Taranis the Robot Murderer

A video recorded by the military contractor BAE Systems shows images of ' drone ' Taranis combat on its maiden flight .

Named after the Celtic god of thunder , the new British unmanned air combat was at its best in a short test flight filmed in 2013 but released now .

The video shows the intercontinental supersonic fighter (with 8 tons, 11 meters long and a wingspan of about 9 meters) taking off, doing some simple maneuvers and landing later.

The aircraft has " leading technology in the world" and the "system of more advanced navigation conceived, designed and built in the UK" , a country that boasts that its new device is an "inspiration to the nation ," the manufacturer .

Taranis development began in 2005 and the aircraft was presented in July 2010 at the air base in the British county of Lancashire.

The device is expected to perform a wide range of combat missions and even intercontinental flights.

The ' drone ' satellite will be controlled from anywhere in the world.

The Taranis is capable of operating independently of the control center automatically flights and intercept or evade guided missiles against them.

In addition , its ability to engage targets from " fully autonomous" way under its " intelligent system " converts , experts and activists in a " murderer robot" , which has sparked a public debate in the country.

" The murderers robots are weapons that make drones seem primitive .

At least with the ' drone ' is a man looking at computer screen, see the target and press the buttons to fire missiles and kill.

Several military is investigating weapons that do not need to be any human being involved in the attacks and the killing of human beings.

We find it shocking and scary that people are really thinking it's okay to leave the machines to attack and kill humans. "

The BAE Systems Taranis is a British demonstrator programme for Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV) technology, being developed primarily by the defence contractor BAE Systems.

A semi-autonomous unmanned warplane, it is designed to fly intercontinental missions, and will carry a variety of weapons, enabling it to attack both aerial and ground targets.

It will utilise stealth technology, giving it a low radar profile, and it will be controllable via satellite link from anywhere on Earth.

The Strategic Unmanned Air Vehicles (Experiment) Integrated Project Team, or SUAV(E) IPT, is responsible for auditing and overseeing the project.

The aircraft, which is intended to demonstrate the viability of unmanned multi-role systems, is named after the Celtic god of thunder, Taranis.

It conducted its first flight in 2.013.

Design and development

The Taranis project is led by BAE Systems, and also involves Rolls-Royce, GE Aviation Systems, QinetiQ and the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

As the prime contractor, BAE Systems is responsible for the overall programme, and also for many of the component technologies, including stealth technology, systems integration and system control infrastructure.

BAE Systems and QinetiQ are working closely on all aspects relating to the autonomy of the system.

GE Aviation Systems (formerly Smiths Aerospace) is responsible for providing Taranis' fuel-gauging and electrical power systems.

Rolls-Royce is responsible for the propulsion system and installation; the aircraft is expected to use a Rolls-Royce Turbomeca Adour Mk.951 turbofan.

BAE Systems Australia is tasked with developing and supplying the flight control computers,[8] having a 5% workshare in the project, while the Integrated Systems Technologies (Insyte) subsidiary of BAE Systems is providing C4ISTAR support.

BAE Systems stated that "Taranis will make use of at least 10 years of research and development into low observables, systems integration, control infrastructure and full autonomy.

It follows the completion of risk-reduction activities to ensure the mix of technologies, materials and systems used are robust enough for the 'next logical step'."

These "risk-reduction activities" included related BAE programmes, such as Replica, Nightjar I, Nightjar II, Kestrel, Corax, Raven and HERTI.

The first steel for the Taranis prototype was cut in September 2.007, and assembly began in February 2008.

On 9 January 2009, the Ministry of Defence denied that the Taranis had been flying near the site of a damaged wind turbine, after local people claimed to have seen a UFO.


The Taranis prototype, which cost £143 million to develop, was unveiled by BAE Systems at Warton Aerodrome, Lancashire, on 12 july 2.010.

Ground tests of the prototype began in 2.010,[4] and flight trials were initially expected to begin in 2.011.

However, the aircraft's first flight was later delayed to 2.012,then delayed further to "the first part of 2.013".

The prototype has a maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) of about 8,000 kilograms (18,000 lb), and is of a similar size to the BAE Hawk training jet.

It mounts two internal weapons bays, and is intended to incorporate "full autonomy", allowing it to operate without human control for a large part of the mission.

Flight testing

On 25 October 2.013, the UK Ministry of Defence revealed that initial flight tests had already taken place.

Ground tests were conducted in 2.010 and flight trials occurred in 2.013.

The MoD did not officially comment on the Taranis until the initial trials programme had been completed.

On 5 February 2.014, BAE revealed information on Taranis flight tests.

The first flight occurred on 10 August 2.013 at Woomera Test Range in South Australia.

This happened three years after the aircraft had been produced and lasted for 15 minutes. A second sortie was launched on august 17.

