United States of America
Class I UAV
Class II UAV
- Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
- Future Combat Systems
- Flight Control System
- Mission Equipment Package
- Organic Air Vehicle
- Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Target Acquisition
- System Development and Demonstration
- Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded funding to
three contractors for the development of the US Army's Future Combat System (FCS)
Class II Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV). The funds are being provided under the
first phase of Organic Air Vehicle - II (OAV-II) program.
Aurora Flight Sciences Inc., Manassas, Virginia was awarded $2.4 million; BAE
Systems Aircraft Controls Inc., Los Angeles, California, received $2.5 million;
and Honeywell International Inc. Defense and Space Electronics Systems,
Albuquerque, New Mexico, was awarded roughly $4 million. Phase I will last six
months and contractors are called to perform design and determine technical
requirements for the air vehicle major subsystems. Contractors will focus on
system size and performance as well as collision avoidance system feasibility.
OAV-II program will demonstrated company-level ducted fan unmanned aerial
vehicle (UAV) for operation in diverse missions such as complex environment
reconnaissance and surveillance; path finding for friendly ground vehicles;
maneuver force protection; and targeting for non-line-of-sight fire operations.
At the end of the three-phased OAV-II program the vehicle demonstrator will
transition into an Army System Development and Demonstration (SDD) program that
will lead to Class II UAV.
Class II UAV will provide small units with Reconnaissance, Surveillance and
Target Acquisition (RSTA) capabilities for up to two hours duration at ranges of
tens of kilometers. Ultimately, Class II UAV will be deployed in support of FCS
Unit of Action over the next decade.
According to DARPA, OAV-II prototype will be less than 112 pounds (51 kilograms)
and will demonstrate advanced sensors integration into such small-sized,
lightweight platform. The array of sensors will conduct situational awareness,
target designation, non-line-of-sight networked communications, and collision
avoidance. The prototype will use heavy fuel propulsion and will incorporate
advanced acoustic signature reduction technology.
The OAV-II program Phase I will culminate with a preliminary design review, then
DARPA will select up to two contractors to continue into Phase II. During the
nine-month of Phase II, contractors will perform detailed design of the air
vehicle and ground support elements (control station and ground vehicle
interfaces). The collision avoidance system will mature with further development
from phase I flight testing on a surrogate air vehicle. A single contractor will
be selected for Phase III following a critical design review.
Phase III will last approximately three years, 33-month. Along the first 18
months, the OAV-II contractor will fabricate, integrate and test the air
vehicle, and demonstrate basic collision avoidance functionality. The resulting
air vehicle will undergo flight tests carrying a surrogate sensors payload in
place of the Class I UAV Mission Equipment Package (MEP), which will be
developed in a parallel program by the US Army Communications and Electronic
Research, Development and Engineering Center Night Vision and Electronic Sensors
Directorate at Fort Belvoir, Virginia.
The Phase III contractor will spent the last 15-month of the program integrating
Class II MEP into the air vehicle and perform flight testing to demonstration
full functionality of the collision avoidance system (avoidance of buildings,
trees and wires), RSTA, target designation, networked communications and
OAV-II program is a follow-on OAV program which concluded in August 2004. OAV
program focused on developing ducted fan UAV technologies and exploring airframe
scalability issues. That program culminated with the flight demonstration of a
29-inch (74 cm) prototype simulating route reconnaissance and urban perimeter
reconnaissance at Fort Benning, Georgia.
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