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[8.0] International Battlefield UAVs (1)

v1.2.0 / 8 of 16 / 01 jan 03 / greg goebel / public domain

* Battlefield UAVs are now in use or development all over the world. This chapter discusses battlefield UAV developments in Israel, Canada, and France.


[8.1] ORIGINS OF ISRAELI BATTLEFIELD UAVS
[8.2] ISRAELI IAI MALAT MASTIFF, SCOUT, SEARCHER, SEARCHER II
[8.3] ISRAELI IAI MALAT EYE-VIEW / IAI MBD HARPY & CUTLASS
[8.4] ISRAELI SILVER ARROW SNIPER, MICRO-V, HERMES 180
[8.5] CANADIAN CANADAIR CL-89, CL-289
[8.6] CANADIAN CANADAIR CL-227, CL-327, CL-427
[8.7] FRENCH ALTEC MART SERIES
[8.8] FRENCH SAGEM CRECERELLE & SPERWER / SPERWER HV
[8.9] FRENCH MBDA DRAGON
[8.10] FRENCH CAC SYSTEMS FOX, K100, HELIOT / TECHNO-SUD VIGILANT

[8.1] ORIGINS OF ISRAELI BATTLEFIELD UAVS

* The Israelis were the prime movers in establishing the battlefield UAV as a standard military weapon. After the Yom Kippur War in the Middle East in 1972, when the Israelis suffered substantial air losses from Soviet built SAMs fired by Arab forces, the Israeli military searched for new technology to ensure they would not have the same problems in the future.

This led them to cross paths with Alvin Ellis, who had been born and raised in the US and worked for Ryan on the Firebee and the Lightning Bugs. He emigrated to Israel in 1967 to join Israel Aircraft Industries and work on the Kfir fighter, a derivative of the French Dassault Mirage fighter but fitted with an American J-79 engine.

The history of Ellis and the battlefield UAV tends to recall that of Reginald Denny and the target drone. Ellis liked to tinker with RC models. After the Yom Kippur War, he decided that a small drone with a TV camera might be an answer to some of Israeli's battlefield needs. He joined up with an IAI colleague named Yehuda Manor and the two put together a prototype in Manor's garage.

They flew the prototype for a short time, but it crashed when one of its two engines failed. Ellis still felt the idea was good and pitched it to IAI management, but they turned him down. Undiscouraged, Ellis took the idea to Tadiran, the Israeli electronics conglomerate, and they funded a second prototype.

The prototype flew in 1973. It was just a large hobbyist's RC airplane, similar in configuration to Reginald Denny's early Radioplane drones. The new prototype was successful, and led to a demonstrator named the "Owl" that was fitted with a cheap TV camera and demonstrated to Tadiran and military brass in early 1974.

Tadiran management was sold on the idea, and gave Ellis a contract to develop an operational system named "Mastiff". The Mastiff had a different configuration from the early prototypes, featuring the pusher-propeller twin-boom configuration that would become common for combat surveillance UAVs. The Mastiff was introduced in 1975, but nobody seemed interested.

Ellis did a stint back in the US in the late 1970s working on drone autopilots for American companies, while the Mastiff gathered dust. Only two were sold by 1979.

The lack of activity was deceptive. The Israeli military were becoming increasingly interested in battlefield UAVs, and in response IAI decided they were interested in the concept as well. Tadiran and IAI found themselves in bitter competition for military battlefield UAV contracts.

The Israeli military began to buy more Mastiffs, while IAI came up with a competitor with the appropriate name of "Scout" and sold it to the military as well. The Scout, which was also known as "Zahavan (Oriole)", had a similar configuration to the Mastiff, with a pusher propeller and a twin-boom tail.

In June 1982, the Israelis began major military operations in Lebanon, where they were confronted by Syrian SAMs, which were heavily sited in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley. All 28 SAM sites in the Bekaa were destroyed, however, partly through the use of Sampson decoys to get them to reveal their presence, and partly through reconnaissance information obtained by the Mastiff and Scout UAVs.

