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Posted: 8/11/2005 12:50:07 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/11/2005 12:50:25 PM EDT by COLE-CARBINE]
(Sadly they do not look like Number 6 or Boomer.)

Two Boeing X-45As Complete Graduation Combat Demonstration



ST. LOUIS, August 10, 2005 – Two Boeing [NYSE: BA] Joint Unmanned Combat Air Systems (J-UCAS) X-45A unmanned aircraft successfully completed a graduation exercise when they flew their most challenging simulated combat mission today at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.

"We pushed the X-45As to their limits and they responded brilliantly," said Darryl Davis, Boeing Global Strike Solutions vice president. "This incredible X-45A program made aviation history and laid the foundation for our X-45C, which will become a critical weapon in our military's arsenal."

For test flights 63 and 64, the X-45As departed from the base, climbed to altitude, and autonomously used their on-board decision-making software to determine the best route of flight within the "area of action" or AOA. The pilot on the ground approved the plan and the two unmanned vehicles entered the AOA, a 30 by 60 mile area within the test range, ready to perform a simulated Preemptive Destruction-Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses mission. The mission involved identifying, attacking and destroying pre-identified ground-based radars and associated missile launchers before they could be used to launch surface-to-air missiles.

During the test flight, the X-45A unmanned aircraft faced a simulated "pop-up" threat, used evasive maneuvers to avoid it, and autonomously determined which vehicle held the optimum position, weapons and fuel to attack the higher priority simulated target. Once the pilot authorized the attack, the unmanned aircraft simulated dropping weapons on the target. After engaging and destroying a second simulated target, the two X-45As completed their mission and safely returned to Edwards.

The next step for Boeing is to build and flight test three X-45C aircraft, two mission control elements, and integrate the J-UCAS Common Operating System (the software used and tested on the X-45A may be offered as a candidate for functionality in the development of the J-UCAS Common Operating System ). The first X-45C will be completed in 2006, with flight test scheduled to begin in 2007. It will be 39 feet long with a 49-foot wingspan, cruise at 0.80 Mach at an altitude of 40,000 feet, carry a 4,500 pound weapon payload, and be able to fly a combat radius of more than 1,200 nautical miles.

Winner of a 2005 Flight International Aerospace Industry Award, the J-UCAS X-45 program is a DARPA/U.S. Air Force/U.S. Navy/Boeing effort to demonstrate the technical feasibility, military utility and operational value of an unmanned air combat system for the Navy and Air Force. Operational missions for the services may include persistent strike; penetrating electronic attack; suppression of enemy air defenses; and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.







Link Posted: 8/11/2005 12:54:26 PM EDT
Skynet, anyone?
Link Posted: 8/11/2005 1:03:38 PM EDT
Gives the phrase "armchair commando" a new meaning.
Link Posted: 8/11/2005 1:05:02 PM EDT
Simply outstanding. I read somewhere they'll be in low rate production by 2007.
Link Posted: 8/11/2005 1:16:20 PM EDT
It would make a lot more sense to just create a robot that can fly Super Hornets.
Link Posted: 8/11/2005 1:19:26 PM EDT

Originally Posted By green-grizzly:
It would make a lot more sense to just create a robot that can fly Super Hornets.



Link Posted: 8/11/2005 1:20:22 PM EDT

Originally Posted By green-grizzly:
It would make a lot more sense to just create a robot that can fly Super Hornets.



That is some funny shit! LOL!
Link Posted: 8/11/2005 1:21:45 PM EDT
I want one.
Link Posted: 8/11/2005 1:25:42 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/11/2005 1:31:24 PM EDT
Having a 1200 mile range and the ability to carry 4500 lbs of ordnance will give these little boogers a lot of punch. It will be nice to have something like this to use against the most heavily defended targets and not have to place a pilot in danger. Also, being pilotless should make these much cheaper. So we should be able to buy a bunch of them. That will mean the X-45 will become a nice force multiplier.

With many sensing coming problems with China, I for one am glad to see these aircraft coming along well. They could be very effective in such a war.
Link Posted: 8/11/2005 1:34:10 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/11/2005 1:34:39 PM EDT by cck]
Link Posted: 8/11/2005 1:43:10 PM EDT

Skynet, anyone?

.

I hope they have off buttons.
Link Posted: 8/11/2005 1:44:03 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/11/2005 1:46:03 PM EDT

Originally Posted By cmjohnson:
They could literally outmaneuver air-to-air missiles.


