From scepticism to Sine Quan Non.The military drone arena is progressing rapidly, in terms of both technological capability and the dollar value of the business. According to the US Department of Defense "UAV UAV Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
UAV Unmanned Air Vehicle
UAV Unmanned Aerospace Vehicle
UAV Unmanned Airborne Vehicle
UAV Uninhabited Air Vehicle
UAV Urban Assault Vehicle
UAV Unpiloted Aerial Vehicle (less common) Roadmap 2002-2027", about now we should expect to see (for example) a diesel-powered tactical drone fielded, and one that is inaudible beyond 150 metres. Its sensor payload should be capable of identifying individuals at 7.5 km, and within two years it should be able to detect targets hidden under trees. Its datalink should be able to relay the entire comint spectrum in real time. The following report summarises recent developments in each drone category.
The first drones were targets for air defence systems, and this category remains a significant part of the aerospace business. At the lower end, lightweight piston-engined drones such as the Eads-Cac Fox TS1 and TS3 still serve in the development of short-range air defences and in the training of operators (although they no longer seem to be strongly promoted by Eads).
The latest propeller-driven target produced by Meggitt Defence Systems is the 210 kg Voodoo, powered by a 108 kW engine. However, sales continue with the 17-year old, 95 kg Banshee banshee
female specter, harbinger of death. [Irish and Welsh Myth.: Walsh Classical, 45]
See : Death
spirit with one nostril, a large projecting front tooth, and webbed feet. , equipped with a 18.6 or 37 kW engine, as evidenced by an order in 2004 by the Finnish Armed Forces. Over 5000 Banshees have been sold to 40 countries. In 2001 it was announced that Meggitt and Cobham (which includes FR Aviation) were forming a joint venture, Integrated Target Services, to provide a complete solution to aerial target needs.
The mother of all jet-powered target drones was the Ryan (later Teledyne Ryan Aeronautical aer·o·nau·tic also aer·o·nau·ti·cal
Of or relating to aeronautics.
aero·nau , now part of Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems) Model 147, which in 1948 won a contest that resulted in the AQM/BQM-34 Firebee and led to the production of over 7000 units. For the 2003 invasion of Iraq, five Firebees (two were ground-launched and three air-launched from the sole surviving US Navy DC-130A) were equipped with GPS navigation and used to drop chaff chaff
1. chaffed hay; called also chop.
2. the winnowings from a threshing, consisting of awns, husks, glumes and other relatively indigestible materials. over Baghdad. Interestingly, this project is reported to have been a by-product by·prod·uct or by-prod·uct
1. Something produced in the making of something else.
2. A secondary result; a side effect.
1. of a Special Operations Command A subordinate unified or other joint command established by a joint force commander to plan, coordinate, conduct, and support joint special operations within the joint force commander's assigned operational area. Also called SOC. See also special operations. investigation into the use of drones to resupply re·sup·ply
tr.v. re·sup·plied, re·sup·ply·ing, re·sup·plies
To provide with fresh supplies, as of weapons and ammunition.
re otherwise inaccessible ground units.
From the 1960s the Firebee was supplemented in US Navy service by the same company's BQM/MQM-74, named Chukar chukar
Popular small game bird (Alectoris chukar), a species of partridge. Stocked in many countries, it is native from southeastern Europe to India and Manchuria. It has a brown back with strongly barred sides and a black-outlined whitish throat. in the export market. Over 7500 have been produced. The BQM-74E version was introduced into service by the Navy in 1993 is currently being produced at a rate of ten per month and a further contract for an additional 60 have been awarded in April 2005 to the tune of $48.2 million with an option for another 60 for delivery in 2007. In December 2003 the service awarded Northrop Grumman a contract to upgrade its BQM-34 Firebee fleet with the control and guidance system of the BQM-74E Chukar. The BQM-74F is an extensively redesigned development, with longer range and an increased speed (Mach 0.92) and manoeuvrability Noun 1. manoeuvrability - the quality of being maneuverable
mobility - the quality of moving freely
weatherliness - (of a sailing vessel) the quality of being able to sail close to the wind with little drift to the leeward (even in a . Its maiden flight is planned for the latter half of 2005.
The US Army's equivalent of the Firebee and the Chukar is the Raytheon/ Composite Engineering MQM-107A Streaker, a 664-kg ground-launched drone with a 4.43 kN Microturbo Tri-60 engine. Since 1977 the service has used it in the development, testing and training of crews for the Patriot, Pac-3, Improved Hawk and Stinger air defence systems. Since 1984 the US Air Force has used the MQM-107B in air-to-air firings of the Sidewinder sidewinder, common name for a rattlesnake, Crotalus cerastes, found in the deserts of the SW United States. This 2-ft (60-cm), pale yellow and pink snake is named for its curious method of locomotion. , Sparrow and Amraam missiles. The latest version is the MQM MQM Muttahida Quami Movement (Pakistan)
MQM Mohajir Qaumi Movement (Karachi/Hyderabad, Pakistan)
MQM Message Queuing Middleware
MQM Medallion Qualification Miles (Delta Skymiles) 107E, for which a contract was placed in 1994 with Tracor, which is now part of BAE Systems.
In July 2002 the Composite Engineering Skeeter skee·ter
n. Chiefly Southern U.S.
See mosquito. See Regional Note at possum.
[Shortening and alteration of mosquito.] was selected by the US Air Force as the basis for its next generation BQM-167A Air Force Subscale Aerial Target (Afsat), to replace the BQM-34A and MQM-107D/E D/E Depression/Elevation (Angle) . The Skeeter had flown in 2001, and the BQM-167A had its maiden flight on 8 December 2004. It will provide a maximum speed of Mach 0.91 and cruise at an altitude between 20 ft and 50,000 ft. CEi is producing 50 per year under a seven-year US Air Force contract. Boeing is reported to be studying a BGM-167 multi-role derivative, weighing around 900 kg in ground-launched form, and carrying (for example) two Hellfire hell·fire
The fire of hell, considered as punishment for sinners.
the torment of hell, imagined as eternal fire
Noun 1. missiles or an electronic attack payload.
The latest European subsonic sub·son·ic
1. Of less than audible frequency.
2. Having a speed less than that of sound in a designated medium.
Adjective targets include the Dornier-Eads single-engined Do-DT25 and twin-jet Do-DT35 drones, both of which completed qualification trials in 2004. The German armed forces will use both types in the training of Stinger, Roland and Patriot units. Meanwhile, Galileo Avionica is developing the jet-powered Locusta mini-target to be released from a primary target drone such as the Meteor Mirach 100. The 20 kg Locusta is proposed as a secondary target for use with air defence systems that are intended to destroy with a direct hit.
The US Navy's standard high altitude supersonic target is the air-launched, non-reusable, rocket-propelled Raytheon/ Composite Engineering AQM-37. The original AQM-37A weighed 256 kg at launch and was capable of climbing to 80,000 ft. The AQM-37C weighs 280 kg and reaches 100,000 ft. The latest AQM-37D is capable of Mach 4.6 at 115,000 ft. The series is employed by the US Navy to simulate supersonic and ballistic missile threats, and has been exported to France, Israel, Italy and Britain. Over 5000 AQM-37s have been produced, and the AQM-37C/D is still enjoying limited production for the US Navy.