* The Israeli battlefield UAVs had been a great success, and soon came to the attention of the US military, particularly after the American intervention in Lebanon in 1983. This led to the US Navy's request for a battlefield UAV in 1984, and Tadiran and IAI decided, or were told to, join forces to submit a proposal for the American requirement. The result was an IAI division named "Mazlat", now "Malat".

The US military is reluctant to buy from foreign sources, so foreign companies invariably team up with an American company to attempt a sale. AAI had already worked with Tadiran to sell the Mastiff in the US, so AAI was a logical choice, and Mazlat and AAI developed the Pioneer, which won the competition. Since then, Malat has developed more advanced battlefield UAVs, and has collaborated on battlefield UAV developments with partners such as AAI.

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[8.2] ISRAELI IAI MALAT MASTIFF, SCOUT, SEARCHER, SEARCHER II

* After consolidating production of the Mastiff and Scout, the Malat company continued to sell them in slightly refined versions for over a decade. Both aircraft have fixed landing gear and are generally operated from runways, performing short landings using an arresting-wire hook, though they may be launched using a hydraulic catapult off the back of a truck, and recovered by a net. They both carry imaging sensors in a turret underneath the fuselage.

   IAI MALAT MASTIFF:
   _____________________   _________________   _______________________
 
   spec                    metric              english
   _____________________   _________________   _______________________

   wingspan                4.25 meters         13 feet 11 inches
   length                  3.3 meters          10 feet 10 inches
   height                  0.89 meters         2 feet 11 inches
   payload weight          37 kilograms        81 pounds
   empty weight            72 kilograms        170 pounds
   launch weight           138 kilograms       304 pounds

   maximum speed           185 KPH             115 MPH / 100 KT
   service ceiling         4,480 meters        14,700 feet
   endurance               7.5 hours

   launch scheme           Runway or hydraulic catapult.
   recovery scheme         Runway, parachute, or net
   payload                 Day / night imager.
   guidance system         Autopilot with radio control backup.
   _____________________   _________________   _______________________


   IAI MALAT SCOUT:
   _____________________   _________________   _______________________
 
   spec                    metric              english
   _____________________   _________________   _______________________

   wingspan                4.96 meters         16 feet 3 inches
   length                  3.68 meters         12 feet 1 inches
   height                  0.94 meters         3 feet 1 inch

   payload weight          38 kilograms        84 pounds
   empty weight            96 kilograms        211 pounds
   launch weight           159 kilograms       350 pounds
   maximum speed           176 KPH             109 MPH / 95 KT
   service ceiling         4,575 meters        15,000 feet
   endurance               7 hours

   launch scheme           Runway or hydraulic catapult.
   recovery scheme         Runway, parachute, or net.
   payload                 Day / night imager.
   guidance system         Autopilot with radio control backup.
   _____________________   _________________   _______________________

The Mastiff and Scout remained in service with the Israeli Army until the early 1990s, when they were replaced by the Malat Searcher, also known as the "Meyromit (High Flier)". The Searcher looks almost identical to the Scout and Pioneer, but is scaled up, and in fact is well over twice the size of the Scout.

The Searcher is powered by a 35 kW (47 horsepower) piston engine. It not only features updated avionics and sensor systems as well as greater endurance, but increased redundancy to improve survivability.

   IAI MALAT SEARCHER:
   _____________________   _________________   _______________________
 
   spec                    metric              english
   _____________________   _________________   _______________________

   wingspan                7.65 meters         25 feet 1 inch
   length                  5.1 meters          16 feet 8 inches
   height                  1.25 meters         4 feet 1 inch
   payload weight          68 kilograms        150 pounds
   launch weight           400 kilograms       880 pounds

   maximum speed           200 KPH             125 MPH / 110 KT
   service ceiling         5,180 meters        17,000 feet
   endurance               12 hours

   launch scheme           Runway or RATO booster. 
   recovery scheme         Runway, parachute, or net.
   payload                 Day / night imager.
   guidance system         Autopilot with radio control backup.
   _____________________   _________________   _______________________

