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Thread: The Chinese stealth UCAV start roll

  1. #61
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    So it's a RD-93 after all. Quite interesting, someone on another forum speculated that while the UCAV (or it's developed series production version), might still be subsonic, there will be instances on it's planned flying profile when quick acceleration will be needed. Maybe it's some sort of fighter UCAV (an idea i've always had fun with in my head , if you can make one of these little UCAVs cheap enough, that can turn 12 or 15G, have good flying characteristic, have 2 or 4 good missiles and a gun, and good enough radar, optical and self defence systems-passive especially , you just press the "kill" button and you have the thing going berzerk, eating at anything withing it's reach, crashing into the opponent if necessary; send a swarm of these against an F-22 and F-35 strike coming to "liberate" you and boy, you're gonna make their day crap or what) Maybe the production version will have a WS-13. We'll see hopefully.

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geo View Post
    Yes, its probably fully AB RD-93. Maybe intended for aircraft carrier without catapults (for ski jump).
    Took the words out of my mouth. That EXACTLY what i also thought a minute ago.

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack8 View Post
    Took the words out of my mouth. That EXACTLY what i also thought a minute ago.
    Let's add a bit of logic in this conversation.

    1. Obviously this design is reminiscent of the Taranis/Neuron (we can even joke abt the Taranis making its first much publicized flight in... China!)
    2. From the specs made public on both of these design, we can assume that such a configuration is heavy with poor payload/weight ratio
    3. The fact that the Dassault's Neuron made it's first flight with a basically similar configuration than that of the Taranis and that Dassault master the writing of flight ctrl laws makes the assumption that ctrling such a config is a challenge.


    Now let's assume that the above is somewhat true. What we can say is that the take off run will be long and speed crucial for the stability of the flying configuration. What you need is to put yourself out of the low speed/high drag config quickly (hve a look at the video of the X-47 overflying the deck of G-B aircraft carrier). Hence, IMHO the plugged over-sized engine. Ideally it would hve some (restricted) OVT feature too (pitch and yaw).

    Just another remark:

    If this engine is really fitted with AB, I doubt that the short S ducted air-scoop is sufficient. Something is wrong here.

    Anyway the design of the rear end suggest a variable pitch propulsion system. Maybe some active flows ctrl tech are in the pipe.
    Last edited by TomcatViP; 16th May 2013 at 22:56.

  4. #64
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    How about it's simply not the final design.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Devils Advocate View Post
    How about it's simply not the final design.
    Yes, obviously

  6. #66
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    seeing how none of the Chinese stealth aircraft have LO tails, I guess this means they're still working on that
    or maybe they figured that it's not worth the cost/effort to put one in (which seems odd though, it can't be that difficult)

    Quote Originally Posted by mack8 View Post
    Maybe it's some sort of fighter UCAV (an idea i've always had fun with in my head , if you can make one of these little UCAVs cheap enough, that can turn 12 or 15G, have good flying characteristic, have 2 or 4 good missiles and a gun, and good enough radar, optical and self defence systems-passive especially , you just press the "kill" button and you have the thing going berzerk, eating at anything withing it's reach, crashing into the opponent if necessary; send a swarm of these against an F-22 and F-35 strike coming to "liberate" you and boy, you're gonna make their day crap or what) Maybe the production version will have a WS-13. We'll see hopefully.
    my thoughts exactly, I've written extensively on the subject in the two other UCAV threads on this forum, but none in the military community seem to even want to consider the concept

    high turn Gs would make it superb at dodging enemy (Allied) missiles and cannon fire, making it extremely hard to shoot down
    and with a computer at the controls, it would be able to track a large number of enemies and incomming missiles at the same time, allowing it to calculate the best possible escape vector and timing in microseconds

    but what makes it most dangerous is the UCAVs ability to act as a swarm, allowing each aircraft to act in concert with the others, constantly moving into positions where it will draw the enemy into the gun sights of another UCAV
    especially in dogfights this becomes deadly, because humans tend to focus on a limited number of targets, usually in front of them, UCAVs would constantly track every friendly and enemy aircraft, 360 degrees and regardless of altitude or orientation

    stealth will add an extra layer of resilience to AMRAAMs, meaning the F-35 for one is going to very quickly run out of missiles
    and these UCAVs wouldn't need radar or radar guided missiles, they could just go soley for optical sensors, maximising their stealth and keeping costs low, and optically guided missiles, which are immune to stealth, chaff, flares...

