According to the views of some U.S. analysts, functional carrier-based fighter fifth-generation F 35 may be the last in the history of the U.S. Navy manned combat aircraft. The future development of naval aircraft will go, how they feel on the strip creation of unmanned combat systems. This forecast is realized — time will tell. In the meantime, we must recognize that the United States Navy have shown the greatest consistency and commitment in the field of forming its own promising "battle bespilotya."
First in 1998 ended the first step of conceptual research unmanned maritime aircraft impact UNSA (Unmanned Naval Strike Aircraft), commissioned by the U.S. Navy, with the participation of companies "Boeing", "Lockheed Martin" and "Northrop Grumman." As the Air Force combat drone, a new marine apparatus had to solve puzzles priemuschestvenno on pressure defense and ensuring actions manned combat aircraft. With all this, the focus was on the elaboration and evaluation of technical solutions that take-off and landing UAV to the ship.
We studied three different types of devices UNSA, two of which are designed to operate from the deck of a large surface vessels (landing ships, cruisers, destroyers, etc.), and one from a submarine. Under the plan, the UAV had to solve a range of problems drab uniform and carry weapons. One of the devices created for use with surface ships, was designed for a shorter horizontal take-off and vertical landing (concept STOVL), and the second — on the vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL). "Boating" UAV has to start from the vertical shafts of ballistic missiles "Trident".
In autumn 1998, the office "Lockheed Martin" and "Northrop Grumman", as the U.S. Navy held a joint meeting at which summarized the research. As part of future development pro grams "Lockheed Martin" offered alternative deck of the aircraft with a horizontal take-off and vertical landing (STOVL), equipped with a lifting mid-flight jet engine, resulting in take-off fan in the front part of the fuselage (that was presented to project a kind of reduced drone the F-35B).
The project UNSA STOVL Office "Northrop Grumman" had two lift fan mounted in the wing (this assembly, based on a sufficiently profound research and design studies 1960-1970s, according to the views of the designers of the company, had the lowest degree of technical risk).
Projects UAV VTOL companies "Lockheed Martin" and "Northrop Grumman" were designed to locally cool off and vertical landing "on the tail." With all of this in the project "Northrop Grumman" provides for the introduction of small single solid boosters to facilitate the start of the transition from vertical to horizontal flight. For take-off and landing was planned to use the turntable, place the unit in a vertical position so Makarov, that the exhaust gases of the main engine and the boosters were sent overboard.
Perhaps the biggest challenge is the creation of techno UAV Launched & Recovered UCAV Concept), created to accommodate the upgraded missile silos nuclear submarines such as "Ohio." The company "Lockheed Martin" has proposed a draft unobtrusive unit with a distinct "faceted" form of a glider having folding airfoils. His start was due to be carried out in submerged submarine rockets from the mine "Trident" with the introduction of 2-solid boosters, similar to those used on cruise missiles such as "Tomahawk". Was put a sketch of one of the possible configurations of such apparatus having a triangular cross-section fuselage and vertical tail a large area (almost equal to the area of wing) downward. Dumped ordnance supposed to have 4 gruzootsekah formed on the edges of the fuselage and wing center. The device, which has a wingspan of 5.8 meters, a length of 5.2 m and a launch weight (together with solid propellant boosters) equal to 3410 kg, was due to hold a transonic speed and combat radius of the acts of 1000 km.
