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June 01, 2007

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Bill Sweetman

Scoop!
It's remarkable how far J-UCAS got before the Navy and the USAF split up.
Alert readers should also note the deep bands of yellow-colored structure (looks a bit like Kevlar) around the edges. That's radar-absorbent structure, and a lot of it. Combined with the flying wing shape - and J-UCAS program director Mike Francis used to say that an all-wing would beat a tailed shape for all-aspect, wideband stealth, any day of the week - and you've got a radar cross section (RCS) in the small-bug realm. And remember, too, that the same low-observables (LO) team did the Bird of Prey, designed to test techniques for visual LO. All in all, this thing is much stealthier than an F-22 or JSF.

dave fulghum

The X-45N will have a belly-bulge to support forward looking sensors, so it will be interesting to see how they tackle the problem of low RCS on those apertures.

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