The Israelis are now bringing into service the further improved "Searcher II", yet another scale-up of the basic Scout design with improved endurance.
   IAI MALAT SEARCHER II:
   _____________________   _________________   _______________________
 
   spec                    metric              english
   _____________________   _________________   _______________________

   wingspan                8.54 meters         28 feet
   length                  5.85 meters         19 feet 2 inches
   launch weight           500 kilograms       1,100 pounds

   maximum speed           200 KPH             125 MPH / 110 KT
   service ceiling         6,100 meters        20,000 feet
   endurance               18 hours

   launch scheme           Runway or RATO booster.
   recovery scheme         Runway, parachute, or net.
   payload                 Day / night imager.
   guidance system         Autopilot with radio control backup.
   _____________________   _________________   _______________________

The Israelis are now investigating means of silencing the UAVs' engines, whose chain-saw sound often tips off adversaries to the fact that they are being observed. They are also investigating a low-end expendable UAV with a weight no greater than about 50 kilograms (110 pounds).

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[8.3] ISRAELI IAI MALAT EYE-VIEW / IAI MBD HARPY & CUTLASS

* While Malat has been moving towards bigger and bigger battlefield UAVs, they have also been exploring the lower end of the range, with an interesting aircraft known as the "Eye-View".

Like its larger relatives, the Eye-View has fixed landing gear and a pusher propeller, with a 25 horsepower piston engine. It has a unique arrangement, with a tail-boom mounted on the top rear of the fuselage that ends in an "inverted vee" tail. The Eye-View is also being promoted in civilian markets for forest-fire warning, and in this form is appropriately known as the "FireBird".

   IAI MALAT EYE-VIEW:
   _____________________   _________________   _______________________
 
   spec                    metric              english
   _____________________   _________________   _______________________

   wingspan                3.96 meters         13 feet
   length                  2.9 meters          9 feet 6 inches
   payload weight          13.6 kilograms      30 pounds
   launch weight           104 kilograms       230 pounds

   maximum speed           185 KPH             115 MPH / 100 KT
   service ceiling         1,525 meters        5,000 feet
   endurance               > 6 hours

   launch scheme           Runway or hydraulic catapult.
   recovery scheme         Runway, parachute, or net.
   payload                 Day / night imager.
   guidance system         Autopilot with radio control backup.
   _____________________   _________________   _______________________

* The MBD missile division of IAI sells another UAV, the "Harpy", which is an antiradar loitering attack drone. It patrols over a battlefield, waiting for somebody to turn on a radar, and then dives into it, destroying it with a blast-fragmentation warhead. The Harpy is in service with the Israeli Defense Forces, as well as Turkey, India, and the Republic of Korea.

The Harpy is a delta-winged machine with finlets on the wingtips. It weighs 135 kilograms ( pounds), and is 2.7 meters ( feet inches) long with a span of 2.1 meters ( feet inches). It is powered by a UAV Englines Limited (UEL) AR731 rotary engine, with 28 kW (37 horsepower), driving a pusher propeller. Maximum speed is roughly 185 KPH (115 MPH / 100 knots), and endurance is about six hours.

Although the Harpy is clearly different in appearance to the Boeing BRAVE 200, the two UAVs are conceptually similar in many ways, and the Harpy has a similar launch scheme. 18 Harpies are carried by a truck, with each UAV in its own sealed container. Three trucks make up a battery, which also includes a mission control center.

A Harpy can be fueled, programmed, and tested inside its container, which is then opened for launch by RATO booster. After launch, it makes its way to its patrol area, following navigational waypoints provided by the command center, and then performs circuits, waiting for a radar to turn on. On finding a radar, it dives into it almost vertically, detonating before impact to ensure maximum damage to the radar site. If the radar is turned off and the Harpy loses target lock, the UAV returns to its patrol. If no radar is spotted by the time the Harpy is running low on fuel, the UAV will self-destruct.

