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Air Forces Monthly, Issue 402, Sept 2021, Page 8
 

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Our dedicated Tempest Thread

 

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The new British Strix UAV with vertical takeoff. The Australian division of the British defense company BAE Systems together with the company Innova evo showed the concept of a military UAV with vertical takeoff. The Strix drone is folded and transported in a container, the weight of the drone is about 650 kilograms. The UAV is capable of operating both in autonomous mode and in remote control mode from the M113 APC, the MQ-28 jet drone, from a ground station or from a helicopter. The drone has a flight range of over 800 km, a combat load of 160 kg, the UAV is armed with various air-to-ground missiles, among them the AGM-114 Hellfire, Brimstone and AGM-179. It is planned that the drone made its first flight at the end of 2023, and in 2026 the UAV will enter service.

 

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British stratospheric UAV PHASA-35 tested in the USA. The British company BAE Systems has completed testing in the United States of the PHASA-35 stratospheric UAV. During the tests, PHASA-35 climbed to a height of just over 20 km and spent 24 hours there. The PHASA-35 UAV systems are powered by solar panels, so it can stay in the sky for as long as possible without the need to land to charge the batteries, theoretically even a year. The UAV is able to serve as a kind of “flying base station” for mobile operators, helping to cover hard-to-reach places with a cellular network signal and 5G Internet, and the drone will also help establish communications in disaster areas. The drone can also be used for military purposes by equipping it with reconnaissance equipment. Due to the high flight altitude, not all air defense systems will be able to hit the drone. The PHASA-35 UAV weighs only 150 kg, has a wingspan of 35 meters and can carry a 15 kg payload.

 

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The British Navy has landed an HCMC drone on the deck of the aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales for the first time. The British HCMC transport drone, created by W Autonomous Systems, was used to land on the aircraft carrier. HCMC drones are equipped with a new autopilot system that does not require the presence of an operator. The HCMC UAV is capable of transporting a payload weighing 100 kg over a distance of up to 1000 kilometers in difficult weather conditions. The HCMC drone can land on unprepared runways and requires a runway of just 150 meters to land and take off, which is just over half the length of the decks of Britain's Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers. In the future, these UAVs will be used to deliver supplies to the British carrier strike group, replacing the helicopters currently used for this purpose. The Merlin and Wildcat helicopters themselves will be used for their main tasks - detecting submarines or enemy ships.

 

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The English drone T-600 was equipped with a torpedo, military exercise REPMUS. During the NATO exercise REPMUS in Portugal, the British companies BAE Systems and Malloy Aeronautics, as well as the American company L3 Harris, showed a T-600 drone armed with a torpedo. Earlier, the Ukrainian army also received similar drones. The T-600 electric drone is capable of carrying a payload of up to 200 kg over a range of up to 80 km and reaches speeds of up to 140 km/h. REPMUS is a Portuguese-led exercise aimed at developing unmanned technology. During the exercise, the T-600 drone dropped the Sting Ray anti-submarine torpedo for the first time. In addition to dropping torpedoes, the T-600 drone will be used to evacuate the wounded and deliver cargo to ships.

 

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Amid the worsening situation with the Houthis in Yemen, British Typhoon fighters attacked two Yemeni Houthi targets in Bani and Abbs with Paveway IV guided bombs. The Paveway IV guided bomb with a modified laser and GPS guidance system has been produced by the American-British company Raytheon since 2008. The pilot of the aircraft can pre-program the operating mode of the bomb fuse. There are three modes in total: air detonation of a bomb over the target, detonation after hitting the target with a time delay, and detonation after hitting the target. The weight of the Paveway-IV bomb is 225 kilograms. The bomb is used by England, the USA, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

 
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