Latvia’s UAV Factory has introduced the Penguin C tactical long-endurance unmanned aerial system (UAS), which is designed for persistent intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions where low aural detectability and long-range human detection are primary requirements.
The non-ITAR restricted Penguin C is a follow-on development of the company’s proven Penguin B high-performance modular composite V-tail unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), which has already been exported to over 50 countries and achieved a 54.5 hour flight in 2012.
The latest air vehicle measures 2.28 m in length with a wingspan of 3.3 m, and has a maximum take-off weight of 22.5 kg. It is launched using a portable pneumatic catapult and recovered via a parachute and airbag system. Its payload is automatically retracted into the fuselage during take-off and landing phases.
UAV Factory has integrated its UAV28-EFI two-stroke engine with electronic fuel injection, which is claimed to provide up to 20 hours endurance in diverse environmental conditions and at temperatures between -30º and 50º C.
An encrypted IP-based datalink offers a control radius of over 100 km supports high-definition video streaming.
A key feature of the Penguin C is the Epsilon 175 gyro-stabilised sensor turret, manufactured by the company’s Octopus electro-optical ISR division. Four models are available, with the most advanced configuration being a 2.6 kg gyro-stabilised system that is claimed to be “the smallest four-sensor, mid-wave infrared (MWIR) gimbal with long-range continuous zoom capability”.
The Epsilon 175 turret houses four sensors: a cooled MWIR sensor with 15x digital zoom, 18-275 mm optical zoom and 1.5º narrow field of view (nFOV), a high-definition daylight sensor with 30x optical zoom and 1.3º nFOV, Class I eye-safe laser rangefinder with a maximum range of 5,000 m, and a Class IIIB eye-safe laser illuminator.
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