The E-3 radar aircraft is large, slow and full of expensively trained humans. My idea to to take the already prototyped X-47 B drone and modify it into the Battle Raven concept. Two units would be assigned to each Aircraft Battle Group for the Navy and each Air Battle Wing for the Air Force.
- Each drone would have its "stealth" skin replaced with standard aluminum aircraft skin panels. This is a major cost saving.
- Ejectable wing fuel tanks would be added to the drone for maximum air time.
- The X-47B has two weapons bays. Keep one and fill it with Air to Air missiles to protect itself with. The other bay would have the most powerful radar system that the drone can carry. ISAR radar panels can be placed almost anywhere on the drone to provide 360 degree coverage.
Now you only require one pilot and one radar tech to operate the drone from anywhere, but inside the drone.