For several years the US Navy has had a requirement for a target to represent the Raduga 3M80/82 Moskit (SS-N-22 Sunburn sunburn, inflammation of the skin caused by actinic rays from the sun or artificial sources. Moderate exposure to ultraviolet radiation is followed by a red blush, but severe exposure may result in blisters, pain, and constitutional symptoms. ) anti-ship missile in testing the Evolved Sea Sparrow and Standard Missiles. The Moskit has a range of 120 km and a cruise speed of Mach 2.5. In June 2000 Orbital Sciences was awarded the EMD EMD Electromechanical dissociation, see there (Engineering and Manufacturing Development) contract for the Supersonic Sea-Skimming Target (SSST SSST Southeastern Symposium on System Theory
SSST Supersonic Sea Skimming Target
SSST Short Scottish Secure Tenancy (Scottish law)
SSST Stealth Satellite System Terminator
SSST Space Station Systems Trainer ) system.
The resulting GQM-163A Coyote is launched by a tandem rocket booster from a Standard Missile, and powered by a solid-fuel ducted rocket developed by Atlantic Research. It is designed to cruise for 100 km at Mach 2.5 at a height of 16 ft, and then descend to 13 ft for the 20 km terminal phase, which is flown at Mach 2.3. It is capable of 13.9-G manoeuvres. The avionics are derived from those of the Raytheon AQM-37D target. The first flight by one of six test vehicles took place on 18 May 2004. The contract included options on a further 90 operational systems through 2006.
The project that lost to the Coyote was a Boeing proposal to develop an extended-range version of the MA-31 target variant of the Zvezda-Strela (later Tactical Missiles Corp) Kh-31A air-launched anti-ship missile. This has been in service with the Russian Air Force The Russian Air Force (Russian: Военно-воздушные cилы России, transliteration: Voyenno-vozdushnye sily Rossii since 1988, and is capable of Mach 2.5 at sea level.
The 600 kg MA-31 target first flew in 1996, and Boeing has delivered at least 61 to the US Navy. There are reports of a further 41 being negotiated.
The US Navy is studying target systems for testing the Raytheon SM-6 Extended Range Active Missile, emulating the threat posed by the two-stage Novator 3M54E (SS-N-27), which has already been exported. This has a range of up to 220 km, largely cruising subsonically at low level. For the 20 km terminal phase it pops up to check the target position, then detaches a rocket-powered 'dart', which attacks the ship at Mach 2.9 and a height of less than 30 ft.
The air-launched decoy DECOY. A pond used for the breeding and maintenance of water-fowl. 11 Mod. 74, 130; S. C. 3 Salk. 9; Holt, 14 11 East, 571. drone is an important element in reducing the effectiveness of air defence systems. The leader in this field was Brunswick Defense, which developed the Samson swing-wing glide vehicle. This was license manufactured by Israel Military Industries (IMI IMI International Masonry Institute (Washington, DC)
IMI Israel Military Industries
IMI Institute of the Motor Industry
IMI International Market Insight
IMI Imposto Municipal Sobre Imóveis (Portugal) ) in the early 1980s, and around 2000 Samsons were supplied to the US Navy by Brunswick. The improved ADM-141A Tald (Tactical Air-Launched Decoy) was then produced for the US Navy, entering service in 1987. Brunswick subsequently left the decoy business, and from 1996 the Tald became the responsibility of Israel Military Industries. The Tald has a gliding range of up to 100 km, and over 100 Talds were used in the 1991 Gulf War. The United Kingdom may acquire some surplus US Navy Talds for use on the Harrier GR7/9.
The ADM-141D Improved Tald (Itald) has a 0.79 kN Teledyne Continental J700-CA-400 turbojet turbojet: see turbine.
Jet engine in which a turbine-driven compressor draws in and compresses air, forcing it into a combustion chamber into which fuel is injected. , and a range of up to 280 km. It first flew in 1996, and the F/A-18 can carry up to 20 units. The chaff-dispensing version weighs 172 kg and the jammer 181 kg. IMI is upgrading US Navy stocks of around 6000 Talds to Itald standard and has recently teamed with Northrop Grumman to further develop the concept.
In 2003 the US Air Force selected Raytheon for its low-cost Miniature Air-Launched Decoy (Mald), which is currently in the SDD (Software Design Description) The architecture of an information system. See IDD. (System Development and Demonstration) phase. It is due to fly in 2006 and will be used initially on the F16 and B-52. The Maid is a swing-wing 115-kg air vehicle with a 0.67 kN Hamilton Sundstrand TJ-150 engine, which was made possible by Darpa's Sengap (Small Engine Advanced Program). It is to cruise at Mach 0.91 at 40,000 ft and provoke 'double-digit' air defence systems (i.e., SA-10 and above) into disclosing their positions. Unit cost is required to be less than $ 125,000. Low-rate initial production is to start in 2007 and deliveries should be completed by 2011. In 2004 the US Air Force decided to support an electronic attack version, the Mald-J, equipped with a jammer.
In 1995 Darpa began funding studies of micro air vehicles (dubbed Mavs), defined as having a wingspan of less than 15 cm and a weight of less than 100 gram. One of the main beneficiaries was AeroVironment, which in August 2000 demonstrated the 80 gram Black Widow, which was powered by a lithium battery and capable of downlinking real-time colour video. The company subsequently demonstrated its Microbat ornithopter ornithopter (ôr`nəthŏp'tər): see flight. weighing less than 15 gram, and in August 2003 achieved a duration of 107 minutes with its Wasp drone powered by a lithiumion battery. It has a span of 33 cm and a weight of 170 gram. In March 2003 AeroVironment flew its 38 cm, 170 gram Hornet hornet: see wasp. , the first powered solely by a hydrogen fuel cell. Hydrogen is carried in the form of pellets, which produce the gas when in contact with water, and oxygen is collected from the airflow over the wing.
America leads in the micro field, but several other countries are also involved. At the start of 2003 Israel Aircraft Industries made its first flight with the Mosquito 1, which has a span of 34 cm and a weight of 250 gram. It has since flown up to 40 min with a video camera. The larger Mosquito 1.5 weighs close to 400 gram and has improved avionics and an endurance of about 60 min.
Darpa's Mav programme usefully encouraged development of very light equipment components, but it is still not clear if micros have any practical military role, bearing in mind their sensitivity to wind and their invisibility.
One way to achieve a useful time-on-station (e.g. 20 min) is to develop a 'perch-and-stare' design, which suggests a helicopter, a ducted fan or an entomopter (insect-like winged device), innovative work in the rotary-wing field includes the US Naval Research Laboratory Noun 1. Naval Research Laboratory - the United States Navy's defense laboratory that conducts basic and applied research for the Navy in a variety of scientific and technical disciplines
NRL Samara Samara, river, Russia
Samara (səmä`rə), river, c.360 mi (580 km) long, rising in the foothills of the S Urals, European Russia. It flows generally northwest, and joins the Volga River at Samara. , which employs two single-blade contra-rotating rotors that are stopped to form a fixed wing in forward flight. For entomopters, work has been done by the Georgia Tech Research Institute The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) is the nonprofit applied research arm of the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia. GTRI employs around 1,300 people, and is involved in approximately $100 million in research annually for more than 200 clients in industry on a reciprocating chemical muscle The Reciprocating Chemical Muscle (RCM) is a mechanism that takes advantage of the superior energy density of chemical reactions. It is a regenerative device that converts chemical energy into motion through a direct noncombustive chemical reaction. (RCM RCM Reliability-Centered Maintenance
RCM Royal College of Music
RCM Royal Conservatory of Music
RCM Royal Canadian Mint
RCM Reliability Centered Maintenance
RCM Revenue Cycle Management
RCM Regional Climate Model
RCM Ring-Closing Metathesis ).