Subsequent flight surpassed expectations for the airframe, flying at various speeds and heights for as long as one hour.

Developing the Taranis has so far cost £185 million, compared to £140 million as originally projected.

The first flight also happened two years later than planned.

The Taranis is planned to be operational "post 2.030" and used in concert with manned aircraft.


Although the aircraft is still in development phase, the latest specifications which are publicly available are as follows
Height: 4 metres (13 ft)
Length: 11.35 metres (37.2 ft)
Wingspan: 9.1 metres (30 ft)
Weight: 8 tonnes (18,000 lb)
Range: Intercontinental

Triton MQ 4c,the unpublished ' U.S. drone ' will open new possibilities in intelligence work

The Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) under development for the United States Navy as asurveillance aircraft. 

In tandem with its associated ground control station, it is considered an unmanned aircraft system (UAS). 

Developed under the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) program, the system is intended to provide continuous maritime surveillance for the U.S. Navy, and to complement the Boeing P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft.

The MQ-4C System Development and Demonstration (SDD) aircraft was delivered in 2.012 and the MQ-4C UAS was originally expected to be operational by late 2.015 with a total of 68 aircraft to be procured. 

However, in April 2013, the Navy announced that production has shifted from FY14 to FY15 due to additional testing requirements and technical issues related to the aircraft's double-tail vertical stabilizer and rudder, and software integration for maritime sensors.

According to the latest information available from the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), the Initial Operational Capability (IOC) for the MQ-4C UAS is now planned for 2.017.

The Triton , the new drone , with a gigantic scale similar to the Boeing 757 developed to increase the chances of the U.S. Navy in the field of aerial surveillance , could enter service in 2.017.

The corporation aerospace and defense companies Northrop Grumman and the U.S. Navy ninth reported successful test flight of Triton , the unmanned aerial system they (UAS , for its acronym in English ) that overcame the technical qualities of its predecessor in the Air Force , the ' drone ' Global Hawk.

Equipped with a wingspan of nearly 40 meters longer than the Boeing 757,the Triton will be able to perform tasks in real-time intelligence , surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR , for its acronym in English ) by a set of sensors provides a 360 degree view in a radius of more than 3,700 kilometers, which is a significant improvement of air surveillance , much higher than any of its competitors.

At the same time , their only protection against ice and lightning allows the Triton plunge through the clouds to get a closer view and automatically classify enemy ships. 

Moreover, during the last test , the ' drone ' proved able to recover easily from shocks in its flight path caused by turbulence .

The field operators can obtain the high resolution image recording apparatus using the radar to detect targets and exchange information with other military units .

So far, the Triton has completed flights up to 9.4 hours at an altitude of over 15,000 feet in the manufacturer's premises in California ( USA). 

According to Northrop Grumman, the Triton mission could address up to 24 hours.

The manufacturer said previously that Triton had demonstrated the structural strength of wings a key capability that will allow the aircraft to descend from high altitudes to make a positive identification of targets for surveillance missions,even when subjected to a load exceeded by 22% the requirements of the U.S. Navy.

Under the initial contract signed in 2008 , the U.S. Navy ordered 68 drone MQ- 4C Triton , whose delivery is scheduled for 2.017.

Operational history

Flight testing

The MQ-4C Triton performed its first flight on 22 May 2.013 from United States Air Force Plant 42 / Palmdale Regional Airport, California. 

The flight lasted 1 hour 20 minutes and the aircraft reached an altitude of 20,000 ft.

On 6 January 2.014, Northrop Grumman announced that the MQ-4C had completed 9 test flights with 46 hours of flight time. 

Half of its envelope expansion testing, which includes evaluating the aircraft at different altitudes, speeds, and weights, has been completed. 

Some flights lasted over 9 hours and reached 50,000 ft. A second Triton aircraft will fly by March or April 2014.

Fleet operational evaluation and introduction

On February 7, 2.013, the U.S. Navy announced that it would stand up Unmanned Patrol Squadron Nineteen (VUP-19) at NAS Jacksonville, Florida on October 1, 2.013, to eventually operate the MQ-4C as the Navy's first Triton squadron.[

A detachment of VUP-19 will also be established at NAS Point Mugu, California. 

VUP-19 will fall under the administrative control of Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing ELEVEN (CPRW-11) at NAS Jacksonville, where an MQ-4C mission control facility is also under construction, and will initially operate the Triton on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions for the U.S. 5th Fleet in the Southwest Asia/Middle East/East Africa region, the U.S. 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean and eastern Atlantic, theU.S. 7th Fleet in the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean, and U.S. Fleet Forces Command in western Atlantic operations. 

In 2.014, the Navy will activate a second Triton squadron, VUP-11, to take over operations in the Pacific in support of U.S. 7th Fleet and share U.S. 5th Fleet operations with VUP-19.