    and if you use such lighter, cheaper and more numerous missiles to shoot down high value enemy missiles (like the AMRAAM which the F-35 will only carry a few off), this will quickly deplete enemy missile reserves. when fighting over extended area's like the Pacific, every missile will count before a manned aircraft has to make the long haul back home, where a UCAV can just kamikaze if you want it to (if you can exchange a $30 million UCAV for a $150 million F-22 or F-35 this way, that certainly seems like a serious option)

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    The problem lies in the fact that imagination is far far ahead of reality and current development status...Look at autonomous capability here..The current status is very limited...The Most modern Global Hawk for instance does not yet have Autonomous collision avoidance system...It involves human effort/input...So the day'n'age of autonomous execution of complex Maneuvering especially one that is adaptive and not based on simple set of pre-fed profiles is quite a way out. The degree of autonomous ops is directly proportional to cost, complexity and R&D Money...and so the existing line up of UAV's and UCAS's have to wait for future programs to mature that technology...Such as the existing systems are waiting for the UCLASS to advance autonomous ability when it comes to refueling, anti-collision and smart maneuvering (Self generated way points etc etc). Having a Human operate complex manuvers involves risking the craft to EM suppression and even then there is a LAG which can prove to be dangerous when SPLIT second decisions are required such as in aerial combat...The real point here is that SATCOMS and LOS DL generated control should be used only to establish a network for sensor sharing, prioritizing and targeting purposes and that greater and greater autonomy should be sought for the "EASIER" missions which in this case are the various A2G missions ranging from Attack on Fixed targets (Easiest) to discriminating , tracking and attacking Moving targets of opportunity (tough)...Beyond this Loiter+ISR+Signit is something that can be easily carried out with full autonomy(almost) when a system is feeding information down to a capable node center...To require autonomous aerial discrimination, targeting, engaging in tough "split" second maneuvering, targeting, and blue force interoperability in aerial combat is FAR FAR out of current capability...At best what can be done with these systems is to have them be MULES enslaved to existing fighter force, which adds more weapons and sensors to the existing fighters...Such was the concept of SABRE warrior, but i guess such a specialized drone was not really neccessary for the USAF given how infrequent aerial combat is compared to A2G missions and that the USAF should enjoy numerical superiority (and weapons quality advantage) in most cases...In the US DOD circles, greater autonomy would come from UCLASS efforts but even that would be limited to certain critical things such as Aerial refueling (A big Thing especially for upgrades onto legacy UAV's) , Landing , Collision avoidance etc....The A2G capability here would still be limited, hence many are cautioning against thinking that the UCLASS would be be all end all VLO A2G system, which it would not...Expect the USN to use it (atleast the first couple of blocks) primarily for ISR and refueling roles (80:20 split according to me)...The largest boost towards autonomous ability SHOULD come from the LRS_B program especially if recent rumours of it being optionally manned in the future are true... Designers and manufacterers as well as war fighters do share our level of imagination, but they have to balance it out with current capability... :-)

    but what makes it most dangerous is the UCAVs ability to act as a swarm, allowing each aircraft to act in concert with the others, constantly moving into positions where it will draw the enemy into the gun sights of another UCAV
    especially in dogfights this becomes deadly, because humans tend to focus on a limited number of targets, usually in front of them, UCAVs would constantly track every friendly and enemy aircraft, 360 degrees and regardless of altitude or orientation

    stealth will add an extra layer of resilience to AMRAAMs, meaning the F-35 for one is going to very quickly run out of missiles
    and these UCAVs wouldn't need radar or radar guided missiles, they could just go soley for optical sensors, maximising their stealth and keeping costs low, and optically guided missiles, which are immune to stealth, chaff, flares...
    Swarming is not something NEW as a tactic, almost every forward thinking force has planned and is planning against such a tactics..Swarming with the type of system as this is going to be counter productive when all you need is a Bigger version of the JASSM or something like that to do the job...

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    They cost less then one million, have a range of around 800-1000 km (ER) .... Get a bomber fleet to launch 4-5 of these babies each towards an air group....Re-work them for persistence and let them harass the fighters (Keep on chasing them until you run out of fuel)....Heck you can even modify it to be more manuverable..and program each diferently to operate at different altitudes for example.. shooter's Weapon overloading is probably as old as weapons themselves....The best solution for such a contingency is to have sensors with very effective discriminatory ability, and Non-Kinetic EM counter ability against such threats..
    Last edited by bring_it_on; 17th May 2013 at 10:14.
    Banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies

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    Quote Originally Posted by bring_it_on View Post
    The problem lies in the fact that imagination is far far ahead of reality and current development status...Look at autonomous capability here..The current status is very limited...
    yes, because the military made the explicit choice not to pursue such technology explicitly. only now are they starting to look into it, and are independant companies starting to develop such abilities using their own funding