In discussing Raytheon's May work, company representatives at Farnborough in 2004 spoke of a back-packable flying wing design of 30 to 40 cm span (i.e., over twice the span in the Darpa definition), requiring at least a year of further development work. Eight to ten would be used simultaneously by a platoon. European interest in this area is evidenced by the .53 kg, 49-cm span Carolo, being developed by Mavionics under Rheinmetall funding.
In late 2004 the US Army announced a May competition with cash prizes, specifying a maximum dimension of 20 cm, a maximum weight of 150 grams, and a 30-minute endurance at 500 metres radius. The drone is required to be capable of a 1000 ft ceiling, autonomous operation beyond line-of-sight and to be quieter than 60 dB. It must also survive 37 km/hr gusts and use a launch device weighing less than two kg.
Whatever the future for micros, there appear to be better short-term prospects for somewhat larger (though man-portable) mini-drones that are either ground-launched, or deployed in-flight from larger drones or manned aircraft.
The air-launched category is exemplified by the NRL-developed 26.8-kg, piston-engined, folding-wing Finder (Flight-Inserted Detector Expendable for Reconnaissance), which has been released from a General Atomics Predator-A. It is envisaged that a drone such as the Finder could be used for atmospheric sampling in an area contaminated contaminated,
v 1. made radioactive by the addition of small quantities of radioactive material.
2. made contaminated by adding infective or radiographic materials.
3. an infective surface or object. by chemical agents, either passing sensor data back to Predator for onward transmission or taking samples for later analysis by ground forces. The Finder has an endurance of two hours at 90 km radius.
The Raytheon SilentEyes is an unpowered Adj. 1. unpowered - not having or using power; "an autogiro is supported in flight by unpowered rotating wings"
powered - (often used in combination) having or using or propelled by means of power or power of a specified kind; "powered flight"; "kerosine-powered mini-drone, designed to perform bomb damage assessment Bomb damage assessment, often referred to as BDA, is the practice of assessing damage inflicted on a target by an air campaign. It is part of the larger discipline of combat assessment (CA), also referred to as battle damage assessment (BA). (BDA BDA Battle Damage Assessment
BDA Bundesvereinigung der Deutschen Arbeitgeberverbände (German: Confederation of German Employers' Associations)
BDA British Dental Association
BDA Blu-ray Disc Association
BDA Bund Deutscher Architekten ) after being ejected rearwards rear·ward 1
Toward, to, or at the rear.
At or in the rear.
A rearward direction, point, or position.
rear from an ALE-50 countermeasures dispenser. The SilentEyes has an unfolded span of 0.7 metres, and a glide ratio of nine-to-one. It descends at around 1000 ft/min, transmitting near real-time (NRT NRT Nicotine Replacement Therapy
NRT Norm-Referenced Test
NRT near real time
NRT National Response Team
NRT Tokyo, Japan - Narita (Airport Code)
NRT Net Registered Tonnage ) video. Raytheon has built about 20, and it was first released from a light aircraft over Nellis AFB AFB
AFB Acid-fast bacillus, also 1. Aflatoxin B 2. Aorto-femoral bypass , Nevada, in September 1999. The US Air Force has funded trials of the release from a Predator-B, and the first took place over Edwards AFB, California, in July 2004.
In larger categories, there is a tendency to overlap with air-to-surface missiles. The Boeing Dominator project envisages an expendable drone weighing less than 50 kg, with an unfolded span of 3.7 metres, launched from a stealth aircraft. Dominators would be released in salvoes of three or four at high altitude, merging into swarms of up to 24 vehicles. Each would carry three warheads, initially in the form of Skeet skeet: see shooting. anti-armour devices. Two warheads would be released in flight and the third used in a terminal dive.
The operational leader in the field of hand-launched reconnaissance drones was the battery-powered, 4.5 kg AeroVironment FQM-151 Pointer, which has a wingspan of 2.74 metres and an endurance of 60 minutes. It first flew in 1986 and has been used by the US Army and Marine Corps since 1989. The Pointer was employed in the 1991 Gulf War and has subsequently seen service with the US Navy. The AeroVironment Raven is described as a smaller cousin, weighing only 2.3 kg, although maximum endurance is 90 minutes. It first flew in 2001, and 185 have been produced for US Special Forces and the US Army for assessment in Afghanistan and Iraq. Based on this experience, the US Army now plans to competitively purchase 600 to 1100 small drones for wider use.
Israeli interest in drones of around Pointer size is demonstrated by a series of recent projects. Elbit Systems is now marketing the hand-launched Skylark skylark, common name for a passerine songbird (Alauda arvensis) famous for the soaring, melodious flight of the courting male. Found in Europe (except in the Mediterranean area), it is 7 1-4 in. (18. IV, which weighs 4.5 kg, and has a 2.0 metre wingspan and an endurance of 90 minutes. The Skylark has been chosen by the Israeli Defense Force Noun 1. Israeli Defense Force - the ground and air and naval forces of Israel
military force, military group, military unit, force - a unit that is part of some military service; "he sent Caesar a force of six thousand men" (IDF (Intermediate Distribution Frame) A wiring rack located between the MDF (main distribution frame) and the intended end user devices (telephones, routers, PCs, etc.). Cables run from the outside world to the MDF and then to the IDFs. See MDF and wiring rack. ) to fulfil its mini-drone requirement (deliveries began on 31 March 2005). It was reportedly the only contender capable of routinely landing within five metres of the operator, a feat that is achieved by means of a deep-stall terminal descent, impacting on its ventral airbag.
Israel's Aeronautics Defense Systems Orbiter is a flying wing design with a launch weight of 6.5 kg, a span of 2.2 metres and an endurance of 90 minutes. The IAI IAI Infection And Immunity (journal)
IAI International Alliance for Interoperability
IAI Institut für Angewandte Informatik
IAI Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research
IAI International Association for Identification Malat division has recently unveiled its Bird Eye 500, which has a weight of 5.0 kg, a span of 2.0 metres and a 60-minute endurance. It may be hand- or bungee-launched. IAI's I-See appears to be a rival to the Skylark IV and Orbiter, with a reported weight of 7.5 kg and a span of 2.9 metres. Aimed more at law-enforcement, the IAI Bird Eye 100 is a low-cost 1.3 kg air vehicle with a span of 85 cm and an endurance of 60 minutes.
In Germany, EMT See Efficient markets theory. (which also manufactures the Luna that has seen extensive use in Kosovo) has recently received an order for 115 Aladin electrically powered mini systems with deliveries to start in August 2005. Each system comprises two aircraft for one portable station.
South Korea's Remo Eye 006 has a launch weight of 6.0 kg and an endurance of over 90 minutes. It is marketed by Ucon Systems, which also owns the rights to the Korea Aerospace Research Institute The Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) is the aeronautics and space agency of South Korea. Its main laboratories are located in Daejeon, in the Daedeok Science Town. Current projects include the KSLV launcher. Past projects include the 1999 Arirang satellite. Durumi or Remo Eye 015, reportedly based on the Aerosonde. The Durumi's maximum fly-off weight is 15 kg.
The Dragon Eye was designed to meet a US Navy/Marine Corps requirement named Interim Small Unit Remote Sensing System (I-Surss). It weighs 2.04 kg and has a span of only 1.15 metres. It is bungee launched, powered by two electric motors and has a maximum endurance of one hour. Recovery is by means of an autopilot-commanded deep stall, leading to a steep descent. A version with an extended span of 1.6 metres has an endurance of 90 minutes. The Dragon Eye first flew in 2000, and AeroVironment is now under contract to produce 342 systems (with 1026 air vehicles) in a five-year programme for the US Marine Corps. A possible US Navy version has been referred to as Sea All (Airborne Lead Line).
