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DARPA Awards Funding For X-45 Portion Of Joint Unmanned Combat Air Systems

The X-45C.

Arlington VA (SPX) Jul 19, 2005
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded Boeing Company, McDonnell Douglas Corp., St. Louis, Mo., $174, 993,367 to continue the X-45C portion of the Joint Unmanned Combat Air Systems (J-UCAS) demonstration program.

Under the newly awarded funding, Boeing will conduct a robust autonomous aerial refueling (AAR) demonstration and extend the current flight test effort by 18 months.

Additionally, Boeing will continue with the full scope of their previously awarded efforts while maintaining the first flight schedule for the first two X-45C vehicles. In parallel with this new funding, the J-UCAS program office is also studying several options proposed by Boeing. These include a robust aircraft carrier-based demonstrator and additional surveillance/reconnaissance-oriented capabilities.

"The X-45 program continues to fuel J-UCAS' aggressive pace toward satisfying the desires of the U.S Air Force and Navy," said CAPT Ralph Alderson, USN, DARPA's program manager for the X-45. "In addition, the new AAR work stands to establish another aviation first for the JUCAS program with the demonstration of full AAR capability within this decade."

The J-UCAS program is a joint DARPA/U.S. Air Force/U.S. Navy effort to demonstrate the technical feasibility, military utility, and operational value of a networked system of highperformance, weaponized, unmanned air vehicles to effectively and affordably execute combat missions.

The X-45 portion of the program will combine advanced air vehicle hardware, including integrated sensors, communication, navigation equipment and low-observability features with the J-UCAS Common Operating System to demonstrate the capabilities of the J-UCAS system in realistic mission scenarios.

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Global Hawk System Reaches 7,000th Flight Hours In Combat
San Diego CA (SPX) Jul 18, 2005
Northrop Grumman's RQ-4 Global Hawk prototype UAV system has reached its 7,000th total flight hour on June 22 during a combat mission supporting the global war on terrorism. The U.S. Air Force's fleet of Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) has now flown more than 4,300 hours in combat.

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