Was made entirely logical conclusion that the more critical elements of the UNSA is to ensure the return of the unit to the side of the boat carrier and preparation for re-use when finding the submarine submerged. But, according to representatives of the office, "Lockheed Martin" failed to find "innovative ways" to solve this problem in relation to the class SSBNs "Ohio". After performing combat tasks UAV had to vorachivatsya the area of finding the submarine and "dive" into the water. Inside the boat was supposed to prepare the unit for newcomer departure, fueling and equip weapons. In general, these projects, which looked bright in the pages of aviation magazines, were far from practical implementation. On the first place there was work to implement a much more pragmatic plans …
Based on the scientific and technical experience gained during the implementation of programs from UNSA, the company "Northrop Grumman" (which had a lot of experience to create a carrier-based aircraft) involved in research on the formation of the technical type of ship-based UAV UCAV-N. For the Navy has proposed the concept of low-profile device, performed on a "flying wing" with swept consoles relatively large elongation, devoid of the vertical stabilizer (similar assembly reminded the assembly of the strategic bomber, "Northrop Grumman in 2A" Spirit "). Air intake with "saw-tooth" placed on the sidewall of the nasal part of the cell. The engine is located in the central part of the fuselage (the flow of gases and supplied to "undistinguished" nozzle arrangement through a special tube). On both sides of the engine compartment formed two weapon bay, capable of holding the combat load weighing up to 900 kg (ie, two CC-type JDAM caliber 450 kg).
Thrust vector control system for UAV engine was missing. Aerodynamic bodies include elevons (occupying virtually the entire rear edge of the wing), and two pairs of spoilers located on the upper and lower end surfaces of the wing sections.
It should be said that the studies were quite intense and ambitious character. Namely, by blowing models UAV in wind tunnels have spent about 500 hours of pipelines, and the duration of the work on mathematical modeling has made more than 700 hours In all of this, of course, great attention was paid to the behavior of the UAV at takeoff and landing at speeds up to 280 km / h in the field of impact aerodynamic disturbances created by the aircraft carrier.
For the practical study of specificity deck UAV company decided to construct an experimental aircraft X-47A "Pegasus". Relatively small UAV was created by "Northrop Grumman" in an active manner by their own means. To work with programmke X 47A was attracted "Scaled Composites" (chief designer — Elbert Rutan), in a short term design and build an experimental apparatus. Then the glider X-47A was transferred to an aircraft factory office "Northrop Grumman" in El Segundo (CA), where he spent his completion and equipping of aircraft equipment.
Official roll-out of the X-47A UAV accomplished July 30, 2001 at an air base "Mojave" (California), and the first flight was made in February 2003. During the test, the UAV in-year Test Center of the U.S. Navy "China Lake" (California) studied modes of approach and landing on the deck of an aircraft carrier (with a simulation of the arresting gear). In addition, the work was evaluated onboard control system aircraft, made by "BAE Systems" and includes satellite navigation channel, and radio navigation equipment of the last generation that was created to ensure that the approach to the deck of the ship.
UAV X-47A was made on a "tailless." He had a pronounced aero integrated assembly with a delta wing of low aspect ratio. Vertical tail was missing. Provisions have been two small cargo compartment to house weapons. The take-off mass of 1740 kg UAV was. Apparatus was equipped turbofan "Pratt & Whitney" (Canada) JT15D-5C (1h730 kgs).
The next step Office "Northrop Grumman" towards the development of unmanned combat aircraft for the Navy began to work on larger and have a slightly different build (ie, vertical tail) UAV X-47B, which can already be considered as a model of a "complete" combat drone Plane UCAV-N.
Initially, X-47B was designed to accommodate up to 1,800 kg of weapons on inner pylons and in store fuel on board the aircraft had to allow for a continuous stay in the air for 12 hours. At the same time, the unit was quite small-size: wing span was only 8.5 m
Work on the production of the X-47B was launched in January 2001. It was planned that the first flight of the UAV vy first held in 2004 in the flight test center of the U.S. Navy, "Patuxent River" (Maryland). During the test, the device was long wives to solve the main task: to confirm the ability of UAVs operated on a real aircraft carrier deck, along with manned aircraft. One of the fundamental parts of programs from the test should have been a practical proof of the ability of UAVs to free boarding the flight deck of the ship station 45 seconds after it touches.
Project X-47B had a fundamentally different appearance in comparison with the demo unit X-47A. Larger in size diamond shape hull drone was supplemented end wing panel, which provides improved aerodynamics.
