Saturday, January 23, 2010

Pakistan wants Drones....! MQ-9 Reaper

Pakistan is asking for drones to fight against terrorists....

The MQ-9 Reaper (originally the Predator B) is a Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) (also known as a Remotely Piloted Vehicle (RPV)) developed by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) for use by the United States Air Force, the United States Navy, Italian Air Force, and the Royal Air Force. The MQ-9 is the first hunter-killer UAV designed for long-endurance, high-altitude surveillance.
The MQ-9 is a larger and more capable aircraft than the earlier MQ-1 Predator, although it can be controlled by the same ground systems used to control MQ-1s. The MQ-9 has a 950-shaft-horsepower (712 kW) turboprop engine, far more powerful than the Predator's 115 hp (86 kW) piston engine. The increase in power allows the Reaper to carry 15 times more ordnance and cruise at three times the speed of the MQ-1.

In 2008 the New York Air National Guard 174th Fighter Wing began the transition from F-16 piloted planes to MQ-9 Reaper UAVs, which are capable of remote controlled or autonomous flight operations, becoming the first all-UAV attack squadron.
Then U.S. Air Force (USAF) Chief of Staff General T. Michael Moseley said, "We've moved from using UAVs primarily in intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance roles before Operation Iraqi Freedom, to a true hunter-killer role with the Reaper."
The terms Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) and Remotely Piloted Vehicle (RPV) are generally synonymous terms, however the USAF MQ-9 community currently prefers and considers the term RPV to be more accurate.

Although the MQ-9 can fly pre-programmed routes autonomously, the aircraft is always monitored or controlled by aircrew in the Ground Control Station (GCS) and weapons employment is always commanded by the pilot.
As of 2009 the U.S. Air Force’s fleet stands at 195 Predators and 28 Reapers.

Contractor: General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Incorporated
Crew: None
Landing Type: runway
Launch Type: runway
Power Plant: Honeywell TP331-10 turboprop engine, 950 SHP (712 kW)
Fuel Capacity: 1815 kg (4,000 lb)
Length: 10.9728 m (36 ft)
Wingspan: 20.1168 m (66 ft)
Height: 3.8 m (12.5 ft)
Empty weight: 2223 kg (4,900 lb)
Max takeoff weight: 4760 kg (10,500 lb)
Service ceiling: 15 km (50,000 ft)
Operational altitude: 7.5 km (25,000 ft)

Endurance: 14–28 hours (14 hours fully loaded)
Range: 5,926 km (3,200 nmi, 3,682 mi)
Payload: 3,800 lb (1,700 kg)
Internal: 800 lb (360 kg)
External: 3,000 lb (1,400 kg)
Maximum speed: 482 km/h (300 mph, 260 knots)
Cruise speed: 276–313 km/h (172–195 mph, 150–170 knots)
AN/APY-8 Lynx II radar
AN/DAS-1 MTS-B Multi-Spectral Targeting System
6 Hardpoints
1,500 lb (680 kg) on the two inboard weapons stations
500–600 lb (230–270 kg) on the two middle stations
150–200 lb (68–91 kg) on the outboard stations
Up to 14 AGM-114 Hellfire air to ground missiles can be carried or four Hellfire missiles and two 500 lb (230 kg) GBU-12 Paveway II laser-guided bombs. The 500 lb (230 kg) GBU-38 Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) can also be carried. Testing is underway to support the operation of the AIM-92 Stinger air-to-air missile.

Friday, January 22, 2010

RQ-7 Shadow Drone

The RQ-7 Shadow unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is used by the United States Army and Marine Corps. Launched from a rail, it is recovered with the aid of arresting gear similar to jets on an aircraft carrier. Its gimbal-mounted, digitally-stabilized, liquid nitrogen-cooled electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) camera relays video in real time via a C-band LOS data link to the ground control station (GCS). The "R" is the Department of Defense designation for reconnaissance; "Q" means unmanned aircraft system. The "7" refers to it being the seventh of a series of purpose-built unmanned reconnaissance aircraft systems.