I doubt this. They would be as maneuverable, if the UCAV was without stores.
Link Posted: 8/11/2005 1:49:36 PM EDT

Originally Posted By green-grizzly:
It would make a lot more sense to just create a robot that can fly Super Hornets.



you mean a big box that sits where the ejeection seat is and you just wire up the hardware?

sounds good to me.
Link Posted: 8/11/2005 1:51:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By cmjohnson:

That being said, I think it will be a bad day for human history on the first day that an unmanned
aircraft is used to kill a manned one or live ground targets. Unmanned machines should not ever
be used to kill human beings, period.




BAN AIR TO AIR AND SURFACE TO AIR MISSILES!!!

Link Posted: 8/11/2005 1:55:08 PM EDT

Originally Posted By hk940:

Originally Posted By cmjohnson:

That being said, I think it will be a bad day for human history on the first day that an unmanned
aircraft is used to kill a manned one or live ground targets. Unmanned machines should not ever
be used to kill human beings, period.




BAN AIR TO AIR AND SURFACE TO AIR MISSILES!!!



And torpedoes, and surface to surface missiles...
Link Posted: 8/11/2005 1:55:36 PM EDT

Originally Posted By cmjohnson:
That being said, I think it will be a bad day for human history on the first day that an unmanned
aircraft is used to kill a manned one or live ground targets. Unmanned machines should not ever
be used to kill human beings, period.



Sorry, you are a little late. In November 2002 in Yemen, a Predator UAV was used to drop a Hellfire missile which destroyed a civilian vehicle carrying suspected terrorists.
Link Posted: 8/11/2005 2:00:19 PM EDT

Originally Posted By dmin:

Originally Posted By cmjohnson:
That being said, I think it will be a bad day for human history on the first day that an unmanned
aircraft is used to kill a manned one or live ground targets. Unmanned machines should not ever
be used to kill human beings, period.



Sorry, you are a little late. In November 2002 in Yemen, a Predator UAV was used to drop a Hellfire missile which destroyed a civilian vehicle carrying suspected terrorists.



but, but, he said period. didn't you see it. this isn't right!!!! oh moral outrage!!!!
Link Posted: 8/11/2005 2:02:19 PM EDT

Originally Posted By cmjohnson:
....
That being said, I think it will be a bad day for human history on the first day that an unmanned
aircraft is used to kill a manned one or live ground targets. Unmanned machines should not ever
be used to kill human beings, period.





What's the difference between this and say a cruise missle or an ICBM, or any other 'smart munition'.

There really is none, other than the fact this delivery system is reusable. In all cases the weapons are launched by a human, and target selection is done by a human.
Link Posted: 8/11/2005 2:19:38 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/11/2005 2:20:07 PM EDT by Mauser101]

Originally Posted By kbi:

Skynet, anyone?

.

I hope they have off buttons.



They have to land. This isn't that shitty movie "stealth".
Link Posted: 8/11/2005 2:51:55 PM EDT
There is no honor in UAV.
Link Posted: 8/11/2005 2:54:14 PM EDT

Originally Posted By dport:
Simply outstanding. I read somewhere they'll be in low rate production by 2007.



Boeing could if the customer could decide what they want in the vehicle. After a story I heard across the fence today, we need new management over there, too.
Link Posted: 8/11/2005 2:55:30 PM EDT
spacey lookin'.
Link Posted: 8/11/2005 3:02:20 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ARDunstan:
There is no honor in UAV.



Sure there is! It's just a pimply faced gamer, not Tom Cruise.
Link Posted: 8/11/2005 3:02:29 PM EDT

Originally Posted By cmjohnson:
An unmanned fighter would have the potential to be far more maneuverable and survivable than a manned one. Human limits won't allow a pilot to accept more than 12 Gs, and that only in a very brief transient pulse. An unmanned fighter could easily be designed to sustain 20Gs or more in maneuvering. They could literally outmaneuver air-to-air missiles.
How much weight and cost is right for building into a machine to perform to this level? You have no idea what a 20g airframe implies, or what a configuration that can perform a 20g turn looks like, or whether that is suficient to evade a missile.

With no human pilot to risk, if the planes are designated as expendable, then their odds of hitting
heavily defended targets grow dramatically as the plane won't have a self-presevation instinct
that would make it possibly throw bombs early or shy off the most heavily defended target.
Don't know any fighter pilots, do you? By the way, "expendible" is not on the features list, they cost too damn much to deploy carelessly or use as throw away.

That being said, I think it will be a bad day for human history on the first day that an unmanned
aircraft is used to kill a manned one or live ground targets. Unmanned machines should not ever
be used to kill human beings, period.
How is this philosophically different than killing them with naval guns from 20 miles, or bombers at 35000 feet, or snipers at 500 yards, or with mines?

