Re: Credibility of an article on the Sensorcraft

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Message posted by Vahe Demirjian (Member since 04/28/2022) on December 16, 2023 at 15:28:44 PST:

The AFRL-sponsored SensorCraft program envisioned a stealthy HALE unmanned aerial vehicle with large radio-frequency apertures embedded into its wings. It began in the late 1990s and Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and some academic institutions undertook a panoply of Sensorcraft design studies. The P-ISR unmanned flying wing called "RQ-180" drew heavily from one of Northrop Grumman's SensorCraft concept studies (one Lockheed Martin SensorCraft concept encapsulated the "flying clam" design philosophy embraced by the RQ-3 Darkstar and ultimate Quartz configuration worked out by Lockheed and Boeing).

In the August 2011 Aviation Week and Space Technology article titled "Northrop Grummanís Secret UAV Makes Development Progress", Bill Sweetman described the yearlong Air Force competition for a stealthy P-ISR unmanned aerial vehicle won by Northrop Grumman as a follow-on to the SensorCraft program, with Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman submitting bids. The winning Northrop Grumman design was influenced by one of Northrop Grumman's SensorCraft concepts, and even though the name for the USAF requirement which would lead to the development of the "RQ-180" is yet to be disclosed, it almost certainly drew heavily from design parameters jotted out for the SensorCraft program and may have drawn lessons learned from the cancellation of the Lockheed/Boeing Quartz project (notwithstanding the fact that Boeing and Lockheed built subscale technology demonstrators for the Quartz, with the Lockheed tech demonstrator flying in 1986 before being lost in a crash that year).

Attached link: SensorCraft program

In Reply to: Re: Credibility of an article on the Sensorcraft posted by noskcaJ on December 16, 2023 at 13:14:14 PST:


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