General characteristics

· Crew: Aircraft is unmanned; 4 personnel required per ground station
· Length: 47.6 ft in (14.5 m)
· Wingspan: 130.9 ft in (39.9 m)
· Height: 15.3 ft in (4.7 m)
· Gross weight: 32,250 lb (14,628.4 kg)
· Powerplant: 1 × Rolls-Royce AE 3007 turbofan, 6,495-8,917 lbf (28.9-39.7 kN)


· Maximum speed: 357 mph (575 km/h)
· Endurance: 30 hours
· Service ceiling: 60,000 ft (18,288 m)


The X-47B's first takeoff at Edwards AFB, California, in February 2.011

Role :Unmanned combat air vehicle

Manufacturer : Northrop Grumman

First flight : 4 February 2.011

Primary user : United States Navy

Number built : 2

Program cost :US$813 million[1]

Developed from :X-47A Pegasus

Developed into : X-47C UCLASS

The Northrop Grumman X-47B is a demonstration unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) designed for carrier-based operations. 

Developed by the American defense technology company Northrop Grumman, the X-47 project began as part of DARPA's J-UCAS program, and is now part of the United States Navy's Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstration (UCAS-D) program. 

The X-47B first flew in 2.011, and as of 2.013, it is undergoing flight testing, having successfully performed a series of land- and carrier-based demonstrations.

Northrop Grumman intends to develop the prototype X-47B into a battlefield-ready aircraft, the Unmanned Carrier-Launched Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) system, which will enter service by 2.019.

Design and development


The US Navy did not commit to practical UCAS efforts until 2.000, when the service awarded contracts of US$2 million each to Boeing and Northrop Grumman for a 15-month concept-exploration program.

Design considerations for a naval UCAV included dealing with the corrosive saltwater environment, deck handling for launch and recovery, integration with command and control systems, and operation in an aircraft carrier's high-electromagnetic-interference environment. 

The Navy was also interested in procuring UCAVs for reconnaissance missions, penetrating protected airspace to identify targets for following attack waves.

The J-UCAS program was terminated in February 2006 following the US military's Quadrennial Defense Review. 

The US Air Force and Navy proceeded with their own UAV programs. 

The Navy selected Northrop Grumman's X-47B as its unmanned combat air system demonstrator (UCAS-D) program.

A new weapon system will not be developed for the X-47B, but it will be able to carry existing weapons,and has a full-sized weapons bay. 

To provide realistic testing, the demonstration vehicle is the same size and weight as the projected operational craft.

The X-47B prototype rolled out from Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale, California, on 16 December 2.008. 

Its first flight was planned for November 2.009, but the flight was delayed as the project fell behind schedule. 

On 29 December 2.009, Northrop Grumman oversaw towed taxi tests of the aircraft at the Palmdale facility,with the aircraft taxiing under its own power for the first time in January 2.010.

The first flight of the X-47B demonstrator, designated Air Vehicle 1 (AV-1), took place at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on 4 February 2.011.

The aircraft first flew in cruise configuration with its landing gear retracted on 30 September 2.011.

A second X-47B demonstrator, designated AV-2, conducted its maiden flight at Edwards Air Force Base on 22 November 2.011.

The two X-47B demonstrators were planned to have a three-year test program with 50 tests at Edwards AFB and NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, culminating in sea trials in 2.013.

However, the aircraft performed so consistently that the preliminary tests stopped after 16 flights.

The aircraft will be used to demonstrate carrier launches and recoveries, as well as autonomous inflight refueling with a probe and drogue. 

The X-47B has a maximum unrefueled range of over 2,100 nautical miles (3,900 km), and an endurance of more than six hours.

In November 2.011, the Navy announced that aerial refuelling equipment and software would be added to one of the prototype aircraft in 2.014 for testing.

The demonstrator aircraft will never be armed.

In 2.012, Northrop Grumman tested a wearable remote control system, designed to allow ground crews to steer the X-47B while on the carrier deck.

In May 2.012, AV-1 began high-intensity electromagnetic interference testing at Patuxent River, to test its compatibility with planned electronic warfare systems.

In June 2.012, AV-2 arrived at Patuxent River to begin a series of tests, including arrested landings and catapult launches, to validate the ability of the aircraft to conduct precision approaches to an aircraft carrier.

The drone's first land-based catapult launch was conducted successfully on 29 November 2.012.

On 26 November 2.012, the X-47B began its carrier-based evaluation aboard the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) at Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia.

On 18 December 2.012, the X-47B completed its first at-sea test phase. 

The system was remarked to have performed "outstandingly", having proved that it was compatible with the flight deck, hangar bays, and communication systems of an aircraft carrier. 

With deck testing completed, the X-47B demonstrator returned to NAS Patuxent River for further tests.

