Lockheed Martin's Advanced Development Programmes division has made public details of the all-composite long-range high altitude P-175 Polecat unmanned air vehicle (UAV) programme.

The division, also known as Skunk Works, released a photograph (below) of the Polecat high altitude unmanned aerial demonstrator flying over "a remote desert location." The Polecat UAV is a blended wingbody aircraft that appears to be a miniaturised version of the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber. The UAV will be developed for sustained high altitude operations, the company says.

Skunk Works is also exploring low-boom technologies to permit supersonic flights over land and global reach for the Polecat.

The tailless P-175 UAV started development 18 months ago with internal funding to demonstrate the company's ability to develop prototypes cheaper and quicker than previously.

Polecat is in support of ongoing research for the US Air Force's long range strike programme, says Frank Cappucino, executive vice president and general manager of Advanced Development programmes and strategic planning.

Skunk Works is responsible for the integrated front-end development of new and innovative technologies.

Polecat Lockheed Martin W445

Source: Flight International