    Quote Originally Posted by bring_it_on View Post
    The Most modern Global Hawk for instance does not yet have Autonomous collision avoidance system...It involves human effort/input...So the day'n'age of autonomous execution of complex Maneuvering especially one that is adaptive and not based on simple set of pre-fed profiles is quite a way out.
    the F-22 doesn't have a helmet-mounted aiming system, although the technology has been around since the 1980's
    most USAF fighters today have rather limited radars, even though AESA is quickly becoming the standard
    USAF Predators and Reapers need constant human control, where the Global Hawk can pretty much fly itself
    they also don't have an automated landing systems, although the Belgian Air Force has used it on its B-Hunters since the 1990's

    so you see, all these aircraft lack certain advanced, or even off the shelf, hardware and software that could save a lot of money or prove to be a major asset on missions. but in all cases, the military made the explicit choice not to install these systems, usually to save money, although in the case of automated landing and flying on UAVs this has probably cost a lot more than it has saved

    an automated collision avoidance system is not difficult to design, it is a question of cost. the MK1 eyeball is cheap, but pretty useless if a civilian aircraft flying at night or in fog, or when the object is moving too fast or outside of line of sight
    optical sensors are getting to the point where they can rival or even exceed human eye sight, while computers are getting cheap and capable enough to detect and thus avoid other aircraft. the main need right now is for UAVs, but eventually these systems will become mandatory for manned aircraft too because they minimise accidents, in the same way that an automated landing system like on the X-47B will probably be used on manned aircraft as well, simply because it is safer and cheap enough to justify the investment

    Quote Originally Posted by bring_it_on View Post
    The degree of autonomous ops is directly proportional to cost, complexity and R&D Money...and so the existing line up of UAV's and UCAS's have to wait for future programs to mature that technology...Such as the existing systems are waiting for the UCLASS to advance autonomous ability when it comes to refueling, anti-collision and smart maneuvering (Self generated way points etc etc).
    exactly, and if the USAF had invested in automated flying and landing and de-icing over a decade ago for its Reapers and Predators, it would have saved millions
    in the same way the fact that the USAF has waited so long to start researching for example in-flight UAV refueling, something that could have been developed and installed relatively cheap, has probably cost more than it saved. it is not just a matter of maturity, it is also a matter of timing and prioritising resources
    Boeing showed great promise with its automated UCAS architecture back in 2005, yet 8 years later none of the USAF UAVs have anything that comes even near such abilities. not because such a system is beyond reach technologically or too expensive, but because the USAF decided not to invest in it

    Quote Originally Posted by bring_it_on View Post
    To require autonomous aerial discrimination, targeting, engaging in tough "split" second maneuvering, targeting, and blue force interoperability in aerial combat is FAR FAR out of current capability...
    then how do A2A missiles discriminate, target and engage targets in split seconds? how do you explain LOAL, or the ability of the AIM-9X and Python 5 to target specific aircraft parts like the engines or the cockpit?

    why does LMT show videos of the F-35 telling its pilots which are the good guys and which are the bad guys? if there's even the slightest margin of error in that system, an F-35 could fire upon an allied aircraft, or mistake an enemy aircraft for a friendly one and get shot down himself

    the "split second" argument is also relative. in modern air combat targets are engaged at range with missiles that need not even be launched in the direction of the target, giving a lot more time to make strategic decisions

    Quote Originally Posted by bring_it_on View Post
    Swarming is not something NEW as a tactic, almost every forward thinking force has planned and is planning against such a tactics..Swarming with the type of system as this is going to be counter productive when all you need is a Bigger version of the JASSM or something like that to do the job...
    you're thinking of target saturation, where I was talking about the hive mind concept, where multiple aircraft act as a single entity, regardless if we're talking 2 or a 100 aircraft. humans do not have this inate ability, computers do. which I believe is why it hasn't been used or even developed to the full yet, because we humans have a hard time seeing the potential of something that we don't understand

  9. #69
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    yes, because the military made the explicit choice not to pursue such technology explicitly. only now are they starting to look into it, and are independant companies starting to develop such abilities using their own funding
    Investment into Unamnned vehicles of all kinds has been substantial since quite a while now. Like every emerging defense technology it takes time to gain acceptance and then gain momentum. The steady increase in funding is not a very recent phenomenon..its been going on for many many years...

    the F-22 doesn't have a helmet-mounted aiming system, although the technology has been around since the 1980's
    Not because of lack of technology, but because of the end of the cold war, when due to budget cuts, the capability and fleet requirements of the F-22 were cut significantly...Efforts to recently add this capability have been deffered and the money used to add more Multi role capability...And if you look at all USAF fighters, it is probably the raptor that needs it the least...compared to older legacy systems..

    most USAF fighters today have rather limited radars, even though AESA is quickly becoming the standard
    Limited in what sense? Most USAF planners do not look at a RADAR as a RADAR , with advanced 4th gens and especially with 5th gens its all about integration and the performance of the system as a whole...Brute radar range is useless when you have to limit its usage due to EMCON reasons...So better to get a very capable RWR, good IFDL's and be connected to the NET...

