18/09/2020

MQ-9's Potential replacement

Companies are lining up to build a replacement for the MQ-9 Reaper drone – link

Source: Defense News

Article Headlines
  • On Sept. 11, Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin released renderings of their respective offerings for the Air Force’s MQ-Next program
  • Northrop made public its swarming SG-2 concept, and Lockheed announced its flying-wing design
  • General Atomics put out a concept drawing of a next-generation uncrewed aerial system on Sept. 14 to correspond with the first day of the Air Force Association’s Air, Space and Cyber Conference
  • Boeing and Kratos each confirmed they responded to the request for information but have not released concept art for their potential offerings
  • Northrop’s flying-wing design bears a close resemblance to the X-47B the company designed for the Navy, including using the same Distributed Autonomy/Responsive Control flight management system, which allows for operators to task multiple drones to fly autonomously according to parameters set by the user
  • However, the aircraft in the rendering is just one potential concept that Northrop could develop for the MQ-Next family of systems
  • The General Atomics concept features a stealthy, long-winged, jet-powered air vehicle — a departure from the turboprop-powered MQ-9 Reaper
  • The company’s next-generation UAS concept art features a tailless, stealthy, flying-wing design geared toward the high-end fight, although Johnson said Lockheed may put forward less exquisite systems depending on the Air Force’s final requirements
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