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StevePiper.net: Drones and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAVs)
Drones and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)
Air Force XF-37B
Air Force XF-37B
The Air Force's X-37B. At 11,000 pounds, the reusable unmanned space vehicle is about one-quarter the size of NASA's space shuttle. The X-37B was launched on Dec. 11, 2012 on a top secret feasibility test of long-duration military space flights. (Image credit: Air Force )


RQ-7B Shadow
RQ-7B Shadow
The Marine Corps and Army use the RQ-7B, manufactured by AAI as the Shadow 200, as an easily-deployed, light platform for reconnaissance, surveillance, targeting for precision weapons, and battlefield assessment. The RQ-7B extends visibility as far as 125 kilometers from a tactical operations center. Image credit: US Marine Corps


Northrop Grumman X-47B
Northrop Grumman X-47B
The tail-less X-47B is a strike fighter-sized aircraft developed by Northrop Grumman under the Navy's Unmanned Combat Air System Carrier Demonstration program. Here it's being lowered onto the USS Harry S. Truman. With a 62-ft wingspan, the X-47B can fly at 40,000 ft. The Navy plans to use the X-47B to gain experience with autonomous aircraft, for development of a permanent, carrier-based fleet. Image credit: US Navy
 
MQ-1 Predator
MQ-1 Predator
An MQ-1 Predator over southern Afghanistan. Predator is built by General Atomics for use primarily by the United States Air Force (USAF) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). In addition to cameras and other sensors, Predator is typically armed with AGM-114 Hellfire missiles attached under the wings. The MQ-1 exceeds at providing armed reconnaissance against perishable targets and targets of opportunity. (Image credit: US Air Force )


MQ-9 Reaper
MQ-9 Reaper
The successor to the Predator, an MQ-9 Reaper made by General Atomics, seen on a runway in Afghanistan armed with guided bombs used against improvised explosive devices. Image credit: US Air Force


Puma AE (All Environment)
Puma AE (All Environment)
As easy to launch as a paper airplane, the Puma AE (All Environment) is simple, small, and tough. Able to land on the ground or water, it's carried and deployed by front-line and behind-the-lines troops. Equipped with both electro-optical and infrared cameras, it performs intelligence, surveillance and targeting. Image credit: Aerovironment




RQ-4 Global Hawk
RQ-4 Global Hawk
The RQ-4 Global Hawk carries a variety of cameras and other sensors to high altitude for long durations to gather intelligence. Image credit: US Air Force


Northrop Grumman Fire Scout
Northrop Grumman Fire Scout
Northrop Grumman's Transformational Fire Scout Vertical Takeoff and Landing Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, or simply Fire Scout, provides situation awareness and precision targeting. The MQ-8B Fire Scout has the ability to autonomously take off and land on warships and landing zones, and has an operational altitude of 20,000 feet. Image credit: Northrop Grumman
 
Excalibur
Aurora Flight Science's Excalibur
Aurora Flight Science's Excalibur is intended to fill a gap between piloted fighter jets and armed drones that require remote piloting. An advanced flight control system operates the Excalibur with a high degree of autonomy, so ground-based operators can focus on finding targets instead of flying. The aircraft is designed to carry Hellfire air-to-surface missiles and other weapons. Its design allows for vertical takeoffs and landings. Image credit: Aurora Flight Sciences


Honeywell RQ-16 T-Hawk
Honeywell RQ-16 T-Hawk
The easy-to-assemble, modular, Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) can be set up and airborne within 10 minutes. This is the RQ-16 T-Hawk by Honeywell, for use in support of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and with real-time video capture for "hover and stare" situations. Image credit: US Navy






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