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Thread: USAF not F-35 thread

  1. #1111
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    Thanks Tomcat. An AIRST was considered and as per reports from the late 1990s, SwAP provisions were retained for a future insertion. It would have been in the wing root based on Albert Piccirillo's comprehensive book on the program.

    An IR search and track (IRST) system was part of the original ATF requirement. It was deleted during dem/val, but the Avionics Directorate of the USAF Wright Laboratories has continued its development with Lockheed Martin as the contractor, and space, weight, power and cooling provisions for IRST are still on the aircraft. A low-observable IRST window for the F-22 was tested for stealth and durability last year. IRST is valuable for raid assessment, because of its high angular resolution. It is also useful against tactical ballistic missiles, and it can double as a thermal imaging system for ground attack. LINK
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  2. #1112
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    According to this graphic, the LE flaps were moved inboard and take up space previously occupied by the planned AIRST>

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    "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

  3. #1113
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    Lockheed, Northrop to prototype modular 'Gray Wolf' cruise missiles


    Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman each secured $110 million contracts to prototype and demonstrate a low-cost, subsonic "Gray Wolf" cruise missile for the Air Force Research Laboratory, out of a pool of seven companies.

    "The contract provides for the design, development, [manufacturing] and testing of prototype-affordable cruise missiles to advance networked collaborative operations technologies for defeat of enemy integrated air defense systems," according to a Dec. 18 Defense Department contract announcement.

    Lockheed's contract ends in December 2022; Northrop's in December 2024. Industry and service officials did not respond to questions by press time (Dec. 21) and it is unclear why the two awards differ.

    Weapons developed under the Gray Wolf program will broaden the Air Force's portfolio of missiles that would connect to nearby platforms, survive in highly contested areas and cost little enough to be easily replaced. An Air Force spokeswoman said in October 2016 the concept is to employ Gray Wolf missiles in concert with other weapon systems already in the inventory.

    The prototyping phase will vet modular weapons that can carry a range of smaller payloads like kinetic warheads, electronic attack weapons and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance tools in 18-month spirals, according to publicly released AFRL documents.

    "Individual spiral tasks will involve the design, development, manufacture, assembly and testing of cruise missile prototypes with different payload capabilities," the Air Force said in a March broad agency announcement. "Key enabling technologies to meet low production unit cost and mission effectiveness goals will be identified, researched and delivered."

    Inside the Air Force reported in April Lockheed was considering ways to design its Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile to fly payloads like other munitions or small unmanned aircraft inside.

    "We have some design concepts already on the board today that we're sharing with our customer," Alan Jackson, vice president of strike systems at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, said in an April 24 interview. "It's not hard to see that we can use JASSM in different roles and be effective at taking out other types of targets. . . . A single missile could take out multiple high-value targets by dispensing individually targeted munitions."

    In the March BAA, the service noted it could extend five-year prototyping contracts for another two years.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  4. #1114
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    Lockheed to improve, sustain targeting pods under $961M contract


    Lockheed Martin last week was awarded $961 million to sustain and modernize around 700 Sniper advanced targeting pods for the Air Force over the next five years.

    "There's a wide variety of sustainment and upgrade activities included in this contract, such as logistics, spares, software and sensor enhancements," Lockheed spokeswoman Dana Casey said Dec. 19. "Other efforts may include upgrades to test equipment and obsolescence modifications. This contract also includes converting ATP pods to ATP-Sensor Enhancement configuration. Sniper ATP-SE has improved sensors, a two-way data link and algorithms that increase air-to-ground, air-to-air and maritime targeting capability."

    According to Lockheed, the pod "detects, identifies, automatically tracks and laser-designates small tactical targets at long ranges" for non-traditional intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, combat identification and maritime tracking missions, and helps point laser- and GPS-guided weapons to fixed and moving targets.

    The company has delivered at least 1,000 Sniper pods to fly on fighter, bomber and attack aircraft owned by the Air Force and 25 foreign countries. In June, Lockheed also said it received a five-year, foreign military sales contract capped at $200 million for Sniper and LANTIRN navigation pod sustainment.

    The Air Force's fiscal year 2018 budget request included $28.7 million to upgrade the legacy pod to the enhanced sensor version and $15.1 million for "technology insertion" to improve its ability to identify targets in combat.

    Earlier this month, the service also published a notice seeking companies that can build Lockheed's Sniper pods, LANTIRN navigation pods and infrared search and track systems for a foreign military sale.

