UCAV Program Completes Block 1 Ground and Flight Objectives

Released on Tuesday, March 4, 2003
DARPA - Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
SEAD - Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses
UCAV - Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle
USAF - United States Air Force
Boeing/DARPA have announced UCAV program successful completion of all ground and flight objectives for the first phase, or Block 1, of demonstrations. UCAV program is now ready to enter second phase.

During phase 1, the UCAV program completed 48 discrete laboratory, simulation and flight demonstrations. The demonstrations reduced risks related to the technologies, processes and system attributes of the UCAV objective system.

The two X-45A air vehicles involved in this program have completed a total of 16 flights and nearly 13 flight hours since May 2002.

The final Block 1 activities were demonstration flights to verify safe operation mode of the weapons bay door at altitudes of 35,000 feet and speeds up to 0.75 Mach.

Key Block 1 demonstrations included:

Assembly and disassembly of the UCAV wings for transport

Autonomous taxiing

Concept of operations demonstrations

Distributed control

Response to a loss of communication

4-D navigation

According to USAF plans, UCAV will be employed for attack missions, mainly SEAD. UCAV program/ UCAV objective system will achieve an initial experimental capability by 2008.


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