• Sunday, August 18, 2019

UK pursues low-cost unmanned combat aircraft

Discussion in 'Air Warfare' started by Zarvan, Aug 13, 2019 at 1:55 PM.

  1. Zarvan

    Zarvan ELITE MEMBER

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    Three Phase I contracts have been awarded under the LANCA programme. Source: Crown Copyright

    Industry teams led by Blue Bear Systems Research, Boeing Defence UK, and Callen-Lenz have been awarded contracts by the UK Royal Air Force (RAF) Rapid Capabilities Office (RCO) to complete the preliminary design of a low-cost unmanned combat aircraft that can operate alongside manned fast jets as part of future air power mix.

    The Lightweight Affordable Novel Combat Air (LANCA) technology demonstrator initiative, which is known as Project Mosquito, is intended to generate evidence in order to inform a potential future 'Loyal Wingman' requirement. As well as exploring the utility of an unmanned adjunct capability to inform the UK's Combat Air Strategy, the LANCA initiative is also intended to grow understanding of methods to radically reduce the cost and time of fielding a combat air capability of this class compared with traditional combat air systems.

    LANCA emerged from the 2015 studies undertaken by the UK Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) to understand how innovative combat air technologies and operating concepts might offer radical reductions in system cost and development time. Subsequently, LANCA was brought into the RAF RCO as part of the wider Future Combat Air System Technology Initiative (FCAS TI): apart from LANCA, the FCAS IT initiative also encompasses the Next Generation Combat Air System (being developed under the umbrella of Team Tempest).

    The acquisition strategy for Project Mosquito is split into two phases: Phase I, which lasts for 12 months and covers preliminary system design, and Phase II, which will see a downselect to one or two teams to further mature their designs, complete manufacturing of the technology demonstrator, and complete a limited flight-test programme.

    Up to two contracts will be awarded for Phase II. Initial flight tests of the demonstrator air vehicle could take place as early as 2022.

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  2. Battle of Waterloo

    Battle of Waterloo FULL MEMBER

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    All of these so far are technology demonstrators.

    Even the Tempest is a joke so far, scheduled to spend £2 billion on it over the next decade or so!

    If we are serious about these projects then we are not acting like it.
     
  3. Ali_Baba

    Ali_Baba FULL MEMBER

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    How the hell is Tempest a joke ??? WTF man? The level of investment is appropriate given the of the project and the need to develop core technologies. 2billion buys a lot of scientific and engineering time.

    Once the basic science is developed, then the amount will go up as we will THEN invest in the infrastructure required to build the Tempest.

    AND, 2billion is ALOT LOT MORE than wht the Europeans are planning to invest in their programme over 10years.. Is their programme ALSO a joke ??
     
  4. Battle of Waterloo

    Battle of Waterloo FULL MEMBER

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    US spent >$55 billion on F-35 just on R&D. Hundreds of billions more on procurement etc.

    So yes, £2 billion (which is basically $2 billion these days) is a joke. They will have to spent many more times that to get to deployment stage by 2035. Where will this money come from?
     
  5. Ali_Baba

    Ali_Baba FULL MEMBER

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