    "The systems allow aircrew to fly their aircraft by day or night and in adverse meteorological conditions," the Dec. 6 notice stated. "It provides terrain-following radar and forward-looking infrared."

    A service spokeswoman did not answer questions on Sniper pod program requirements by press time (Dec. 21).
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  5. #1115
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    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  6. #1116
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    Spectra like concept. (not prejudging each one performance).

  7. #1117
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    https://www.c-span.org/video/?439249...-air-supremacy

    A video of the Mitchell Institute's THREATS TO AIR SUPERIORITY presentation in Washington today. Speakers are Lt. Gens. Deptula (rtd), "Dash" Jamieson and "Hitme" Nowland.
    author of THE DECISIVE DUEL: SPITFIRE vs 109

  8. #1118
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    https://sputniknews.com/military/201...ove-info-f-22/

    Russia Now Has ‘Treasure Trove’ of Info About Stealthy F-22s - US General

  9. #1119
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    Not what the General said, nor was he alluding to ELINT. He was talking about operational patterns, logistics, employment of weapons & tactics. But never mind, Sputnik is very reliable.

  10. #1120
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    FBW@
    Is there a link to the original source of that?
    Thanks

  11. #1121
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    Quote Originally Posted by haavarla View Post
    FBW@
    Is there a link to the original source of that?
    Here:
    https://www.flightglobal.com/news/ar...-trove-444636/

    Longer article via Newsweek: www.newsweek.com/russian-military-used-syria-war-train-forces-and-learn-us-combat-moves-says-772027%3famp=1
    Last edited by FBW; 8th January 2018 at 20:26.

  12. #1122
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    GAO dismisses Raytheon's attempt to stay in JSTARS radar competition


    The Government Accountability Office recently dismissed Raytheon's formal protest that the Air Force unfairly excluded the company's "Archimedes" wide-area surveillance radar from the E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System recapitalization competition.

    GAO closed the protest Dec. 28, about a month after it was filed Nov. 20 and two months before a ruling was due, according to the protest docket. The Air Force had 30 days to respond. Two supplemental protests Raytheon filed Dec. 11 and 18 were also dismissed Dec. 28.

    A GAO official told Inside Defense Monday it did not resolve whether Raytheon was right, but said the Air Force was not so deeply involved in radar selection that it counted as taking over for the prime contractor, as Raytheon had argued. The Air Force contended -- and GAO agreed -- the federal watchdog doesn't normally have jurisdiction to intervene in subcontract selection.

    "Raytheon is a subcontractor to the prime contractors who submitted offers, and they alleged that because the government made a selection on the type of radar that should be used by the government, that the agency in effect was conducting a procurement at the subcontract level," the GAO official said.

    B.J. Boling, a Raytheon spokesman, would not comment on the decision but told Inside Defense Monday the company is deciding whether to contest the dismissal. In November, Raytheon said the Air Force's process of deciding which radar designs would be considered to fly on one of three replacement aircraft was flawed.

    The Air Force did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  13. #1123
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    Secretive new Kratos UAS enters production


    A new jet-powered unmanned air system developed by Kratos Unmanned Systems Division (USD) will enter production under a $23 million contract awarded by an unidentified customer, the California-based company announced on 8 January.

    Most of the work under the contract will be completed within a year, but Kratos expects “multiple years of additional production” of the new UAS, the company says.

    Kratos confirmed the existence of a high-performance, jet-powered UAS development programme last year, but continued in the new announcement to offer few details, including the identity of the customer.“Due to customer-related, competitive and other considerations, no additional information will be provided related to this programme or contract award,” Kratos says.

    In previous statements about the project, Kratos chief executive Eric DeMarco has described the new UAV as capable of high-subsonic speeds and high-g manoeuvres.

    The project comes after Kratos has fielded a series of jet-powered projects, including the UTAP-22 loyal wingman and the low-cost XQ-222.

    Kratos entered the UAS market six years ago by acquiring Composite Engineering Inc, maker of the BQM-167 and BQM-177 series of high-speed target drones.