IAI MBD is now working on a "search and destroy" version of the Harpy, named the "Cutlass", that can hunt for and attack a much wider range of targets. It will use a Raytheon-designed seeker system with automatic target recognition capabilities, and also has a datalink to allow confirmation of targets. The datalink has a relay capability, to allow one Cutlass to extend the range of another.

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[8.4] ISRAELI SILVER ARROW SNIPER, MICRO-V, HERMES 180

* Another Israeli firm, Silver Arrow, a collaboration between Elbit and Federmann Enterprises, focuses on selling large UAVs, but also sells two small battlefield UAVs, including the "Sniper" and the "Micro-V".

The Sniper's configuration resembles that of a conventional private aircraft with fixed tricycle landing gear, driven by a nose-mounted propeller and a 28.5 kW (38 horsepower) piston engine. Its only unusual feature is an upright vee tail.

   SILVER ARROW SNIPER:
   _____________________   _________________   _______________________
 
   spec                    metric              english
   _____________________   _________________   _______________________

   wingspan                5.2 meters          17 feet
   length                  3.8 meters          12 feet 6 inches
   payload weight          25 kilograms        55 pounds
   launch weight           155 kilograms       342 pounds

   maximum speed           175 KPH             110 MPH / 95 KT
   service ceiling         4,575 meters        15,000 feet
   endurance               > 6 hours

   launch scheme           Runway or RATO booster.
   recovery scheme         Runway or parachute.
   payload                 Day / night imager.
   guidance system         Autopilot with radio control backup.
   _____________________   _________________   _______________________

The Micro-V is a neat little mini-UAV, powered by twin 3 kW (4 horsepower) piston engines, one in a nacelle on each wing driving a pusher propeller. It has no landing gear. The Micro-V appears to be too small to carry a full sensor turret, carrying a miniaturized imager in a transparent section built into the middle of its fuselage.
   SILVER ARROW MICRO-V:
   _____________________   _________________   _______________________
 
   spec                    metric              english
   _____________________   _________________   _______________________

   wingspan                3.7 meters          12 feet
   length                  2.74 meters         9 feet
   payload weight          8,2 kilograms       18 pounds
   launch weight           50 kilograms        110 pounds

   maximum speed           185 KPH             115 MPH / 100 KT
   service ceiling         4,570 meters        15,000 feet
   endurance               5 hours

   launch scheme           Bungee catapult.
   recovery scheme         Parachute.
   payload                 Day / night imager.
   guidance system         Autopilot with radio control backup.
   _____________________   _________________   _______________________

In the fall of 2002, Silver Arrow announced a new "high-end" tactical UAV, the "Hermes 180". It is a piston-powered machine with a pusher prop. Instead of having a twin-boom tail as do many other UAVs in its class, the Hermes 180 has single boom perched on top of the fuselage on struts, ending in a twin-fin tail. Sensor payloads are carried in a turret under the middle of the fuselage. The Hermes 180 can operate at up to 4,575 meters (15,000 feet) in line of sight to its ground station, and has an endurance of more than 10 hours.

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[8.5] CANADIAN CANADAIR CL-89, CL-289

* The Canadians have proven enthusiastic about battlefield UAVs, and in fact have been in the business since the early 1960s.

In 1961, Canadair LTD, now part of the Canadian Bombardier group, began development of a battlefield UAV that was eventually designated CL-89 or AN/USD-501. The requirements specified a rugged UAV that would be easy to use under battlefield conditions, highly survivable in a combat environment, and provide intelligence day or night in any weather in a timely fashion.

Initially, the project was funded by both the Canadian and British governments, but in 1965 West Germany joined in the effort as well. Flight testing began in 1964 with cooperation with the US at the US Army proving grounds in Yuma, Arizona. Initial orders and production for the CL-89 did not begin until the early 1970s. Several hundred were ordered.