Of particular importance in the development of the unit took on selection options at the power plant. On the experimental drone swatches company "Northrop Grumman" implied use besforsazhny version of the engine, "Pratt & Whitney» F100 with traction 5000-6000 kgs. For the future were considered and a few other options: Engines of companies "General Electric", "Pratt & Whitney Canada," "the Rolls-Royce Allison." Specifically, the company "Pratt & Whitney Canada" offered turbofan PW308, designed for business jet Raytheon Hawker "Horizon". But tion series version was planned to install military option 1st of promising civilian engines with a rather large bypass ratio. It could be, namely, a variant or PW6000 turbofan PW800. Only with the introduction of similar engines work, they believed the developers to fulfill the requirements of range and duration of the flight. At the same time the requirements for speed and maneuverability X-47B were somewhat lower than combat UAV for the U.S. Air Force.
Weapon X-47B, placed in a 2-shipper Secacah, included two 900 killogrammovye or twelve 120 killogrammovyh guided bombs such as JDAM. Apart from the weapons on the inside suspension UAV could stir EW equipment or intelligence apparatus, also mounted on the fuel tank 2270 liters, allowing the use X-47B and as the prototype of the first unmanned aircraft refueling.
It was assumed that the unit UCAV-N (in conjunction with manned aircraft A/F-18E/F, F-35C and E-2D) will be one of the main components of the aviation wing of a promising multipurpose nuclear aircraft carrier CVN-X. With all of this was planned, that the rise (and eventually landing) aircraft on the ship would have to be a means of electrical devices which come to replace conventional steam catapults, and in the next rope and arresting gear.
Work on the program there UCAV-N coordinated agency DARPA. In addition to the office, "Northrop Grumman" on a competitive basis and participated in their company, "Boeing". In the press gives a very not rich information about the project deck of combat UAVs of this office, known as the X-46. Dealt only with what is outside it looked like a few smaller bomber "Northrop Grumman" In 2A. In size, also in range for summer deck unmanned combat plane "Boeing UCAV-N» was due to significantly exceed the combat UAVs "Boeing X-45» (UCAV), created for the U.S. Air Force.
It was planned that in December 2001, the agency DARPA under the second step of the work to create a UAV UCAV-N will enter into a contract price of 70 $ 80 million for the construction and flight testing of experimental trial of unmanned combat aircraft. Tests of unmanned combat aircraft aboard the aircraft carrier supposed you are full in the third step applets. With all of this was planned, that the UAV, which is applicable for actual use in the aviation wing of the aircraft carrier, will be created as early as 2008 2010's.
After some delay, caused, of course, for financial reasons, work on the X-47B program there began in May 2003. It was envisaged to build two experimental apparatus. But soon it was decided to close the programs from N-UCAS. In rezultateX-47B was one
of the 2-participants programs from a single DoD J-UCAS (Joint Unmanned Combat Air System), involving the establishment of a competitive basis to the layout of combat drones for use in both the Air Force and the Navy.
Tests of models is mutated (in accordance with the new requirements) UAV X-47B in the wind tunnel began in September 2004. It holds a total blowdown difficulties 750. And to work on the integration of on-board systems branch office machine "Northrop Grumman" in the city of San Diego has launched 15 October 2004.
In the framework of programs from J-UCAS agency DARPA planned to conclude in August 2006 with "Northrop Grumman" contract for 1 billion. U.S. providing for the supply of 2-UAV flight demonstration X-47B, also ground control stations and the respective equipment. It was planned that one hundred percent agree on common requirements for promising unmanned aircraft systems for the Air Force and the U.S. Navy will by September 2009.
Lock and forward fuselage of the first UAV X-47B began in June 2005. Final assembly of the apparatus was to be made at the company's "Northrop Grumman" in Palmdeyl (CA). But in February 2006 programm J-UCAS was closed. The circumstances of this, apparently, there were a few. One of them, most likely, was the fact that the Air Force, determined with the help of programs from X-45A fundamentally puzzle evidence of technical capacity creation combat UAV, were not prepared either real or "ideological" move to the next step — the development of the military (not a demo) unmanned complex. It was necessary to "tighten rear": work out the tactical and organizational issues of introduction of UAVs make a corresponding "unmanned" instrument and avionics, to solve many other important issues, the previous deployment of large-scale works to create a fundamentally new type of weapon. All this required money, time, and most importantly — a clear awareness of the ultimate goals (which at that time, apparently, not yet exist). All this, of course, the Air Force has identified the refusal of the role in the program J-UCAS (the media reported that the funds initially incorporated under the "unmanned program," were deployed to the creation of a promising strategic bombers).