The Army's Unmanned Aircraft Systems Training Battalion at Fort Huachuca, AZ trains soldiers, Marines, and civilians in the operation and maintenance of the Shadow UAV. The training program consists of mainly civilian instructors.

The RQ-7 Shadow is the result of a continued US Army search for an effective battlefield UAV after the cancellation of the RQ-6 Outrider aircraft. AAI followed up their RQ-2 Pioneer UAV with the similar but refined Shadow 200, and in late 1999 the Army selected the Shadow 200 to fill the tactical UAV requirement, redesignating it the RQ-7. The Army requirement specified a UAV that used a gasoline engine, could carry an electro-optic/infrared imaging sensor turret, and had a minimum range of 31 miles (50 kilometers) with four hour endurance on station. The Shadow 200 offered at least twice that range, powered by a 38 hp (28.5 kW) rotary engine. The Army requirement dictated that it be able to land in an athletic field.

Each Shadow system includes four aircraft, two ground stations, a launch trailer, and support vehicles for equipment and personnel. A SIGINT payload is in development, and is scheduled for service in 2008. It will swap out with the EO turret. The Army currently is working on a weapons system for the Shadow RQ-7B, which may consist of a single "drop launch" hellfire missile, or two "drop launch" hellfire missiles. Drop-launch is where the missile is dropped before the propulsion begins, to eliminate backwash, the "recoil effect", and to eliminate damage to the guidance system and the camera housing.

Shadow 600

AAI has also built a scaled-up Pioneer derivative known as the "Shadow 600". It also resembles a Pioneer, except that the outer panels of the wings are distinctively swept back, and it has a stronger Wankel engine, the UAV EL 801, with 52hp. A number of Shadow 600s are in service in several nations, including Romania and maybe given to Pakistan too as promised by U.S Defence Secretary Robert Gates lately.

General characteristics

* Length: 11.2 ft in (3.41 m)
* Wingspan: 14 ft in (3.87 m)
* Height: 3.3 ft in (1 m)
* Empty weight: 186 lb (77 kg)
* Gross weight: 375 lb (170 kg)
* Powerplant: × 1 Wankel UAV Engine 741 used only with Silkolene Synthetic Oil, 38 hp (28.5 kW) each


* Range: 68 miles (109.5 km)
* Endurance: 6 hours
* Service ceiling: 15,000 ft (ELOS (Electronic Line Of Sight) m)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Syria Air Force

The Syrian Air Force (Arabic: القوّت الجوية العربية السورية‎, Al Quwwat al-Jawwiyah al Arabiya as-Souriya) is the Aviation branch of the Syrian armed forces.

The end of World War II led to a withdrawal of the United Kingdom and France from the Middle East, and this included a withdrawal from Syria. In 1948, the Syrian Air Force was officially established after the first class of pilots graduated from flight schools in Britain. The embryonic force saw limited participation in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, conducting bombing raids against Israeli forces and settlements. One North American Harvard was lost to ground fire while attacking Ayelet Hashahar on July 16, and another possibly shot down by Morris Mann (flying an Avia S-199) on June 10. The Syrian Air Force claimed it sole kill of the war on July 10 when a Harvard supposedly shot down an Avia S-199 flown by Lionel Bloch.

The 1950s saw Syria and Egypt attempt to unify as the United Arab Republic, this was reflected in the Syrian Air Force with growth in personnel and aircraft. However, this union would not last. With the ascent to power of the Baath Party and Hafez Al-Asad, himself a former SAF Commander-in-chief, Syria began looking to the members of the Warsaw Pact for help and built closer ties with the USSR. This in turn led to a massive influx of Eastern-made equipment to the Syrian Armed Forces, including the Air Force.

The Syrian Air Force, despite its training and capabilities never fared well against Israel. In the Six-Day War, the Syrian Air Force was defeated rapidly, losing two-thirds of its forces with the rest retreating to bases in remote parts of Syria. This in turn helped the IDF in defeating the Syrian Army on the ground and led to the loss of the Golan Heights.

