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Lockheed TR-X


Unmanned Stealth Aircraft Proposal


Aviation / Aerospace

The Lockheed TR-X is a proposed stealth UAV intended to succeed the aging line of U-2 spyplanes and expensive Northtrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk UAVs.



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 5/21/2018 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com
The United States Air Force (USAF) is seeking to retire its aging line of Lockheed U-2 spy planes as soon as 2019 but this leaves a noticeable hole in the service's conventional high-altitude tactical reconnaissance section - the only other viable alternative remains the expensive Northrop Grumman RQ-4 "Global Hawk" line. In response, Lockheed has drawn up plans for the "TR-X", a stealth-minded unmanned air vehicle to take the place of the storied U-2 in the USAF inventory. The new air vehicle will be developed along the same mission lines as the U-2 - namely Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (IRS) missions - and operate at altitudes around 70,000 feet to steer clear of most enemy air defenses and interceptors.

It is expected that the design will carry the same (or similar) powerplant as the outgoing U-2, making it subsonic in flight, and stealth features proven on other Lockheed products (including the F-22 and F-35 aircraft) will heavily influence the overall design of the aircraft. Current conceptual artwork showcases a black design form with swept-back wing mainplanes, outward-cranked tail fins, and a dorsal intake set aft of the nose. All mission equipment will be held internally with a modular payload capability being built-in. Support for existing U-2 and RQ-4 equipment will also play into the new design.

As it stands, Lockheed foresees an initial batch of thirty TR-X unmanned stealth aircraft to succeed the U-2 in USAF service (the new product will also threaten the competing unmanned RQ-4 which is a conventional - non-stealthy- design). The TR-X foray by Lockheed marks its first entry into the realm of unmanned stealth aircraft since the cancelled RQ-3 "Darkstar" (detailed elsewhere on this site). Early modest estimates call for about $3.8 billion in spending to bring the TR-X about.

It remains a realistic prospect that the U-2 will continue in operational service into the 2020s despite the expected 2019 retirement date.

All presented figures showcased below are pure estimates on the part of the author and based on current U-2 capabilities.


Specifications



Year:
2025
Status
In-Development
Crew
0
[ 0 Units ] :
Lockheed Martin - USA
National flag of United States United States (assumed)
- Reconnaissance (RECCE)
- X-Plane / Developmental
- Unmanned
Length:
52.49 ft (16 m)
Width:
68.90 ft (21 m)
Height:
14.76 ft (4.5 m)
(Showcased structural dimension values pertain to the Lockheed TR-X production model)
Empty Weight:
12,125 lb (5,500 kg)
(Showcased weight values pertain to the Lockheed TR-X production model)
1 x General Electric F118 turbofan engine (or similar) developing an estimated 20,000lb of thrust.
(Showcased powerplant information pertains to the Lockheed TR-X production model)
Max Speed:
497 mph (800 kph; 432 kts)
Service Ceiling:
69,882 feet (21,300 m; 13.24 miles)
Max Range:
6,400 miles (10,300 km; 5,562 nm)
(Showcased performance values pertain to the Lockheed TR-X production model; Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database)
None. Mission equipment will include that as found on the U-2 and RQ-4 platforms, mainly sensors and other tracking / data components.
(Showcased armament details pertain to the Lockheed TR-X production model)
TR-X - Base Project Designation
UQ-2 - Alternative name
RQ-X - Alternative name
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