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J-UCAS Takes Another Hit

Hot on the heels of the Air Force's February withdrawal from the Joint Unmanned Combat Air System (J-UCAS) and the Navy's takeover of the promising program, the attack drone is about to take another hit.X-47B Over CV.jpg"[A] co-worker who has good friend in the congressional budget office says the UCAS-D (as they call J-UCAS now) is headed for a $200 million plus cut next year," reports a Defense Tech source.What this will mean for Boeing and Northrop Grumman (each of which is building demonstrators) remains to be seen.Then there's this puzzling piece of news from the Farnborough air show, as reported by Flight International:

The U.S. Navy has begun studying the need for a new stealthy strike aircraft -- a mission that was once to have been performed by the A-12, cancelled in 1991. "They will do a formal analysis of alternatives at some point," says Chris Chadwick, Boeing vice- president and general manager global strike systems.
This is another stealth strike aircraft on top of the Lockheed Martin F-35C Lightning? Will it be manned? Is this just another repackaging of N-UCAS, like what the Air Force did in turning J-UCAS into its new Long Range Strike study?Color me confused.--David Axe
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