CJ


Link Posted: 8/11/2005 3:11:29 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/11/2005 3:11:41 PM EDT by Mauser101]

Originally Posted By AeroE:


That being said, I think it will be a bad day for human history on the first day that an unmanned
aircraft is used to kill a manned one or live ground targets. Unmanned machines should not ever
be used to kill human beings, period.
How is this philosophically different than killing them with naval guns from 20 miles, or bombers at 35000 feet, or snipers at 500 yards, or with mines?



Besides...Predators with Mavericks arleady did it in Afghanistan. That hallmark day in history has come and gone. The world didn't split on any seams.
Link Posted: 8/11/2005 3:22:53 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/11/2005 3:30:03 PM EDT

Originally Posted By cmjohnson:
Ever seen the original Star Trek "A Taste of Armageddon"?

That is a cautionary tale. When man cedes CONTROL of warfare to machines, it will be a bad day.

The Predator that was used to kill civilians on the ground was under human control.

I make a distinction between an autonomous machine that acts against humans and all other
cases involving the use of missiles, smart bombs, and so on...which are given a specific target
by humans. Something bad will happen on the day when the first unmanned, AI-operated vehicle
makes a decision that kills humans without a man in the control loop.

Right Now, the design limitations on fighter aircraft (in terms of maneuverability) are what the
pilot can handle. It has been shown that even an old F-86 is mechanically capable of performing
10 G outside loops by remote control. (Q-86 target drones have been put through this and many
other absolutely wild maneuvers.)

No man inside means no need for pilot comfort, life support, or informational awareness equipment.
The weight savings is considerable, and alllows the plane to be built to perform well beyond
a pilot's ability to survive or compete. Given super strength-to-weight synthetics and composits
that are available now, such as carbon fiber and aerogels, if we WANT to build a 20-G capable
unmanned figher, we CAN build a 20-G capable unmanned fighter.

CJ



Are you finished? I didn't see PERIOD!
Link Posted: 8/11/2005 3:38:01 PM EDT

Originally Posted By cmjohnson:
Ever seen the original Star Trek "A Taste of Armageddon"?




That was one of the best Star Trek original series episodes they made. I'd recommend even people who aren't fans watch that ep because of the message.
Link Posted: 8/11/2005 4:27:13 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/11/2005 4:59:51 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Mauser101:

Originally Posted By AeroE:


That being said, I think it will be a bad day for human history on the first day that an unmanned
aircraft is used to kill a manned one or live ground targets. Unmanned machines should not ever
be used to kill human beings, period.
How is this philosophically different than killing them with naval guns from 20 miles, or bombers at 35000 feet, or snipers at 500 yards, or with mines?



Besides...Predators with Mavericks arleady did it in Afghanistan. That hallmark day in history has come and gone. The world didn't split on any seams.



Actually they did it in Yemen first.
Link Posted: 8/11/2005 5:03:43 PM EDT
Technically dont cylon raiders have a pilot built into the craft? Thats why Starbuck was about to go inside of one and take over the controls and pilot it back to the Galactica. The raider had hole that allowed the atmosphere to escape the dude inside died and leaked out the hole. She had to patch the hole to fly it.
Link Posted: 8/11/2005 5:06:44 PM EDT
Tagged to show fellow geeks at work.

TC
Link Posted: 8/11/2005 5:10:36 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/11/2005 5:18:58 PM EDT

Originally Posted By vito113:
Remember!!

UCAV's are utterly fearless!



And some of us have been training for UCAV combat our entire lives.

Fighting Falcon 4.0

X-Wing vs Tie Fighter

Mechwarrior 2,3,4.

Many others.........



Link Posted: 8/11/2005 5:47:17 PM EDT

Originally Posted By cck:

Originally Posted By dmin:

Originally Posted By cmjohnson:
That being said, I think it will be a bad day for human history on the first day that an unmanned
aircraft is used to kill a manned one or live ground targets. Unmanned machines should not ever
be used to kill human beings, period.



Sorry, you are a little late. In November 2002 in Yemen, a Predator UAV was used to drop a Hellfire missile which destroyed a civilian vehicle carrying suspected terrorists.



but, but, he said period. didn't you see it. this isn't right!!!! oh moral outrage!!!!




I guess the term "Fire and Forget" will be on the buzz word list any second now.




Fuck em....... Build MORE ! If it saves the lives of more good service folks, I'm all over it !

Terminators...... FUCK YEAH !