    “We are now completing investments on a number of these new UAS platforms and entering production, which we expect will be key contributors to future increases in revenue, profit, cash flow and overall Kratos shareholder value,” DeMarco says. “We are confident that Kratos' ability to rapidly develop, demonstrate and field technology rich, affordable systems is a demonstrated key differentiator for our Company.”
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  14. #1124
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    New ISR "Flightplan"- interesting read:
    https://breakingdefense.com/2018/01/...pace-cyber-ai/

  15. #1125
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    The ISR plan an the USAF Electronic Warfare ECCT RFI are two good recent reads that will likely inform the next few budgets significantly.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  16. #1126
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    So with Boeing revealing it has a "Son of Blackbird" up it's hypersonic sleeve, LM telling us that the SR-72 demonstrator is built - does anyone else find this all a bit odd?

    It's a bit like Airbus saying they are building a 100 seat Mach 2 SST!

    Perhaps when I am retired, we will be hearing about LMNG planning production of a flying tic-tac demonstrator.

  17. #1127
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    If the USAF has indicated that such an aircraft may find its way into its UAS roadmap circa 2030, then it is reasonable for quite a few OEMs to be investing IR&D into it right about now, aided by official contracts to mature the technology to enable this as an option. In that context, I think it has been covered by a number of publications both on the propulsion side and on what the major integrators are doing. Both DARPA and AFRL are working on this problem and it isn't unreasonable to expect some prototyping having already happened in support of those efforts.

    However, Weiss hints that work on a combined cycle propulsion system and other key advances needed for a viable hypersonic vehicle are reaching readiness levels sufficient for incorporation into some form of demonstrator. Following critical ground demonstrator tests from 2013 through 2017, Lockheed Martin is believed to be on track to begin development of an optionally piloted flight research vehicle (FRV) starting as early as next year. The FRV is expected to be around the same size as an F-22 and powered by a full-scale, combined cycle engine.

    While no specific details have been revealed, it is known that Lockheed Martin and Aerojet Rocketdyne have been teamed since 2006 on work to integrate an off-the-shelf turbine with a scramjet to power an aircraft with a combined cycle propulsion system from standstill to Mach 6 plus. The development built on work begun earlier under the Air Force/Darpa HTV-3X reusable hypersonic demonstrator, which was cancelled in 2008 but went a step further to integrate a high-speed turbine engine. The HTV-3X concept was an outgrowth of Darpa’s Falcon program, which included development of small launch vehicles, common aero vehicles and a hypersonic cruise vehicle.

    http://aviationweek.com/defense/skun...rator-progress
    Last edited by bring_it_on; 12th January 2018 at 13:02.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  18. #1128
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    I think the point I was making (perhaps badly) is that both companies have hypersonic lineage dating back multiple decades and the cynic in me has trouble believing this is their first bite of the cherry- regardless of what White World requirement there now is.

    This programme answers a lot of questions for me:

    GIUK Gap Interceptor:

    https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/for...p?topic=6422.0

  19. #1129
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    This is a "bite at the cherry" towards a identified goal of fielding a Mach 5-6 capable UCAS as indicated by one of the services. Hypersonic research in virtually all spheres at an open ended S&T level has been going on for decades but specificly as it applies to what Lockheed shared at AIAA last year, and what Boeing has done this year is more of an effort to market themselves specificly for DARPAs and AFRLs identified interests and programs. Lockheed, if some reports are to be believed, may well have even fabricated and performed some testing on its demonstrator.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  20. #1130
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    ...
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    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  21. #1131
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    Probably that Boeing and LM were teaming at the time for the demonstrator. Both design might originate from the same co-dev'd concept.
    Last edited by TomcatViP; 12th January 2018 at 21:16.

  22. #1132
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    From what I have heard and read based on publicly known statements made at AIAA last year there was no teaming b/w Boeing and Lockheed. Skunk Works has always worked on the piece themselves as a major prime along with Aerojet Rocketdyne.


    http://aviationweek.com/defense/skun...rator-progress
    Last edited by bring_it_on; 12th January 2018 at 21:19.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  23. #1133
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    It also reads as if the propulsion/aerodynamics may be different in the two approaches.

  24. #1134
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    P&Ws James Kenyon shared the latest update on the AETD and AETP efforts for the company in an Aviation Week Podcast. Also included was an update on the F-135 enhancements and where things stand (4-6% fuel burn reduction and 7-10% thrust increase demonstrated).

    http://aviationweek.com/future-aeros...ving-and-r2-d2
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  25. #1135
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    The FY17 DOT&E report seems to have confirmed and shed further light on the USAF/USN efforts to develop and field a 5th generation aerial target drone to complement the QF-16. These aircraft could begin flight testing in the next 12 months or so.