The CL-89 looked more like a missile than a UAV, with a torpedo-like fuselage, rectangular cruciform wings, and small triangular cruciform control fins on the nose. It was powered by a Williams Research WR2-6 turbojet engine with 559 N (57 kg / 125 lb) thrust fed by twin inlets on each side of the fuselage between the wings.

The CL-89 was launched on a rail from a truck using a RATO booster rocket attached to the vehicle's tail, with the booster rocket providing 20.2 kN (2,065 kg / 4,550 lb) thrust for 2.5 seconds. The CL-89 then continued on a preprogrammed course, performing its observations and returning to the recovery site, assisted by a homing beacon. Once at the recovery site, the UAV deployed a drogue chute to slow down, and then popped out a parachute and two airbags for a soft landing. Two of the wings folded back when the airbags deployed to ensure that they weren't damaged on touchdown.

   CANADAIR CL-89:
   _____________________   _________________   _______________________
 
   spec                    metric              english
   _____________________   _________________   _______________________

   wingspan                0.94 meters         3 feet 1 inch
   length                  2.6 meters          8 feet 6 inches
   launch weight           108 kilograms       238 pounds

   maximum speed           740 KPH             460 MPH / 400 KT

   launch scheme           RATO booster.
   recovery scheme         Parachute with airbags.
   payload                 Day / night camera.
   guidance system         Autopilot.
   _____________________   _________________   _______________________

The CL-89 had a modular design, with plug-in packs for the two airbags, a dispenser for illumination flares, the parachute system, and the sensor system. Sensor systems included a Zeiss optical camera pack and a Hawker-Siddeley infrared camera pack. The CL-89 apparently saw limited service with Canadian, British, and German forces, with the British Army using it in combat during the Gulf War in 1991.

* The CL-89 led to a similar but improved version, the "CL-289" or "AN/USD-502", as part of a collaborative program between Canada, France, and West Germany. The UAV was built by Canadair. It was integrated for German operations by Dornier, and for French operations by Aerospatiale. It went into service with West German forces in 1990 and with French forces in 1992. A few CL-289s that were excess to German needs were later sold to the French.

The CL-289 is very similar to the CL-89 but slightly larger, with the most visible difference being that the wings of the CL-289 have a leading-edge sweep, and are not rectangular like those of the CL-89.

   CANADAIR CL-289:
   _____________________   _________________   _______________________
 
   spec                    metric              english
   _____________________   _________________   _______________________

   wingspan                1.32 meters         4 feet 4 inches
   length                  3.61 meters         11 feet 10 inches
   launch weight           220 kilograms       485 pounds

   cruising speed          720 KPH             450 MPH / 390 KT
   endurance               40 minutes

   launch scheme           RATO booster.
   recovery scheme         Parachute with airbags.
   payload                 Day / night camera.
   guidance system         Autopilot.
   _____________________   _________________   _______________________

The CL-289 can be fitted with a Zeiss camera pack or a French SAT Corsaire infrared imager that can relay real-time imagery to the ground control station. Several European companies have collaborated to develop a miniature SAR all-weather sensor pack for the CL-289, but it does not appear to have been fielded yet. Digital optical imaging packs and improved ground control and mission planning systems are being considered.

During the 1990s, the German Army deployed CL-289s to support operations in the former Yugoslavia, seeing combat action during the Kosovo air campaign in the spring of 1999. During this operation, the Germans fielded 18 CL-289s from a launch site in Macedonia, with three being lost, presumably to Yugoslav air defenses.

The CL-289s were flown at altitudes from 200 to 1,000 meters (660 to 3,300 feet), over preprogrammed routes up to 400 kilometers (250 miles) long, with the missions lasting 30 to 40 minutes. The CL-289s could provide real-time video back to the control stations as long as they remained in line of sight, and then they took images on conventional or infrared film. The French also operated their CL-289s over the former Yugoslavia.

