Tag Archives: Unmanned combat air vehicle

New images of Europe’s stealth combat drone nEUROn during operational testing

The nEUROn stealth combat drone as seen from a different point of view.

The first example of the nEUROn UCAV (Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle), is conducting operational testing in the Perdasdefogu range, in Sardinia.

The photos in this article were taken by The Aviationist’s contributor Alessandro Caglieri as the full-scale technology demonstrator returned to Decimomannu airbase at the end of a test flight.

Noteworthy, these were shot from the left hand side of the drone with the extracted undercarriage, and they clearly show the text XAV-5A-003 on the landing gear door along with the flags of the nations that are taking part in the development of the nEUROn France, Italy, Sweden, Spain, Switzerland and Greece.

After completing the testing campaign in Italy, the nEUROn will move to Visdel, Sweden, for weapons trials.

nEUROn left side top

Image credit: Alessandro Caglieri

 

You won’t believe this is NOT an F-117 Nighthawk stealth jet!

From a certain angle, the nEUROn drone is  an F-117 look-alike.

The image in this post was taken by The Aviationist’s contributor Roberto Zanda on Apr. 21. It shows the first example of the nEUROn UCAV (Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle), the full-scale technology demonstrator developed by France, Italy, Sweden, Spain, Switzerland and Greece, returning to Decimomannu airbase, Italy, at the end of test mission.

The European drone is involved in operational testing over the Perdasdefogu range, in Sardinia, before moving to Visdel, Sweden, for weapons trials.

We have often highlighted the loose resemblance of the new stealth combat drone to the American Northrop Grumman X-47B but this photo seems to prove the UCAV design was also inspired by the legendary Lockheed Martin F-117 Nighthawk stealth jet.

Image credit: Roberto Zanda

 

nEUROn European Stealth combat drone has started operational tests in Italy

nEUROn stealth UCAV has started testing its advanced sensors in Italy.

The first example of the nEUROn UCAV (Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle), the full-scale technology demonstrator developed by France, Italy, Sweden, Spain, Switzerland and Greece, has started a new testing phase in Sardinia.

After its roll out at Istres airbase in France, on Jan. 20, 2012, following five years of design, development, and static testing, the stealth combat drone (with a loosely resemblance to the Northrop Grumman X-47B) embarked on a three-year test campaign aimed at exploring the whole flight envelope of the UCAV.

According to Dassault, the prime contractor of the European project, the first phase of tests in France included the opening of the weapons bay and evaluation of the EO (Electro Optical) sensor and datalink.

The second phase of testing focused on the assessment of the IR (Infra Red) and EM (Electromagnetic) signature of the aircraft in full stealth configuration, and was successfully completed at Istres in February 2015. Subsequently, the UCAV technology demonstrator was disassembled and moved, as planned, to Decimomannu airbase, in Sardinia, Italy, where it will undergo operational testing in the Perdasdefogu range, before moving to Visdel, Sweden, for weapons trials.

The photos in this article were taken at Decimomannu airbase by photographers Giampaolo Mallei and Roberto Zanda as the aircraft recovered from one of its first sorties in Italy.

nEUROn Deci 2

Image credit: Giampaolo Mallei and Roberto Zanda

H/T to Giuseppe Stilo for providing additional details.

 

Close up video of the British Stealth Pole Model

Here’s an interesting video of the full size model of the BAE Replica mounted on a pole at BAe Warton facility, in the UK.

On Feb. 18, a full size model of the BAe Replica, a British stealth aircraft built in the 1990s for the development of the FOAS (Future Offensive Air System) was filmed at BAE Systems facilities at Warton, in Lancashire, England.

The aircraft was being moved to be installed, inverted, on a pole: the typical configuration used for testing the radar signature of a plane. Even the most secret planes have been their radar cross section tested while mounted inverted (and upright) on a pole, just like the British model.

The FOAS was a study aimed at finding a replacement for the RAF Tornado GR4 that was cancelled in 2005.

Whilst the F-35 is going to be replacement of the  Tornado GR4, the Taranis UCAV (Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle) a semi-autonomous pilotless system that will be able to carry a various types of weapons, including PGMs (Precision Guided Munitions) and air-to-air missiles, emerged as the eventual successor of the FOAS.

What remains unclear is what kind of tests the BAe Replica is supporting.

Considered that BAe is teamed with Lockheed Martin in the F-35 program, it may be something related to the Joint Strike Fighter: most probably nothing really sensitive, otherwise it would be done in the U.S. Or a domestic project for a low observable plane?

 

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Is this the shape of the new mysterious stealth jet spotted over Texas?

Some blurry pictures taken from the ground are all we know about a possibly new, unknown, U.S. stealth jet. Based on those images we have tried to figure out the shape of the mysterious plane.

On Mar. 10, 2014, three mysterious planes were spotted over Amarillo, Texas, by Steve Douglass, Dean Muskett and few fellow photographers.

The analysis of the photos shot by Douglass and Muskett showed something interesting: the aircraft was almost boomerang shaped and, based on the contrails, it was equipped with two engines (or at least two exhaust nozzles).

One of the images, seemed to show a loose resemblance with the B-2 “batwing” bomber, whereas another one, highlighted a shape reminiscent of an X-47B UCAV (Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle) killer drone.

As done years ago with the famous Stealth Black Hawk exposed by the Osama Bin Laden raid at Abbottabad, based on the grainy images available, I worked with artist Ugo Crisponi to create an image that melted the various details that could be guessed by the shots taken by Douglass and Muskett.

Therefore, the one you can see in this post is a possible shape of a large 6th Generation (probably manned) aircraft, seen over Amarillo; a Black Project, inspired by the B-2 Spirit and F-117 Nighthawk, with inputs from more recent UCAVs designs.

What do you think?

 

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