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Boeing Australia develop fighter-sized drone - 3/1/2019 9:43:35 PM   
Neilster


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Boeing Australia, in conjunction with the Australian Department of Defence, have secretly developed a jet-powered drone. At nearly 12 metres in length, it's the size of a small fighter. It's supposedly mainly for electronic warfare/reconnaissance but it has a large internal weapons bay so expect other capabilities/variants. Also, this kind of "AI wingman" vehicle concept is becoming more popular. For example, it could provide protection for larger, more vulnerable assets or fly in formation with fighters.

Boeing says Australia has very large areas where things can be tested "on the quiet". Its long range makes it suitable for Australian conditions too. It displays the standard low observables features such as the chiselled chin, canted fins, lack of 90 degree junctions and serpentine intakes. We can assume radar absorbing materials in key places. The engine is unknown but I'd be unsurprised if they went with a single Super Hornet donk, partly for commonality. Development must be quite advanced because they unveiled a mock-up on Wednesday and they're planning on building the first one next year. Apparently, the Australian government is keen to export them.

Cheers, Neilster







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< Message edited by Neilster -- 3/2/2019 2:53:33 AM >
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RE: Boeing Australia develop fighter-sized drone - 3/1/2019 10:58:49 PM   
ringoblood


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One big ass drone

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RE: Boeing Australia develop fighter-sized drone - 3/2/2019 2:56:44 AM   
Neilster


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quote:

ORIGINAL: ringoblood

One big ass drone

I think the term "drone", which is how the media are describing it, is misplaced here. This is clearly an unmanned aircraft.

Cheers, Neilster

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RE: Boeing Australia develop fighter-sized drone - 3/2/2019 4:10:34 AM   
Lobster


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Neilster


quote:

ORIGINAL: ringoblood

One big ass drone

I think the term "drone", which is how the media are describing it, is misplaced here. This is clearly an unmanned aircraft.

Cheers, Neilster



A drone is a remote controlled pilotless aircraft or missile. Size does not matter.

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RE: Boeing Australia develop fighter-sized drone - 3/2/2019 5:16:31 AM   
Neilster


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Fair enough, although in common parlance I'd say it usually refers to something much smaller and remote controlled, and that this would best be described as an UAV.

Cheers, Neilster

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RE: Boeing Australia develop fighter-sized drone - 3/2/2019 6:04:57 AM   
zakblood


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take out the pilot, the plane can be smaller, faster, turn quicker

and cheaper now

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RE: Boeing Australia develop fighter-sized drone - 3/2/2019 8:31:54 AM   
Neilster


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quote:

ORIGINAL: zakblood

take out the pilot, the plane can be smaller, faster, turn quicker

and cheaper now

Yep. As a former aircraft technician on fighters, it's incredible how much mass and complication is involved in keeping the crew in conditions comfortable for humans. Considering it can be 50C on the ground and -50C at altitude, air conditioning alone is complex. Then there're ejection seats, (which these days are incredibly high-tech), oxygen systems, pressurisation etc.

Anyone remember the Rockwell HiMAT? NASA learnt a lot from that program.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rockwell_HiMAT





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< Message edited by Neilster -- 3/2/2019 8:34:15 AM >

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RE: Boeing Australia develop fighter-sized drone - 3/2/2019 9:55:02 AM   
redcoat


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Neilster
Boeing says Australia has very large areas where things can be tested "on the quiet".


The UK tests its unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) in Australia for the same reasons. I imagine that this one will be tested at the same facility - the RAAF Woomera Range Complex in South Australia.


< Message edited by redcoat -- 3/2/2019 9:56:48 AM >


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RE: Boeing Australia develop fighter-sized drone - 3/2/2019 11:33:14 AM   
Neilster


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Woomera is an interesting place. The facilities have recently been upgraded and apparently at 122,188 square kilometres (47,177 sq mi...about the same area as England), the WPA (Woomera Prohibited Area) is the largest land-based test range in the western world.

Australia became the third nation to launch an orbital rocket from its own territory from Woomera in 1967.

It's a real Cold War kind of place, with a township plonked in the desert.

Here's an cool old TV program from 1988 about Woomera...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFPWlFD7utc&t=2670s

Edit: I changed the video URL to a longer version

Cheers, Neilster


< Message edited by Neilster -- 3/2/2019 12:01:16 PM >

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RE: Boeing Australia develop fighter-sized drone - 3/2/2019 2:59:07 PM   
ringoblood


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I love the Cold War, it may have been a time of constant fear of human extinction but we made so many technicality advances its not even funny.

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RE: Boeing Australia develop fighter-sized drone - 3/3/2019 7:52:39 PM   
Orm


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Thank you, Neilster, for sharing.

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RE: Boeing Australia develop fighter-sized drone - 3/3/2019 8:05:50 PM   
Pvt_Grunt

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Lobster

Size does not matter.






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RE: Boeing Australia develop fighter-sized drone - 3/3/2019 8:46:10 PM   
ringoblood


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Pvt_Grunt


quote:

ORIGINAL: Lobster

Size does not matter.






LOL

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RE: Boeing Australia develop fighter-sized drone - 3/7/2019 10:15:52 AM   
redcoat


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The (U.S.) Air Force Research Laboratory and Kratos Unmanned Aerial Systems have been developing a drone similar to the Boeing Australia project. The XQ-58A Valkyrie demonstrator has now completed its inaugural flight at the Yuma Proving Grounds, Arizona.

http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/26825/air-forces-secretive-xq-58a-valkyrie-experimental-combat-drone-emerges-after-first-flight

The War Zone section of the Drive website is quite good at covering defence news:

http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone

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