On 4 May 2.013, the demonstrator successfully performed an arrested landing on a simulated carrier deck at Patuxent River.

The Navy launched the X-47B from the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) on the morning of 14 may 2.013 in the Atlantic Ocean, marking the first time that an unmanned drone was catapulted off an aircraft carrier.

On 17 may 2.013, another first was achieved when the X-47B performed touch-and-go landings and take-offs on the flight deck of the USS George H.W. Bush while underway in the Atlantic Ocean.

On 10 july 2.013, the X-47B launched from Patuxent River and landed on the deck of the George H.W. Bush, conducting the first ever arrested landing of a UAV on an aircraft carrier at sea. 

The drone subsequently completed a second successful arrested landing on the Bush, but it was diverted to the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia after an issue was detected, requiring that a planned third landing be aborted.

One of the drone's three navigational sub-systems failed, which was identified by the other two sub-systems. 

The anomaly was indicated to the mission operator, who followed test plan procedures to abort the landing. 

The Navy stated that the aircraft's detection of a problem demonstrated its reliability and ability to operate autonomously.

In a test attempt on 15 July 2013, a different X-47B demonstrator, designated 501, failed to make a successful flight deck landing on the Bush due to technical issues.

Officials asserted that only one successful at-sea landing was required for the program, though testers were aiming for three, and only two out of four were achieved.


The project was initially funded under a US$635.8-million contract awarded by the Navy in 2.007. 

However, by january 2.012, the X-47B's total program cost had grown to an estimated $813 million.

Government funding for the X-47B UCAS-D program will run out at the end of September 2.013, with the close of the fiscal year.


Original proof-of-concept prototype with a 19-foot (5.9 m) wingspan, first flown in 2.003.

Current demonstrator aircraft with a 62-foot (19 m) wingspan, first flown in 2.011.

Proposed larger version with a payload of 10,000 lb (4,500 kg) and a wingspan of 172 ft (52.4 m).

Specifications (X-47B)

General characteristics

Crew: None aboard (semi-autonomous operation)
Length: 38.2 ft (11.63 m)
Wingspan: 62.1 ft extended/30.9 ft folded[38] (18.92 m/9.41 m)
Height: 10.4 ft (3.10 m)
Empty weight: 14,000 lb (6,350 kg)
Max. takeoff weight: 44,567 lb (20,215 kg)
Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney F100-220U turbofan


Maximum speed: Subsonic
Cruise speed: Mach 0.9+ (high subsonic)
Range: 2,100+ NM (3,889+ km)
Service ceiling: 40,000 ft (12,190 m)
2 weapon bays, providing for up to 4,500 lb (2,000 kg) of ordnance

Drones how this machines work?

Obama has confirmed the US is using unmanned aircraft to target suspected militants in tribal areas of Pakistan. 

He defended the drone attacks, saying they made precision strikes and were kept on a "tight leash". 

What are drones used for and how are they controlled?
To the military, they are UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) or RPAS (Remotely Piloted Aerial Systems). 

However, they are more commonly known as drones.

Drones are used in situations where manned flight is considered too risky or difficult. 

They provide troops with a 24-hour "eye in the sky", seven days a week. 

Each aircraft can stay aloft for up to 17 hours at a time, loitering over an area and sending back real-time imagery of activities on the ground.

Those used by the United States Air Force and Royal Air Force range from small intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance craft, some light enough to be launched by hand, to medium-sized armed drones and large spy planes.
Although the US does not routinely speak publicly about operations involving drones, President Obama has confirmed that they regularly strike suspected militants in Pakistan's tribal areas.

The use of such unmanned aircraft in the area began under President George W Bush, but their use has more than doubled under the Obama administration.

Drones are seen by many in the military as delivering precision strikes without the need for more intrusive military action. 

However, they are not without controversy.

Hundreds of people have been killed by the strikes in Pakistan - civilians as well as militants, causing outrage. 

One of the deadliest attacks was in March 2.011 when 40 were killed, many believed to be civilians at a tribal meeting.

Key drone types

Two of the medium-sized drones currently in use in Afghanistan and Pakistan are the MQ-1B Predator and the MQ-9 Reaper.

These strange-looking planes carry a wealth of sensors in their bulbous noses: colour and black-and-white TV cameras, image intensifiers, radar, infra-red imaging for low-light conditions and lasers for targeting. 

They can also be armed with laser-guided missiles.

Each multi-million dollar Predator or Reaper system comprises four aircraft, a ground control station and a satellite link.

Although drones are unmanned, they are not unpiloted - trained crew at base steer the craft, analyse the images which the cameras send back and act on what they see.

The base may be local to the combat zone or thousands of miles away - many of the drone missions in Afghanistan are controlled from Creech air force base in Nevada, USA - although take-off and landing are always handled locally.

