MARINE CORPS C4ISR AND UNMANNED SYSTEMS
MAJOR AIRBORNE SENSORS
the aircraft, replacing the 20mm cannon. ATARS collects,
records and is capable of transmitting electro-optical, infrared
and synthetic-aperture radar imagery from the aircraft’s APG- 73
radar in real time in day or night conditions. Imagery is collected from up to 5 miles on either side of the aircraft’s flight path.
Transmission of imagery to a Tactical Exploitation Group
ground station is accomplished through a centerline-mounted
data-link pod. ATARS was deployed extensively in support of
Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.
CON TRACTOR: ...........BAE Systems
MAJOR UNMANNED SYSTEMS
BRIEFING: Raven is the Small Unit Remote Scouting System
(SURSS) Program of Record mid-range unmanned aerial system
(UAS). Missions are conducted by small tactical units (platoons)
for front-line, day/night reconnaissance and surveillance including
convoy operations and to provide a commander the intelligence
needed to make real-time decisions. The battery-powered, hand-launched system weighs less than 5 pounds, has a fixed electro-optical (EO) payload and a combined gimbaled EO and infrared
(IR) camera that transmits still images and full-motion video to a
ground control station (GCS) and remote video terminal (RVT).
Each system contains three air vehicles, one GCS and one RVT.
Ravens were deployed in 2007 and saw extensive use in Iraq
and Afghanistan. They were upgraded with an advanced gimbaled EO/IR payload and 178 systems were fielded to the Marine
Corps in 2015 completing the AAO of 408 total systems to
include the Raven and Wasp IV.
CON TRACTOR: ...........AeroVironment Inc.
RQ-12A WASP IV
BRIEFING: Wasp IV is the SURSS Program of Record smallest UAS
weighing less than 3 pounds. Missions are conducted by small
tactical units (platoons and squads) for front-line, day/night
reconnaissance and surveillance to provide the small unit leader
the intelligence needed to make real-time decisions. The all-environment, hand-launched system has an integrated digital data
link (DDL) that transmits live airborne video images and location
information to a GCS and RVT. It also includes a stabilized high-resolution gimbaled EO/IR camera. Each system contains two air
vehicles, one GCS and one RVT. The Wasp IV has been in use by
Marine Corps Special Operations units since 2012 and integrated
into the SURSS family of systems to support the entire Marine
Corps. The Corps fielded 143 systems in 2015, completing the
AAO of 408 total systems to include the Puma and Raven.
CON TRACTOR: ...........AeroVironment Inc.
BRIEFING: The RQ-16B T-Hawk is a self-contained, man-portable, line-of-sight ISR small unmanned aircraft system.
Using vertical takeoff and landing, the aircraft is flown either
under manual operator control or via a preprogrammed route
that employs a gasoline engine to power a ducted fan and uses
the Global Positioning System for guidance. The system,
equipped with EO/IR cameras, weighs less than 20 pounds and
transmits still images and full-motion video to a GCS. Each sys-
tem consists of two air vehicles and a GCS. T-Hawks are
deployed to detect improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and
IED-emplacement teams in Afghanistan. The procurement and
delivery of the 130 systems was completed in 2010.
CONTRAC TOR: ...........Honeywell Inc.
RQ-20A PUMA AE
BRIEFING: The largest of the SURSS Program of Record UAS,
Puma is a 13.5-pound, all-environment, hand- or mechanical-launched, reconnaissance and surveillance UAS employed by
the company level. Because of its longer endurance, it is well
suited to develop pattern of life, perimeter security and persistent surveillance of targets and areas of interest. The system uses
an integrated DDL and gimbaled EO/IR sensor with laser illumination payload. It has also been used to employ signals intelligence capabilities. Each system contains two air vehicles, and
one ground control station. Marine Corps units began using
RQ-20A Puma systems in 2012 and 20 systems have been fielded with 42 additional systems on order in 2015. Ultimately,
Puma will comprise 87 of the Marine Corps’ planned AAO of
408 total systems to include the Wasp IV and Raven.
CONTRAC TOR: ...........AeroVironment Inc.
BRIEFING: SkyRanger is a battery-powered, vertical-takeoff-and-landing small UAS that provides near-real-time ISR to Marine
Corps units. The system weighs about 5 pounds and is equipped
with EO/IR cameras, transmits still images and full-motion video
to a GCS. The SkyRanger requires no launch equipment and
enables fixed-hover positioning for precise observation. Each system contains two air vehicles, two GCSs and two base stations
with antenna. SkyRanger answers an urgent need for the Marine
Corps Special Operations Command.
CONTRACTOR: ...........Datron World Communications Inc.
BRIEFING: InstantEye is the Marine Corps’ most portable
vertical-takeoff-and-landing small UAS at just under 10 inches
in diameter and weighing only 1 pound. The battery-powered
system is designed to be deployed rapidly from the squad level
to conduct local, short-term surveillance and reconnaissance
for situational awareness. The standard payload for the all-environment system consists of three fixed EO cameras with
optional IR illumination for night operation. Each system consists of two air vehicles, a GCS, and spare batteries and parts.
InstantEye answers an urgent need for the Marine Corps
Special Operations Command.
CONTRACTOR: ...........Physical Sciences Inc.