Industry Looking for Design ‘Sweet Spot’ for MQ-25A Stingray

Discussion in 'Defense Industry & Policy' started by Pathfinder, Aug 21, 2016.

Share This Page

  1. Pathfinder

    Pathfinder Lieutenant Colonel

    Dec 17, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Navy, Industry Looking for Design ‘Sweet Spot’ for MQ-25A Stingray


    By: Sam LaGrone
    August 18, 2016 5:06 PM • Updated: August 19, 2016 11:40 AM

    The problem that industry and the service are dealing with is the ISR and the tanking mission inherently requires two very different types of aircraft shapes or planforms, Shoemaker said.

    A primarily ISR UAV would be a high-endurance platform “probably not carry a lot of fuel, have a large wingspan,” to be an efficient platform, Shoemaker said.

    For example, the highflying Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton UAV is built with a 131 foot wingspan and can fly unrefueled for up to 30 hours.

    “If you’re going to be a tanker at range, you’re obliviously going to have to be able to carry a fair amount of fuel internal to the platform. That drives the different design for those two,” he said.
    ”So the industry is working on an analysis of where that sweet spot is to do both of those missions.”

    Without mentioning specific companies, Shoemaker said there were some existing planforms that could serve as a baseline for the MQ-25A design.

    More here:
    Parikrama, surya kiran, AMDR and 2 others like this.
  2. surya kiran

    surya kiran 2nd Lieutenant

    Jun 20, 2016
    Likes Received:
    I think, one also needs to consider that, this may in turn fuel other UAVs. My naive assumption, is that, UAVs consume less fuel than manned aircraft. Hence, the quantum of fuel carried may vary?
    Pathfinder likes this.
  3. Technofox

    Technofox That Norwegian girl Staff Member Ret. Military Developer

    Oct 8, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Professional "Doer" of "Things"
    Being a geek
    It definitely will, especially as UAVs gain prominence in both the USAF and USN. Should a strike variant of Stingray it's not unlikely we'd be seeing this in the future:



    NASA showed the concept worked, now it's time to put it into action.

    I wonder if the same concept can be used for naval ships or ASVs? Current ASVs tend to be near shore and their designs aren't suited ocean operations:

    But autonomous ocean going vessels are being developed:

    Rather then return to their mothership for replenishment every so often, perhaps an autonomous refueling node could be developed to extend their range?

    I've also favored replenishment buoys placed at strategic locations. With fuel, munitions or vitals they could serve as a quick replenishment option that would alleviate the necessity of waiting for or putting in danger of dedicated naval replenishment ships.

    If it works in the air, I can't see why nerds like me can't do it at sea either.

    Might even work underwater:D.
    Pathfinder and surya kiran like this.