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Thread: Anglo-French UCAV (FCAS)

  1. #1
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    Anglo-French UCAV (FCAS)

    I post this image here as the start to the new thread:

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    Which is from BAE as of last year.

    Which is not this, but nearly the same....

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  2. #2
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    Here is another image:

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    Similar but not the same. This could be the shared platform but with differing intake being the most obvious national change.

    Any other differences?

    It could be the shape\perspective but the BAE platform looks longer and sharper?

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    Last edited by mrmalaya; 12th November 2017 at 21:21.

  3. #3
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    Looks like cranked kite is going to be another common flying wing UCAV/UAV configuration.

    I wonder how many articles will point out how it looks "suspiciously similar" to X-47B... :/

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    I wonder why the US didn't continue development of X47?

    It's almost like there was an agreement to hold off and give the European a chance in ucavs.

  5. #5
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    X-47 didn't continue because it was a one trick pony.

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    Well, it is suggested that the French are thinking of carrier compatibility and we know BAE looked at that configuration for FOAS, long before any of the X47b flew.

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    I do think the BAE model is longer in the nose, and the intake makes the fuselage a different shape, but as I said I'm happy for be corrected.

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    Looks so, slghtly but i wouldn't bet my head on that.

  9. #9
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    Well it's just a model, but a new one to BAE model aficionados and the fuselage joins the wing inboard of the French wing/fuselage join regardless of which angle you view it from.

    There is often lots of chatter about aerodynamics on fighter posts, but less so here. When the first BAE design came out years ago at the signing of the agreement, we concluded there wasn't anything to read into. Now we are close to a tangible design and this one matches the reports we have from both sides, hypothetically what might the difference tell us about the performance requirements?

  10. #10
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    Hmm, still on my hypothetical one man comparison between BAE designs and Dassault designs, look at this FOAS model and compare it to the BAE model I discovered:

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    Replace the cockpit with the Taranis style intake and there you go. Same leading edge sweep and wing join relative to fuselage.

    Perhaps the French design has a broader fuselage more akin to the X47b because of carrier compatibility?
    Last edited by mrmalaya; 18th November 2017 at 16:09.

  11. #11
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    I remember the FOAS being designed to somewhat sneak at low alt behind enemy lines. Hence the difference appears to be logical (inlets on the underside, twin engined and manned) : more an evolution behind what can appears a change in mission pattern than some kind of copies or replicants, Rick.


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    Yes, if this is representative of the BAE FCAS, then it would be logical that they could draw on previous work to get things done.

    I just noticed the forward fuselage matches very closely that of the FOAS model (which is the only one that went as far as being produced for executive desks) and when you see the two BAE designs together, it is easier to see the difference between them and the French FCAS design.

    Blade Runner would be a cool name for the final product though.

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    BAE and MBDA working together to develop a fast-jet weapons bay that will work for systems that aren't about blowing things up (as well as releasing ordnance):

    https://www.baesystems.com/en/articl...ay-is-complete

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    A rather wordy article that seems to suggest the French view FCAS as a way to remain connected to the "Combat Cloud" system of systems that their partners and allies are training for.

    Does seem to suggest Rafale will be flying for another 20 years at least and I therefor suggest that the RAF will be replacing their Typhoons with something built outside of Europe:

    https://overthehorizonmdos.com/2018/...access-denial/

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    Nice read but this
    , or of equipping each foreign combat system with its own converter to allow it to connect to the Combat Cloud,” Lt. Gen. Taprest reports.
    looks Weird..

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    Not so weird, sincerely. Some F-35 UK techs are forbidden for FCAS (contractually) and Fr will always want to keep a private network.

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    More on the flexible weapons bay, giving some idea of the scope of roles being considered by BAE et al.

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    RR talking about what can be done in the area of engine development (hinting that Taranis was the actual proving ground for this approach):

    https://www.flightglobal.com/news/ar...-fight-445940/

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    Definitely agree mrmalaya.
    Prezsently very hot parts are tested at DGA propulseurs ... And they are not designed specifically for M88, but more for the FCAS engine. Heat resistance is useful in this case for longer MTBI aka as few as ossible "opening the can" to reach the engine.

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    As we wait for something more concrete (and you have to wonder if Brexit is having an effect on an actual commitment), there has been a stream of information coming out of the UK partners which supports the idea that the programme is very much alive and very much the future of BAE/RR/MBDA etc.

    I emphasise the UK side, because the French are never shy about talking up what their FCAS thinking.

    So we have more sophisticated energy generation and management, repeated mention of directed energy, and a weapons bay which will allow the aircraft to do a range of jobs as well as drop bombs.

    All of which applies to a future manned jet as much as a UCAV.

  22. #22
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    All of which applies to a future manned jet as much as a UCAV.
    Which definitely was the aim. But there is something troubling in recent report on armed forces in France. Stealth features will stay strictly national. I guess they were not talking about shapes...

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    So a ministerial announcement in April?

    UK moving away from strike towards a reconnaissance optimised platform?

    https://www.defensenews.com/intel-ge...icial-reveals/

    It depends on whether that means and France have moved more towards a strike specific platform or whether the UK is prioritising LO strike with the F35 fleet.

    Is that a change of position though? What we know of Tarnish suggests reconnaissance was its prime mission in the trials.

  24. #24
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    Dunno mmrmalaya. nEUROn has already dropped bombs... Just listened to Trappier talking to Mps. dubious about (political) decision of FR and UK gos to build a demonstrator.

    http://www.assemblee-nationale.fr/15...8/c1718046.asp
    Last edited by halloweene; 1st March 2018 at 19:53.

  25. #25
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    like the UK will be pressured by the US to stick to a recon model, as not to compete with the F-35, it's what we saw with the UCLASS program. which is absurd, considering the tactical and strategic abilities such a platform would bring, and the huge success of armed UAVs being used by the UK and France as it is

    France however doesn't have the F-35 option and thus its political pressure, and has both the need and the will to go at it alone. I wouldn't be surprised if this cooperation was a political move by the UK to delay the French program

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    I don't think there is any need for such drama. The whole point of working on Taranis, and then with France was to avoid reliance on the US. Effectively, all we know is that France doesn't operate an LO strike aircraft and might like the idea of this system filling such a role.

    Taranis was not designed to drop bombs, just simulate them. That suggests to me that the UK was more interested in the stealth and AI aspects of the design than whether they could integrate a weapons bay into the aircraft.

    In either case the FCAS UCAV is going to need to be able to sense its environment admirably whilst at the same time working to be unseen and unchallenged. Those traits are important regardless of whether bombing is the driving force of the design.

  27. #27
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    Dassault think FCAS is stalling:

    https://www.flightglobal.com/news/ar...3H#sf183961242

    I personally wonder if the UK industrial strategy side of things is cooling interest in this as much as potential friction over Brexit (which I still don't see as relevant to FCAS cooperation).

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    Not exactly what he said (i was there), but yes e is kind of disappointed that industrials (both french and Uk) couldn't get commitment from uk gov for a demonstrator. According to him, Uk gov too busy with Brexit nowadays. There are still hopes.

  29. #29
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    I don't see how the UK leaving the EU is going to stop this progressing?

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrmalaya View Post
    I don't see how the UK leaving the EU is going to stop this progressing?
    Budget? Lack of it?
    The UK is grappling with a spiraling MOD budget and the very, very real prospect of having a big hit in the economy because of... well, brexit?

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