaper UAVs. The USAF phrase, “Support to forward deployed combat forces,” when combined with visible details that suggest a moderate degree of stealth (including a blunt leading edge, simple nozzle and overwing sensor pods) suggests that the Sentinel is a tactical, operations-oriented platform and not a strategic intelligence-gathering design.

Many questions remain about the aircraft’s use. If it is a high-altitude aircraft it is painted an unusual color – medium grey overall, like Predator or Reaper, rather then the dark gray or overall black that provides the best concealment at very high altitudes.

More on the link
By netchicken: posted on 6-12-2009

New mysterious UAV photographed operating out of Afghanistan | [Login ]
Powered by XMB
Privacy Policy