The U.S. Navy is considering using its forthcoming Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) aircraft as an aerial refueling tanker to free up its fleet of Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornets for more strike missions, several sources told USNI News. Read More
The Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) has pushed back the release of the draft Request for Proposals (RFP) for the U.S. Navy’s Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) aircraft because the service’s top leadership has not yet signed-off on those specifications. Read More
As potent weapons as they have been in the years since the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, unmanned aircraft — or drones as they are colloquially known — will have to evolve as the U.S. moves to counter rising challenges in the Western Pacific. Read More
USNI News polled its writers, naval analysts, and service members on what they consider the most important military and maritime stories in 2013. Read More
The U.S Navy’s unmanned carrier launched airborne surveillance and strike (UCLASS) program has evolved to call for a jet that is much larger and much more capable than what was envisioned just six months ago, Navy officials told USNI News.
The U.S. Navy appears to have shifted its position on the requirements for its next generation carrier-based unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), Navy officials told USNI News.
Instead of developing the planned Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) to only conduct operations in uncontested airspace, the service will instead pursue a design that can be adapted over time to operating against higher threat levels.
The reduction in strike capability of the Navy’s next generation carrier-based unmanned aerial vehicle was born of fiscal realities, said Dyke Weatherington, the Pentagon’s director of unmanned warfare and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR), at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International Unmanned Systems 2013 conference in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday.
The Navy aims to build a system of stealthy pilotless aircraft to patrol at a minimum range of 600 nautical miles around an aircraft carrier at a maximum cost of $150 million per orbit, according to May Navy requirements documents obtained by USNI News.
The Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) so-called key performance parameters (KPPs) outline an aircraft that will primarily fill information, reconnaissance, surveillance and targeting (ISRT) roles for the service’s carrier strike group with a limited ability to strike targets at a range of 2,000 nautical miles from the strike group in lightly contested environments, according to the documents. Read More
The Navy has outlined the specifications for the Unmanned Carrier Launched Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) in a requirements document obtained by USNI News.
A UCLASS system should be able to conduct two orbits at 600 nautical
miles or one orbit at 1,200 nautical miles. The system should also be
able to conduct a strike mission at 2,000 nautical miles. Read More