In broadly the same weight category, the Lockheed Martin Desert Hawk The Force Protection Airborne Surveillance System (FPASS), also known as Desert Hawk, is a small United States Air Force unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) used for base perimeter protection. was developed by the US Air Force Electronic Systems Center to meet a 1999 US Central Command requirement. This aimed to improve base security in overseas deployments, patrolling not only perimeters but also runway approach and departure paths. Formally designated Force Protection Aerial Surveillance System, the Desert Hawk is battery powered and bungee launched, and can be operated from a 100-metre square clearing. The system has six air vehicles. The drone, developed from the Lockheed Martin Sentry Owl, weighs 2.26 kg and has a span of 1.22 metres.
US Army Plans
Current US Army thinking on the smallest practical mini-drone to provide reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition For the RSTA/ISTAR/STA doctrine, see .
For Artillery STA, see .
For the USMC snipers, see . is illustrated by its Class I UAV requirement. This describes a "backpackable vtol" drone weighing less than 6.8 kg, with an endurance of 60 minutes. A complete system with two air vehicles and a control unit is to weigh 18.15 kg or less. In the Army's Future Combat System, each of 48 planned Unit of Action will have 69 Class I systems, each with two air vehicles representing a total of 6624 drones.
In January 2005 Honeywell (with AAI AAI American Association of Immunologists. as airframe subcontractor) announced that it had begun testing a 33 cm ducted-fan Mav under Darpa funding and that prototype systems would be delivered to the US Army three months later for evaluation in Class I. A heavy fuel engine version will be available from 2006. The Honeywell micro has a gross weight of 5.7 kg, giving a system weight of less than 18 kg. It is inaudible (60 dB) at 100 metres.
It may be useful at this point to digress di·gress
intr.v. di·gressed, di·gress·ing, di·gress·es
To turn aside, especially from the main subject in writing or speaking; stray. See Synonyms at swerve. and outline the remainder of the Future Combat System family of drones. The following stage is the Class II, a company-level, vehicle-mounted vtol air vehicle that can be carried by two soldiers and that has an endurance of 120 minutes and a radius of 16 km. With 36 two-vehicle systems per Unit of Action, the US Army presumably pre·sum·a·ble
That can be presumed or taken for granted; reasonable as a supposition: presumable causes of the disaster. envisages 3456 Class II drones. In December 2004 Darpa awarded contracts to develop prototype Class II ducted-fan air vehicles to Aurora Flight Sciences, BAE Systems and Honeywell International. Aurora's GoldenEye goldeneye
Either of two species of small, yellow-eyed diving ducks that produce a whistling sound with their rapidly beating wings. The common goldeneye (Bucephala clangula) breeds throughout the Northern Hemisphere; Barrow's goldeneye (B. team includes Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics Robotic Systems.
Each Class II prototype is required to have a "dry weight" (a term normally referring to an engine without accessories) of less than 50.8 kg, an endurance of two hours and a range of "tens of kilometres". It is to use advanced heavy fuel propulsion and acoustic signature-reduction. Advanced sensors are to provide situational awareness and target designation. It will have non-line-of-sight networked communications and a collision-avoidance system.
The initial six-month contracts are to be followed by a nine-month phase for "up to two" contractors, and a third of 33 months for one contractor, leading to the SDD phase. As the Future Combat System lead integrator, Boeing will manage the Class II programme.
The battalion-level Class Ills will have a six-hour endurance and a 40 km radius of action The maximum distance a ship, aircraft, or vehicle can travel away from its base along a given course with normal combat load and return without refueling, allowing for all safety and operating factors. . In addition to the RSTA RSTA reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition (US DoD)
RSTA Rindge School of Technical Arts
RSTA Recinto Santo Tomás de Aquino
RSTA Reston Swim Team Association
RSTA Rockford Science and Technology Academy facilities of Class I and II, they will provide communications relay, NBC NBC
in full National Broadcasting Co.
Major U.S. commercial broadcasting company. It was formed in 1926 by RCA Corp., General Electric Co. (GE), and Westinghouse and was the first U.S. company to operate a broadcast network. detection and meteorological data. They must be able to operate without a conventional airfield. With a single four-vehicle system per Unit of Action the Army must expect to buy 192 Class III drones.
The AAI RQ-7B Shadow 200 has been selected as the baseline Class lie but Teledyne Brown Engineering Teledyne Brown Engineering, or TBE, formerly Brown Engineering, is a Huntsville, AL–based subsidiary of Teledyne Technologies (NYSE: TDY). TBE was acquired by Teledyne Technologies in 1966. is proposing a Prospector derivative of the 161 kg Rheinmetall Defence Electronics KZO KZO Kleinfluggerät Zielortung (German army unmanned air vehicle)
KZO Koninklijke Zout–organon (Dutch: Royal silk organisation; now: AKZO)
KZO Koninklijke Zwanenberg-Organon (previously Brevel) with a heavy fuel engine. The KZO entered service with the German Army in late 2004. Teledyne is also reported to be interested in Rheinmetall's Taifun attack drone, to be renamed Thunder in US marketing.
The improved RQ-7B began rolling off the AAI production line in August 2004, using the same 28.3 kW engine as the RQ-7A (the US Army's current standard Tuav), but with an increased span (4.27 metres) and gross weight (170.5 kg). Maximum endurance is extended from five to more than seven hours. The RQ-7 is launched from a rail and makes a parachute-arrested landing. AAI also markets the 201 kg (RQ-2B Pioneer-size) Shadow 400, reportedly sold to the South Korean Navy, and the 265 kg Shadow 600 which has an endurance of 12 to 14 hours and has been sold to Romania and Turkey.
The brigade-level Class IV UAV The Class IV UAV is an unmanned aerial vehicle UAV intended to provide Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), target acquisition, and aerial communications extension capability at the brigade level for the United States Army's Future Combat Systems program. will likewise operate without an airfield, but it will have much longer endurance (18 to 24 hours) and radius (75 km). With eight systems per Unit and four air vehicles per system, the US Army market potential is for 1152 Class IV drones. The Northrop Grumman RQ-SB Fire Scout has been selected to fulfil this role.
However, Boeing is promoting--at least as an interim Class IV--an Unmanned Little Bird (ULB ULB Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek
ULB Université Libre de Bruxelles
ULB Underwater Locator Beacon
ULB Urban Local Body (India)
ULB Un-Lighted Buoy
ULB Unified Legislative and Budget
ULB Union Lausannoise de Badminton
ULB Universal Library ) based on the MD Helicopters MD530E which offers commonality with the AH-6J and MH-6J used by US Special Operations Command. The ULB first flew on 8 September 2004. Boeing entered the unmanned helicopter field only months earlier in taking over Frontier Systems, which had developed the Maverick unmanned version of the Robinson R22. Boeing now provides product support for Mavericks operated by the US Special Operations Command.
In a similar category, the US Army is using the Science Applications International (Saic) Vigilante vigilante n. someone who takes the law into his/her own hands by trying and/or punishing another person without any legal authority. In the 1800s groups of vigilantes dispensed "frontier justice" by holding trials of accused horse-thieves, rustlers and shooters, and 502, an unmanned version of the two-seat Light's American SportsCopter Ultrasport 496. The Vigilante has fired Hydra 70 rockets, but it has now been equipped with nuclear/chemical agent detection sensors for service in Iraq.
