Lockheed Martin UK unveiled a new canister-launched small unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) at Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) 2017.
Known as the Outrider, the 1.7 kg fixed-wing UAV is capable of being launched from submarines, helicopters, ground vehicles, and by dismounted personnel. The UAV is available as an International Traffic in Arms Regulations-free design and is currently being marketed for military and commercial markets.
Outrider can offer a 2.5-hour flight endurance and a maximum speed of 50 kt, it uses commercial-off-the-shelf control software. However Lockheed Martin UK-designed mobile ground control station software is also under development. Equipped with an HD TV camera and 640x512 long-wave infrared sensor, the UAV can feature way point navigation and can be put in a loitering pattern.
According to Lockheed Martin, three canisters can be carried by a single soldier and are launched by the press of a button. When deployed from a helicopter, the aircraft is gravity-launched, with the canister suspended from a parachute before the UAV is launched. On ground-based and naval platforms, Outrider is launched from a tube mounted on the platforms, for example on the side of an armoured vehicle’s turret.
When launched from a submarine, the canister is fired from periscope depth, with a stabilisation mechanism deployed when it reaches the surface; after the UAV has identified its position, it is launched vertically, unfolding its wings and rotating horizontally to begin flight. This has been trialled successfully from a submarine according to Lockheed Martin UK.
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