High Tech Providers Offer Full Featured Drones, Unmanned Vehicles, and Sensors

National Defense, January 1998 | Go to article overview

High Tech Providers Offer Full Featured Drones, Unmanned Vehicles, and Sensors


Raytheon Aircrafts AQM-37C is configured to perform missions at both supersonic and subsonic speed. This newest version has a digital autopilot, telemetry for flight evaluation, a command control system for maneuvering and dive control, high temperature adhesives, and enlarged vertical stabilizers.

According to officials, the AQM-37C offers highly realistic readiness testing for both aircraft and missile defense crews.

Also on display at NDIAs unmanned aerial vehicle and air targets conference was the Wichita, Kansasbased company's MQM-1 07D that can carry varied external and internal payloads ranging from flare dispenser pods to infrared and radar towed targets.

Tracor systems division, Austin, Texas, meanwhile, showcased its QF-4 Phantom full-scale aerial target that replicates high-speed threats from ground level to 50,000 feet.

Among the other technologies:

Bristol, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, showcased its family of theater ballistic missile target that can carry payloads between 150 to 1,500 pounds and ranges from 348 to 1,305 miles. The Excalibur target, which can be launched from land or sea, offers supersonic ballistic missile profiles. It is powered by HERO safe rocket motor and has a five-year shelf life.

The company also produces the HOKUM-X target program.

Ar Another major provider-Hayes Targets, Leeds, Alabama, offers a variety of towed targets and wing-tip infrared augmentation pods. The ability to duplicate the infrared signatures of enemy weapon systems, said an official, "makes it possible for 'aggressor' or 'enemy' equipment to be replicated not only physically, but in the infrared spectrum as well, thus providing realism in training personnel and evaluation of weapon system performance."

The TLX-1 sea skimming target provides threat simulation at a 20 to 100 foot altitude. Augmentation packages can be used simultaneously. The infrared plume, for example, "avoids the artificiality and inconsistency of commonly used flare systems and the costs associated with them," he said.

TRW avionics & surveillance group, San Diego, California, and Israel Aircraft Industries' Hunter unmanned aerial vehicle is the first joint tactical platform selected by the Defense Deparrment. It offers realtime surveillance, communications, and control over the battlefield. An official from the San Diego-based company noted that the Hunter is able to operate more than 100 miles in front of friendly troops and possesses an endurance of eight hours.

Able to function in limited adverse weather, the system carries a combination of day and night sensors that allow instantaneous transmission of target information to ground control and mission monitoring stations. …

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High Tech Providers Offer Full Featured Drones, Unmanned Vehicles, and Sensors
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