Launching a drone by hand or bungee is a simple and reliable procedure, but appropriate only in the context of slow-flying lightweight vehicles that are launched horizontally. There is clearly scope for launching a somewhat heavier, faster drone using the energy stored in a chemical propellant pro·pel·lant also pro·pel·lent
1. Something, such as an explosive charge or a rocket fuel, that propels or provides thrust.
2. , but one without the vehicular demands of a launch rail.
Rafael has now developed its Skylite (formerly Skylark) system in which a drone with folding aerofoil aer·o·foil
n. Chiefly British
Variant of airfoil.
a part of an aircraft, such as the wing, designed to give lift in flight
Noun 1. surfaces is shoulder-launched from a reusable canister, somewhat like a lightweight surface-to-air missile. In a crowded urban environment it can be launched vertically.
It is recovered by flying it into a net, the procedure used in shipboard ship·board
1. The condition of being aboard a ship: on shipboard.
2. Archaic The side of a ship.
adj. operations with the IAI/AAI Pioneer, which was given an automatic take-off and landing capability in 1997.
The current Israeli emphasis on precision recovery is also evident in the case of the much larger IAI Malat I-View, which was designed for battlefield operation, is launched by catapult and recovered automatically by means of a guided parafoil par·a·foil
A nonrigid, parachutelike, usually nylon airfoil of ribbed or cellular construction, used especially in kites and paragliders.
[para(chute) + (air)foil.] . It has a span of 5.7 metres, a maximum take-off weight The maximum gross weight due to design or operational limitations at which an aircraft is permitted to take off. of 125 to 165 kg and an endurance of up to six hours and a range of up to 80 km.
An improved I-View has been proposed by IAI, teamed with Boeing Australia, to meet the Australian Army's JP149 requirement. This would have a 6.7-metre wing and a 250 kg gross weight, allowing payload to be increased from the standard 30 kg to 80 kg. Other JP149 contenders include the AAI Shadow, Elbit Hermes 180 and the ATE Vulture vulture, common name for large birds of prey of temperate and tropical regions. The Old World vultures (family Accipitridae) are allied to hawks and eagles; the more ancient American vultures and condors are of a different family (Cathartidae) with distant links to , deliveries of which began to the South African National Defence Force The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) is the name of the armed forces of South Africa. The military as it exists today was created in 1994, following South Africa's first post-apartheid national elections and the adoption of a new constitution. in February 2005.
One of the principal examples of fully automated recovery is the Ranger Autoland Precision Sensor (Raps), which continuously monitors drone position by means of a TV camera and laser ranger and transmits the data to the ground control station. The Ruag Aerospace Ranger lands on skids, eliminating the need for a runway. It has a maximum weight of 275 kg with a 45 kg payload. Wingspan is 5.71 metres. The Ranger has a 31.5 kW engine, which gives it an endurance of six hours. The maximum operating range is rated at 150 km. The responsibility for the Ranger product support has now been transferred from Oerlikon Contraves (formerly the prime contractor) over to Rheinmetall-Detec.
Small But Persistent
Drones have the potential to provide more persistent surveillance than a manned aircraft. Of the tactical designs so far discussed only the 26.8 kg NRL Noun 1. NRL - the United States Navy's defense laboratory that conducts basic and applied research for the Navy in a variety of scientific and technical disciplines
Naval Research Laboratory Finder, with a flight time of ten hours, falls into this category.
Lightweight designs providing a high endurance/weight ratio include the 25 kg Dara Aviation D-1 with an endurance of 20 hours and the 18 kg Boeing/Insitu ScanEagle; capable of over 15 hours. The ScanEagle has been assessed in the context of road convoy protection with the First Marine Expeditionary Force The largest Marine air-ground task force (MAGTF) and the Marine Corps principal warfighting organization, particularly for larger crises or contingencies. It is task-organized around a permanent command element and normally contains one or more Marine divisions, Marine aircraft wings, and in Iraq, logging some 2400 flight hours in the process. In April 2005, the Navy placed a $14.5 million contract for an undisclosed number of systems that will be deployed from ships. The ScanEagle is being further developed toward a 30-hour endurance target.
In broadly the same class, the 9.0 kg Silver Fox manufactured by Advanced Ceramics Research has already performed flights of 17.5 hours and is now being developed toward reaching 24 hours. It was known earlier as the Smart Warfighter Array of Reconfigurable Modules (Swarm), the concept being to fuze fuze
n. & v.
Variant of fuse1.
Noun 1. fuze - any igniter that is used to initiate the burning of a propellant
fuse, primer, priming, fuzee, fusee sensor data from multiple drones. It has been used by the US Marine Corps in Iraq as a larger complement for Dragon Eye. The longest endurance so far achieved in the small drone category is the 40 hours of the 15 kg Aerosonde Mk III.
Recognising the shortage of drones in the small payload, long endurance class Northrop Grumman is working with Swift Engineering to develop the Killer Bee killer bee
An individual or organization that assists a firm in repelling a takeover attempt, especially by devising defensive strategies. , a flying wing with a two-metre span and a 3.2 kg payload, capable of flights of 30 hours. Rather than having folding wings the Killer Bee is designed to be stackable and bungee-launched from the back of a Humvee. It is also designed to be highly stable and to survive launches at relative airspeeds up to 550 km/hr, allowing it to be tossed out of the back of a transport, or pylon-mounted (inverted inverted
reverse in position, direction or order.
inverted L block
a pattern of local filtration anesthesia commonly used in laparotomy in the ox. for positive separation) under the wing of a turboprop turboprop: see turbine.
Hybrid engine that provides jet thrust and also drives a propeller. It is similar to the turbojet except that an added turbine, behind the combustion chamber, works through a shaft and speed-reducing gears to turn a trainer.
Other Tactical Developments
In addition to the AAI Shadow 200 discussed earlier, the US Army still operates the much heavier (725.7 kg) twin-engined Northrop Grumman RQ-5A Hunter, which is due to be replaced by the Extended-Range/Multi-Purpose (ER/ MP) drone. The ER/MP ER/MP Extended Range Multi Purpose (UAV system) is a division-level asset providing surveillance (twelve hours on station at 300 km) and satcom relay, with some ground attack capability. A minimum warload of 180 kg is required, which would be ample for two Hellfire missiles. Reports suggest that at least 60 air vehicles will be required, with IOC IOC
International Olympic Committee
IOC n abbr (= International Olympic Committee) → COI m
IOC n abbr (= around 2009.
In January 2005 the Army gave two teams the go-ahead to start comparative trials with a view to the SDD contract for ER/MP being awarded the following April. One team is led by Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems and includes IAI and Aurora Flight Sciences. The resulting Model 397 Hunter II is based on the IAI Heron, but would use the ground control station of the existing Hunter. The Hunter II, characterised as a Medium Altitude, Medium Endurance (Mame) drone, made its first flight on 27 December 2004. By mid-March 2005 the bird had logged 50 flight hours in 14 flights. It also demonstrated its automatic take-off and landing capabilities by day and night (see Northrop Grumman's photograph in title picture) as well as its ability to perform missions at a range of over 300 km and remain aloft for more than twelve hours. The second team, led by General Atomics and including AAI and Sparta, has already demonstrated the Warrior, which is basically a Predator with a heavy fuel engine. The US Army is evaluating the General Atomics I-Gnat-ER as a potential Hunter replacement.
One of the principal lessons learned in formulating requirements for drones is that there is no substitute for operational experience. Around 450 drones of at least twelve different types have been employed by the US services in Iraq and Afghanistan. Recent additions include the BAI n. 1. a language spoken in the Dali region of Yunnan.
