After a development phase which lasted a mere two years (a really short time in this particular field), Boeing has just introduced its Phantom Ray, a new unmanned aircraft or UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) which brings together a variety of elements which make it one of a kind.
In fact, thanks to its video and imaging systems, and integrated satellite positioning, it can be used to gather information and intelligence from the sky, as well as for surveillance and enemy target reconnaissance operations. Furthermore, Phantom Ray can be equipped with conventional weaponry to attack targets on the ground, and can transmit radio waves in order to scramble enemy defense systems.
All of the above is combined with a Stealth type design, which makes it invisible for enemy radars, allowing it to fly undisturbed even at very long range, thanks to the possibility of using in-flight refueling.
Phantom ray has a wingspan of approximately 15 meters, and a length around 11, and has been developed by Boeing Phantom Works, a division of the Seattle giant dedicated to development of invisible aerial vehicles, and is based on a system which was created around 10 years ago for the J-UCAS (Joint Unmanned Combat Air System) in cooperation between the US navy and the US Air Force.
After the first test runs, which are supposed to take place during this summer, the Phantom Ray plane should start taking off before the end of the year, with the aim of becoming one of the standards in this particular field of military avionics, further increasing the automation of combat systems, thus increasing security (and diminishing risk) for ground personnel.