In the summer of 2002, the Italian Army decided to buy 20 CL-289s, along with a mission control center and two launchers, to support the Italian military commitment to the new European Union Rapid Reaction Force. The CL-289s are intended to be an interim solution until a more modern UAV can be obtained.

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[8.6] CANADIAN CANADAIR CL-227, CL-327, CL-427

* The Canadians also developed a helicopter-based battlefield UAV, the Canadair "CL-227". The CL-227 features a body resembling a peanut in shell stood on end, with coaxial rotors around the midbody and a sensor turret on the bottom. Unsurprisingly, it is nicknamed the "Peanut". It has a ring-shaped landing skid around its base, and can be operated as a free-flying or tethered drone.

The initial prototype of the CL-227 was powered by a Wankel rotary engine and first flew in 1978. The second prototype was powered by a Williams Research WR-34-15 turboshaft engine with 24 skW (32 shaft horsepower), and first flew in 1981. After demonstration to various military services, Canadair began full-scale development of the Peanut in 1984, with operational introduction at the end of the decade.

The CL-227 was followed by a refined design, the Bombardier "CL-327", which was introduced in 1996. It is similar to the Peanut, but looks like two mushrooms joined stem-to-stem. It is powered by a Williams Research WTS-117-5 turboshaft engine with 94 skW (125 shaft horsepower). It has GPS-INS location capability and a programmable waypoint autopilot system.

   CANADAIR CL-327:
   _____________________   _________________   _______________________
 
   spec                    metric              english
   _____________________   _________________   _______________________

   rotor span              4 meters            13 feet 1 inches
   length                  1.83 meters         6 feet
   launch weight           350 kilograms       770 pounds

   cruising speed          157 KPH             98 MPH / 85 KT
   ceiling                 5,500 meters        18,000 feet
   endurance               6.25 hours

   payload                 Day / night camera.
   guidance system         Autopilot with GPS and radio backup.
   _____________________   _________________   _______________________

Two CL-327s can be carried and operated by a single HUMVEE light field truck or similar vehicle. The CL-327 was evaluated by the US Navy for the VT-UAV competition, but lost the competition. Bombardier is now promoting a still further improved version of the UAV, the "CL-427 Puma", with the same configuration but with the mushroom-shaped enclosures replaced by "weathervane" shaped fairings.

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[8.7] FRENCH ALTEC MART SERIES

* The French operate the CL-289 and the Israeli Hunter, as well as a number of French-designed UAVs. One of the earliest was the Altec "Mini-Avion de Reconnaissance Telepilote (MART)" series, with the MART II serving with French forces in the Gulf War.

Details of the MART II are difficult to find, but pictures of it show it to be a relatively small tactical UAV, with a simple conventional configuration like that of a large RC model. It is catapult-launched, carries an imaging system, and appears to be recovered by parachute.

   ALTEC MART II:
   _____________________   _________________   _______________________
 
   spec                    metric              english
   _____________________   _________________   _______________________

   wingspan                3.4 meters          11 feet 2 inches
   length                  3.2 meters          10 feet 7 inches
   launch weight           110 kilograms       242 pounds
   speed                   195 KPH             120 MPH / 140 KT
   ceiling                 3,050 meters        10,000 feet
   endurance               4 hours

   launch scheme           Catapult launch.
   recovery scheme         Parachute with airbags.
   payload                 Imaging system.
   _____________________   _________________   _______________________

Altec is now selling an improved version of the MART II, the "S-MART". It is slightly heavier, has 7 hours endurance, and can carry ELINT and jamming payloads.

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[8.8] FRENCH SAGEM CRECERELLE & SPERWER / SPERWER HV

* Another prominent French UAV is the Sagem "Crecerelle" ("Kestrel" or "Sparrowhawk"), which is a delta-winged aircraft, with a pusher propeller powered by a 20 kW (26 horsepower) rotary engine, and no landing gear. The Crecerelle saw action with French forces during the Kosovo campaign in 1999.