Noun 1. Bai - the Tibeto-Burman language spoken in the Dali region of Yunnan
Baic Aerosystems Tern, a 65 kg vehicle with a 3.45-metre span and an endurance of five hours. The Tern has been tested by US Navy Special Forces in Afghanistan. This experience is hopefully providing some basis for future rationalisation via the Pentagon Joint UAV Planning Task Force.
Some European services also have operational experience with drones; beginning with Kosovo in 1999 when the Bombardier/Dornier CL-289 was deployed by France and Germany, the BAE Systems Phoenix by Britain and the Sagem Crecerelle by France. The Phoenix is due to be replaced from late 2006 by the Thales Defence Watchkeeper system, based on the WK180 and WK450 drones, a.k.a, the Elbit/Silver Arrow Hermes 180 and 450. Recent reports indicate that only the Hermes 450 will be employed.
The Crecerelle was further developed into the 250 kg Sperwer, which has been ordered by Canada, France, Denmark, Greece, the Netherlands and Sweden (as the Ugglan). The German Army deployed the EMT Luna in 2000 to Kosovo and later to Afghanistan. The Italian Air Force
The Canadian Army purchased the Sperwer through Oerlikon Contraves Canada, signing the contract for an initial four aircraft (with an option on two more) in September 2003. The CU-161 Sperwer was deployed to Afghanistan from the following November until July 2004, when the ground equipment and the surviving four drones were returned to Canada (two were lost in landing accidents). Although the Canadians appear to have been satisfied with their night-time imagery, the standard Sperwer was not designed for the hot/high operational environments in Afghanistan. Sagem has since switched production to the 350 kg Sperwer-B (formerly Sperwer-LE), with span increased from 4.2 to 6.2 metres and endurance up from eight to twelve hours.
The 138 kg Yakovlev Pchela-lT (TV camera only) is believed to have been used operationally in Chechnya in the Kulon Stroy-P reconnaissance system. One system with twelve drones was sold to North Korea before the system entered Russian service in mid-1997. The all-weather Pchela-1K with flir and low-light TV (Stroy-PD system) has recently been certificated, and has been offered to India with the Smerch-M artillery rocket system. The Kulon Stroy-PB is a short-range system based on the lightweight (25 kg) Osa drone. Filling the niche between the 20 km normal operating radius of the Osa and the 60 to 70 km of the Pchela, the 50 kg Lutch 9M62 Tipchak has a nominal radius of 40 km, which is adequate for conventional artillery.
The Russian Air Force makes more use of high-performance jet-powered reconnaissance drones than its Western counterparts. The Tupolev Tu-143 Reis has been exported to Syria, and the 1400 kg Reis-D is now being marketed in ground-launched form, weighing 1600 kg with booster. Tupolev has reportedly completed trials of the 3000 kg Tu-300 Korshun, which is basically a reconnaissance drone but can carry an external warload of 1000 kg.
Drone development is also proceeding apace in areas of the world not traditionally associated with this type work. A good example is provided by Advanced Target Systems in Abu Dhabi that unveiled its Yabhon-M observation drone (also refer to the ground station and engine section of this survey). The company's experience so far has been limited to targets drones, but with the Yabhon-M. The focus was on sophistication so·phis·ti·cate
v. so·phis·ti·cat·ed, so·phis·ti·cat·ing, so·phis·ti·cates
1. To cause to become less natural, especially to make less naive and more worldly.
2. , with ample use of composites and a biplane biplane, aircraft, typically of early design, having two sets of wings fixed at different levels, especially in a vertical stack with the fuselage included between them. See airplane. (canard ca·nard
1. An unfounded or false, deliberately misleading story.
a. A short winglike control surface projecting from the fuselage of an aircraft, such as a space shuttle, mounted forward of the main wing and ) configuration for added stability. It is tail-less with winglets at the tip of a high-aspect delta wing blended into a lift-contributing fuselage. This observation drone should take to the air by the time these lines are read. The engine initially was to be a Limbach, but this has since changed.
With a 25 kg payload, the S-100 can carry out six-hour missions. Like its predecessor, the aircraft takes off and lands autonomously and has a redundant inertial and satellite navigation system satellite navigation system satellite n → système m de navigation par satellite . It has a maximum take-off weight of 200 kg for an empty weight of 97 and a dash speed of 220 km/hr, although cruise speed for best endurance is around 100 km/hr.
Schiebel in Austria was hitherto better known for its mine detection systems before developing its autonomous flight Camcopter with a view to providing a platform for, amongst other more classical missions, mine field and ordnance survey. Since its appearance in the late 1990s, the Camcopter has made a tremendous technological leap and was also highlighted at Idex, by the United Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates, federation of sheikhdoms (2005 est. pop. 2,563,000), c.30,000 sq mi (77,700 sq km), SE Arabia, on the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. Armed Forces. The current development is known as the Camcopter S-100 and boasts a neatly streamlined carbon-fibre fuselage and structure (monocoque mon·o·coque
A metal structure, such as an aircraft, in which the skin absorbs all or most of the stresses to which the body is subjected. ). Modern materials are also found in the rotor hub which is made of titanium. Power, like the designers of the aircraft, comes from Austria in the form of a single rotor 55 hp Diamond AE50R rotary engine (used in powered gliders) and so does the transmission, made by Pankl.
Schiebel has already chalked up orders for about 100 units. Production is now starting for deliveries to the Emirates and other customers.
New roles for drones are also being explored. The US Army has tested the use of the Shadow 200 to deliver emergency medical supplies to high-threat areas, using a streamlined container with lattice-type stabilising fins, a braking parachute and a crushable nose. The system is known as Quick-Meds (medical emergency delivery system) and a later version will have GPS guidance operating the fins for semi-precise delivery. The baseline version weighs only 9.0 kg, but can be scaled up to 90 kg.
The use of drones from ships began in the 1960s with the Gyrodyne QH-50 torpedo-platform, of which some 780 were produced. The system was withdrawn due to operational problems, including a high accident rate. More recently Eads-Dornier proposed to develop the QH-50 as a radar platform for German Navy corvettes, but this Seamos programme was terminated in 2002.
Suddenly it appears that all the leading navies need shipboard drones, and the only serious contenders are the Northrop Grumman RQ-8B Fire Scout helicopter and the Bell Eagle Eye The Bell Eagle Eye, Model 918, is a tiltrotor unmanned aerial vehicle that was offered as one of the competitors in the U.S. Navy's VT-UAV (Vertical Takeoff - UAV) program. Development
The Eagle Eye program began in 1993 with the TR911X ⅞th scale prototype. tilt-rotor vehicle. The RQ-8A first flew in May 2002. The Fire Scout was originally turned down by the US Navy, then selected by the US Army in 1428 kg RQ-SB form as its Class IV vehicle. Seven have been ordered for evaluation. However, in 2003 the US Navy selected the RQ-8B for its Littoral Combat ship The Littoral Combat Ship is the first of the U.S. Navy's next-generation surface combatants. Intended as a relatively small surface vessel for operations in the littoral region (close to shore), the LCS is smaller than the Navy's guided missile frigates, and have been compared to (LCS LCS - Language for Communicating Systems ), of which 30 to 50 are planned, with three drones per ship. The Fire Scout is powered by a 313 kW Rolls-Royce 25C20W.
