Such a poor time to introduce expensive and cutting edge new potential weapons systems, but none-the-less Lockheed’s “Sea Ghost” design that will compete with the likes of Northrop Grumman’s X-47 based design, Boeing’s Phantom Ray and General Atomic’s Sea Avenger for the Navy’s first operational UCAV has a serious pedigree and will be one hell of a competitor for this crucial tender. Clearly, Lockheed has taken major design cues from its now famous RQ-170 Sentinel as a proven configuration to build off of, really the only known semi-autonomous stealthy unmanned system operational around the world today. This video is so interesting because it lightly mentions some of the true advantages that these machines will feature such as autonomy and multi-platform “fused” operations with minimal human intervention or guidance. All things I have discussed here for years and in great detail.

If you have not already make sure to read my widely distributed piece “Tyler’s 10 Thoughts On The Future Of Drone Warfare” for more big picture discussion on what lies ahead in the very much unmanned future of combat aviation please have a read.

UCLASS and UCAV’s in general are where the future truly lies for first days of war anti-access bashing and surveillance weapons platforms. Those who say a human needs to remain in the cockpit for these missions are frankly fools or they are speaking from their pocket book and not their conscious. In UCAVs, America has the chance to leap far ahead of the world in terms of air combat capability by redefining what air combat means at its very core and by literally re-writing the book on what cutting edge capabilities are considered, well, cutting edge. I am talking quantum leap here guys. The timing has never been better to fully embrace our unmanned future, it makes DOLLARS and SENSE.

I feel absolutely terrible that I have not finished my piece requested by the Aviationintel readership about the “realities” of UCAV development and maturity at this time. In fact I have about 5 pieces that are almost done but for whatever reason I have left and not finished as life got in the way- Future of Red Flag, the damn Zero Dark Thirty review, a huge fragmented piece on North Korea I HAVE to get up as its predictions are coming true as I write this, and a couple others including a half written piece on net centric warfare. As far as the UCAV piece, I think I am going to condense what I have this weekend and get my thoughts out to advance the discussion here on the site and beyond. Nobody is telling a very shadowy side of the unmanned story, one where facts are vaporous but trends and logic are quite tangible. I simply have to finish this thing up. It is like my mind is having a separate discussion than what my readers understand currently via my body of work. I want to at least give some reasons why I feel so strongly about moving forward with advanced unmanned air combat and accelerating the race to unleash its true potential, although I actually believe that race has already been ran, we just have not been allowed to know the outcome…

Stay tuned guys… If I could I would just write away on this site all day, so pickup the phone Aviation Week or flightglobal.com or wherever and tell them to hire me ASAP haha!

Cheers guys and have a great Friday full shadowy stealth drones zipping around in your head!



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  1. Todd Frohwirth says:

    Can anyone identify the ship in that video?

  2. Conquistador3 says:

    Todd, if you mean the one seen at 2:00 it’s the USS Freedom

  3. AspenTwoZero says:

    I hope that there’s already a prototype of whatever that was that was landing on the USS Freedom at the 2:00 mark…

  4. Todd Frohwirth says:

    I meant the CGI (enemy?) ship around 1:10.

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