Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS)
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The Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) is a Navy program aimed at developing an unmanned fixed-wing aircraft that could operate off of carrier decks alongside manned aircraft, the first such platform that would be able to do that. UCLASS would provide persistent sea-based intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) as well as have precision strike capabilities. Development of UCLASS would involve not only creating an air vehicle that could meet these qualifications, but also modifications to aircraft carrier infrastructure and command and control to accommodate a radically different type of platform. (Source: Government Accountability Office, page 149)
Its predecessor is the Unmanned Combat Air System-Demonstration (UCAS-D) aircraft, a Northrop Grumman-built X-47B aircraft that is used to test various technologies such as carrier-based operations and mid-air refueling that will be critical to the UCLASS program.
- Northrop Grumman X-47B
- Boeing X-45A Phantom Ray
- General Atomics Sea Avenger
- Lockheed Martin Sea Ghost
TOTAL PROJECTED INVENTORY
Not available; program still in development.