08/10/2020

US Army Catches ‘Air-Launched Effect’ Drones in Mid-Air

US Army Catches ‘Air-Launched Effect’ Drones in Mid-Air – link

Source: UAS Vision

Article Headlines
  • The US Army for the first time caught and recovered Area-I Altius “air-launched effects” drones in mid-air using a quadcopter during Project Convergence exercises in August and September
  • Air-launched effects are small UAVs carried aboard and released from larger aircraft, giving them extended reach. The Altius-600 has 238nm (440km) range after launch
  • The service avoided $2-3 million in potential damage to a collection of Altius fixed-wing unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) by using a new Flying Air Recovery System (FLARES)
  • The technique makes use of wing hooks on the Altius. The drone flies into cables suspended by the quadcopter, catching the cables in its hooks and sliding “down to the ground, minimizing any potential damage
  • For the catch demonstrations, the Area-I UAVs were launched using a rail atop a truck, as well as from airborne Sikorsky UH-60 and MH-60 helicopters and a General Atomics Aeronautical Systems MQ-1C Gray Eagle UAV
  • FLARES is a proof of concept that has not previously been tried, according to the US Army
  • The US Army wants its next-generation scout helicopter – the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) – to fly to the edge of dangerous airspace and release a swarm of air-launched effects, which will then penetrate enemy territory and send back intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance information. The small drones could also serve as explosive loitering munitions or electronic warfare platforms
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