    USAF Predators and Reapers need constant human control, where the Global Hawk can pretty much fly itself
    It all comes down to cost....The GH could afford to be expensive for the role it performs, the Predators and reapers (especially the early ones) could not...Capability comes @ Cost..And the DOD always has to balance the two....With a significantly expensive Drone Like the Triton (200 million) you can add a lot of stuff...Compared to a significantly cheaper UAS.

    the military made the explicit choice not to install these systems, usually to save money, although in the case of automated landing and flying on UAVs this has probably cost a lot more than it has saved
    Realities of War my freind, a lot of these systems had to deal with ongoing conflicts, and for a lot of them deployment was concurrent to testing and developing...

    an automated collision avoidance system is not difficult to design, it is a question of cost. the MK1 eyeball is cheap, but pretty useless if a civilian aircraft flying at night or in fog, or when the object is moving too fast or outside of line of sight
    Not difficult, but the process of designing, verifying, testing and approving takes time...And that is precisely what is happening at the moment...

    Boeing showed great promise with its automated UCAS architecture back in 2005, yet 8 years later none of the USAF UAVs have anything that comes even near such abilities. not because such a system is beyond reach technologically or too expensive, but because the USAF decided not to invest in it
    There is what is known, and then there is what is not known. Many think (including Bill sweetsman) that the USAF has a UCAV in place and testing at Groom lake...and many believe that current UCAV efforts of the USAF are secret...

    then how do A2A missiles discriminate, target and engage targets in split seconds? how do you explain LOAL, or the ability of the AIM-9X and Python 5 to target specific aircraft parts like the engines or the cockpit?
    It is one thing to discrimnate between targets when launched, its another to co-ordinate with blue force and execute an aerial intercept all through autonomus means...Whether you beleive it or not such capability is not yet possible...If the USAF are too blind to get this, some one else should have done it already if its only as easy as using the systems on WVR missiles like you have claimed...
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    We're less than a decade away from self-driving cars as a technical and commercially scalable reality -- the legal issues are likely to take longer to sort out -- and these tasks are rather more challenging than most UCAV scenarios.

    The relatively anemic progress being made in military aerospace field is largely down to ossified institutional practice. Of course it doesn't matter so much just now, but in the long run... well, let's just hope China is as bad or worse at this as the west.

    History doesn't offer much comfort on this score, being full of occasions where one side emerged victorious because it grasped thr potential of new technology more clearly and used it more effectively than others. The success of the German Blitzkrieg against materially superior French forces in WW2, enabled by broad radio communications, is an obvious example.

    To a certain extent those who dismiss China's progress and achievements are making a sensible argument. But then, given the assumption of western superiority, how will we know when China has achieved parity in a particular field e.g. ESM/ECM. The answer is that only one kind of proof is likely to be accepted: the proof of blood.

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    where multiple aircraft act as a single entity, regardless if we're talking 2 or a 100 aircraft. humans do not have this inate ability, computers do. which I believe is why it hasn't been used or even developed to the full yet, because we humans have a hard time seeing the potential of something that we don't understand
    Actually i thought you meant that hoards of the UCAV in question target fighters so as to get them to use all its weapons while hter UCAV's and Manned fighters sweep and take care of unmanned fighters that have no offensive capability outside their Gun. If this is the case, such scenarios are actively discussed in military circles and counter measures are constantly being bettered...Modern Tactical sensors (Sats, AESA, Passive etc etc) are all geared towards a level of discrimination that was not previously possible, hence the claim that modern radards are LIMITED is not true, in fact they have never been as capable in the past, and even the current and planned UCAS's would use scalable , less capable versions of these sensors...Moreover a modern tac radar is a part of the network and therefore the level of SA is vastly increased which was not previously possible.

