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Air Platforms

DSEI 2017: Lockheed Martin launches Outrider UAV

13 September 2017

Lockheed Martin UK unveiled a new canister-launched small unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) at Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) 2017.The Outrider UAV, which is capable of being launched from submarines, helicopters, ground vehicles, and by dismounted personnel. (IHS Markit/James Bingham)The Outrider UAV, which is capable of being launched from submarines, helicopters, ground vehicles, and by dismounted personnel. (IHS Markit/James Bingham)

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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