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  • Caught in the Net
    Posted by Paul McLeary 4:25 PM on May 05, 2009

    National Harbor, MD -- In an exercise that in some ways replicated an at-sea recovery - or at least as best as possible while on land - Raytheon’s KillerBee unmanned aircraft system has demonstrated that it can land on a moving target by flying into a net mounted on back of a moving truck during testing, the company announced at the Navy League show here today.

    The company claims this is evidence that the UAS can be recovered at sea, since the KillerBee is bidding to win the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps’ Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (STUAS)/Tier II program, which calls for a UAS to be launched and recovered aboard a ship.

    Gary Letterman, Raytheon’s senior manager for business development told ARES this morning that all proposals for the STUAS bid are due May 19, and that the military is expected to begin altitude, speed and target recognition testing in early June.

    Letterman also said that during the land-based testing, the Navy provided wind speed and other data that is typical on the back of a ship, and that the company did what it could to replicate those conditions, even though the KillerBee has yet to be tested in actual sea conditions.

    The UAS can reach 105 knots in “dash speed," as in flying to a target, but Letterman says that it can actually hit about 120 knots, and has the capability to hit 60 knots during its loitering time. When it comes in to land, the UAS smacks into the net “just above stall speed,” Letterman said.

    Tags: raytheon, UAS, ar99

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