Russian navy seeks to replace its manned scout helicopters with long-range unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)

Sept. 8, 2021
What makes it especially interesting for use on a ship is the way a cyclocopter can function as both landing pad and runway—but in the sky.

MOSCOW – Russia wants to replace the manned scout helicopters on its existing surface warships with longer-range drones. This new concept wants to have a drone launch a drone from a ship. Popular Science reports. Continue reading original article

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

8 Sept. 2021 -- The process, in theory, starts with a cyclocopter, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that flies without rotors or traditional wings. Resting on the cyclocopter as a platform, a fixed-wing scout drone would be carried into the air.

Then, with the cyclocopter flying forward, the fixed-wing drone would take off from it like it was on a runway, with the platform drone dropping away. For landings, the process would reverse, with the fixed-wing drone catching a ride on a moving platform, and then descending back to the ship.

This technological turducken uses a novel style of drone to overcome the limited space constraints on small ships. Not all ships have room for aircraft, and even when they do, only dedicated aircraft carriers have room for more than a couple of helipads. That’s the constraint that this concept is aiming to address—finite space that can at best accommodate vertical takeoff and landing by small aircraft.

Related: Navy picks L-3 to provide data link to control unmanned helicopters aboard Littoral Combat Ship

Related: Navy works with Northrop Grumman to add Link 16 tactical networking capability to MQ-8C unmanned helicopter

Related: Navy orders 13 MH-60R ship-based anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopters for South Korea for $447.2 million

John Keller, chief editor
Military & Aerospace Electronics

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