Requirements are expected to demand that each carrier be able to conduct two 24-hr. Uclass orbits at once; this translates to at least four aircraft of Lockheed Martin’s design; one additional aircraft could be required as a backup.
Specific payload needs have not been outlined by the Navy. But Ruszkowski says that Lockheed is expecting to include a standard electro-optical/infrared/laser designator system capable of collecting full-motion video, as well as the ability to carry the 250-lb. Small Diameter Bomb, and possibly the 500-lb. Joint Direct Attack Munition.
A multispectral — or possibly hyperspectral — payload is also being considered. An intelligence-collecting radar, however, is not being eyed for a threshold capability.