Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Also Known As: Desert Hawk III
Origin: United States of America
Parent System: Desert Hawk
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 2002
Total Production: ?
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Description: The Lockheed Martin Desert Hawk is a small unmanned aircraft system (UAS) designed to provide real-time overhead video and thermal imagery for force protection and reconnaissance, and perimeter assessment. The Desert Hawk system consists of six air vehicles (AVs), a ground control station, remote video terminal, day-night camera capability, transportation cases, launch equipment and ground spares and equipment. These air vehicles get airborne using a bungee-cord catapult operated by a two-person crew. The Desert Hawk unmanned air vehicle (UAV) can be autonomously flown using a laptop computer with dynamic re-tasking and on-demand manual steering override. It is powered by a two-bladed propeller driven by an electric motor with rechargeable lithium ion batteries.
The Desert Hawk UAS was introduced in July 2002 to provide a ring of protection around air bases at forward locations for United States Air Force (USAF) security forces being part of the integrated base defense system. The US Army also deployed the Desert Hawk as force protection airborne surveillance system for convoy protection and base defense. The Desert Hawk UAS has been deployed in support of the United States Central Command's area of operations, primarily Iraq and Afghanistan. The United Kingdom ordered the Desert Hawk III UAS to support the British Army's forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.
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