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Lockheed TR-X

Unmanned Stealth Aircraft Proposal [ 2025 ]

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: 05/21/2018 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

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.©MilitaryFactory.com
Note: The above text is EXCLUSIVE to the site www.MilitaryFactory.com. It is the product of many hours of research and work made possible with the help of contributors, veterans, insiders, and topic specialists. If you happen upon this text anywhere else on the internet or in print, please let us know at MilitaryFactory AT gmail DOT com so that we may take appropriate action against the offender / offending site and continue to protect this original work.


Service Year

United States national flag graphic
United States

Program in Progress.

National flag of the United States United States (assumed)
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
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.
Unmanned Capability
Aircraft inherently designed (or later developed) with an unmanned capability to cover a variety of over-battlefield roles.

52.5 ft
(16.00 m)
68.9 ft
(21.00 m)
14.8 ft
(4.50 m)
Empty Wgt
12,125 lb
(5,500 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the base Lockheed TR-X production variant)
Installed: 1 x General Electric F118 turbofan engine (or similar) developing an estimated 20,000lb of thrust.
Max Speed
497 mph
(800 kph | 432 kts)
69,882 ft
(21,300 m | 13 mi)
6,400 mi
(10,300 km | 19,076 nm)

♦ MACH Regime (Sonic)
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030

(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the base Lockheed TR-X 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)
None. Mission equipment will include that as found on the U-2 and RQ-4 platforms, mainly sensors and other tracking / data components.

Supported Types

(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)
TR-X - Base Project Designation
UQ-2 - Alternative name
RQ-X - Alternative name

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Images Gallery

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Image of the Lockheed TR-X
Image from official Lockheed Martin marketing material.


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