Militaryphotos.net has posted the clearest frontal view yet of the RQ-170, courtesy of the latest issue of Combat Aircraft monthly magazine. The US Air Force still refuses to release official photos of the Skunk Works project, so we have to rely on these shots from the aviation paparazzi. This particular shot appeared in the latest Combat Aircraft. More photos are available inside the magazine.
This photo offers the best view I’ve seen of the inlet and the hump (presumably, SATCOM antenna?) on the upper fuselage. It also provides a better perspective on the aircraft’s nose and leading edge. I’m still struggling to identify the aircraft’s true mission based on the photos. There is no visible payload, sensor or weapon, which is not surprising since this is a stealth aircraft.
Some day it would also be nice to know why the US Air Force pushed the RQ-170 Sentinel into production around the same time that it cancelled the competition between the Boeing X-45 and Northrop Grumman X-47 for the joint unmanned combat aircraft systems (J-UCAS) contract.
PHOTO: RQ-170 half-frontal view
By Stephen Trimble on 12 January, 2010 in Uncategorised
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