Also in 2003, the US Coast Guard selected the 1360 kg Eagle Eye for its Deepwater programme, citing its high dash speed (370 km/hr, compared to 230 km/hr for the RQ-8B) and anticipated better deck handling. The resulting HV-911D is due to fly in early 2006. The US Marine Corps decided to buy eight Eagle Eyes for evaluation, its high speed offering the prospect of it acting as armed escort for the V-22. Bell is now teamed with Lockheed Martin, AAI and Textron Systems on developing and marketing the Eagle Eye, and with Sagem and Rheinmetall on a European version. The Eagle Eye is powered by a single P&WC PW200/55.
The Medium Altitude, Long Endurance (Male) category is dominated by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI GA-ASI General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (San Diego, CA) ) products, but other companies are striving to gain a foothold in this sector, which combines effectiveness with affordability.
The lower end is represented by the 748 kg GA-ASI I-Gnat with a 60 kW Rotax engine, a 40-hour endurance and a ceiling of 30 000 ft. A new rival (recently exhibited in India) is Israel's 800 kg Aeronautics Defense Systems Dominator with a 120 kW engine, which affords it a higher transit speed.
As sold to the US Army for evaluation in the ER/MP context, the GA-ASI Army I-Gnat has been given the 73.5 Rotax 914 of the Predator-A and a similar gross weight of 1043 kg. The PredatorA finally achieved IOC with the US Air Force on March 1, 2005. In 2004 Dencl unveiled its 1000 kg Batcleur, which may use the Rotax 914 or the Subaru EA-82T. So far the principal rival to the Predator-A has been the 1100 kg IAI Heron, which has been tested with a 134 kW Volkswagen diesel in place of the standard 73.5 kW Rotax. The Heron has been sold to the Indian Army and forms the basis for the Eads Eagle 1, which was selected for use by a joint French/Dutch unit. The Eagle I is seen as an interim system, pending the availability of a new Euromale around 2011. At the upper end of this class, the 1650 kg Elbit Hermes 1500 is the subject of a turnkey services contract with the Israeli defence ministry, reportedly involving the use of highly classified sensors.
Turboprop engines make possible much higher weights and altitudes. The IAl Heron TP flew in late 2004, but at 3500 kg is still much lighter than the 4536 kg GA-ASI Predator-B. The latter has now been developed into the 4990 kg Predator-B-ER, with additional fuel, increased span and a ventral 360-degree radar. Earlier known as the Mariner, the latter first flew in March 2004, and is now being promoted jointly with Lockheed Martin in the context of the US Navy Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) is a UAV system, which will provide continuous maritime surveillance for the US Navy and complement the 737 based Multimission Maritime Aircraft (MMA)
The system is expected to enter service around the end of the decade. (Barns) programme.
The latest study in the context of Males is the Northrop Grumman Model 395 (see our cover) based on the Rutan-designed Scaled Composites Proteus The Scaled Composites Model 281 Proteus is a tandem-wing high-endurance aircraft designed by Burt Rutan to investigate the use of aircraft as high altitude telecommunications relays. The Proteus is actually a multi-mission vehicle, able to carry various payloads on a ventral pylon. aeroplane. The latter has been used in recent tests at Nellis Air Force Base Nellis Air Force Base (IATA: LSV, ICAO: KLSV) is a United States Air Force base, in Clark County, Nevada, on the northeast side of Las Vegas. It is also treated as a census-designated place by the United States Census for statistical purposes, and so specific to verify the behaviour of the platform whilst carrying and releasing 500-pound inert general-purpose bombs. The idea is to turn the very stable Proteus into the Model 395 with as little airframe alterations as possible. With an external payload of two tandem underbelly weapons the aircraft would be able to fly at 40,000 feet on a 16-hour mission. With no crew on board, the cabin offers ample space for missions other than bombing, and accommodate synthetic aperture radar Synthetic aperture radar (SAR)
Radar, airborne or satellite-borne, that uses special signal processing to produce high-resolution images of the surface of the Earth (or another object) while traversing a considerable flight path. as well as elint and sigint gear.
The leader in the High Altitude, Long Endurance (Hale) category is the Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk The Northrop Grumman (formerly Ryan Aeronautical) RQ-4 Global Hawk (known as Tier II+ during development) is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) used by the US Air Force as a surveillance aircraft. . Production is now switching from the 12,111-kg RQ-4A to the stretched 14,628-kg RQ-4B, which will form around half of the US Air Force fleet. The RQ-4B has also been selected, alongside the A321, for the Nato AGS AGS American Geriatrics Society. (Alliance Ground Surveillance) programme. It is anticipated that five RQ-4Bs will be converted to Eurohawk standard by Eads to meet a German Navy requirement for sigint aircraft to replace the Atlantic in that role. There appears to be a ready market for the Global Hawk, especially in ocean surveillance, despite its high price.
In US Air Force service, the RQ-4 has been complemented in high threat areas by one or two examples of a stealthy stealth·y
adj. stealth·i·er, stealth·i·est
Marked by or acting with quiet, caution, and secrecy intended to avoid notice. See Synonyms at secret. Lockheed Martin drone. In the international market the RQ-4B may face competition from a less expensive jet-powered GA-ASI Predator, and from a projected Gulfstream RQ-37 development of the G550 business jet.
In October 2003 the Darpa/US Air Force Ucav and Darpa/USN Ucav-N programmes were combined in Jucas (Joint Unmanned Combat Air System) to demonstrate the feasibility of using drones in the Sead, electronic attack, surveillance and strike roles. Responsibility for Jucas was assigned to Darpa, which within a year had placed five-year contracts with Boeing ($767 million) and Northrop Grumman ($1.0 billion) to each produce three demonstrators and conduct a two-year operational assessment.
The Boeing X-45C is a 16,555-kg drone with a single 48.9 kN General Electric F404-GE-102D engine. The Northrop Grumman X-47B is much heavier, grossing around 19,000 kg, and powered by a single 64.9 kN Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-220U. Both are due to fly in 2007, and are designed to achieve an endurance of 50 hours with multiple in-flight refuelings.
However, hopes of a truly joint programme have been hit by a Pentagon decision in December 2004 to reassign Jucas responsibility from Darpa to the US Air Force, which has taken over the funding for FY2006. In addition, the US Air Force is now pressing for a much heavier operational aircraft, weighing around 45 tonnes with a bomb load of at least 4.5 tonnes, compared to the two tonnes specified for Jucas. In essence, the US Air Force is saying it needs an aircraft that is too heavy to operate from a carrier (which is limited to around 33 tonnes).
Predictably, Britain hopes to join the Jucas programme, while the other leading European nations (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland) plan to co-operate on the French-led five-tonne Neuron demonstrator, which is hoped to fly in 2009. This programme has not stopped interim national projects, such as Italy's Alenia Sky-X Ucav and Sweden's 55 kg Saab Aerosystems Filur stealth demonstrator, both of which are due to fly before the end of 2005. The Sky-X is powered by a 4.23-kN Microturbo Tri 60-5/268, and the diminutive Filur by a 0.23-kN AMT See vPro. Olympus-HP. Its flight data will be exploited as part of the European Neuron think-tank led by Dassault Aviation.
A recent report by the US Government Accountability Office The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is the audit, evaluation, and investigative arm of the United States Congress, and thus an agency in the Legislative Branch of the United States Government. (GAO-05-395T, published 9 March 2005) states that the operational capability of some drones is now out of step with that of their sensors. There are lightweight radars that can see through the worst atmospheric conditions, including sandstorms, although crosswinds, icing and other unfavourable condition may ground their platforms.