Link Posted: 8/11/2005 6:41:59 PM EDT

Originally Posted By cmjohnson:
Ever seen the original Star Trek "A Taste of Armageddon"?

That is a cautionary tale. When man cedes CONTROL of warfare to machines, it will be a bad day.

The Predator that was used to kill civilians on the ground was under human control.

I make a distinction between an autonomous machine that acts against humans and all other
cases involving the use of missiles, smart bombs, and so on...which are given a specific target
by humans. Something bad will happen on the day when the first unmanned, AI-operated vehicle
makes a decision that kills humans without a man in the control loop.

Right Now, the design limitations on fighter aircraft (in terms of maneuverability) are what the
pilot can handle. It has been shown that even an old F-86 is mechanically capable of performing
10 G outside loops by remote control. (Q-86 target drones have been put through this and many
other absolutely wild maneuvers.)

No man inside means no need for pilot comfort, life support, or informational awareness equipment.
The weight savings is considerable, and alllows the plane to be built to perform well beyond
a pilot's ability to survive or compete. Given super strength-to-weight synthetics and composits
that are available now, such as carbon fiber and aerogels, if we WANT to build a 20-G capable
unmanned figher, we CAN build a 20-G capable unmanned fighter.

CJ



CJ
We can build all sorts of shit, but that doesn't mean that it makes sense. Also, you don't know squat about the practical application of composite materials - it ain't what you've read in Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, or any other commonly available magazine, it's not a miracle material, and a practical laminate sure as hell does not have superior strength over metallics. I would guess that 99.9% of the publicity about the high strength of composite materials refers to the basic strength of a single fiber, and it's true, but you can't make jack with that product form.

The payoff is in stability critical structure where the thickness squared effect coupled with the moderately low density (~0.06 lbf/in^3 vs. 0.10 lbf/in^3 for aluminum) provides good buckling resistance. You couldn't pick a worse material in a strength driven application - think about it, carbon fiber/epoxy is burnt string and glue, and the joints require massive dimensions to transfer the loads, which negates the low density.

Aerogels are good insulation. Period Dot, as my friend from the .gov likes to say. The trouble is, they cost too much and no one can figure out how to make anything practical with the stuff.


Link Posted: 8/11/2005 10:41:26 PM EDT
bump-diggity...
Link Posted: 8/11/2005 10:50:57 PM EDT
I give it 2 thumbs up, out of 3

Link Posted: 8/11/2005 11:55:12 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Mauser101:

Originally Posted By cmjohnson:
Ever seen the original Star Trek "A Taste of Armageddon"?




That was one of the best Star Trek original series episodes they made. I'd recommend even people who aren't fans watch that ep because of the message.

I keep thinking of Fred Saberhagen’s Berserker series of novels.

His machines sought out life itself, no matter what the form, bacteria, animals, plants, germs, viruses, aquatic or aerial, fish or fowl, intelligent or not, and destroyed it.
Link Posted: 8/12/2005 12:02:06 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Mauser101:

Originally Posted By AeroE:


That being said, I think it will be a bad day for human history on the first day that an unmanned
aircraft is used to kill a manned one or live ground targets. Unmanned machines should not ever
be used to kill human beings, period.
How is this philosophically different than killing them with naval guns from 20 miles, or bombers at 35000 feet, or snipers at 500 yards, or with mines?



Besides...Predators with Mavericks Hellfire missiles arleady did it in Afghanistan. That hallmark day in history has come and gone. The world didn't split on any seams.

Link Posted: 8/12/2005 12:06:40 AM EDT

Originally Posted By GiggleSmith:

Originally Posted By Mauser101:

Originally Posted By cmjohnson:
Ever seen the original Star Trek "A Taste of Armageddon"?




That was one of the best Star Trek original series episodes they made. I'd recommend even people who aren't fans watch that ep because of the message.



I keep thinking of Fred Saberhagen’s Berserker series of novels.

His machines sought out life itself, no matter what the form, bacteria, animals, plants, germs, viruses, aquatic or aerial, fish or fowl, intelligent or not, and destroyed it.



I read those so long ago......I believe the human race wow in the end.

So long as we dont supply our UCAVs with a neverending power source and the ability to procreate, I think we'll be ok.

