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Old 02-25-2024, 06:07 PM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
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Default Project Equipment: Drones

Suggested equipment for the PD. As always. jeers, burns, and the usual comments are cheerfully welcomed!

This is something that I have been playing around with for the last couple of years with my local gaming group. The genesis of was the Morrow Air thread that was posted a few years ago.

I have to say, IMHO, that equipping the Project with fixed-wing combat aircraft kinda goes against the ideals of the Project. Helicopters, I can see some use, birds such as the CH-47, MH-6; UH-60 and even OH-58s. The only fixed wing aircraft that I really feel comfortable with would be a handful of C-130s, C-23 Sherpas, Caribou and Buffalos. The only armed fixed wing I can see use for would by OV-1 Mohawks and OV-10D Broncos, yes they are lightly armed, but their surveillance capabilities would be of use.

So why drones?

Primarily for their surveillance capabilities, their ability to loiter for long periods and even for their ability to carry weapons. Now for the meat of this thread...
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Old 02-25-2024, 06:08 PM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
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Default Desert Hawk UAV

This is a miniature UAV used for base perimeter protection. It is made mostly of plastic foam, resembling hobby grade model airplanes, and uses an electric motor driving a pusher propeller as a powerplant, making it very quiet. It is launched with a bungee cord, carries three small CCD cameras, and has an endurance of about an hour. It flies mostly under autonomous control, with the operator keeping track of its activity with a laptop computer. Wingspan: 1.32 m; Length: 0.86 m; Weight: 3.2kg; Endurance: 1 hour.
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Old 02-25-2024, 06:09 PM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
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Default FQM-151 Pointer

Designed for use in battlefield surveillance. The radio-controlled Pointer was built mostly of high-impact Kevlar. It resembled a hobbyist's RC sailplane with a small engine added, with the wing standing up above the fuselage on a pylon and a pusher propeller on the wing behind the pylon. A lithium battery pack powered the UAV's compact electric motor to drive the propeller. The little Pointer is hand-launched. It was recovered simply by putting it into a flat spin, allowing it to flutter down to the ground.

The Pointer carries a CCD camera fixed in its nose, meaning it had to be directly pointed at its target to see it, which is how the machine got its name. The CCD camera had a resolution of 360 x 380 pixels and a viewing aperture of 22 x 30 degrees. Video could be fed back to the ground station by radio or fiber-optic link.

The ground station recorded flight imagery on an eight-millimeter video cassette recorder. Digital compass headings were superimposed on the imagery and the controller could add verbal comments. The imagery could be inspected with normal, freeze-frame, fast, or slow-motion replay. The aircraft system and the ground control station were carried in separate backpacks. It required a pilot and an observer. The Pointer has been upgraded with a GPS/INS capability. Wingspan: 2.74 m; Length: 1.83 m; Weight: 4.0kg; Maximum Speed: 73 km/h; Endurance: 1 hour; Service Ceiling: 300m.
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Old 02-25-2024, 06:10 PM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
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Default MQ-1C Grey Eagle

A medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aircraft system (UAS). It is powered by a Thielert Centurion 1.7 Heavy Fuel Engine (HFE). This is a Diesel piston engine that burns jet fuel, giving the aircraft better performance at high altitudes. It can operate for 36 hours at altitudes up to 7,600 m, with an operating range of 400 km.

The aircraft's nose fairing was enlarged to house a synthetic aperture radar/ground moving target indicator (SAR/GMTI) system, and targeting is also provided with an AN/AAS-52 Multi-spectral Targeting System (MTS) under the nose. The aircraft can carry a payload of 360 kg and may be armed with weapons such as AGM-114 Hellfire missiles and GBU-44/B Viper Strike guided bombs. Its sensors can fuse infrared imagery and use the SAR to scan and detect changes in terrain like tire tracks, footprints, and buried improvised explosive devices when performing a second scan.

Raytheon designed an electronic attack payload as part of the U.S. Army’s Networked Electronic Warfare, Remotely Operated (NERO) system, for jamming enemy communications on behalf of the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO). Derived from the Communications Electronic Attack Surveillance and Reconnaissance (CEASAR) system on the C-12 Huron, mounting NERO on the unmanned Gray Eagle gives reduced risk, reduced operating costs, and two to three times the endurance of electronic attack missions. Test flights showed that the Gray Eagle could operate with the jammer payload without being subject to adverse effects.

The empty weight is 1,318kg, endurance without the external tank is 45 hours, and engine can sustain an output of 180 hp (130 kW) continuously. General Atomics has added new winglets that can increase endurance a further one percent and allow the addition of a new vertical antennae. A special operations configuration can carry two Hellfire missiles and a SIGINT payload for 35 hours, as opposed to 14–15 hours for the Block 1 Grey Eagle.

