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Posted: 3/7/2006 9:16:48 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/7/2006 9:20:03 AM EDT by COLE-CARBINE]
L-3 Communications' Tactical Common Data Link Demonstrates Airborne Interoperability in Apache-Hunter Teaming


(Source: L-3 Communications; issued March 6, 2006)

NEW YORK --- L-3 Communications announced today that a Tactical Common Data Link (TCDL) developed by its Communication Systems-West (CS-West) division was used to remotely command and control a Hunter unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) from an Apache helicopter as part of the Hunter Standoff Killer Team (HSKT) Advanced Concept Technology Development (ACTD). L-3 Communications supported the integration of the TCDL and the flight-testing of both aircraft under an agreement with the U.S. Army's Aviation Applied Technology Directorate (AATD).

The demonstration achieved Level IV UAV control, commanding and controlling both the UAV and its sensor payload from the airborne manned aircraft. The flight was a milestone in U.S. Army aviation history, the first time a UAV has been controlled from a U.S. Army Aviation helicopter through a TCDL. The Longbow Apache carried out its mission using high quality video from the Hunter at a range of more than 65 km.

"This achievement shows the U.S. Army has the technology to carry out advanced UAV missions," said Curtis Brunson, president and general manager of CS-West. "L-3 TCDL systems give U.S. Army Aviation pilots better situational awareness from sensors flying on UAVs in the area, and the means to connect to ground forces via the Rover III."

Link Posted: 3/7/2006 9:17:37 AM EDT
(BONUS RELATED ARTICLE)

Northrop Grumman and University of California, San Diego Complete Research to Increase Hunter Unmanned Aerial Vehicle's Combat Capabilities

(Source: Northrop Grumman; issued arch 6, 2006)

SAN DIEGO --- Northrop Grumman Corporation and the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), have completed a study that will enable the MQ-5B Hunter unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to carry additional payloads, increasing its effectiveness in providing communications, intelligence and firepower for the U.S. Army.

The three-month research effort, conducted jointly by Northrop Grumman's Integrated Systems sector and the university's Structural Engineering department, tested the aircraft's wing structure and verified that it can endure a higher amount of stress. This means the UAV can carry more weight during takeoff.

“The increased takeoff weight gives the U.S. Army the flexibility to add additional communications, intelligence and weapon payloads to the Hunter, expanding the capabilities of the warfighter,'' said Aaron Valdes, Northrop Grumman's lead engineer during the partnership. “This flexibility will expand the aircraft's multi-mission role on the battlefield.''

“This project was a tremendous opportunity for our aerospace graduate students and our undergraduate students at UCSD,'' said Dr. John B. Kosmatka, UCSD professor of composite and aerospace structures. “The students were able to witness the test and see how flexible, yet strong these wing structures actually are during these extremely critical flight loads.''

Another benefit of the wing structure test was the research team's ability to determine that the aircraft's endurance could be increased by as much as 50 percent, which means the Hunter can remain airborne for more than 18 hours. Greater endurance allows battlefield commanders to collect more intelligence over a larger area during a single flight.

Northrop Grumman's RQ-5A Hunter UAVs have flown more than 19,000 hours on U.S. Army combat missions in the Balkans and Iraq.


Link Posted: 3/7/2006 4:47:54 PM EDT
bump
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 4:19:13 PM EDT


Thanks for posting these.

Link Posted: 3/16/2006 5:06:59 PM EDT
I wonder if Hunter can carry a Hellfire on its own with these newly approved loads?

We were looking at buying some LAHAT missiles from Israel. Its a roughly Javelin sized semi-active laser missile- actually a couple centemetes smaller in the diameter department- originally designed to be launched from the bore of a 105mm tank gun. Merkava III's and IVs launch it from their guns (with a bore adapter). Because it was smaller by about half and was compatable with the illuminating lasers we currently use it looked like a good choice.

Course now we also have the option of the SAL guidance kit for the 2.75" rocket, and Hunter could surely carry a couple of those even before this change.

So the Apache can now use the Hunter either to shoot something or to find targets for its own missiles.

Thats cool.

Link Posted: 3/16/2006 5:33:05 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DrMark:

Thanks for posting these.




No problem.
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