One more thought, I really like the effect UCAVs could have on the enemys moral, even if they shoot one down, they know the pilots just going to have a snack, maybe a coffee, and then be right back at it with another UCAV. It would suck to be them.
Link Posted: 8/12/2005 12:39:02 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/12/2005 12:39:38 AM EDT by vito113]
Link Posted: 8/12/2005 12:43:43 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/12/2005 1:47:45 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/12/2005 1:49:43 AM EDT by glockguy40]

Originally Posted By Charging_Handle:
Having a 1200 mile range and the ability to carry 4500 lbs of ordnance will give these little boogers a lot of punch. It will be nice to have something like this to use against the most heavily defended targets and not have to place a pilot in danger. Also, being pilotless should make these much cheaper. So we should be able to buy a bunch of them. That will mean the X-45 will become a nice force multiplier.

With many sensing coming problems with China, I for one am glad to see these aircraft coming along well. They could be very effective in such a war.



We already do have something like this... its called a cruise missile. We didnt need to waste money on this... it was better spent else where. We want 4500 lbs of bombs dropped on a target, drop 10 cruise missile on it and save the billions that didnt need to be spent on this.
Link Posted: 8/12/2005 2:33:45 AM EDT

Originally Posted By glockguy40:

Originally Posted By Charging_Handle:
Having a 1200 mile range and the ability to carry 4500 lbs of ordnance will give these little boogers a lot of punch. It will be nice to have something like this to use against the most heavily defended targets and not have to place a pilot in danger. Also, being pilotless should make these much cheaper. So we should be able to buy a bunch of them. That will mean the X-45 will become a nice force multiplier.

With many sensing coming problems with China, I for one am glad to see these aircraft coming along well. They could be very effective in such a war.



We already do have something like this... its called a cruise missile. We didnt need to waste money on this... it was better spent else where. We want 4500 lbs of bombs dropped on a target, drop 10 cruise missile on it and save the billions that didnt need to be spent on this.



You really need to some research about what the X-45's capabilities are and how much they are projected to cost and than compare that to what the capabilities of cruise missiles are and how much they cost each before you bitch about the cost of developing the X-45. There is a huge difference between the two.
Link Posted: 8/12/2005 2:34:42 AM EDT

Originally Posted By glockguy40:

Originally Posted By Charging_Handle:
Having a 1200 mile range and the ability to carry 4500 lbs of ordnance will give these little boogers a lot of punch. It will be nice to have something like this to use against the most heavily defended targets and not have to place a pilot in danger. Also, being pilotless should make these much cheaper. So we should be able to buy a bunch of them. That will mean the X-45 will become a nice force multiplier.

With many sensing coming problems with China, I for one am glad to see these aircraft coming along well. They could be very effective in such a war.



We already do have something like this... its called a cruise missile. We didnt need to waste money on this... it was better spent else where. We want 4500 lbs of bombs dropped on a target, drop 10 cruise missile on it and save the billions that didnt need to be spent on this.



Regarding 'something like this... its called a cruise missile", I can't agree with ya glockguy. Use once versus re-use, real-time recognition and avoidance with defensive capabilities, etc. etc. etc.

I do agree with CJ though - sure is getting spooky. I guess it's smart to do for now but the future could get ugly - sky-net (tinfoil on).
Link Posted: 8/12/2005 2:55:42 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/12/2005 3:08:37 AM EDT by vito113]
Link Posted: 8/12/2005 3:04:26 AM EDT

Originally Posted By glockguy40:
We already do have something like this... its called a cruise missile. We didnt need to waste money on this... it was better spent else where. We want 4500 lbs of bombs dropped on a target, drop 10 cruise missile on it and save the billions that didnt need to be spent on this.


No we don't have something like this.

Cruise missiles are a one shot wonder. Even with the targeting on the go capability of the Tactical Tomahawk, you don't have the flexibility of an UCAV. For instance, with T-Tomahawk, if you don't find a target then you just wasted a cruise missile, one you will never get back. With a UCAV you can recall the vehicle and recover not only the vehicle, but the ordinance as well. Let's say you want to bomb 4 targets with 1000lb bombs. You can either use four cruise missiles or you can use one UCAV. Now let's say you want to bomb 8 targets with 500lb bombs, to avoid civilian casualties. You can't use 4 T-hawks. You would have to use 8 and wast 500lbs of explosive each and possibly cause unwanted civilian casualties. You can, however, use one UCAV.

As AeroE pointed out UCAVs are not meant to be thrown away after every use, and survivability of the platform has been a design consideration from the get-go. Why? Because the military wants the UCAV to be resuable. In the long term that will save money over a cruise missile AND it allows for greater mission flexibility.
Link Posted: 8/12/2005 3:40:18 AM EDT

Originally Posted By photokirk:
Skynet, anyone?



Beat me to it. The PLANE decided the best direction to go??
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