    The level of autonomy required for tactical fighter operations is not possible, This is a FACT, its quite a bit out, this is ALSO A FACT. Are we working towards greater autonomy? YES...The legacy UCAS's were not pure developmental programs, they were participating in actual conflict which in a way lead to a vast acceleration of UCAS development due to rapid verification of capability. Current autonomy development efforts are PROGRAM CENTRIC, and range from adding basic capability to legacy systems, improving capability for more modern version of legacy systems (Triton) and developing capability for Future Systems (UCLASS)..>Refuel, A C A, Landing etc would be sorted out by the triton and UCLASS programs..Expect the UCLASS development to also focus on less talked about autonomy such as pop-up A2AD thread avoidance, and Target of oppoturnity etc...There is plenty of scope of greater autonomy in A2G targeting, attack, tracking etc which would be addressed to some degree through the UCLASS efforts. Now comes the next generation or WAVE of development, this is the LRS-B, this is something that can potentialy double, tripple or quadruple investment in autonomous operational development given the size of the program and rumoured requirement of a future optionally manned capability....Following this the next wave should come from the 6th gen concepts floating around, which would / should mature in decades to come (technology efforts ) ....The services would spend money where its needed...And asking for all this capabiliy from Legacy UAS's/UCAS's is not wise, future generations of all systems are more capable and UCAS's would be no different. We must also be realistic with capability and cost argument....Adding all sort of New R&D Technology and gizmos to a weapons system which would primarily operate in a theater that has no credible therat is counter productive....A 10-30 million a pop UAV / UCAS needs to be as cheap as possible , rugged, built in the right numbers and be positioned and forward deployed...A 30-50 million system would have different capability and reqiurements....A 200 Million $ Triton would have more sophisticated capability , and a 500+ Million LRS-B would as well...So it all comes down to cost...
    Banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rii View Post
    We're less than a decade away from self-driving cars as a technical and commercially scalable reality -- the legal issues are likely to take longer to sort out -- and these tasks are rather more challenging than most UCAV scenarios.

    The relatively anemic progress being made in military aerospace field is largely down to ossified institutional practice. Of course it doesn't matter so much just now, but in the long run... well, let's just hope China is as bad or worse at this as the west.

    History doesn't offer much comfort on this score, being full of occasions where one side emerged victorious because it grasped thr potential of new technology more clearly and used it more effectively than others. The success of the German Blitzkrieg against materially superior French forces in WW2, enabled by broad radio communications, is an obvious example.

    To a certain extent those who dismiss China's progress and achievements are making a sensible argument. But then, given the assumption of western superiority, how will we know when China has achieved parity in a particular field e.g. ESM/ECM. The answer is that only one kind of proof is likely to be accepted: the proof of blood.

    I agree with generalized institutional issues..All Departments suffer this, the notion that china is better is highly debatable...Having said that, the facts on the ground do not support the theory of complacency vis-a-vis UCAS's. The UCLASS is now being CRITICIZED by many because its early design phases support 4 Designs to a degree of maturity before a downselect is made...Many are considering this as a waste of resources and recomending that the navy make a selection early so as to fund only a SINGLE vehicle (Eventual UCLASS Winner). The Navy on its parts wants to make the required investment to support independent DESIGN HOUSES/TEAMS so as to have a wide pool of capable, competent , experienced designers for such systems. Many can argue that the US Cannot afford things like a LRS-B, but the DOD wants to continuously invest in modern A2AD counter platforms not only to have a level of capability but to keep the relevant design teams employed and working..
    Banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies

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    UCLASS is a WTF moment.

    Congressional language mandates multiple (at least 2) designs be developed through the 1st major design review (PDR).

    But Navy only has about $65M to fund multiple contractors -- a tiny fraction of the money required.

    This means the four contractors, Boeing, General Atomics, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman will have to self-fund the development effort, with little hope of recouping their investment.

    Some contractors might decide the business case does not make sense:
    • The probability of winning is only 25%, with 4 competing contractors.
    • Even if you win, USN plans to buy < 30 UAVs, so total profit @ 7% of cost is less than the up-front investment.
    • The Navy typically does breakout procurement for sustainment support and those sustainment contracts are typically awarded to other Navy organizations. So there is no potential future revenue stream for a contractor.
    • Therefore, the up-front investment becomes a multi tens of millions of dollars gift to the Navy, and corporate stockholders will fire the CEO for robbing them of dividends, especially with sequestration already squeezing profits.


    Corporate business strategy will be interesting to watch as UCLASS plays out.

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    Is the development Money split valid post downselect? One would think that once the selection is made to a single vendor the development would be funded by the USN. I such is the case then NG and with a much mature concept, that is a lesser risk compared to others.
    Banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies

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    i do not see problem why it can go supersonic. let it fly first.
    why bring in mig uav here. it is just plastic model.

