Today, Etopia News, in pursuit of answers to the intertwined questions of the UCLASS’s capabilities and its status under a proposed ban on killer robots, sent out e-mails to the four potential contractors for the UCLASS air vehicle segment, asking them:
1. Do you want the RFP for UCLASS to specify a penetrating, stealthy, war-fighting configuration, or one focused on ISR?
2. Is your company concerned that a high-end capable UCLASS would run afoul of the proposed ban on “autonomous lethal weapons systems” or “killer robots” being sought by the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, which is being administered by Human Rights Watch and about which you can learn more at:
The one sent to Lockheed Martin bounced, and the ones to Northrop Grumman and General Atomics have not yet elicited a response, but Boeing wrote back, saying:
“Boeing is competing for UCLASS, but due to the competitive nature of the program, we are not prepared to discuss details of our work at this time. I can tell you that Boeing will give the U.S. Navy an affordable UCLASS solution that can provide a persistent Carrier Vessel Nuclear (CVN)-based Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) and strike capability supporting 24/7 carrier operational coverage. Boeing has more than 90 years of naval aviation experience including delivering carrier based aircraft to the U.S. Navy. Additionally, Boeing's capabilities-based approach and rapid prototyping allows us to create an affordable, low-risk solution for our customer.”