Warplanes: July 13, 2005

Archives

The Department of Defense now wants its first unmanned combat aircraft to able to refuel in the air. This aircraft, the X-45C, weighs 19 tons, has a 2.2 ton payload and is 39 feet long (with a 49 foot wingspan.) Officially, its called JUCAS (Joint Unmanned Combat Air System), because the navy and air force will both use it. The X-45C has a combat radius of 2,300 kilometers, or can go out 1,800 kilometers, hang around for two hours, and return. The X-45C can stay in the air for about six hours on internal fuel. Since it doesnt carry a pilot, aerial refueling can be done several times if theres a need to keep the aircraft up there, and there are no equipment problems. Electronic aids for aerial refueling have made the procedure increasingly automated. The X-45C will demonstrate just how far the automation has come. The engineers believe that robotic aerial refueling won't be a big problem.  The first X-45C is still under construction, and wont fly until 2007. Meanwhile, smaller versions, like the X-45A, are being used to test the new software needed to make UCAVs work in a combat environment. The X-45X is a joint U.S. Air Force/Navy project. 

 


Article Archive

Warplanes: Current 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close