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    When's the first flight?
    Banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies

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    Quote Originally Posted by bring_it_on View Post
    Investment into Unamnned vehicles of all kinds has been substantial since quite a while now. Like every emerging defense technology it takes time to gain acceptance and then gain momentum. The steady increase in funding is not a very recent phenomenon..its been going on for many many years...
    ofcourse, every program, technology and design has to fight for its survival and succes
    the problems come to life when outdated, bloated and wasteful programs (yes I'm talking about the F-35) keep money from more effective and efficient programs (like the Global Hawk, UCAS, UCLASS, the score of ultra-long endurance UAVs that have been scrapped of late...)



    Quote Originally Posted by bring_it_on View Post
    There is what is known, and then there is what is not known. Many think (including Bill sweetsman) that the USAF has a UCAV in place and testing at Groom lake...and many believe that current UCAV efforts of the USAF are secret...
    so a stealthy, long range unmanned aircraft that can do ISR, ground attack, air combat... probably costs around $50 million
    then why do they need the F-35?

    Quote Originally Posted by bring_it_on View Post
    It is one thing to discrimnate between targets when launched, its another to co-ordinate with blue force and execute an aerial intercept all through autonomus means...Whether you beleive it or not such capability is not yet possible...If the USAF are too blind to get this, some one else should have done it already if its only as easy as using the systems on WVR missiles like you have claimed...
    a computer detecting, recognising and tracking targets is possible, the F-35 can do this

    and computers deciding on tactics and strategy has been done, back in 2005: two X-45A's flew in formation, attacked a pre-determined target, came across a surprise target and AUTONOMOUSLY decided which of them was in the best position and had the sufficient fuel/weapons left. they then engaged the unforseen target using tactics they decided amongst themselves, with no human input

    by comparison ground attack is difficult, because of the variety of targets and the clutter
    air combat is easy, because there is a limited number of variables:
    - enemy combat aircraft, there only exist a limited number in the world, so it should be easy enough to learn a comput to tell them apart, even recognise markings
    - friendly aircraft, again few and thus easy to learn to a computer, and not to attack these
    - civilian aircraft, again few and thus easy to learn to a computer, and not to attack these
    - missiles, small objects coming straight at you at high speed (usually Mach 2+), again easy to learn to a computer, avoid these or shoot them down

    UCAV might lack the ability to take initiative in unforseen situation, like being suddenly attack by a Chinese stealth fighter in peace time. however, manned aircraft don't have that much more options, they need to ask for attack clearance from home base first, because no one wants to start WW3 because they got trigger happy. UCAVs have the advantage here in that they don't need to get back home their families, they won't think twice about giving their "life" for the cause. the perfect soldiers

    and that's what the future looks like, stealthy UAVs flying into frenemy territory and having a snoop around, and the defender doing his best to shoot them down and parade them around like Iran did with the RQ-170

    because today's banking elites that rule the world don't want serious conflicts, that's bad for business when pretty much every country is interlinked, the worst they'll accept is a regime change (too bad for Assad and the like). but they'll always be happy to lend the money to buy a lot of useless military hardware

    Quote Originally Posted by Rii View Post
    We're less than a decade away from self-driving cars as a technical and commercially scalable reality -- the legal issues are likely to take longer to sort out -- and these tasks are rather more challenging than most UCAV scenarios.

    The relatively anemic progress being made in military aerospace field is largely down to ossified institutional practice. Of course it doesn't matter so much just now, but in the long run... well, let's just hope China is as bad or worse at this as the west.
    my thoughts exactly

    although I don't fear a US/China conflict, the Cold War lasted 45 years without open conflict, and China is the US biggest economic partner, war would be catastrophic for both, before the first (public) bullet is fired both countries would be in total economic, social and technological anarchy, the Chinese especially have a history of bloody domestic conflicts which they wish to avoid at all cost

    Quote Originally Posted by bring_it_on View Post
    The level of autonomy required for tactical fighter operations is not possible, This is a FACT, its quite a bit out, this is ALSO A FACT.
    is it? because earlier you admitted that we don't really know what the US military is doing with its covert UCAV programs. I doubt anyone knows what the Chinese are really capable of, but it's probably a lot better than what we give them credit for. and who knows what the F-35 and Su-50 AI's can do, but I don't doubt that we wouldn't believe it if they told us

    you mention two FACTS, I'll respond in kind
    - FACT, we don't know what military computers are capable of, not unless you work for some covert program, in which case you can't talk about it
    - FACT, computers are getting smarter every day, and are quickly nearing human levels of intelligence, will soon surpass us, and in many fields have long done so

    so in the end we can discuss this as much as we like, the reality is that technology will eventually overtake us all, and much sooner than we would believe possible, in ways we cannot even imagine


