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Old 02-07-2011, 07:21 PM
 
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Default US Navy on it's way to an unmanned carrier fighter

While the Chinese are developing their copied stealth fighter the US is working on it's 6th generation fighters...

Robot naval stealth fighter takes to the air - The Register

X-47B UCAS
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Old 02-07-2011, 07:42 PM
 
Location: Sarasota, Florida
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United States Ready To Deploy The Next Generation Of Unmanned Aerial Drone Aircraft.
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Old 02-08-2011, 11:04 AM
 
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The irony to me on this one is that given the capabilities of automated mid-air refueling you could end up completely negating the need for the carrier battlegroup to launch the things. It doesn't seem too far fetched that drones and "robo" planes operating from just the continental U.S. would be able to force project airpower whenever and wherever it was needed.
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Old 02-08-2011, 04:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
The irony to me on this one is that given the capabilities of automated mid-air refueling you could end up completely negating the need for the carrier battlegroup to launch the things. It doesn't seem too far fetched that drones and "robo" planes operating from just the continental U.S. would be able to force project airpower whenever and wherever it was needed.
And if the battle scenario requires multiple air strikes?

Are the planes going to fly from CONUS to wherever, drop their loads, fly back to get another weapons load and go back to drop another load?

I thought that's one of the main reasons why carriers existed, the ability to rearm planes close to the battle front....
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Old 02-08-2011, 04:04 PM
 
Location: Bike to Surf!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
The irony to me on this one is that given the capabilities of automated mid-air refueling you could end up completely negating the need for the carrier battlegroup to launch the things. It doesn't seem too far fetched that drones and "robo" planes operating from just the continental U.S. would be able to force project airpower whenever and wherever it was needed.
Flight time. Even supersonic, it takes a while to cross an ocean.
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Old 02-09-2011, 08:24 AM
 
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Go to the DARPA Wikipedia page. All sorts of cool stuff being developed.
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Old 02-09-2011, 08:30 AM
 
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At what point do fighter pilots become obsolete? I think we are getting pretty close.

How long until all aircraft are flown remotely? How about passenger jets? How would you feel getting on a 737 knowing the pilot is 1000 miles away in some secured office building?
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Old 02-09-2011, 01:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sponger42 View Post
Flight time. Even supersonic, it takes a while to cross an ocean.
Quote:
Originally Posted by plwhit View Post
And if the battle scenario requires multiple air strikes?

Are the planes going to fly from CONUS to wherever, drop their loads, fly back to get another weapons load and go back to drop another load?

I thought that's one of the main reasons why carriers existed, the ability to rearm planes close to the battle front....
I did actually think about this after I made the post and it does on the surface make sense to keep the carriers for that reason, however...

Given that the "drones" are capable of carrying far more payload since we are removing the pilot, ejection seat, etc. We have more weapons available per plane.

Add to that, how many drones can we buy/operate for the cost of building and maintaining a single carrier battlegroup? I would venture that the number would work out to the point that you could provide equal firepower flying multiple groups to and from the battlefield to re-arm and maintain at least the same presence, even over great distance. Not to mention, that we wouldn't be slaved to having to defend the carrier, which is nothing more than a giant floating target.
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Old 02-09-2011, 09:30 PM
 
Location: Southern California
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That's interesting. The Blue Angels will never be the same.

[let's make sure Skynet doesn't become self-aware...]
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Old 02-09-2011, 09:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
I did actually think about this after I made the post and it does on the surface make sense to keep the carriers for that reason, however...

Given that the "drones" are capable of carrying far more payload since we are removing the pilot, ejection seat, etc. We have more weapons available per plane.

Add to that, how many drones can we buy/operate for the cost of building and maintaining a single carrier battlegroup? I would venture that the number would work out to the point that you could provide equal firepower flying multiple groups to and from the battlefield to re-arm and maintain at least the same presence, even over great distance. Not to mention, that we wouldn't be slaved to having to defend the carrier, which is nothing more than a giant floating target.
And if there is a war where the military installations that control these unmanned fighter/bombers are taken out what do we do then with no battle groups?

A combo of both unmanned and a few battle groups makes the most sense.
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