The Improved Gray Eagle has a maximum gross takeoff weight of 1,900kg with its 205hp engine, compared to the Gray Eagle's 1,600 kg MGTOW and 160 hp engine. The Gray Eagle can carry 261kg of fuel, while the IGE can carry 390kg of fuel internally with its deep belly design and 230kg centerline hardpoint. External fuel tanks can add 200kg of extra fuel, allowing for a 50-hour endurance. The IGE also increases internal payload capacity from 180kg to 240kg. Maximum speed: 309km/h; Endurance: 25 hours; Service Ceiling: 8,839m.

Armament: 4 hardpoints able to carry 4 AGM-114 Hellfire or 8 AIM-92 Stinger or 4 GBU-44/B Viper Strike laser-guided bombs.
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Old 02-25-2024, 06:11 PM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
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Default RQ-4 Global Hawk

A high-altitude, remotely-piloted surveillance aircraft. The RQ-4 provides a broad overview and systematic surveillance using high-resolution synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensors with long loiter times over target areas. It can survey as much as 100,000 km2 of terrain per day, an area the size of South Korea or Iceland.

The Global Hawk is used as a high-altitude long endurance (HALE) platform covering the spectrum of intelligence collection capability to support forces in worldwide military operations. According to the USAF, the superior surveillance capabilities of the aircraft allow more precise weapons targeting and better protection of friendly forces.

A recent Morrow Industries development is the installation of the U-2’s Optical Bar Camera and the Senior Year Electro-Optical Reconnaissance System (SYERS-2B/C) into the RQ-4 using a Universal Payload Adapter (UPA). The UTC Aerospace Systems MS-177 multispectral sensor used on the USAF’s E-8C JSTARS. A AN/ALR-89 self-protection suite consisting of a AN/AVR-3 laser warning receiver, AN/APR-49 radar warning receiver, and jamming system, along with the ALE-50 towed decoy for the Global Hawk. The RQ-4 is fitted with a synthetic aperture radar (SAR), electro-optical (EO) camera and a thermographic (IR) camera.

Either the EO or the IR sensors can operate simultaneously with the SAR. Each sensor provides wide area search imagery and a high-resolution spot mode. The SAR has a ground moving target indicator (GMTI) mode, which can provide a text message providing the moving target's position and velocity. Both SAR and EO/IR imagery are transmitted from the aircraft to the MCE as individual frames, and reassembled during ground processing. An onboard inertial navigation system, supplemented by Global Positioning System updates, comprises the navigational suite.

The Global Hawk is capable of operating autonomously and "untethered". A military satellite system (X Band Satellite Communication) is used for sending data from the aircraft to the MCE. The common data link can also be used for direct down link of imagery when the UAV is within line-of-sight of compatible ground stations. For dense flight areas the autonomous navigation is switched off and the RQ-4 is remote controlled via the satellite link by pilots on the ground who are supplied with the same instrument data and who carry the same responsibilities as pilots in crewed planes.

The ground segment consists of a Mission Control Element (MCE) and Launch and Recovery Element (LRE), provided by Raytheon. The MCE is used for mission planning, command and control, and image processing and dissemination; an LRE for controlling launch and recovery; and associated ground support equipment. The LRE provides precision Differential GPS corrections for navigational accuracy during takeoff and landings, while precision coded GPS supplemented with an inertial navigation system is used during mission execution. By having separable elements in the ground segment, the MCE and the LRE can operate in geographically separate locations, and the MCE can be deployed with the supported command's primary exploitation site. Both ground segments are contained in military shelters with external antennas for line-of-sight and satellite communications with air vehicles.

Wingspan: 39.9 m; Length: 14.5 m; Gross Weight: 14,628kg; Maximum Speed: 629 km/h; Cruise Speed: 570 km/h; Service Ceiling: 18,000 m; Range: 22,800 km; Endurance: 34+ hours.
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Old 02-25-2024, 06:12 PM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
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Default RQ-5 Hunter

A unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). It takes off and lands (using arresting gear) on runways. It uses a gimbaled EO/IR sensor to relay its video in real time via a second airborne Hunter over a C-band line-of-sight datalink.