   SAGEM CRECERELLE:
   _____________________   _________________   _______________________
 
   spec                    metric              english
   _____________________   _________________   _______________________

   wingspan                3.3 meters          10 feet 10 inches
   length                  2.4 meters          7 feet 11 inches
   height                  0.7 meters          2 feet 4 inches
   launch weight           120 kilograms       265 pounds

   speed                   240 KPH             150 MPH / 130 KT
   ceiling                 3,050 meters        10,000 feet
   endurance               5 hours

   launch scheme           RATO booster.
   recovery scheme         Parachute with airbags.
   payload                 Day / night camera in nose turret.
   guidance system         Autopilot with GPS and radio control.
   _____________________   _________________   _______________________

SAGEM is now selling an improved version of the Crecerelle named the "Sperwer", and it is being operated by the Netherlands, Sweden, and Denmark. Sagem has sold about a hundred Crecerelles and Sperwers, and the French have placed an order for 18 more, for delivery in 2002 or 2003.

* Sagem is now working on a next-generation "Sperwer High Velocity (HV)", which is an entirely new UAV that is powered by a Microturbo TFS-18 engine, and has a sleek boxy fuselage with rear forward-swept wings, forward canards, and a dorsal air intake.

The Sagem HV will be 4.2 meters (13 feet 9 inches) long, have a wingspan of 2.4 meter (7 feet 10 inches), and weigh 450 kilograms (1,000 pounds), including an internally mounted 50 kilogram (110 pound) payload. The payload will include a SAR, a day-night imager, or laser target designator. A radar jamming payload may be developed later.

The Sperwer HV will be able to fly at 740 KPH (460 MPH) at an altitude of 10,000 meters (33,000 feet). It will have a maximum range of 600 kilometers (372 miles), with the range limited to 400 kilometers (250 miles) if the realtime datalink is used. Sagem is seeking French government backing for full development, and hopes to have the new UAV flying as early as 2005 or 2006.

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[8.9] FRENCH MBDA DRAGON

* Matra BAE Dynamics developed a UAV named "Dragon", no relation to the BAI Dragon. The Dragon is roughly similar to the Crecerelle, with the same pusher-prop delta configuration, except that rather than having a single vertical tailplane mounted on the fuselage, the Dragon has a vertical tailplane on each wingtip.

Like the Crecerelle, it has no landing gear. The Dragon is unusual in that it is only intended as a jamming platform and does not seem to have any capability to carry reconnaissance sensors. The jamming system was developed by Thales and weighs only 12.5 kilograms (28 pounds). The French Army has recently obtained a number of Crecerelles fitted with this same jamming system.

   MATRA DRAGON:
   _____________________   _________________   _______________________
 
   spec                    metric              english
   _____________________   _________________   _______________________

   wingspan                3 meters            9 feet 10 inches
   length                  2.4 meters          7 feet 11 inches
   launch weight           150 kilograms       330 pounds

   maximum speed           180 KPH             112 MPH / 97 KT
   endurance               > 8 hours

   launch scheme           Twin RATO boosters.
   recovery scheme         Parachute with airbags.
   payload                 Jammer.
   guidance system         Autopilot with GPS and radio control.
   _____________________   _________________   _______________________

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[8.10] FRENCH CAC SYSTEMS FOX, K100, HELIOT / TECHNO-SUD VIGILANT

* CAC Systems of France, discussed in an earlier chapter as a manufacturer of aerial targets, also produces a number of different battlefield UAVs, including the "Fox" series, the "K100", and the "Heliot" UAV helicopter, as well as the Aerovironment Pointer, built under license.

