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year ago they were on the same schedule. But for reasons of “acquisition
overload” the Government took the UAS off the shopping list for a number
of years. The Defence White Paper 2009 suggests that that “up to 7” UASs
will be required, but not before 2019.
There are two HALE UASs that merit consideration, the Global Hawk and
The Global Hawk is a design said to be drawn from the manned U-2 and
the Mariner is a development of the smaller highly successful Predator.
The USAF role of the aircraft is surveillance and it has not been fitted
with a missile payload, but it is able to provide highly accurate position
and characteristic data of ground and maritime threats of all classes.
In-Flight aircraft navigation is provided by INS and GPS from a mission
program developed in the MCE. The current build standard of the aircraft
is understood to be Block 30.
Global Hawk is fitted with an Integrated Sensor Suite (ISS) that consists
of the following subsystems:
Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)
Each of the sensors provides a selectable wide area search imagery mode
and a high-resolution spot imagery mode. The SAR also has a ground
moving target indicator (GMTI) mode that outputs moving target position
mode and Sea surveillance mode. The Optical and IR sensors share
common optics and a common gimbaled, stabilized platform that is also
able to carry the Advanced Signals Intelligence Payload, SIGINT, package
The sensors can be selected to operate separately or collectively with the
SAR. SAR, Optical and IR imagery are processed onboard the aircraft and
transmitted to a remote Mission Control Centre as individual frames. The
MCE can mosaic these frames into images prior to further dissemination.
The HISAR sensor integrates SAR-MTI with optical and IR imagery and
processes these data to provide digital imagery that is transmitted to the
Mission Control Centre.
An LCE that manages all launch and recovery functions is normally
remotely located. The EW Self Protection (EWSP) capability is provided
warning of both radar and laser threats. For the Global Hawk it is
RWR that provides detection of pulsed and CW radars, threat ID and DF
RF homing. The radar characteristics of a threat detected by the APR-49
are sent to the decoy that transmits them to the missile being decoyed to
provide facsimiles of the waveforms it generates.
Global Hawk is in a state of almost continuous spiral development to
meet new application demands and the needs of new customers. Two
The USAF’s Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program which
is planned to fit a MESA radar. If successful, this radar will provide
the aircraft with a high altitude air early warning capability at a range
beyond the capability of Wedgetail.
The Luftwaffe’s “EuroHawk” will be fitted with an EADS reconnaissance
payload, including a SIGINT package, enabling the paying off of the aged
Breguet Atlantique electronic surveillance aircraft. This sensor package,
a first for the Global Hawk, is in the form of six wing mounted pods. The
aircraft was first rolled out in October 2009.
Global Hawk served in the Iraq war and is in service in the Afghanistan
confrontation, with tasking from the USA in each case. Whilst the service
it provides in the Afghanistan theatre is of critical value, the aircraft losses
have been considerable as a function of the hours flown.
BROAD AREA MARITIME SYSTEMS (BAMS) UAS
This program may provide the rationale for the selection of the HALE UAS
described above. It is included to augment the above description.
BAMS has suffered from a number of hiccups but in April 2008 the
Northrop Grumman was awarded a US$.1 .16b contract to develop the UAS
requirement. The SDD phase delivery date is anticipated to be in 2012 and
the IOC is planned to be 2015. The BAMS UAS will complement the Boeing
Poseidon P-8A program.
The BAMS UAS requirement was also competed by a Lockheed Martin
team offering the Mariner, a derivative of the Predator. Like Global Hawk,
but less intensively, Mariner has been trialled off the Australian Coast by
“The BAMS UAS will be a for ward deployed, land-based, autonomously
operated system that provides a persistent maritime ISR capability using
System (AIS) and basic communications relay). The BAMS UAS air vehicle
while its sensors are based upon components of (or entire systems) already
The Caribou has now been retired after some eight years of prevarication.
aircraft to replace the DHC-4 Caribou which was formally retired in
In 1997, three companies responded to the RFT to supply 12-18
Light Tactical Aircraft. They were CASA offering the C-295 or CN-235-
300, IPTN offering the C-235-330 and Lockheed Martin Alenia Tactical
Transport (LMATTS) the C-27J. All of the aircraft were capable and in
service at that time.
Mid-2000 the RFT was cancelled and measures were contracted to
Australian Aerospace to keep the Caribou flying to 2010.
In 2006 AIR 5190 Phase 2 was formally cancelled and is yet to be replaced.
on lease – an oddity given their small size.
This future aircraft acquisition should be supplied with a very modest
EW capability such as an MWS, LWS and CMDS to tackle the low altitude
Apart from the above Defence operates two Boeing BBJ Special Purpose
Aircraft that are able to transport VIPs to any country in the world. Fairly
AP-3C over the Persian Gulf Credit; ADF
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