Aug 1, 2014
UCLASS Requirements Shifted To Preserve Navy’s Next Generation Fighter
In particular, the change in UCLASS from a deep strike stealthy penetrator into the current lightly armed intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) focused aircraft was — in large part — to preserve a manned version of the F/A-XX replacement for the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.
Industry, Pentagon and Navy sources outlined a, “bureaucratic and cultural resistance to the introduction of unmanned aircraft onto the carrier.”
Those sources outline a conflict inside the service between naval aviation traditionalists locked onto preserving manned strike aircraft against separate elements that want to shift more of the burden of strike to unmanned systems.