Sometime in the next few years the world’s most sophisticated drone prototypes will likely face off in what could be a multi-billion-dollar competition to shape the future of air warfare. And now we finally know what all four contestants look like.
On Friday number-one defense contractor Lockheed Martin released the first official teaser image of its Sea Ghost jet-powered killer drone. Along with previously-disclosed Unmanned Aerial Vehicle designs from rivals Boeing, Northrop Grumman and General Atomics, the Sea Ghost will go head to head for a Navy contract to put fast, stealthy, missile- and bomb-armed drones on the decks of aircraft carriers by 2018.
Plus, the Air Force is considering also buying whichever UAV the Navy picks for the so-called Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike requirement. The ‘bot that comes out on top in UCLASS could dominate the pilotless warplane business for a generation.