The seamen were in a fundamentally different situation: they only had to decide the main question "sea battle bespilotya" — to justify in practice the ability to operate UAVs from the deck of an aircraft carrier. That is why just after the termination of programs from J-UCAS («King died — long live the master!") Launched a purely maritime programs from UCAS-D, which is a virtually "reincarnation» UCAV-N. The aim was to demonstrate the ability of programs from system integration UAV aircraft carrier. In the Navy it was considered a "major step towards the significance of F / A-XX» — shock deck platform of the last generation. Duration applets should have been 6 years old, and the price — $ 636 million
Perhaps there is another weighty in rank, which determines the overcharge intrigued by the U.S. Navy in the program deck unmanned combat aircraft. In the media informa-tion reported that the summit held in London «UCAV-2007" one of the senior managers office "Northrop Grumman" announced: "We have provided the opportunity to return to our Navy role longish arms in the Pacific." It is necessary to be aware of this: the company "Northrop Grumman" and her chicken tori basically the headquarters of the U.S. Navy concluded that the ability of creation on the basis of the developed demo aircraft X-47B is real standard of combat drone, which has at the same combat load as the deck manned aircraft F-35s, double the huge range and more than the highest level of survivability.
All of this looks particularly the burning of possible actions by the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier against China, the development of naval aviation, and which in recent years has markedly delayed the areas of deployment of U.S. carrier battle groups from the Asian coast, and as follows, reduced ability to strike the U.S. carrier-based aircraft. At the same time, the South American carrier battle group, kitted military unmanned systems must obtain a hitherto unseen for the U.S. Navy ability to hit targets not only in the eastern part of China, and in fact in all areas of the country.
According to the above-mentioned representative office "Northrop Grumman", "we are in this case in general is beginning to not focus on the development of a modern combat system, and about the unparalleled increase of U.S. combat power."
Talk about the "long arm of the U.S. Navy" is not accidental to the same as the South American fleet after the withdrawal from service in the 1990s decked attack aircraft Grumman A 6E "Intruder" and Vought A-7E "Corsair II», the closure of promising programs McDonnell Douglas / General Dynamics A12 "Avenger II» and the Grumman A-6G has lost a "hand" (all of the above aircraft had a combat radius of the order of the acts of 1500-1800 km). As a result, the South American aircraft carriers were left with a multi-purpose fighter aircraft Boeing F/A-18E/F «Super Hornet" (combat radius — 900 km), and with the prospect of years beyond 2015 F-35C with a radius of 1200 km deeds. Under the criteria of the possibility of growth reach U.S. carrier-based aircraft more than doubled, achieved by adopting the UAV was could not be more helpful.
In support of the ship's combat drone programs from the United States has expressed, and it is recognized by the South American military analyst Barry Watts (Barry Watts), the last U.S. Air Force combat pilot, then manager of the department and program analysis estimates the Pentagon, and in the current time of the Washington Center for Strategic and financial research work. In 2009, he published an article, according to which the Ministry of Defence will actually delivered only half of the planned number of earlier fighter aircraft F 35 (JSF). According to Watts, "against F 35 shows the story itself: the total number of anticipated purchases of U.S. DoD stealth combat aircraft by four other programs when necessary — F117, A12, B2 and F 22 — was the initial plan was 2,378 units, and was only 267" . Current plans of the Ministry of Defense now anticipate the acquisition of a total difficulties in 2443 the F-35A, F 35B and F-35C. "However, I think it really would be bought only half of that number of fighters" — says B. Watts.
