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US totally changes war ideology after an attacking drone fires another drone

WASHINGTON, (BM) – US Army specialists, together with representatives of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems and Area-I, conducted a test launch of the Altius-600 small reconnaissance drone from the MQ-1C Gray Eagle unmanned aerial vehicle.

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According US military sources the tests took place at the proving ground in Yuma (Arizona) in the second decade of June, learned BulgarianMilitary.com

The U.S. military is currently exploring various options for expanding the functionality of existing unmanned systems. It is assumed that thanks to the small drones, large attack devices will be able to conduct reconnaissance and surveillance without entering the zone of operation of the enemy’s air defense systems.

In addition, small drones provide the ability to transmit intelligence data over a considerable distance. In this case, the impact drone becomes a signal repeater between reconnaissance drones and the operator’s ground station.

During the launch of Altius-600 drones, experts checked the operation of communication systems and signal relaying. The drone was controlled using a laptop, which replaced the standard control station. Other details of the inspections that were held were not disclosed.

Earlier it was reported that during the tests it was planned to launch several Altius-600 vehicles from the MQ-1C drone, which were supposed to fly 60–80 km from the carrier. Technically, the MQ-1C, depending on the configuration, can carry from 12 to 14 miniature reconnaissance drones.

The US military has been testing Altius drones over the past two years. In 2018, the vehicles launched from the fire support aircraft AC-130J Gostrider.

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About MQ-1C Gray Eagle

The General Atomics MQ-1C Gray Eagle is a multi-role tactical long-range UAV designed for the US Army based on the MQ-1 Predator UAV. In 2002, the US Army announced a competition under the ERMP program to replace the Israeli IAI RQ-5 Hunter drone.

Two projects took part in the competition – the improved RQ-5 and Warrior. The winner in August 2005 was Warrior, followed by an order for 11 Warrior systems, 12 UAVs and five ground control stations each.

The UAV made its first flight in October 2004, and since 2009 the system has been used in Afghanistan and Iraq. The new MQ-1C received the official name Gray Eagle in August 2010. On September 3, 2010, the U.S. Army announced the deployment of four Gray Eagles in Afghanistan by the end of the year.

The Predator UAV Gray Eagle features a larger wingspan and a Thielert Centurion 1.7 engine, optimized for operation at high altitudes. The duration of the flight of this UAV at altitudes up to 7620 m is 36 hours, the combat radius is 370 km.

In the bow of the fuselage of the increased size the radar with the synthesized beam aperture capable to work in the mapping mode, and the AAS-52 multispectral review system is established.

About Altius-600

Altius-600 is part of the ALTIUS family of autonomous tube-launched UAS, or Air Launched Effects (ALE) that are delivered as all-up-rounds (AUR) and available on-demand and operational within minutes.

Altius-600 supports Multi-Domain Operations (MDO) system that can be launched from the air, sea, and ground from systems like the Common Launch Tube (CLT), Pneumatically Integrated Launch System (PILS), and other launch systems.

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Altius provides the ability to perform extended-endurance and multi-agent missions with a wide array of payload options. ALTIUS was designed with a modular payload nose to give customers an on-demand UAS solution with a sensor or payload package to meet specific mission needs.

Altius-600 has demonstrated successful integration and launch from C-130A, AC-130J, UH-60, P-3, civilian aircraft, ground vehicles, and others.

The United States is counting on drones to become a mandatory part of an air strike

As we reported last year the F-35 and F-15EX fighter jets could get drone wingmen in the coming years.

The service is exploring ways to team Lockheed Martin’s F-35 and Boeing’s new F-15EX with the XQ-58 Valkyrie drone — a low-cost attritable fighter made by Kratos Defense — or similar unmanned platforms. Attritable systems trade attributes like “reliability and reparability” to achieve lower costs, according to the Defense Technical Information Center.

The Air Force is in discussions with Boeing and Lockheed on the prospect, and the Air Force Research Laboratory is working on the technology, Will Roper said May 21 in an exclusive interview.

“I’m very passionate about doing it, and the F-35 has a wonderful opportunity to do this as part of Block 4,” Roper said, referring to the F-35’s upcoming upgrade program. “We might also have an opportunity to do this as part of F-15EX.”

Roper told lawmakers this month that Valkyrie would transition to a prototype program known as Skyborg, where the drone will be outfitted with new sensors and payloads and will be networked to manned fighter jets. In March, he characterized Skyborg as an artificial intelligence wingman that would train and learn alongside pilots, or possibly be incorporated into a manned fighter cockpit to act as an assistant to the pilot like R2-D2 in the “Star Wars” films.

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But until now, the Air Force had not identified the platforms are under consideration to be equipped with Skyborg or teamed with the XQ-58 Valkyrie.

The Valkyrie, which flew its first test flight at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, on March 5, was designed to perform and maneuver like a fighter jet. It can fly at high subsonic speeds, takeoff without a runway, and, according to Kratos, meet or exceed the Air Force’s requirement for a 1,500-nautical-mile range with a 500-pound payload.

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