Navy looks into vertical-takeoff UAV

U.S. Navy leaders are considering the Vigilante unmanned helicopter from Science Applications International Corp. in Washington for their future maritime reconnaissance needs. Navy officials awarded SAIC a potential $4.8 million contract to demonstrate the aircraft, integrate an infrared/TV camera, and analyze lifecycle costs. Vigilante, which is based on a commercial off-the-shelf helicopter kit and requires a space of only 20 feet in diameter to take off and land, will have a Wescam 12DS camer

U.S. Navy leaders are considering the Vigilante unmanned helicopter from Science Applications International Corp. in Washington for their future maritime reconnaissance needs. Navy officials awarded SAIC a potential $4.8 million contract to demonstrate the aircraft, integrate an infrared/TV camera, and analyze lifecycle costs. Vigilante, which is based on a commercial off-the-shelf helicopter kit and requires a space of only 20 feet in diameter to take off and land, will have a Wescam 12DS camera, C-band analog data link, and autonomous takeoff, landing, and navigation capability. Navy leaders are looking at the aircraft for possible deployment aboard small warships such as frigates to bolster their wide-area surveillance capability. - J.K.

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