The Yom Kippur War provided initial success for both Syria and Egypt, though again Israel inflicted far more casualties in the air than it endured. During the war the Pakistani Air Force sent 16 pilots to the Middle East in order to support Egypt and Syria. By the time these arrived, however, Egypt had already opted for a ceasefire, while only Syria remained in a state of war against Israel. Eight (8) PAF pilots subsequently started flying out of Syrian airbases, forming the A-flight of 67 Squadron at Dumayr Airbase. The Pakistani pilots flew Syrian MiG-21 aircraft on CAP missions, during which Flt/Lt. A. Sattar Alvi shot down an Israeli Mirage in air combat. Other aerial encounters involved Israeli F4 Phantoms; Alvi was decorated by the Syrian government while the Pakistani pilots stayed on in Syria until 1976, training Syrian pilots in the art of air warfare.

Following the Yom Kippur War, the Syrian Air Force continued to remain in the Eastern sphere of influence, whereas Egypt abandoned Eastern aid, and began building its Air Force with Western-made equipment.

During the 1982 Lebanon War, the Syrian Air Force fought against the Israeli Air Force, in the largest scale air-to-air combat of the jet age, involving 150 fighters from both sides. In three days of sustained jet fighter combat, the Syrians were heavily defeated by the higher technology Israeli opponent. However, at low level the Syrian Air Force made significant strikes using Aerospatiale Gazelle helicopters in anti-armour missile attacks against Israeli ground forces. Approaching Ein Zehalta, an Israeli tank column on a difficult road, was stopped for some hours by SyAF Gazelle missile strikes.


Since then, the Syrian Air Force has continued to rebuild with Eastern-made equipment. However the full extent of this rebuilding is not known. Nor are the exact numbers of planes or what types of aircraft are in the Air Force. This is due to the amount of secrecy maintained by the Syrian government in regard to its military. It is known though that the Syrians have procured MiG-29s and Su-24s which should give its Air Force a great boost, though rumours regarding the recent purchase of some Su-27s appear to be unfounded. In 2008 the Syrian Air Force was reportedly taking deliveries of 8 examples of the MiG-31E from Russia, as well as the MiG-29SMT and Yak-130, although delivery of the MiG-31s may have been cancelled by Russia due to pressure from Israel.

Friday, August 7, 2009

MQ-1/RQ-1 Predator

The General Atomics MQ-1 Predator is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) which the United States Air Force describes as a MALE (medium-altitude, long-endurance) UAV system. It can serve in a reconnaissance role and fire two AGM-114 Hellfire missiles. The aircraft, in use since 1995, has seen combat over Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bosnia, Serbia, Iraq, and Yemen. In addition, since 2005, U.S. Customs and Border Protection uses the aircraft (unarmed) for border patrol within the U.S. It is a remote-controlled aircraft.

The MQ-1 Predator is a system, not just an aircraft. The fully operational system consists of four air vehicles (with sensors), a ground control station (GCS), and a Predator primary satellite link communication suite. In the overall U.S. Air Force integrated UAV system the Predator is considered a "Tier II" vehicle.

The Predator system was initially designated the RQ-1 Predator. The "R" is the Department of Defense designation for reconnaissance and the "Q" refers to an unmanned aircraft system. The "1" describes it as being the first of a series of aircraft systems built for unmanned reconnaissance. Pre-production systems were designated as RQ-1A, while the RQ-1B (not to be confused with the RQ-1 Predator B, which became the MQ-9 Reaper) denotes the baseline production configuration. It should be emphasized that these are designations of the system as a unit. The actual aircraft themselves were designated RQ-1K for pre-production models, and RQ-1L for production models. In 2005, the USAF officially changed the designation to MQ-1 (the "M" designates multi-role) to reflect its growing use as an armed aircraft.[5]

As of 2009[update] the U.S. Air Force’s fleet stands at 195 Predators and 28 Reapers.

More than one third of all deployed Predator spy planes have crashed. 55 were lost because of "equipment failure, operator errors or weather". Four of them were shot down in Bosnia, Kosovo and Iraq; 11 were lost in combat situations, such as "running out of fuel while protecting troops under fire."

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