Unmanned Force Multiplier for Aerial Battlefield

Unmanned Force Multiplier for Aerial Battlefield

A F-15C Eagle from the 493rd Fighter Squadron, 48th Fighter Wing Royal Air Force Base Lakenheath, United Kingdom, and a R.A.F. Spitfire from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, R.A.F. Coningsby do a fly-by over the Battle of Britain ceremony at the Battle of Britain Memorial Park, R.A.F. Lakenheath. This is the 29th annual and final gathering of pilots who took part in the aerial battle with the Germans.

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A new supersonic unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) concept has been launched in Singapore. The Arrow combat drone designed by Kelley Aerospace is designed for air-to-air and air-to-surface missions, and it can also be deployed for intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance tasks. 

“The Arrow is designed to complement manned aircraft and be a force multiplier in the aerial battlefield.” A manned combat aircraft can control “multiple” Arrow UCAVs, “each with a different mission…equipment [and] weapon set”. It can be launched autonomously, or be remotely controlled by two ground station controllers, according to the company. 

Test flights of a scale prototype were conducted in Israel in 2014, according to flightglobal.com. 

With a maximum take-off weight of 37,038lbs (16,800 kg), the Arrow is able to fly more than 2,600nm at speeds of up to Mach 2.1. Supersonic speed is the speed of an object that exceeds the speed of sound (Mach 1). 

The drone’s design — a monocoque made of proprietary carbon-fibre material — is designed for a reduced radar cross-section and infra-red signature. The carbon fibre and monocoque design endows the Arrow with outstanding strength and stiffness, adds the company.