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Pentagon readies Anit-IED UAV.....

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  • Pentagon readies Anit-IED UAV.....

    Pentagon readies 3 anti-IED UAVs




    By Kris Osborn - Staff writer
    Posted : Tuesday Dec 16, 2008 1751 EST

    The Pentagon is testing prototypes of a helicopter UAV that can automatically look for enemy bomb-layers or follow their vehicles on the ground.
    Called the Yellow Jacket, the aircraft is among three counter-IED UAVs slated to enter service next year.
    “This is ISR on demand,” said Air Force Lt. Col. Gary Books, JIEDDO ISR officer. “It is not being flown by the war fighter. It is flown by computer. The Yellow Jacket computer keeps track of where its control vehicle is so that it stays in range.”
    JIEDDO has spent $9.8 million on the Yellow Jacket as part of its larger “Attack the Network” counter-IED effort.
    Another UAV set to deploy next year is Copperhead, JIEDDO’s name for a miniaturized, 1-foot Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) married to Micro UAV’s fixed-wing, 17-foot Tiger Shark aircraft.
    “It is a very small UAV with a very small payload. We have managed to get a miniature SAR because it is Ku-band and it is a very short wavelength,” Brooks said.
    JIEDDO has spent $23.1 million on Copperhead, working with the Sandia National Laboratories, N.M. Operational assessments are slated for early next year.
    “What we are doing with it shows tremendous promise,” Brooks said.
    JIEDDO is also working with the Air Force Research Lab in New Mexico to build and test-fly the Sentinel Hawk, an infrared-sensing UAV built to keep tabs on a specific road or path.
    “The thing that is unique about them is that they give you the ability to monitor a route much closer,” Brooks said.
    The office has spent $12 million on the Sentinel Hawk, which is slated to enter service next year.
    JIEDDO officials expect these UAV programs to be taken over by the Army, Air Force or Special Operations Command.
    The office’s earlier airborne counter-IED efforts include $161 million in initial funding to develop the Army’s Warrior Alpha UAV, which is flown by Task Force ODIN in Iraq.
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