Friday, February 09, 2018

Ooops! That UAV that could provide close air support, escort and picket duty will cost alot more than expected!

I never noticed it but even in the concept pics this is a relatively large's got to rival the AH-1Z in weight and amount of deck space it consumes.

via USNI News.
The Marine Corps is reconsidering the requirements for its large amphibious ship-based unmanned aerial system (UAS), after early industry input showed the service was headed towards something too large and too expensive, the deputy commandant for combat development and integration told reporters today.

Lt. Gen. Robert Walsh said the Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) UAS Expeditionary (MUX) program proves why industry input during the requirements-generation process is so important. The MUX initial capabilities document (ICD) made its way through the Joint Requirements Oversight Council process in October 2016 because the Marines were able to prove they were seeking a capability not already found in the joint force – specifically, a large Group 4 or Group 5 UAS capable of operating from a ship or small expeditionary airfield and conducting intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions.

What the JROC failed to see, though, which industry has told the Marine Corps recently, is that the requirements lend themselves to an MV-22 Osprey-like vehicle in terms of size and cost, Walsh told reporters after speaking at the WEST 2018 event, cohosted by the U.S. Naval Institute and AFCEA.

The MUX program merges what used to be two requirements, and covers seven mission areas, USNI News has previously reported: MAGTF C4 (Command, Control, Communications and Computing with Spectrum Agile Data Routing); early warning; persistent fires; escort; electronic warfare; reconnaissance, intelligence, surveillance and target acquisition (RISTA); and tactical distribution.
Story here. 

Wow.  When Davis came out with his wishlist for this new UAV I thought it was ambitious.  Hell to be honest it sounded like the AH-1Z mission but with a scout role included (yeah I know ISR is longer lasting but you get the point).

Now?  Now it appears that they're saying the UAV will be even bigger than that. MV-22 sized and cost?

I guess the question now becomes how do you cobble together those capabilities with the use of different platforms and will it be cost effective.

They could stay the course but that will be another big ticket item.  I don't know if even the Marine Corps will be able to get Congress to bite on that.

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