The MQ-1B Predator (formerly called the RQ-1 Predator) was originally designed as an aircraft for intelligence-gathering, surveillance, identifying targets and reconnaissance.

However, since 2.002 it has been equipped with two Hellfire II missiles, meaning it can strike at a range of up to 8km (five miles).

By contrast, the newer MQ-9 Reaper was conceived as a "hunter-killer" system.

It can carry four Hellfire missiles and laser-guided bombs such as Paveway II and GBU-12.

Its cruise speed is 370kph (230mph), much faster than the 217kph (135mph) of the Predator which is more vulnerable to being shot down at low altitudes although the drones would usually be flown above the range of most of the weapons available to the Taliban.

Future incoming craft

The US Army revealed in december that it was also developing new helicopter-style drones with 1.8 gigapixel colour cameras, which promised "an unprecedented capability to track and monitor activity on the ground".

Britain's prototype Taranis is designed to fend off attack

Three of the A160 Hummingbird sensor-equipped drones are due to go into service in Afghanistan in either may or june this year.

The drones will take advantage of the autonomous realtime ground ubiquitous surveillance imaging system first or Argus-IS, which can provide real-time video streams at the rate of 10 frames a second. 

The army said that was enough to track people and vehicles from altitudes above 20,000 feet (6.1km) across almost 65 square miles (168 sq km).

The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) is also working with the Uk based defence contractor BAE Systems to develop a more advanced version of the Argus-IS sensor that will offer night vision.

It said the infrared imaging sensors would be sensitive enough to follow "dismounted personnel at night".

British capability

British forces also use a variety of remotely piloted aircraft. 

The British Army has used the Hermes 450 UAV in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as smaller UAVs to help check for roadside bombs ahead of patrols.

The Hermes 450 is being upgraded to the Watchkeeper which, like the Reaper, can be armed. It is due to enter service in 2012.

The RAF also uses the higher-spec Reaper aircraft. 

In may last year, the RAF announced a new squadron of the drones would be controlled for the first time from a UK base. 
The Reaper had previously been controlled by RAF crews in the US.

In July 2.010, the UK Ministry of Defence unveiled Taranis, its prototype unmanned combat air vehicle which is designed to be able to fend off attack as well as perform the intelligence gathering, surveillance and strike roles of other UAVs.

Armed reconnaissance,                                    Primary function                   hunter-killer
surveillance and target acquisition                                                                weapon system
16.8m (55ft)                                                         Wingspan                         20.1m (66ft)
8.2m (27ft)                                                              Length                           11m (36ft)
204kg (450lb)                                                        Payload                     1,701kg (3,750lb)
135-217kph (84-135 mph)                                  Cruise speed                 370kph (230mph)
1,240k, (770 miles)                                                   Range                    1,850k (1,150 miles)
Two Hellfire missiles                                               Weapons                 Combination of Hellfire,                                  
                                                                                                                   Paveway II and    
                                                                                                                     gbu-12 jdam
Two: one pilot and one                                              Crew                        Two: one pilot and
sensor operator; plus                                                                                 one sensor operator
a mission co-ordinator                                                                                   plus a mission
when required                                                                                             coordinator when
$20m per system (includes                                        Unit cost                   $53.5m per system
four aircraft, ground control                                                                      (includes four aircraft,
station and satellite link)                                                                            ground control station
                                                                                                                    and satellite link)
130                                                                       Active fo rce -                         47    5 -
                                                                                                                       USAF RAF                          
                                                                                                                   rising to10 in 2.013

Honeywell Rq-16 T-Hawk

Role : Surveillance UAV
National origin :United States
Manufacturer : Honeywell
Primary user : United States Navy

The Honeywell RQ-16A T-Hawk (for "Tarantula hawk", a wasp species) is a ducted fan Vtol micro Uav. 

Developed by Honeywell, it is suitable for backpack deployment and single-person operation.


The Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) program was launched by the Darpa. 

Following a $40 million technology demonstration contract to Honeywell Defense and Space Electronic Systems in 2.003, the MAV project was transferred to United States Army's Future Combat System (FCS) program to fulfill the need for Class I platoon-level drone. 

In May 2.006, Honeywell was awarded a $61 million contract to develop an advanced MAV with extended endurance and heavy-fuel engine.

In 2.007, the United States Navy awarded Honeywell a $7.5 million contract for 20 G-MAVs (denoting the use of a gasoline engine) for deployment to Iraq with the U.S. Multi-Service Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group. 

The hovering feature of MAV has been critical for U.S. forces in Iraq that search for roadside bombs. 

Military convoys have been using MAVs to fly ahead and scan the roads. A MAV’s benefit is its ability to inspect a target a suspicious vehicle, structure, or disturbed earth from close range, covering ground much more quickly than an unmanned ground vehicle and without putting people at risk.