    Quote Originally Posted by djcross View Post
    But Navy only has about $65M to fund multiple contractors -- a tiny fraction of the money required.
    This means the four contractors, Boeing, General Atomics, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman will have to self-fund the development effort, with little hope of recouping their investment.
    Boeing Phantom Ray, has flown
    GA Avenger C, on mission over Afghanistan
    LMT Sea Ghost, probably a derivative of the RQ-170 which has had extensive operational experience for several years now
    NG X-47B will soon land on a carrier

    from where I'm sitting most of the UCLASS contenders have already been tested extensively in one form or another
    if they transplant the X-47B landing system, it's purely a matter of who has most efficient and effective design, a 2018 IOC date seems perfectly feasable and easily inside the budget

    the UCLASS is a way for these companies to sell the technology they already have, it's not the starting point for developing that technology

  18. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sanem View Post
    you mention two FACTS, I'll respond in kind
    - FACT, we don't know what military computers are capable of, not unless you work for some covert program, in which case you can't talk about it
    - FACT, computers are getting smarter every day, and are quickly nearing human levels of intelligence, will soon surpass us, and in many fields have long done so

    so in the end we can discuss this as much as we like, the reality is that technology will eventually overtake us all, and much sooner than we would believe possible, in ways we cannot even imagine
    Your *facts* are plain wrong, as exemplified by Hartson & Norwood's 'Turing' test and eloquently explained by Sir Roger Penrose from 0:38 mins:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5XYf...e_gdata_player

    You're making the assumption that ever greater computational power and associated software will result in intelligence and hence understanding and awareness which is not true (at least outside 'Hollywood'), for the current and foreseeable future.

    Quantum computers may go some way to address the issue (and this is the subject of heated debate) but they're a long way off. This NASA-Google collaboration doesn't pretend to be anything more than an uber powerful number cruncher:

    http://www.technologyreview.com/news...puting-ai-lab/

  19. #79
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    so a stealthy, long range unmanned aircraft that can do ISR, ground attack, air combat... probably costs around $50 million
    then why do they need the F-35?
    Says who? Have we built one yet? Lets see COST Vs CAPABILITY when everything is said and done..I for one think its gonna be tough to get a VLO platform similar in RCS to F-35 with everything (ISR, Mission computers, Strike capability, Refueling ) and more under 75-100 million. Lets wait for the detailed RFP's to see what the navy seems to want in the first place....Many are wanting a LESSER system that is CHEAP to aquire and that can be built up over time..By 2015-16 picture on development, complexity, and cost should be clearer..

    then why do they need the F-35?
    Can this 50 Million dollar UCLASS Perform all of the F-35's Missions?

    and computers deciding on tactics and strategy has been done, back in 2005: two X-45A's flew in formation, attacked a pre-determined target, came across a surprise target and AUTONOMOUSLY decided which of them was in the best position and had the sufficient fuel/weapons left. they then engaged the unforseen target using tactics they decided amongst themselves, with no human input
    Ground targets my freind! When you are faced with a 9G Maneuvering target, your decision in a split second has to be based upon his , thats where instinct also comes in...That type of Decision making by a UCAV has not been demonstrated...Taking out ground targets of opportunity etc are far easier and the challenge is with ROE's not with software...For more complex aerial combat its quite a bit different, not to mention designing a UCAV that can turn for aerial combat...

    - FACT, we don't know what military computers are capable of, not unless you work for some covert program, in which case you can't talk about it
    But you seemed to take the ABSENCE of Information as PROOF of its existance !

    - FACT, computers are getting smarter every day, and are quickly nearing human levels of intelligence, will soon surpass us, and in many fields have long done so
    Yet the path to develop these capabilities is linear and is challenging...We will one day reach this capability, but today we have to work on getting there...One step at a time...Focus on autonomous landing Stealth UCAV's, autonomous Aerial refueling, Greater Autonomy in Ground targeting etc etc etc ... Lets be 100% Autonomous in the easier missions....6th gen programs, or Expensive SECRET Developmental efforts many times the program size and cost of current programs, despite of being the most CUTTING EDGE are not comfortable enough to completely have an UNMANNED system and are aiming for an OPTIONALLY MANNED system and that too not initially...Thats a pretty good indicator of what to expect for the future...If the LRS-B Cannot carry out its complex A2G Missions and support missions 100% Unmanned with autonomy in A2AD environs, do not expect lesser programs to be capable of this... Simply put no PROOF OF SUCH TECHNOLOGY BEING READY IS AVAILABLE IN THE US. Maybe china's different, in that case prove me wrong...

