Defense

September 11, 2012

New expeditionary UAV takes off from China Lake, sans runway

Navy and Insitu personnel lift the RQ-21A Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System on to launcher in preparation for flight at Naval Air Station China Lake, Calif., Sept. 10.

The Navy successfully launched its newest small unmanned aircraft without using a runway Sept. 10 at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, Calif.

A little more than two years into its engineering, manufacturing and development phase, the RQ-21A Small Tactical Unmanned Air System entered developmental test at China Lake, beginning with a 66-minute flight Sept. 10.

During the initial developmental flight test at the weapons station, operators flew the RQ-21A using a unique pneumatic launcher and a recovery system known as Skyhook. This system, developed by Insitu, Inc., eliminates the need for runways and enables a safe recovery and expeditionary capability for tactical missions on land or sea.

The RQ-21A uses a unique pneumatic launcher and a recovery system known as Skyhook. This system eliminates the need for runways and enables a safe recovery and expeditionary capability for tactical missions on land or sea.

“The flight at China Lake marks the start of a new test phase for RQ-21A STUAS, the first expeditionary, multi-intelligence UAS in its class,” said Col. Jim Rector, STUAS program manager at Patuxent River, Md. “Developmental test will be fast-paced, like the rest of the program has been. We are on track for initial operational capability in 2013.”

Sailors and Marines from from Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 30 at China Lake are not the first to experience the expeditionary “no runway” solution. Three hours southeast of the base, Marines at Twentynine Palms are already training with an RQ-21A Early Operational Capability system. The CONUS-based deployment allows the Navy and Marines to train units and operators, collect additional performance data and identify opportunities to expand the flight envelope.

“Marines are getting experience on how to operate and use the system while our team is collecting valuable data,” Rector said. “Lessons learned from this deployment will be directly applied to the program of record. EOC helps us mitigate and evaluate risks early on.”

While both RQ-21A variants are similar to operate, the RQ-21A STUAS is more robust. RQ-21A EOC uses long-wave infrared camera, which will be replaced with mid-wave infrared camera for production. The upgraded variant also adds enhanced features for operational security and an automatic identification system for maritime missions.

RQ-21A provides expanded payload capacity and rapid payload integration so that the war fighter can use the most advanced, and relevant, payload for their unique land and maritime missions and counter-warfare actions. The platform provides persistent maritime and land-based tactical Reconnaissance, Surveillance, and Target Acquisition data collection and dissemination capabilities to the war fighter.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines August 28, 2014

News: After F-15 jet crash in Virginia, rescue helicopters search for pilot - Helicopters are searching for an Air National Guard pilot after his F-15 jet crashed in the mountains of Virginia this morning, military officials said.   Business: U.S. Air Force 3DELRR contract expected soon - The U.S. Air Force could award the contract for its...
 
 

News Briefs August 28, 2014

Russian directing new offensive in Ukraine The Obama administration believes Russia is leading a new military counteroffensive in Ukraine. U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki says Russia has sent additional columns of tanks and armored vehicles into its neighbor’s territory. She says the incursions suggest a ìRussian-directed counteroffensive is likely underway in the contested e...
 
 
LM-C5

Double Deuce

A U.S. Air Force crew ferried the 22nd C-5M Super Galaxy from the Lockheed Martin facilities in Marietta, Ga., Aug. 25. Aircraft 86-0011 was ferried by a crew led by Maj. Gen. Dwyer L. Dennis, Director, Global Reach Programs, O...
 

 
Northrop Grumman photograph

First ever RQ-4 Global Hawk hits 100th flight on NASA mission

Northrop Grumman photograph A historical look at the first Global Hawk (AV1) during its maiden flight over Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., on Feb. 28, 1998. AV1 has made history again with its 100th flight in support of NASA en...
 
 

Northrop Grumman’s CIRCM system completes U.S. Army flight testing

Northrop Grumman’s Common Infrared Countermeasures system recently completed another round of U.S. Army testing by demonstrating its capabilities on a UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter. The flight test was conducted at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala., by the Redstone Test Center. The Northrop Grumman CIRCM system was subjected to rigorous conditions over a six-week period, after...
 
 
NASA photograph by David Olive

NASA completes successful battery of tests on composite cryotank

https://www.youtube.com/embed/qkGI6JeNY0E?enablejsapi=1&rel=0 NASA photograph by David Olive One of the largest composite cryotanks ever built recently completed a battery of tests at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Cen...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>