Type: remotely-piloted, blended wing-body all-composite target
Powerplant: 1 x P&W F100-200
Significant date: unknown
BAE Systems (formerly Tracor Systems and Sandia) employs nearly 500 persons at plants in Palmdale and Mojave, delivering commercial and military aircraft modifications, building target drone aircraft and producing commercial aircraft wings and other components. Together with Scaled Composites, they have studied a possible future target with blended wing-body configuration and an all-composite airframe. This study is in direct answer to a report from the Defense Science Board Task Force on aerial targets published in 2005.
The conclusions of the Task Force was twofold: On the one hand, it insists the the Air Force ought to quickly develop a drone replacement for the QF-4 using an existing aircraft platform, while on the other hand, it has emphasized the importance of immediately beginning a concept demonstration of a new, unmanned, full-scale drone that could capture important features of advanced fighter-size aircraft. "A modest investment here will serve to sort out the possible approaches and put us on a path to produce the next-generation full-scale drone to deal with testing against advanced aircraft."
Early depictions of the BAE Systems/Scaled target showed a design that was not unlike a shortened pilotless F-23 with cropped wingtips. It would appear that these images may have been circulated as a decoy to conceal the true design. Indeed, the three photos on the right have never been published anywhere before and are exclusive to STARGAZER. According to a program insider, they depict the real design that was considered when the program was still active.
Population: not built