Researchers develop flying 12-gauge shotgun to enable soldier-carried small UAVs to find and destroy enemy snipers

SARASOTA, Fla., 12 May 2010. A group of Florida-based researchers are developing an aerial cannon the size of a 12-gauge shotgun for mounting on small hand-launched unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to quickly find and destroy snipers threatening U.S. and allied infantry soldiers.

SARASOTA, Fla., 12 May 2010. A group of Florida-based researchers are developing an aerial cannon the size of a 12-gauge shotgun for mounting on small hand-launched unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to quickly find and destroy snipers threatening U.S. and allied infantry soldiers.

Researchers at Longreach Inc. in Sarasota, Fla. are partnering with firearms specialist McMillan Group International in Phoenix to develop an 11-ounce UAV weapon capable of firing standard 12-gauge shotgun or high-explosive airburst rounds to destroy enemy snipers or other concealed threats on the battlefield.

Ultimately the group's aim is to produce a flying onboard gun for remote controlled UAVs of all sizes, says Skip Parish, chief technology officer at Longreach.

Although the UAV cannon could be fitted to most small or medium-sized UAVs, the Longreach-McMillan partnership is designing the first weapon for the 2.5-pound Maverick man-portable UAV from Prioria Inc. in Gainsville, Fla. Flight trials of the cannon mounted to a Maverick are scheduled for June in Arizona, Parish says.

The cannon-equipped Prioria Maverick could fly to an area of interest, perform surveillance of the area with a video camera that streams video back to a soldier-carried laptop computer. If it finds an enemy sniper or other threat, the soldiers controlling the UAV could fire the cannon remotely.

The first purpose-made UAV cannon is a weapon designed specifically for remote-control flight by infantry soldiers on small remote controlled air vehicles currently used for observation, such as the Prioria Maverick or AeroVironment Raven.

Parish says the UAV cannon was designed based on a request for sniper suppression; the weapon, he says is not specifically married to any particular micro air vehicle. This essentially is a personal weapon," Parish says. "It could fly out over and behind and enemy."

For more information contact Longreach Inc. by e-mail at Longreachproject@attglobal.net, McMillan Group International online at www.mcmfamily.com, or Prioria Inc. at www.prioria.com.

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