According to the South American professional U.S. Navy also inevitably will have to revise the procurement of fighter aircraft in the direction of a significant decrease because battle the radius of the act "Lightnings II» (1,200 kilometers) does not allow U.S. aircraft carriers, equipment F-35C, operate outside the reach of the coastal weapons of China. With all of this argues that China is on the verge of creation fundamentally new tools — anti-ballistic missiles with a range of actions to 1200 km, the occurrence of which will leave the South American aircraft carriers, capable of hitting targets at maximum range of 900 km in 1200, not much chance of survival in the waters washing the china. In current criteria, according to B. Watts, a better solution for the Navy was not buying super expensive and not effective manned fighters, but rather equipping unmanned U.S. aircraft carriers shock aviation systems that have significantly greater radius act than the F-35C aircraft.
It should b
e said that the new "wonder weapons" (anti-BR) developed in our country since the 1960s, and even some time find elk in trial operation in Russian Navy. But its deployment in the Russian navy to this day has not begun. It says about the difficulties faced by its creators scientific and technical problems "issue price" that was "too heavy", even for a much more massive than the ki Thai, Russian defense industry. Because it would be gullible to believe that in China, even using recycled Russian technical solutions from 30 years ago, will be able in the foreseeable future to reach a "final solution" of U.S. aircraft carriers in the difficulties of their own coastal waters (most likely, it will happen no earlier than a similar tool will appear in the Russian Federation). But references as an argument in favor of combat drones decked still non-existent anti-ballistic missiles, says the "long-range" adherents of UAVs and their understanding of the inevitable clashes with the advocates of manned deck aircraft. Evenly started personified and opponents of the future battle: on the one hand — "Northrop Grumman" ("bespilote"), on the other — "Lockheed Martin" (ordinary deck-based aircraft). The position of the "Boeing" still hard to find.
According to the company, "we (ie," Northrop Grumman ") worked on the topic (carrier-based unmanned combat aircraft) seven years …. In the J-UCAS has invested more than 800 million, and the company is always directed towards this project the real needs of the fleet. "
As part of a new, stand-alone project now the Navy, the implementation of which was developed just after the decision to terminate the J-UCAS and received the title of the UCAS-D (Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstrator), the company "Northrop Grumman" in our own factory in Palmdeyle continued construction of the 2- X-47B (AV 1 and AV 2), started back in the old applets. Drones, adapted to the requirements of UCAS-D, provided first evidence for the practical ability to operate UAVs from the deck of an aircraft carrier.
Roll-out of the first X-47B was accomplished December 16, 2008. Initially supposed to "compress" the machine in the process of strength tests, and then, at the end of 2009, pass it on to the flight tests (first flight was scheduled for November). With all this assembly AV 2 company intended to start after the first high-speed taxiing AV 1. But the pace of work in the coming very slowed down. After a certain pause (when or what brand new information on X-47B was absent), it was announced that in July 2010 AV 1 in the end is transported to Edwards Air Force Base (California), and in September 2010, the U.S. Navy said that 1 — first flight of X-47B AV 1 postponed at least until December 12 of this year. By "Northrop Grumman", it was stated that the delay in the beginning of the X-47B flight caused by the inconsistency of software and drone aircraft carrier.
At Edwards Air Force Base is meant to perform the first step of flight tests in the field of UAV those in small and medium speeds. A program from the "workers" of experimental flight from the deck of an aircraft carrier is scheduled to begin in 2011 or 2012 and finish in 2013. By role in it is meant to attract multipurpose nuclear aircraft carrier CVN 75 Harry S. Truman (eighth "No Mietz", was commissioned in 1998). It should be said that initially the first landing on the deck of air nostsa planned to coincide with the "round figure", the celebration of the centenary of the first day or manned aircraft landing on the deck of the battleship (18 January 1911 pilot Eugene Ely landed own "Curtiss Model D» on board the cruiser " PA "). "On that day, when we" catch rope ", naval aviation will change forever," — said managing programs from UCAS-D from "Northrop Grumman" Scott Winship (Scott Winship). But the current realities on the views of a number of professionals, virtually eliminates the possibility of landing on an aircraft carrier UAV before the end of 2011.
