PAE ISR is considering a variety of options to reduce the weight of its Resolute Eagle Group 3 tactical long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), according to a company official.
Beth Beach, PAE ISR vice-president for business development, told Jane's on 4 April that the company is looking at changing the communications package, wiring, or internal aspects of the aircraft to reduce weight. As Resolute Eagle is a single airframe that is reconfigurable from a standard fixed-wing configuration to an optional vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) variant, she said PAE ISR has twice redesigned the VTOL booms to make them lighter and more aerodynamic.
Beach said reducing the aircraft weight would give the platform more payload capacity. She said PAE ISR is considering integrating new payloads ranging from wide area motion imagery to synthetic aperture radar (SAR) or signals intelligence (SIGINT), among others.
The VTOL booms turn Resolute Eagle from a standard fixed-wing UAV into a quadrotor vehicle. Operated by batteries, the VTOL booms lift the aircraft and start it in forward flight before the main propulsion system takes over at a certain speed and shuts down the booms. When landing in VTOL mode, the booms take over from the main propulsion system, allowing the aircraft to land vertically.
Beach said that PAE ISR is in talks with two Latin American militaries for Resolute Eagle. She believes the two countries are interested in the aircraft because of its payload capacity and endurance and its ability to change from standard to VTOL configuration.
The runway-independent Resolute Eagle's standard configuration weighs 54.4 kg empty and has a 34 kg max payload weight while the VTOL variant is 86.2 kg empty and has a 34 kg max payload weight. Resolute Eagle features 18 hours of endurance in its standard configuration and 12 hours in VTOL mode.
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