The United States Navy's "Unmanned, Carrier-Launched, Airborne Surveillance and Strike" (UCLASS) program was launched to deliver a viable, carrier-based UAV combat system capable of working in concert with existing naval aircraft and systems. The UCLASS vehicle is expected to take on a myriad of roles once reserved for manned aircraft systems including intelligence gathering, aerial reconnaissance, targeting and light strike capabilities. The UCLASS program is expected to announce a contract sometime in the third quarter of fiscal year 2015.
To that end, General Atomics, recognized worldwide by its popular "Predator" series of unmanned aircraft, has begun development of a demonstrator in the mold of their emerging Avenger line ("Predator C") for the United States Air Force. This new variant has been called "Sea Avenger" and is expected to be dimensionally larger than its land-based predecessor, appropriately modified for the rigors of at-sea operation. The aircraft will make use of a jet engine buried within the contours of its fuselage and stealth characteristics will be applied where possible. Additionally, a sensor package will be retractable into the fuselage for stealth and communications will be handled via satellite - coordinated with existing USN systems and hardware. The enlarged nature of the Sea Avenger will also promote greater internal volume for larger munitions than seen in the Avenger product. Beyond its internal weapons bays, the drone will feature external hardpoints as well and one concept is of a "buddy" in-flight refueling aircraft to serve accompanying fighters.
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(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
✓Ground Attack (Bombing, Strafing)
Ability to conduct aerial bombing of ground targets by way of (but not limited to) guns, bombs, missiles, rockets, and the like.
✓Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR), Scout
Surveil ground targets / target areas to assess environmental threat levels, enemy strength, or enemy movement.
✓X-Plane (Developmental, Prototype, Technology Demonstrator)
Aircraft developed for the role of prototyping, technology demonstration, or research / data collection.
Aircraft inherently designed (or later developed) with an unmanned capability to cover a variety of over-battlefield roles.
55.0 ft (16.76 m)
75.0 ft (22.86 m)
29,983 lb (13,600 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the base General Atomics Sea Avenger production variant)
1 x Pratt & Whitney Canada PW545B turbofan engine developing 6,400 lb of thrust (estimated).
(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the base General Atomics Sea Avenger production variant. Performance specifications showcased above are subject to environmental factors as well as aircraft configuration. Estimates are made when Real Data not available. Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database or View aircraft by powerplant type)
Internal weapons bay for air-to-surface guided/homing missiles or precision-guided drop bombs.
(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)
Sea Avenger - Base Series Designation
Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective aerial campaigns / operations / aviation periods.
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