Class III UAV
Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Origin: United States of America
Parent System: Class III UAV
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 2014
Total Production: ?
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Description: The Class III Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) airborne surveillance platform concept was born within the broad US Army's Future Combat Systems initiative. Class III UAV will carry larger payload and will have a greater flight endurance than Class II system. It will be a multifunction aerial combat support system capable of providing reconnaissance, communications relay, early warning, target acquisition and designation. Class III system will also provide remote reconnaissance and terrain information, and will be capable of taking off and landing in unimproved areas.
The Class III UAV development will be conducted in parallel with a DARPA's program, not disclosed yet, to ensure the highest degree of flexibility in meeting the Army's requirements. The prototypes resulting from both programs will be evaluated during a 30-month concept maturation phase and then only one concept solution will be selected to enter system design and development (SDD) in early 2008. The development program in support of Class III UAV system along with Class II system was launched by Boeing and SAIC on November 22, 2004, as part of a US Army initiative to accelerate and expand FCS program development and fielding.
The first Class III UAV system, once cleared for operational service, is expected to be deployed with the first FCS Unit of Action in 2014.
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