Lockheed Martin Skunk Works has posted a new marketing video featuring the VARIOUS (acronym alert: VTOL advanced reconnaissance insertion organic unmanned system). The video appears on YouTube on the eve of the AUVSI convention in Denver next week, where we expect to see the major UAV manufacturers address the US Navy's emerging requirement for a stealthy, carrier-based surveillance and strike aircraft called UCLASS.
VARIOUS is not a new concept. The fan-in-wing/jet-powered hybrid was originally described as a next generation Fire Scout for the US Marine Corps. The USMC, however, is rethinking whether it needs vertical takeoff capability for a "Group 4"-level UAS. Lockheed may seek to re-apply VARIOUS to the UCLASS program.