The Iraq trials were so successful that the U.S. Navy placed a surprise order for 372 MAVs, designated RQ-16A T-Hawk, in January 2.008 for Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) teams.

The 186 MAV systems each consist of two air vehicles and one ground station. In January 2.009, the United Kingdom was reported to have ordered five complete T-Hawk systems for delivery by 2.010.

In April 2.010, Honeywell conducted demonstrations of the T-Hawk's at the Counter Terrorism and Jungle Warfare College, Kanker, Chattisgarh. As a result Indian security forces are set to conduct user trials.


The gasoline engine powered RQ-16 is reported to weigh 8.4 kilograms (20 lb), have an endurance of around 40 minutes, 10,500-foot (3,200 m) ceiling and an operating radius of about 6 nautical miles (11 km). 

Forward speeds up to 70 knots (130 km/h) have been achieved, but the G-MAV is operationally restricted to 50 knots (93 km/h) by software. 

VTOL operation is subject to a maximum wind speed of 15 knots (28 km/h). Sensors include one forward and one downward looking daylight or IR cameras.

Further information: FCS/BCT unmanned aerial vehicles

Designated XM156 (or Class I) by the United States Army, the aircraft was intended to provide the dismounted soldier with Reconnaissance, Surveillance, and Target Acquisition (RSTA) and laser designation. 

Total system weight, which includes the air vehicle, a control device, and ground support equipment is less than 51 pounds (23 kg) and is back-packable in two custom MOLLE-type carriers.

Portable in two backpacks

This micro air vehicle operates in open, rolling, complex and urban terrains with a vertical take-off and landing capability.

 It was interoperable with select ground and air platforms and controlled by mounted or dismounted soldiers. 

The Class I used autonomous flight and navigation, but it would interact with the network and soldier to dynamically update routes and target information. 

It provided dedicated reconnaissance support and early warning to the smallest echelons of the Brigade Combat Team (BCT) in environments not suited to larger assets.

The Class I system provided a hover and stare capability that was not available in the Army UAV inventory for urban and route surveillance. 

The Class I system also filled known gaps that existed in force operations, such as : Protect Force in Counterinsurgency (COIN) Operations, Soldier Protection in COIN environment, Ability to Conduct Joint Urban Operations, Enhanced ISR/RSTA Capabilities, Hover and Stare operations.

The Class I UAV was part of Spin Out 1 and entered evaluation by Soldiers at the Army Evaluation Task Force (AETF). 

It was to be fielded to Infantry Brigade Combat Teams (IBCT) starting in 2.011. 

However, the Army issued Honeywell a stop-work order on January 6, 2011, with formal termination on February 3 the following month. Its role has gone to the Puma AE.

Continued Service 

On September 19, 2.012, Honeywell was awarded a support contract for the RQ-16B Block II T-Hawk. 

Despite the Class I UAV program being cancelled, RQ-16s are still being used in the field in Afghanistan.

Civilian Application at Disaster Site 

On Friday, April 15, 2011, a T-hawk drone was used to conduct surveillance of the damaged Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power station. 

This nuclear plant suffered severe damage as a result of a devastating earthquake and tsunami which struck the east coast of Japan one month earlier. 

The damage resulted in several of the reactors at the facility undergoing partial meltdown, releasing radioactivity into the local area. 

The radiation was thousands of times above the safe limit for exposure, making the area unsafe for human habitation. 

The radiation was intense enough to make even short-term exposure hazardous, preventing people from going in to assess the damage. 

The T-hawk drone took numerous photographs of the damaged reactor housings, turbine buildings, spent nuclear fuel rod containment pools, and associated facilities damaged by the earthquake, tsunami, and subsequent hydrogen gas explosions at the facility. 

This allowed Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) to better determine where the releases of radioactivity were coming from and how to best deal with them.

On Friday, June 24, 2.011, a T-Hawk apparently crash-landed on the roof of the number 2 reactor building at Fukushima.

Specifications (approximate) 

General characteristics :

Crew: None
Gross weight: 20 lb (8.4 kg)
Powerplant: 1 × 3W-56 56cc Boxer Twin piston engine, 4 hp (3 kW) each

Performance :

Maximum speed: 81 mph (130 km/h)
Endurance: ca. 0 hours  40 min
Service ceiling: 10,500 ft (3,200 m)

The SpyLite

SpyLite is a multiconfiguration tactical mini unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) produced by BlueBird Aero Systems. 

SpyLite is designed for Intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (Istar) missions. 

It has been operational with Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and selected by the Israeli Air Force as well.

SpyLite has been deployed in several operations and missions and accumulated thousands of flight hours in Israel and across the world. 

The Uav is fully automatic, from the time of catapult launch to its recovery.

