AeroVironment details Blackwing UAS
The US Navy plans to deploy a new small tube-launched UAS called Blackwing from its submarines and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), AeroVironment announced on 16 May.
AeroVironment developed Blackwing as part of a 2013 Joint Capabilities Technology Demonstration (JCTD) project called Advanced Weapons Enhanced by Submarine UAS against Mobile Targets sponsored by the navy and United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM).
According to the company, the JCTD was completed in September 2015 ‘with a strong recommendation to transition the capability into the fleet’.
Blackwing has been designed to deploy from sub-surface platforms. It consists of a miniature electro-optical and infrared payload packaged with a selective availability anti-spoofing module GPS and AeroVironment’s secure Digital Data Link. It has been optimised for operation in anti-access/aerial denial environments.
Kirk Flittie, vice president and general manager of UAS, AeroVironment, said: ‘AeroVironment’s new Blackwing UAS is a valuable new capability that resulted from our team’s close collaboration with, and responsiveness to, the US Navy’s undersea warfare community and the special operations community.
‘In addition to operating from undersea vehicles, Blackwing can also be integrated with and deployed from a wide variety of surface vessels and mobile ground vehicles to provide rapid response reconnaissance capabilities that help our customers operate more safely and effectively.’
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