“The Beast of Kandahar” unveiled

December 1, 2009 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

d0be7a60-9f28-4607-9da4-098582b8dc41.FullBill Sweetman at Ares  points to the first revealed photo of the new classified UAV observed operating in Afghanistan:

The photo confirms that the previous artists’ impressions were largely accurate. The jet has long, slender outer wings, spanning as much as 80 feet, mated to a stouter, deeper centerbody with a pointed nose. One important detail:  the overwing fairings are not B-2-like inlets, but cover some kind of equipment – satcoms on one side, perhaps, and a sensor on the other.
The most likely provenance of the airframe is Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works, and it is very likely to be associated with the Desert Prowler program – unearthed by historian Peter Merlin and "patchologist" Trevor Paglen.