The SpyLite is a combat-proven, electric, back-packed, extended performance mini-uas, optimized to provide covert, “over-the-hill” real-time visual Intelligence to its users; it is specifically designed to allow critical, visual recognition of elements in real-time and gain dominant situational awareness of the inspected area. 

The system can be carried by 2 men with the overall weight of 20 Kg for each and can fly in almost any weather condition (unique in its ability to fly in strong winds and on cloudy or rainy days, assuring high operational ability and availability). 

Its quick deployment capability, ease of control and operation and immediate data exploitation provides the tactical level with a reliable intelligence.

The Spylite was delivered to customers around the world and is in operational use by the Israeli Mod. 

Operational missions :
Rapid "over-the-hill", covert ISTAR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance) in open area as well as urban warfare scenarios.
"First responder".
Border protection.
Force / convoy protection.
Security operations
Law enforcement.
Search and rescue.
Disaster control and management operations.
Commercial applications.
Mapping on Demand photogrammetric solutions.

Advantages :
Combat Proven covert operation- thousands of hours accumulated in operations and missions.

Performance unmatched Uav capabilities (up to 4 hour endurance, 50 km operational range).

Superior Payload and imagery capabilities dual sensor gimbaled and stabilized payload and built in video enhancing providing high resolution imagery, automatic target  tracking & image leveling.

All weather operation – rough weather resistant; Proven operations in rain.

High reliability and ease of use fully autonomous automatic launch and accurate parachute recovery, operational readiness in less than 15 minutes.

Transportability- back packed system. 

Can be carried by 2 men or a small vehicle.

Specifications :

 Weight : 9 Kg
 Payload : Up to 1.3 Kg 
 Endurance : Up to 4 Hr. 
 Operational Range : Over 50 Km (Can be extended to 80 Km)
 Best Operational Altitude : Up to 1000 m / 3000 ft. AGL
 Ceiling  : 10000m / 30000 ft. ASL

Israeli Mosquito - Spy Butterfly

We really don't know if we can catalogue this as a flying vehicle or as an airplane, but here it is, you are the judge.

Insect drone for indoor surveillance

The future is here and this is not a butterfly on your wall, as Israeli drones are getting tiny. 

Their latest project  a butterfly-shaped drone weighing just 20 grams, the smallest in its range so far  can gather intelligence inside buildings.

The new miniscule surveillance device can take color pictures and is capable of a vertical take-off and hover flight, just like a helicopter, reports the daily Israel Hayom. 

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) says this may come in handy in ground clashes, when a soldier would merely take it out of a pocket and send behind the enemy’s line.

The insect-drone, with its 0.15-gram camera and memory card, is managed remotely with a special helmet. 

Putting on the helmet, you find yourself in the “butterfly’s cockpit” and virtually see what the butterfly sees  in real time.

“The butterfly’s advantage is its ability to fly in an enclosed environment. 

There is no other aerial vehicle that can do that today,” Dubi Binyamini, head of IAI’s mini-robotics department, told Israel Hayom.

Structures under observation can be anything from train stations or airport terminals or office buildings to battlefields and even forests in, say, southern Lebanon, where Israel believes Hezbollah hides its ambush squads. 

The virtually noiseless “butterfly” flaps its four wings 14 times per second. 

Almost translucent, it looks like an overgrown moth, but is still smaller than some natural butterflies. 

This is biomimicryty, when technology imitates nature. 

And this has proved to hide a trap. 

When the device was tested at a height of 50-meters, birds and flies tended to fall behind the device arranging into a flock. 

The IAI, Israel’s major aerospace and aviation manufacturer, needs two more years to polish their “butterfly” project. 

The product seems to fall into the trend of reducing drone size. 

Their recent models promoted for city observation and conflicts were the Ghost, weighing 4 kg, and Mosquito, which weighs only 500 grams.

While the “butterfly” may bring “a real technological revolution,” as the developer predicts, to the military field, questions remain how it will change the civil life. 

The drone is also propped up for police use and there is little doubt that secret services will be only too happy to grab such an intricate weapon.

Other countries are working in some kind of same projects, so watch out for the next technology gadgets.

X 48 B Nasa

A joint Nasa/Boeing team has completed the first phase of flight tests on the unique X-48B Blended Wing Body aircraft at Nasa's Dryden Flight Research Center on Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. 

The team completed the 80th and last flight of the project's first phase on March 19, 2.010. 

The Boeing X-48 is an experimental unmanned aerial vehicle (Uav) for investigation into the characteristics of blended wing body (Bwb) aircraft, a type of flying wing. 

Boeing designed the X-48 and two examples were built by Cranfield Aerospace in the UK. Boeing began flight testing the X-48B version for NASA in 2.007. 

The X-48B was later modified into the X-48C version. It was flight tested from August 2.012 to April 2.013. 

Boeing and Nasa plan to develop a larger BWB demonstrator.