Max. Speed: 170 km/h; Cruising Speed: 93-165 km/h; Range; 125 km; Endurance: 21 hours; Service Ceiling: 5,500 m. Weight: 0.885kg.
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Old 02-25-2024, 06:13 PM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
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Default RQ-11 Raven

A small hand-launched remote-controlled unmanned aerial vehicle (SUAV). Introduced in 1999 it resembles a free flight model aircraft in general appearance. The Raven is launched by hand and powered by a pusher configuration electric motor. The plane can fly up to 10 km at altitudes of approximately 150 m above ground level, and over 4,500 m above mean sea level, at flying speeds of 45–100 km/h. The Raven can be either remotely controlled from the ground station or fly completely autonomous missions using GPS waypoint navigation. The UA can be ordered to immediately return to its launch point by pressing a single command button. Standard mission payloads include CCD color video cameras and an infrared night vision camera. Weight: 1.9kg
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Old 02-25-2024, 06:13 PM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
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Default RQ-12A Wasp III

A miniature UAV designed for special operations requirements to provide a small, light-weight vehicle to provide beyond-line-of-sight situation awareness. The aircraft is equipped with two on-board cameras to provide real-time intelligence to its operators. It is also equipped with GPS and an Inertial Navigation System enabling it to operate autonomously from takeoff to recovery. There are two Wasp variants: the traditional version that lands on land ("Terra Wasp"), and a version that lands into the sea or fresh water ("Aqua Wasp").

The Wasp is designed for it to be small, portable, reliable, and rugged unmanned aerial platform designed for front-line day or night reconnaissance and surveillance. The Wasp weighs only 430gm, is 38 cm long, and has a wingspan of 72 cm; it can be broken down and re-assembled to fit in a backpack. It can be controlled manually or programmed for GPS-based autonomous navigation and can carry interchangeable targeting payload modules, including forward and side-looking infrared and color cameras that transmit streaming video directly to the hand-held ground controller, the same controller used for the larger RQ-11B Raven.

The UAV can fly for 45 minutes out to 5 km at an altitude of 300 m with a top speed of 40–65km/h.

The Wasp AE, an improved version of the Wasp air vehicle that can land on ground or water. Although it is heavier at 1.3kg, it has 20 percent greater endurance and incorporates a miniature gimbal that gives operators both color and infrared video imagery from a single sensor package.
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Old 02-25-2024, 06:14 PM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
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Default RQ-14 Dragon Eye

A small reconnaissance miniature UAV. It is a tailless design with a rectangular wing and twin props. It is designed to fit into a backpack, with a weight of 2.7 kilograms and a span of 1.14 meters. It can be launched by hand or using a store-bought bungee cord. It also uses a break-apart system to increase durability—parts of the plane break apart instead of shattering and can be reattached later or replaced with new parts. It has a GPS-INS-based waypoint navigation system.

The operator monitors Dragon Eye operation through "video goggles" connected to a laptop computer. The control system weighs about 5.4 kilograms.

The Dragon Eye aircraft is used primarily for scouting urban areas, and is especially useful in urban assaults. Its camera, when used with a trained operator, can be used to spot enemies without alerting them to the UAV's presence. Cruising Speed; 64km/h; Ceiling: 152m; Endurance: 1 hour; Range: 5km; Transmission Range: 10.0km A single-person operation. Designed for use by Explosive Ordnance Disposal Groups. Its hovering feature is critical for the search for roadside bombs. It is used to fly ahead and scan the roads, 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. It is fitted with one forward and one downward looking daylight or IR cameras.

Weight: 8.39kg. Maximum speed: 130 km/h; Endurance: 40 minutes; Service Ceiling: 3,200 m; Operational Altitude: 30-70 m. Operating Radius is 11 km.
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Old 02-28-2024, 08:30 AM
mmartin798 mmartin798 is offline
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Default

I like drones and my group had one until recently. Events have transpired and they flew it into an area with some substantial C-RAM capabilities. They keep saying that they have to go get a replacement. They really like the surveillance capabilities.

I have a question for you though. Since you have bigger drones than I have, are you using the Pilot Aircraft skill with them? The drone my group had was smaller and more or less an upgraded DJI with larger payload, battery capacity and sensor suite. Since it takes care of much of the flying itself, I just use Sensor Operation with it.
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Old 02-28-2024, 09:46 AM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmartin798 View Post
I like drones and my group had one until recently. Events have transpired and they flew it into an area with some substantial C-RAM capabilities. They keep saying that they have to go get a replacement. They really like the surveillance capabilities.

I have a question for you though. Since you have bigger drones than I have, are you using the Pilot Aircraft skill with them? The drone my group had was smaller and more or less an upgraded DJI with larger payload, battery capacity and sensor suite. Since it takes care of much of the flying itself, I just use Sensor Operation with it.
I can see the larger bases (regional and larger) having 4-6 each of the larger drones, with dedicated pilots and support teams. The Global Hawks would be restricted to the three larger bases (Prime, Omnicron and Sigma) with 6-8 available for continental-scale long range surveillance.

The smaller drones would have 2-3 team personnel trained to fly them, so I can see either the pilot- or sensor operation-skills added.
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