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Lockheed TR-X

United States (2025)
Picture of Lockheed TR-X Unmanned Stealth Aircraft Proposal

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.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Lockheed TR-X Unmanned Stealth Aircraft Proposal.  Entry last updated on 5/21/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. 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.

Any available statistics for the Lockheed TR-X Unmanned Stealth Aircraft Proposal are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering country-of-origin, operational status, manufacture(s) and total quantitative production. Other qualities showcased are related to structural values (namely dimensions), installed power and standard day performance figures, installed or proposed armament and mission equipment (if any), global users (from A-to-Z) and series model variants (if any).






Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 500mph
Lo: 250mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (497mph).

    Graph average of 375 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Lockheed TR-X's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
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Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
0
0


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
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National Flag Graphic
Origin: United States
Year: 2025
Type: Unmanned Stealth Aircraft Proposal
Manufacturer(s): Lockheed Martin - USA
Production: 0
Status: In-Development
Global Operators:
United States (assumed)
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Lockheed TR-X model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
0


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
52.49 ft


Meters
16 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
68.90 ft


Meters
21 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
14.76 ft


Meters
4.5 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
12,125 lb


Kilograms
5,500 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x General Electric F118 turbofan engine (or similar) developing an estimated 20,000lb of thrust.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
497 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
800 kph


Knots
432 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
6,400 mi


Kilometers
10,300 km


Nautical Miles
5,562 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
69,882 ft


Meters
21,300 m


Miles
13.24 mi

Armament - Hardpoints (0):

None. Mission equipment will include that as found on the U-2 and RQ-4 platforms, mainly sensors and other tracking / data components.
Variants: Series Model Variants
• TR-X - Base Project Designation
• UQ-2 - Alternative name
• RQ-X - Alternative name