Design and development

Boeing had in the past studied a blended wing body design, but found that passengers did not like the theater-like configuration of the mock-up; the design was dropped for passenger airliners, but retained for military aircraft such as aerial refueling tankers.

McDonnell Douglas developed the blended wing concept in the late 1.990s,and Boeing presented it during an annual Joint AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEA Propulsion Conference in 2.004.

The McDonnell Douglas engineers were confident that their design had several advantages, but their concept, code named "Project Redwood" found little favor at Boeing after their 1.997 merger.

The most difficult problem they solved was that of ensuring passengers a safe and fast escape in case of an accident, since emergency door locations were completely different from those in a conventional aircraft.

The blended wing body (BWB) concept offers advantages in structural, aerodynamic and operating efficiencies over today's more conventional fuselage-and-wing designs. 

These features translate into greater range, fuel economy, reliability and life cycle savings, as well as lower manufacturing costs. 

They also allow for a wide variety of potential military and commercial applications.

Boeing Phantom Works developed the blended wing body (BWB) aircraft concept in cooperation with the Nasa Langley Research Center. 

In an initial effort to study the flight characteristics of the BWB design, a remote-controlled propeller-driven blended wing body model with a 17 ft (5.2 m) wingspan was successfully flown in 1.997. 

The next step was to fly the 35 ft (10.7 m) wide X-48A in 2.004, but that program was later canceled.

Boeing's research at Phantom Works then focused on a new model, designated X-48B, two examples were built by United Kingdom-based Cranfield Aerospace. 

Norman Princen, Boeing's chief engineer for the project, stated in 2.006 : "earlier wind-tunnel testing and the upcoming flight testing are focused on learning more about the BWB's low-speed flight-control characteristics, especially during takeoffs and landings. Knowing how accurately our models predict these characteristics is an important step in the further development of this concept."

The X-48B has a 21-foot (6.4 m) wingspan, weighs 392-pound (178 kg), and is built from composite materials. It is powered by three small turbojet engines and is expected to fly at up to 120 kn (220 km/h) and reach an altitude of 10,000 feet (3,000 m).

The X-48B is an 8.5% scaled version of a conceptual 240-foot wide design.

Though passenger versions of the X-48B have been proposed, the design has a higher probability of first being used for a military transport.

Wind tunnel testing on a 12 ft wide blended wing body model was completed in September 2.005.

During April and May 2.006, NASA performed wind tunnel tests on X-48B Ship 1 at a facility shared by Langley and Old Dominion University.

After the wind tunnel testing, the vehicle was shipped to NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base to serve as a backup to X-48B Ship 2 for flight testing.

X-48B Ship 2 then conducted ground tests and taxi testing in preparation for flight.

In November 2.006, ground testing began at Dryden, to validate the aircraft's systems integrity, telemetry and communications links, flight-control software and taxi and takeoff characteristics.

The second X-48B was modified into the X-48C starting in 2.010 for further flight tests.

The X-48C has its vertical stabilizers moved inboard on either side of the engines, and its fuselage extended aft, both in an attempt to reduce the aircraft's noise profile; it was to be powered by two JetCat turbines, each producing 80 pounds-force (0.36 kN) of thrust. 

The X-48C was instead modified to use two Advanced Micro Turbo (AMT) turbojet engines in 2.012.

Following flight testing of the X-48C in April 2013, Boeing and NASA announced plans to develop a larger BWB demonstrator capable of transonic flight.

Operational history

The X-48B first flew on July 20, 2.007, reaching an altitude of 7,500 ft (2,286 m); the flight lasting 31 minutes.

The remotely-piloted aircraft was successfully stalled for the first time on September 4, 2008, with fixed leading edge slats, a forward center of gravity, and 23-degree angle of attack (2° beyond the maximum coefficient of lift). 

Stall testing was repeated on September 11 with a NASA pilot at the console.

On March 19, 2.010, Nasa and Boeing successfully completed the initial flight testing phase of the X-48B.

Fay Collier, manager of the Era Project in Nasa's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate commented on the completion of the first phase of testing saying, "

This project is a huge success. 

Bottom line: the team has proven the ability to fly tailless aircraft to the edge of the low-speed envelope safely."

Following the installation of a new flight computer in 2010, the X-48B was to continue a new phase of flights tests to investigate controlability aspects.

The second phase of flight tests with the X-48B began in September 2.010.

The X-48C first flew on August 7, 2.012.

Engine yaw control was among the aspects to be studied.

The X-48C completed its 8-month flight test program with its 30th flight on 9 April 2.013.



The initial planned 35 ft (10.7 m) wide version. It was canceled before manufacture.


Two 8.5% scale aircraft that have been used for flight testing.


A modified, two-engine version of the X-48B intended to test a low-noise design.
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