    DOT&E reveals progress on 5GAT aerial target



    The Pentagon’s Director of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) has revealed that the US Department of Defense (DoD) is advancing development and testing of a Fifth-Generation Aerial Target (5GAT) to replicate the stealth and performance characteristics of the latest Russian and Chinese tactical fighters


    Two 5GAT prototypes have been funded, with flight testing planned to start in fiscal year (FY) 2019. Both the Unmanned Systems Division of Kratos Defense and Security Solutions and 5-D Systems have confirmed to Jane’s that they are under contract on the programme.

    With the QF-4 target drone retired from use in 2016, the US Air Force is now using QF-16 full-scale aerial targets to emulate fourth generation air threats. However, the QF-16 – an unmanned remote-controlled conversion of the F-16 fighter – is unable to replicate the low observability characteristics of fifth-generation threat aircraft such as Russia’s PAK-FA and China’s J-20.

    As a complement to the QF-16, the 5GAT will be a reduced signature platform, with internal carriage for advanced augmentation devices, to meet a requirement to represent fifth-generation threats.


    Work on the 5GAT study effort began in 2006, with the programme examining the design and fabrication of a dedicated 5GAT that would be used in the evaluation of US weapon systems’ effectiveness. 5GAT will also be used to assist with future weapon system design/development, planning and investment, and future analysis of alternative activities.

    DOT&E said that a 5GAT team, “comprised of air force and navy experts, retired [Lockheed Martin] Skunk Works engineers, and industry experts”, completed the preliminary design of the target vehicle in 2016. The fully-owned government design includes the aircraft outer mould line, internal structures, loads analysis, propulsion, and subsystems.

    According to DOT&E’s 2017 annual report, the 5GAT effort “is currently building the first of two demonstration prototypes, including flight propulsion, system integration, and flight simulation/verification activities”.

    It said, “The team built one full-scale, flight-representative wing that will be used for structural load tests and a system integration laboratory, as well as a full-scale test article for radar cross-section testing. The DoD provided additional funding in FY 2018–19 to complete the final design, tooling, fabrication, and flight tests (FY 2019) and to build a second prototype.”

    The prototype systems will be used to demonstrate reduced signature, basic aerodynamic performance, alternative cost models for aircraft development, and provision for special mission systems.

    Kratos is already well-known for its line of all-composite sub-scale aerial targets, and is also working on a number of tactical unmanned combat air vehicle projects. While the company had previously acknowledged classified contracts for a new high performance, jet-powered unmanned aerial drone system, it had not previously disclosed its participation in 5GAT.

    5-D Systems is a software and systems group with a long pedigree in target systems. The company had previously worked with CEi – acquired by Kratos in 2012 and now subsumed into its Unmanned Systems Division – on 5GAT concept studies.

    As well as providing a test asset for 5GAT performance evaluation, the prototyping effort is additionally promoting alternative design and manufacturing approaches for future air vehicle acquisition programmes, and providing verified cost data for all-composite aircraft design/development, alternative tooling approaches, and innovative management applications.
    I may have posted this earlier on this forum but HERE are links to earlier work to this end funded by AFRL.

    Kratos is doing quite well for itself and seems to be carving out a niche when it comes to small to medium sized target and low cost UAS across the performance spectrum. How long before they are acquired by a major prime?
    Last edited by bring_it_on; 26th January 2018 at 13:32.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  26. #1136
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    I find this very amusing. Most of the forum is taken up with one country or the other attempting to develop their fighters beyond the 4th generation, and the US is working designing exciting looking aircraft to shoot down!

  27. #1137
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    There is a need for this at many levels both testing and training. The USAF/USN/USMC are together adding multiple squadrons of stealth aircraft a year, and there are multiple major sensor programs underway that have specific requirements of better Reduced RCS detection/performance built in. Short of using operational aircraft which will get quite expensive, Low Observable target drones that can rapidly integrate new payloads can help them quite a bit at a reasonable cost. The USAF, USMC/USN and even the US Army are recapitalizing a large portion of their surveillance and Fire Control radar inventory so there is a lot of developmental and operational test requirements over the next decade or so that could use a more affordable LO-VLO target system. Same for the tactical missile fleet..The AMRAAM is going to be undergoing SIP 2-4 over the next decade and the SACM and other A2A Missiles will also be in some phase of development over the next decade..these two can use a more advanced target system. The QF-16 is great as it is 9G capable, supersonic and can carry substantial payload but there is a huge gap between its performance and that of much smaller subsonic drones that may have significantly lower RCSs. A higher performance LO to VLO (depending upon the trade space for RCS/performance and cost) system can be quite useful.
    Last edited by bring_it_on; 26th January 2018 at 14:09.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  28. #1138
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    Oh I don't doubt the need for one minute!