Under the criteria of the Navy was somewhat belated decision to involve working out of the automatic landing craft manned aircraft flying laboratory, one based on the Boeing fighter F/A-18. According kepten (Captain 1st Rank) M. Depp (Martin Deppe), who heads the program from creation of combat UAVs U.S. Navy, this decision will allow work on the LL control system and software, designed for implementation on the X-47B, even before this drone make first landing and taking off from an aircraft carrier.
According to the views of M. Depp, tests F/A-18 aircraft unmanned when flying from the deck of an aircraft carrier will have the lowest degree of technical risk than flying X-47B, "because the assembly UAV performed in accordance with the requirements of stealth and has a number of features could hamper testing. " At the same time, the LL-based fighter "Hornet" has a classic build, well spent and of scientists in the context of maneuvering during takeoff and landing in a particular vicinity of an aircraft carrier.
Flights flying laboratory F/A18 from the deck of aircraft carrier should be held in a completely unmanned, but on the plane will still be watching the pilot, which will retain the opportunity to intervene in the control of the airplane at the occurrence of unexpected situations.
Assembly of the second X-47B machine to October 2010 was completed by 65%. Roll-out of the aircraft is scheduled for mid-2011. "Workers' X-47B flights N2 (as the X-47B N1) will be produced in the flight test center of the U.S. Navy NAS Patuxent River (Md.) in 2012.
According to Mr. Winship, "there are three critical for the project UCAS-D technology, the creation of which we need to finish lately: automatic in-flight refueling of UAVs, managing the execution of the flight mission and materials created by technology" stealth ".
Subcontractors Office "Northrop Grumman" on the X-47B program there are the "Lockheed Martin" (arrestor hook, control surfaces), "Pratt endUitni" (engine F100 PW 200), GKN Aerospace (nodes fuselage airframe and composite paneling). In the middle of other suppliers — GE Aviation Systems, Honeywell, Hamilton Sunstrand, Moog, Goodrich.
Although programm UCAS-D this is not formally asks flight demonstration vehicles X-47B will be equipped refueling system of airborne also have the required amount by weight and in store for accommodation search and attack equipment and instruments. "The legacy" of programs from J-UCAS drone possesses "all-aspect", as expressed by the firm (ie, the front and rear angles to the plane of course), nearly invisible in a wide range of radio waves.
X-47B has the highest take-off weight of 20,190 kg and the highest landing mass 10670 kg. According to the requirements of the fleet unit must be capable of making eight approaches in not a good weather. The program UCAS-D is to show the ability of X-47B without the help of others to detect failures and adapt to them, Passing on the replacement and backu
p systems (that would ensure the safety of the introduction of the device on an aircraft carrier, he will have to face with homogeneous and heterogeneous failures in the special tests ).
According to a simulation of operations of aircraft carrier group, which has in the air wing manned and unmanned aircraft is hypothetical, combat systems, made on the basis of X-47B, will be able to be in the designated area up to 20 times longer than the classic manned carrier-based fighter. If the duration of the flight of manned aircraft ship-based, limited type of physiological and physical qualities of the human body, is a maximum of 10 hours, the same indicator for the type of UAV X-47B (including its ability to in-flight refueling) to exceed 50 hours.
As mentioned above, programm UCAS-D is like crotch, transitional step towards a more ambitious and technologically challenging program there UCLASS (Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike), A principal purpose of which is to develop a real, applicable to the real impact of unmanned naval operation of ship-based intelligence system. April 19, 2010 the U.S. Navy announced the issuance of "request for information on radiation", ie formal proposal to the aviation industry companies STI take part in the program.
The implication is that the test system will include four UCLASS — 6 UAVs capable of flying for 11 — 14 hours without refueling in the air. With all of this motivated load vehicles will consist of reconnaissance and attack aircraft sensors and weapons. Requires that the UAV had the ability to use a stand-alone instrument, but to authorize the first strike on the target must still operator.