The most effective sensors are naturally at the heavy end of the spectrum, and carried by the larger drones. The current fit for the RQ-4A Global Hawk is the responsibility of Raytheon and is known as the Integrated Sensor Suite (ISS ISS
See Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS). ). It consists of a synthetic aperture radar (Sat), a Kodak digital CCD camera and a third-generation infrared sensor. The unnamed long-range, all-weather, high-resolution Sar is similar to the Asars-2 used in the U-2. In the wide area search mode it covers a ten-kilometre-wide swath parallel to the flight path and offset by 20 to 200 km, with a resolution of one metre. In the spot mode, it covers a two-kilometre square with a resolution of 0.3 metres.
The ISS radar also has an MTI MTI Ministry of Trade and Industry (Singapore)
MTI Metal Treating Institute
MTI Moving Target Indicator (radar)
MTI Magyar Távirati Iroda (news agency in Budapest, Hungary) (Moving Target Indicator A radar presentation which shows only targets which are in motion. Signals from stationary targets are subtracted out of the return signal by the output of a suitable memory circuit. ) facility, which was first developed for ground use, and only later for maritime operations, at the time of the Australian demonstration. Threshold speed for MTI is four knots (9.25 km/hr). The radar normally operates in an interleaved MTI/Sar mode. Inverse Sar operation can be employed to generate an image of a target, a ship for example, by virtue of its rolling and pitching motion. The antenna looks to only one side of the aircraft at a time, scanning a 90-degree arc. It can cover more than 100,000 square kilometres in a single RQ-4 sortie.
Whereas the current ISS-Sar is mechanically scanned in elevation, the MP-Rtip (Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program The Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program (MP-RTIP), a U.S. Air Force project led by contractor Northrop Grumman to develop the next generation of airborne air-to-air and air-to-ground radar systems. ) being introduced with the RQ-4 Spiral Four has an active, electronically scanned array An electronically scanned array (ESA), or a phased array, offers many advantages over mechanically-scanned antennas such as instantaneous beam scanning, the availability of multiple concurrent agile beams and concurrently operating radar modes. (Aesa), scanning electronically in both azimuth azimuth (ăz`əməth), in astronomy, one coordinate in the altazimuth coordinate system. It is the angular distance of a body measured westward along the celestial horizon from the observer's south point. and elevation. It will also be capable of simultaneous operation in multiple modes, and the antenna will be rolled through 180 degrees to switch from scanning one side to the other. MP-Rtip will also provide improvements in range and resolution, and an MTI function against air targets for use in cruise missile defence. It currently appears that the RQ4B with the new radar will lose the EO and infrared sensors.
Northrop Grumman is the prime contractor for MP-Rtip, but Raytheon is providing hardware and software for the programme, which will also include radars for the E-10A. The MP-Rtip radar is modular, being 1.5 metres long and costing $ six million as applied to the RQ-4B, and 6.1 metres and $54 million for the E-10A.
The three-year Phase I risk-reduction programme for MP-Rtip began in December 2000, and all modes had been demonstrated in laboratory tests with a prototype by the end of July 2004. The six-year, $888 million Phase II (SDD) contract was awarded in April 2004, requiring the production of six radars, including three for the RQ-4B. The Global Hawk radar is due to be flown below a Northrop Grumman-owned Scaled Composites Proteus in October 2006 and it will fly on an RQ-4 in late 2007 or early 2008. Production deliveries of the MP-Rtip radar will begin in 2010, including twelve for Global Hawk.
In the Nato AGS programme, Global Hawks will initially have the MP-Rtip radar as fitted to US Air Force aircraft, but they will later be equipped with the Transatlantic Collaboration AGS Radar (Tcar), combining US and European technology. Tcar is the responsibility of the Northrop Grumman-led Tips (Transatlantic Industrial Proposed Solution) team, which includes Eads, Galileo Avionica, General Dynamics Canada, Indra and Thales, and has workshare agreements with the Czech Republic and Hungary. The Tips was selected by Nato in April 2004 to provide the radar for AGS. The first Tcar is due to be delivered in late 2007.
Several other types of Sar have already been applied to drones. For example, Northrop Gruman has its own 75 kg Tesar (Tactical Endurance Sar), which is produced for the Predator. The 82-kg Telephonics APS-143B OceanEye was developed for detecting, tracking and identifying small targets in severe maritime environments. It has been fitted to the GA-ASI Altair demonstrator that was used to represent the company's projected Mariner in over-water trials from US, Canadian and Australian bases. Maximum range is over 370 km. Operating modes for the OceanEye include inverse synthetic aperture radar Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar (ISAR) is a technique to generate a two-dimensional high resolution image of a target.
In situations where other radars display only a single unidentifiable bright moving pixel, the ISAR image is often adequate to discriminate between , maritime MTI and air-to-air MTI.
The IAI/Elta EL/M-2055 is capable of both Sar and ground MTI. It is currently available in lightweight (36 kg) form for tactical drones such as the IAI Searcher II and Elbit/Silver Arrow Hermes 450, and in a heavier (66 kg) variant for Male drones such as the IAI Heron and Eads Eagle 1.
One of the lightweight Sars is the 52-kg General Atomics APY-8 Lynx, which was developed by the US Department of Energy's Sandia National Laboratories Sandia National Laboratories, which is managed and operated by the Sandia Corporation (a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation), is a major United States Department of Energy research and development national laboratory with two locations, one in Albuquerque, New and is now operational on the I-Gnat. In stripmap mode it covers a swath ten kilometres wide, with a maximum range of 87 km at three metres resolution in dry air, or 54 km at 30 cm resolution. In rain, the maximum range is reduced to 33 km at 30 cm resolution. In spotlight mode with ten centimetres resolution it has a maximum range of 39 km in dry air and 28 km in rain.
The Lynx is a payload growth option for the RQ-8B, as is the even lighter (26 kg) Northrop Grumman Tuavr (Tactical UAV Radar); derived from the Tesar. The Tuavr has been tested on the Hunter but was designed primarily for the Shadow 200.
Turning to other types of sensor, the standard fit for the Predator is Raytheon's AAS-52 multi-spectral targeting system. Its 46-cm-diameter turret weighs 59 kg and is designed for an airspeed airspeed
the speed of an aircraft relative to the air in which it moves
Noun 1. airspeed - the speed of an aircraft relative to the air in which it is flying
speed, velocity - distance travelled per unit time of 650 km/hr. The AAS-52 combines infrared and EO, laser ranging and target designation for laser-guided munitions mu·ni·tion
War materiel, especially weapons and ammunition. Often used in the plural.
tr.v. mu·ni·tioned, mu·ni·tion·ing, mu·ni·tions
To supply with munitions. and Hellfire missiles.
Other leaders in this field include Flir Systems, with the StarSafire III and Brite Star turrets, and the new Ultra8500. L-3 Wescam produces the 21-kg Model 12DS (dual sensor) for the RQ-2B, combining a thermal imager and a colour daylight TV camera with a 20x zoom lens. The MX-12 turret weighs less than 25 kg but houses four sensors; typically a colour daylight camera, an infrared camera with three-step zoom, a laser illuminator and a laser rangefinder. The new MX-15D houses six sensors, including a laser designator.
Israel's leaders are Elbit Systems' El-Op and IAI's Tamam division. El-Op's Compass IV turret is used (for example) on the Hermes 450s flown by the US Department of Homeland Security Noun 1. Department of Homeland Security - the federal department that administers all matters relating to homeland security
executive department - a federal department in the executive branch of the government of the United States . Tamam makes the Pop (Plug-in Optronic Payload) used on the Shadow 200. and the Mosp and Moked families of sensor turrets.
inputs from Eric H. Biass