Lockheed Martin has hinted at plans for a new UAV carrier combat aircraft, known as the UCLASS Sea Ghost. This makes the American defense contractor the fourth contender for the U.S. Navy’s unmanned carrier combat aircraft contract, joining Northrop’s X-47B, Boeing’s Phantom Ray and General Atomic’s Sea Avenger.
Lockheed Martin isn’t revealing too much about the Sea Ghost, but a released concept image shows a streamlined, blended-wing UAV with a silhouette and a hatch that are obviously designed with stealth technology and the nose has a jet intake where the pilot’s cockpit would be in a manned version. Other than that, nothing about what’s inside the hull is known.
However, Lockheed Martin has dropped some very broad and vague hints by saying that the Sea Ghost draws on the company’s work on the Joint Strike Fighter F-35C, the RQ-170 Sentinel Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) and other Navy programs. The company also says that the Sea Ghost will be carrier based and will include Persistent Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) and light strike combat capability.
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