Distinctive features of the system will be a big range, the possibility of in-flight refueling, the increased mass and abundance of payload. The basic idea applets UCLASS — to give, in the end, the South American carrier fleet, "according to the true longish hand" that could, at least, in the medium term, save for the U.S. Navy carrier battle groups the role of strategic power. In case of success of the demonstration programs from Navy plans to buy up to 70 UCLASS.
It was reported that the system is in pre-production UCLASS equipment should be ready for pilot deployment aboard the aircraft carrier around by the end of 2018, and the first "battle" squadron of unmanned carrier aircraft will be formed in 2025, with all this UAV will be based on the U.S. aircraft carriers, along with multi-purpose self-piloted the years such as the F-35.
System Requirements Navy UCLASS (first in respect of aircraft) to a large extent based on the properties of carrier-based UAV X-47B. But that does not mean that you boron X-47B as the layout of the first carrier-based drone is predetermined: in addition to the office, "Northrop Grumman", offering fleet and further develop the line of "47 th", a request for proposals to New, unmanned systems was addressed to the company "Boeing" had built an unmanned technology demonstrator deck vehicle "Phantom Ray," and the company "General Atomics' UAV disposing" Avenger ", which is also (so far only on paper) has a sea modification.
It is interesting to note that at the International Symposium of the North American Association for Unmanned Systems, held in 2008 in San Diego (California), were made public the results of intra-analytical study, whose purpose was to determine the kind of future carrier-based aircraft of the U.S. Navy. The main conclusion of the study was car moat that after 2025 to replace the multi-purpose manned carrier-based fighter F/A-18 «Hornet" and "Super Hornet" and F-35s to come drone battle carrier-based aircraft complex.
In the near future in the United States were activated and working on finding new aerodynamic configurations for the UAV as a land and ship-based. Namely, the principal focus of research conducted under the auspices of the agency DARPA, is to develop the aerodynamic configuration with an oblique wing OFW (Oblique Fluing Wing). With such an assembly aircraft other than the lack of feathers and static instability in the first plan is to ensure stability and maneuverability of the aircraft. In the program except the DARPA involved company "Northrop Grumman" (a specific developer experimental UAV). It was assumed that by the year 2010 will be made unmanned aircraft with a wingspan of 18.1 meters, designed to achieve the speed, the respective M = 1.2 at the field are in a mode where the front edge of the sweep is 65 degrees. But the real disk imaging construction of this device have been reported.
The agency planned to develop and program from AMSMA (Adaptive Morphing Super Maneuver Aircraft), designed to study the assembly, which provides a combination of long-range aircraft and flight duration, the highest top speed and good maneuverability in the most profound transformation of the aerodynamic configuration of the airframe with an oblique wing in flight. The program AMSMA was a logical continuation of a wound their research work, in which at the end of 2006 was tested experimental UAV with an oblique wing MFX 2.
In today's step UAVs are seen first South American Mariners as a tool of oppression of enemy air defenses, as well as the impact means to destroy ground targets with known coordinates in advance. In other words, viewed as a means of ensuring, as a means of shock, actually duplicate the CD class "ship — shore." Such tasks as the particular air support, isolation area of operations, gaining dominance of airborne etc. they learn, apparently, still a very long time.
In general, there is still one area of combat application equation naval combat UAVs, where the drones now could well compete with drink orientable naval aviation. We are talking about the fight with the big naval targets. It should be said that in our country (and nowhere else!) High one-time anti-unmanned aerial vehicles (specifically so you can organize supersonic anti-ship missiles languid operational designation "Basalt", "granite", "Volcano" and others were created by Reutov Engineering Research Institute, together with St. Petersburg Research Institute "Granite") has since the 1960s. The transfer board "intelligence", realized in similar complexes with a single on a reusable unmanned platform, of course, should not be of an extremely difficult technical problem. Now antiship weapon of this class (and scientific techno school, providing its remote neck of development) exists only in Russia.