UNMANNED AERIAL SYSTEMS
concepts of operations, tactics, techniques and procedures to
support integration of a persistent unmanned ISR capability
into the fleet.
The basic RQ-4A Global Hawk UAS, manufactured for the
Air Force by Northrop Grumman, is one of the largest and
most advanced UASs fielded by the U.S. military. The BAMS-D
Integrated Sensor Suite features electro-optical, infrared, SAR,
GMTI and wide-area search modes found in the Air Force
production systems. An LR- 100 electronic surveillance suite,
AIS receiver, inverse SAR, and maritime search and maritime
moving target indicator modes also have been integrated into
the demonstrator system to improve performance in the maritime environment.
Since BAMS-D deployed to U.S. Central Command in early
2009, the system has provided Commander, Task Force 57,
with dedicated maritime and littoral ISR in support of theater
maritime intelligence and surveillance activities with thousands of images, radar tracks and AIS data.
In 2011, the Navy acquired three additional RQ-4As divested
by the Air Force. The BAMS-D system now comprises four production Block 10 RQ-4A Global Hawk air vehicles (not including
one lost in a mishap in 2012) and a ground segment consisting of
three launch-and-recovery elements, two mission-control elements and a Navy-designed Tactical Auxiliary Ground Station.
The BAMS-D system is operated and maintained at NAS
Patuxent River and can be deployed to other locations in support
of fleet exercises or contingency operations. The lessons learned
from BAMS-D are being applied to future naval UAS programs.
WEIGHT: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25,600 pounds gross takeoff weight
SPEED: ..................340 knots TAS
ENDURANCE:. . . . . . . . . . . . 31 hours with fuel reserves
CEILING:................. 60,000+ feet
POWER PLAN T: . . . . . . . . . . 1 Rolls-Royce AE3007H turbofan engine
CONTRACTORS: . . . . . . . . . Northrop Grumman Corp., Raytheon Co., L- 3 Systems
MQ- 8 FIRE SCOUT
BRIEFING: The Fire Scout unmanned helicopter system comprises mission control systems, one or more air vehicles and
associated handling and support equipment. Designed to operate
from air-capable ships, the MQ- 8 Fire Scout system is capable of more than eight hours of operations providing coverage
out to 110 nautical miles from the host ship. A baseline payload
that includes electro-optical/infrared sensors and a laser designator enables Fire Scout to find, track and designate tactical
targets, accurately provide targeting data to strike platforms and
perform battle damage assessment. The system provides a significant improvement to organic surveillance capability.
The Navy has two MQ- 8 air vehicle variants. The MQ-8B
variant is based on the Schweitzer 333 airframe while the
MQ-8C is based on a larger airframe, the Bell 407 helicopter. The MQ-8B has deployed aboard frigates since 2009 and
achieved IOC in 2014. From May 2011 until September 2013,
a Fire Scout detachment also was deployed to Afghanistan
where it conducted land-based operations in support of U.S.
and coalition forces counterinsurgency operations.
In November 2014, the Fire Scout deployed for the first
time aboard an LCS, USS Fort Worth, with HSM- 35. It was the
first LCS deployment of a composite manned and unmanned
aviation detachment. The MQ-8B has amassed more than
16,000 deployed flight hours. Additional capability includes the
integration of AIS, a surface-search radar and a lethal strike
capability with the Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System.
The LCS USS Coronado deployed in 2016 with an MQ-8B fitted
with the ZPY- 4(V) 1 surveillance radar. The Navy has procured
30 MQ-8B aircraft.
The MQ-8C incorporates the same control avionics as
the MQ-8B, but with an increased payload capacity and
increased endurance. Development began in 2009 with the first
flight occurring in October 2013. The Navy currently is conducting flight tests with the MQ-8C variant at Patuxent River.
Initial Operational Test & Evaluation is planned for fourth quarter of fiscal 2017. An Operational Assessment was concluded in
December 2015. The Navy has 11 MQ-8Cs on order, for a total buy
of 30 MQ-8Cs. The air vehicles share a common mission control
system, which is integrated with the ship’s combat systems.
Data below applies to MQ-8B/MQ-8C
OVERALL LENG TH:. . . . . . . 30 feet/41.4 feet
HEIGHT: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9. 42 feet/10.9 feet
WEIGHT: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . maximum takeoff, 3, 150 pounds/ gross takeoff,
SPEED: .................. 85+ knots/135 knots
CEILING:. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12,500 feet/16,000 feet
STATION TIME: . . . . . . . . . . 3+ hours at 110 nautical miles/8+ hours at 150
PO WER PLAN T: . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Rolls-Royce 250C20W heavy fuel turboshaft engine/
1 Rolls-Royce 250-C47E heavy fuel turboshaft engine
CON TRAC TOR: . . . . . . . . . . Northrop Grumman Unmanned Systems
BRIEFING: The RQ-15A is a small (7-foot wingspan) UAV
capable of at-sea launch and recovery. Carried in a case that
transforms into a pneumatic launcher, the Neptune can be
launched from small vessels and recovered in open water. It
carries infrared or color video sensors, or can be programmed
to drop small payloads. It is autonomously controlled via a digital data link. Production of 75 systems began in March 2002
for special operations use.
CON TRAC TOR: . . . . . . . . . . DRS Technologies Inc.
MQ-8B FIRE SCOUT WITH MH-60S SEAHAWK