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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 3/21/2006 9:37:38 AM EDT
Budget document discloses existence of secret US Air Force UAV programme

Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works is believed to be developing a high-altitude, stealthy unmanned aircraft system (UAS) for the US Air Force (USAF) under a secret programme, funded with money taken from the terminated Joint Unmanned Combat Air System (J-UCAS) project.

The existence of a classified air force UAS project was disclosed in a navy Fiscal Year 2007 budget document, which stated that the Pentagon "directed the J-UCAS programme to split into two separate programmes: one air force classified programme and a navy UCAV [unmanned combat aerial vehicle] programme".

The new UAV, sometimes known as the Penetrating High Altitude Endurance (PHAE), is believed to be capable of operating at the 70,000-80,000 ft altitudes used by the U-2. One report refers to the aircraft using engines from an inventory that has been in storage since the 1970s. This almost certainly refers to the General Electric J97-GE-3 engine for the Teledyne Ryan AQM-91 Compass Arrow UAV (a project terminated in 1971). In 1998, a NASA paper reported that 24 J97 engines were in storage at the agency's Ames research centre. The Compass Arrow exceeded 80,000 ft during tests, the highest unclassified altitude ever recorded for a subsonic jet-powered aircraft. The J97 was rated at around 25 kN and the new UAV is probably a twin-engine design.

The new UAV is much larger than the small stealth UAV that has been evaluated operationally in Iraq. That aircraft - believed to be powered by one or two Williams FJ33 engines - has only eight hours' endurance, like DarkStar, and that is currently seen as inadequate.

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Link Posted: 3/21/2006 12:36:09 PM EDT
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Link Posted: 3/21/2006 12:38:39 PM EDT
Alot of kinetic energy in something dropped from that high up...
Laser guided tungsten penetrator anyone?
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 12:41:28 PM EDT
'Alot of kinetic energy in something dropped from that high up...
Laser guided tungsten penetrator anyone?"

Will not exceeed the speed of sound.
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 12:46:03 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Lert:
Alot of kinetic energy in something dropped from that high up...
Laser guided tungsten penetrator anyone?



My guess is it's truly a recon type bird. Basically that high up and long loiter time will allow it to act like
a low orbit satellite. YMMV.
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 12:50:20 PM EDT

Originally Posted By brickeyee:
'Alot of kinetic energy in something dropped from that high up...
Laser guided tungsten penetrator anyone?"

Will not exceeed the speed of sound.



Why not? Couldn't it be shaped appropriatly?
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 12:56:36 PM EDT
tag
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 12:59:14 PM EDT

Originally Posted By brickeyee:
'Alot of kinetic energy in something dropped from that high up...
Laser guided tungsten penetrator anyone?"

Will not exceeed the speed of sound.



Why not? Didn't that guy who skydived from a balloon at 100K feet break the sound barrier while he was in the thinner part of the atmosphere?
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 1:00:31 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 1:01:07 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 1:57:48 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Lert:

Originally Posted By brickeyee:
'Alot of kinetic energy in something dropped from that high up...
Laser guided tungsten penetrator anyone?"

Will not exceeed the speed of sound.



Why not? Couldn't it be shaped appropriatly?



If it did carry weapons, from that distance it would have to GPS guided.
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