    UCAV might lack the ability to take initiative in unforseen situation, like being suddenly attack by a Chinese stealth fighter in peace time. however, manned aircraft don't have that much more options, they need to ask for attack clearance from home base first, because no one wants to start WW3 because they got trigger happy. UCAVs have the advantage here in that they don't need to get back home their families, they won't think twice about giving their "life" for the cause. the perfect soldiers
    ROE's are same, yet in WARTIME you can take the iniative..The weapons systems are designed to excel in WARTIME not peacetime...

    the reality is that technology will eventually overtake us all, and much sooner than we would believe possible, in ways we cannot even imagine
    I agree, BUT we have to be REALISTIC and not turn a BLIND EYE to REALITY , study the WORK BEING done NOW and the work PROPOSED for the FUTURE and draw capability assesments from that, not from our own SCIENCE FICTION fantasy :-) , Lets assume for 1 sec that Designing A2A UCAV's is MUCH EASIER..So the US is foolish and its defence contractors, designers, DARPA everybody are DUMB and STUPID...What about Europe? Russia? China? Why are they investing in Ultra expensive Stealthy Manned jets when a cheap UCLASS type vehicle can solve all their NEEDS?

    from where I'm sitting most of the UCLASS contenders have already been tested extensively in one form or another
    if they transplant the X-47B landing system, it's purely a matter of who has most efficient and effective design, a 2018 IOC date seems perfectly feasable and easily inside the budget
    The 2018 date is OUTSIDE of the budget according to the USN. IIRC its 2020 according to current plans, and if the IOC has to be pushed up to 2018, more MONEY NEEDS to be poured in. Even the IOC capability iirc has been wattered down...Simply put there is quite a bit of risk as with all weapons systems around RFP so gauging IOC is tough , so 2020 is a GOAL based on projected funding...It may be pulled ahead to 2018 if more money is allocated, or may be pushed to beyond 2020 if money is pulled out of the program or if their are delays in development or testing....

    it's not the starting point for developing that technology
    Depends upon the RFP's, if they go Way way ambitious , it would be a program to demonstrate key ground breaking technologies that can be retrofitted on legacy and future UAV's....Also software development would be cruicial...
    Banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies

  20. #80
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    Well, not sure where this convo is headed, I was looking to read more about the Chinese stealth UCAV.

    I think its somewhat safe to assume BIO and Sanem will not exactly see eye-to-eye anytime soon on UCAVs...

  21. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deino View Post
    Anyway back to the topic ...
    how come no DSI

  22. #82
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    DSI stands for "Diverterless Supersonic Inlet"

    As the present consensus is that this plane is designed for subsonic flight with afterburner used to enhance acceleration, the point is moot.

    DSI helps reduce weight and complexity, as well as gives a feeling of a more powerful engine. Its more efficient than a fixed inlet like the F-16s or the F-5s. Its used by more advanced designs...

    But those designers don't add them like a pancake mix to everything they build.

  23. #83
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    Y-20 Bacon is having a laugh. He's mocking the obsession certain posters have with DSI.
    Juris praecepta sunt haec: honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere.
    Justinian

  24. #84
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    I think there is only SO much we can talk about based on pictures...Waiting for more pictures, especially those from first flight, which if past trends are anything to go by should be released pretty soon....

    I think its somewhat safe to assume BIO and Sanem will not exactly see eye-to-eye anytime soon on UCAVs...
    Sanem and I see eye to eye on the basic principle of greater usage of Unmanned systems...Only difference is with regards to capability and how much is within reach and how much is far out... Anyways back on topic.. When's the first flight ?
    Banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies

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    Last edited by Broccoli; 22nd May 2013 at 18:25.

  26. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by Broccoli View Post
    i think it is very nice. look like big enough to have two bays or one big one.
    it look similar to the level of technology in the british ucave. actually intake is dsi too! see the bump?

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    Click image for larger version. 

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  28. #88
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    a different version? looks like this one does have a stealthy exhaust

    Quote Originally Posted by mupp View Post
    *repost from the PLAAF thread*

    These pics have started popping up on Chinese mill forums claiming to be a "Chinese RQ-170" type UAV.






  29. #89
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    Lijian UCAV taxiing footage, starts from 1:50

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=3CSUlEwSLtg

  30. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack8 View Post
    Lijian UCAV taxiing footage, starts from 1:50

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=3CSUlEwSLtg
    it is nice yes. i would want to sell to your country. you like?

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