The Fox is a mini-UAV powered by a 16 kW (22 horsepower) piston engine. About a thousand have been sold in a number of variants, with generally similar appearance and specifications. Specifications for the electronic warfare-variant, the "Fox-TX", are as follows:

   CAC SYSTEMES FOX-TX:
   _____________________   _________________   _______________________
 

   spec                    metric              english
   _____________________   _________________   _______________________

   wingspan                4 meters            13 feet 1 inch
   length                  2.75 meters         9 feet
   payload weight          30 kilograms        66 pounds
   empty weight            73 kilograms        161 pounds
   launch weight           135 kilograms       298 pounds

   maximum speed           180 KPH             112 MPH / 97 KT
   service ceiling         3,000 meters        9,800  feet
   endurance               5 hours

   launch scheme           Pneumatic or bungee catapult.
   recovery scheme         Parachute with airbags.
   payload                 Jammer, SIGINT, radar-seeker warhead.
   guidance system         Autopilot with GPS and radio control.
   _____________________   _________________   _______________________

The Fox-TX can carry a variety of payloads for radar or radio communications jamming; radar identification and location; communications intercept; or, when fitted with a warhead and a radar-homing seeker, anti-radar attack. The Fox-TX can also carry two small underwing stores. Other Fox variants include:

* The CAC Systemes K100 is a mini-UAV. The company sells a reconnaissance variant, the "K100/R", and a antiradar loitering attack variant, the "K100/A". The K100 is of conventional aircraft configuration, except for an upright vee tail and a pusher propeller. It has no landing gear.

   CAC SYSTEMES K100:
   _____________________   _________________   _______________________
 
   spec                    metric              english
   _____________________   _________________   _______________________

   wingspan                2.6 meters          8 feet 6 inches
   length                  1.5 meters          4 feet 11 inches
   payload weight          5 kilograms         11 pounds
   empty weight            23 kilograms        47 pounds
   launch weight           28 kilograms        62 pounds

   maximum speed           234 KPH             145 MPH / 126 KT
   endurance               30 minutes

   launch scheme           RATO booster off ramp.
   recovery scheme         Parachute or skid landing.
   payload                 Day / night imager, warhead with seeker
   guidance system         Programmable with GPS, radio control backup.
   _____________________   _________________   _______________________

* The CAC Systemes Heliot is a small two-seat helicopter that can be piloted or operated as a UAV for reconnaissance or decoy missions. It is also used as a target drone. The Heliot is of conventional main-tail rotor configuration and is powered by a Hirth piston engine with 79 kW (105 horsepower). It has a large payload capacity, and CAC Systemes advertises it for use with a wide range of standard or customer-supplied payloads for reconnaissance, electronic warfare, or training.

   CAC SYSTEMES HELIOT:
   _____________________   _________________   _______________________
 
   spec                    metric              english
   _____________________   _________________   _______________________

   rotor diameter          6.7 meters          22 feet
   length                  6 meters            19 feet 8 inches
   payload weight          120 kilograms       265 pounds
   empty weight            230 kilograms       507 pounds
   launch weight           450 kilograms       992 pounds

   maximum speed           126 KPH             78 MPH / 68 KT
   service ceiling         3,000 meters        9,850 feet
   endurance               2 hours 30 minutes

   payload                 Imagers, EW, countermeasures, etc.
   guidance system         Programmable with GPS, radio control backup.
   _____________________   _________________   _______________________

* The Techno-Sud Vigilant is another French mini-UAV. It is a small unpiloted helicopter of conventional main-tail rotor configuration, and powered by a 9 kW (12 horsepower) two-stroke engine. The Vigilant is marketed by Thomson-CSF, and is being sold to both military and civilian users. Civilian users have accounted for the bulk of sales, using it for applications such as security or environmental monitoring.

   TECHNO-SUD VIGILANT:
   _____________________   _________________   _______________________
 
   spec                    metric              english
   _____________________   _________________   _______________________

   rotor diameter          1.83 meters         6 feet
   length                  2.3 meters          7 feet 6 inches
   launch weight           40 kilograms        88 pounds

   maximum speed           97 KPH              60 MPH / 52 KT
   service ceiling         1,830 meters        6,000 feet
   endurance               1 hour

   payload                 Imagers and custom payloads.
   guidance system         Programmable with radio control backup.
   _____________________   _________________   _______________________

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