Tag Archives: Northrop Grumman

Northrop Grumman has just released an animation that shows how 6th Generation fighters might look like

Northrop Grumman has just launched a new ad that teases next generation fighter jets.

One year ago, Northrop Grumman, at that time competing with Lockheed Martin and Boeing for the LRS-B ( Long Range Strike-Bomber) released an interesting ad that teased the shape of the next generation bomber.

Earlier today, the aerospace giant released a new ad that clearly shows, along with a B-2 and some X-47B UCAVs, three 6th Gen. fighters: the new tailless concept, already exposed by some renderings last year, features the “cranked kite” design that’s in vogue with Northrop Grumman, which built the U.S. Air Force iconic B-2 stealth bombers the X-47B naval killer-drone demonstrator and the still much secret RQ-180 unmanned aerial vehicle surveillance aircraft.

The so-called Next Generation Air Dominance concept points towards a small and much agile plane, rumored to be supersonic, long-range, cyber-resilient against threats of the future interconnected world, and able to carry laser-weapons.

Never before seen High Definition air-to-air footage of a USAF B-2 stealth bomber

Northrop Grumman has just released some really stunning HD air-to-air footage of the U.S. B-2 Spirit stealth bomber.

With the Pentagon days away from awarding the LRS-B (Long Range Strike Bomber) contract to either Lockheed Martin-Boeing team or Northrop Grumman, the latter company, builder of the B-2 Spirit, has released never before seen High Definition air-to-air footage of a USAF B-2 stealth bomber.

The U.S. Air Force is expected to operate 80-100 LRS-B next generation bombers to replace its aging B-52 and B-1 bombers.

H/T @guidoolimpio for the heads-up

 

This photo of X-47B combat drone taking fuel from tanker proves we are one step closer to unmanned aerial refueling

X-47B has completed first contact with an aerial refueling hose.

On Apr. 16, “Salty Dog 502”, one of the two Unmanned Carrier Air Vehicle demonstrator (UCAS-D) aircraft of the X-47B program performed autonomous aerial refueling (AAR) test, plugging the in-flight refueling (IFR) probe into the hose of a Omega Air tanker off the coast of Maryland.

The AAR in set to be the last for the two X-47B stealth killer drone technology demonstrators (the other being “Salty Dog 501”): with the end of this testing phase the two unmanned aircraft will be retired and probably donated to a museum or stored at the “boneyard”, the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG) at Davis Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona.

In fact the X-47B is “just” a technology demonstrator and, as such, it’s till quite different from the planned Navy’s Unmanned Carrier Launched Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS).

In spite of calls to extend testing on the Northrop platforms, the costs to reconfigure the two X-47B in such a way to let them behave more like the Navy’s preferred option for UCLASS would be prohibitive.

Image credit: Northrop Grumman

 

This may be the shape of the future U.S. top secret stealth bomber

A new Northrop Grumman ad teases new stealth bomber. And it may be a manned one.

Two aerospace giants are competing to build Pentagon’s next stealth bomber, designated LRS-B ( Long Range Strike-Bomber): a joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Boeing, and Northrop Grumman.

The latter has produced a cool ad that was posted on Youtube last week.

The ad shows Northrop Grumman’s long tradition of flying wings: the YB-35 prototype dating back to  the 1940s, the B-2 Spirit the only heavy stealth bomber known to operate with the U.S. Air Force, and the X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System developed for the U.S. Navy.

However, towards the end of the ad another shape is teased to the viewers: a flying wing hidden below a protective sheet that is coherent with the many renderings which have appeared in the past and, possibly, with the triangle-shaped jet sightings of last year.

Noteworthy, a pilot is depicted staring at the plane a scene that may suggest the LRS-B will be manned.

And the slogan the narrator recites is clear enough: “Building aircraft, the likes of which the world has never seen before: This is what we do.”

This is not the only Northrop Grumman ad which gives a hint at the future LRS-B shape: as explained on his blog at War Is Boring, aviation journalist David Axe has seen traces of the LRS-B in another commercial.

 

That’s a weird way to move a U.S. Navy drone copter: MQ-8B Fire Scout spotted on a trailer on Interstate 405

An MQ-8 Fire Scout was spotted on a trailer on I-405 at Newport Beach, California

Few months ago we published an image of an MQ-8C Fire Scout, the UAS (Unmanned Aerial System) obtained by giving autonomous controls to a Bell 407 helicopter, on a trailer moving northbound on Interstate 405 near Newport Beach, California.

Whilst some readers suggested the aircraft was a model/mock-up, others were pretty certain the MQ-8C was one of the 28 such drones the Navy plans to operate in support of  naval special operations forces.

Interestingly, the same reader who had taken the photograph of the MQ-8C was able to get a shot of an MQ-8B Fire Scout Vertical Takeoff and Landing Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (VTUAV), a smaller “Fire Scout” drone copter capable to autonomously take-off and land from any aviation-capable warship and at unprepared landing zones and to find, identify, track and illuminate targets and to provide targeting data to other strike platform as well as perform BDA (Battle Damage Assessment).

The tiny drone was used during the air war in Libya; one MQ-8B drone copter was shot down during an ISR mission in support of NATO’s Operation Unified Protector.

Anyway, the new image of an (uncovered) MQ-8B on a trailer seems to prove this is Northrop Grumman’s standard way to move its unmanned aircraft. At least Sikorsky uses a protective cover when moving helicopters on a trailer….

Image credit: “Spencer”