    In the context of this forum, it just seems ironic. This drone could end up being "sexier" than some of the much vaunted fighters that are bandied around on various threads.

    I wonder if other airforces will follow suit? Surely the Russians and Chinese should have been the first to build something like this?!

  29. #1139
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    Some additional data on the 2 designs AFRL shortlisted during its Phase III effort...Both were 3+ ton (empty weight) designs with a gross takeoff weight approaching 6 tons.


    A. 5th Gen Target Study Phases
    While not originally envisioned as a multi-step study, the 5th Generation Target Study was ultimately completed over three distinct phases:

    The initial study (later dubbed Phase I) was intended to collect the test requirements and estimate
    procurement costs for an aircraft that could better represent emerging, 5th Generation threat fighter aircraft
    in an end-to-end weapon system test than could the current QF-4 aerial target, existing sub-scale4 aerial
    targets, or the planned QF-16 aerial target.
    The study team rapidly concluded that engine performance was
    the key factor influencing overall target cost. Increasing performance rapidly escalated engine cost as well
    as the aircraft’s size which, in itself, also escalated vehicle cost. Consequently, two classes of conceptual
    designs were developed: a high performance, “replacement” design that could be used in lieu of either
    QF-4’s or QF-16s, and a reduced performance, “complementary” design that focused solely on the key 5th
    Generation characteristics of low observable signature, advanced sensors, and electronic attack devices and
    would be employed in combination with the QF-4/QF-16. Phase I ultimately concluded that a replacement
    design was unaffordable, and recommended further pursuit of a complementary design.

    • Upon completion of the initial study, DOT&E directed the study team to conduct a second study (Phase 2)
    to further examine the potential capabilities of a complementary target concept. This effort extended
    beyond conventional conceptual design, but fell short of a complete preliminary design. Numerous
    configurations were considered and discarded as the design process evolved. By the end of Phase 2, two
    configurations, depicted in Figure 1, had emerged as the most promising concepts. These included the
    TRAP106, a conventional fighter aircraft design resembling a reduced scale F-22, and the D117, a stealthy
    delta wing design whose heritage harkens back to the days of the F-102 and F-106 aircraft that were
    designed when exceptionally high thrust to weight ratio engines were not available and minimization of
    profile drag was critical. Both aircraft were designed around a pair of Williams FJ44-4 turbofan engines
    and exhibited similar performance capabilities.
    Unit production cost was still a concern, however, and a
    late decision was made to switch to J85 turbojet engines that were nearing the end of their service life with
    the military and would soon be retired. While the J85 is similar in weight to the FJ44-4, it was recognized
    that replacing a turbofan with an afterburning turbojet would result in numerous design changes that could
    not be completed under the current task statement. A third and final phase was then commissioned to
    integrate the new engines and resolve any outstanding issues that remained.

    Phase 3 was largely an engine integration task combined with clean-up of some remaining aerodynamic issues. Specific tasking included:

    •Redesigning the engine inlets for the J85
    •Moving the engine from the middle of the aircraft to the aft end due to the presence of the hot afterburner section and updating the weight and balance and stability derivative estimates
    •Shifting the wing and inlet leading edges aft (thereby shifting the center of pressure) to compensate for the large expected change in aircraft center of gravity location
    •Investigate the impact of increased fuel consumption on mission endurance
    •Validate the changes to the aircraft’s outer mould line (OML) via wind tunnel testing at the U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA) and the University of Washington Aeronautics Laboratory (UWAL)
    •Update mission performance estimates based on the changes listed above and prepare a final report for the sponsor

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    Last edited by bring_it_on; 26th January 2018 at 15:56.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  30. #1140
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    In the context of this forum, it just seems ironic. This drone could end up being "sexier" than some of the much vaunted fighters that are bandied around on various threads.
    A drone sexier than a JF-17 or Tejas - naahh...

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