Military Embedded Systems

UAS that satisfies U.S. Army specs for Future Vertical Lift runs successful test with Raytheon Missiles & Defense


September 02, 2021

Lisa Daigle

Assistant Managing Editor

Military Embedded Systems

A UAS during a 2020 test at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona. (Photo by Jose Mejia-Betancourth/Courtesy Photo)

FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. Raytheon Missiles & Defense reports that it successfully ran its first flight test of an air-launched effects (ALE) unmanned aerial system (UAS) -- based on the Raytheon Coyote uncrewed aircraft system design -- that it says satisfies the U.S. Army’s defined specifications for size, weight and power (SWaP) requirements for the Future Vertical Lift program.

As part of the test, the Raytheon team demonstrated a launch of an ALE configuration -- intended for the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter -- in which the ALE air vehicle was ground-launched from the canister, spread its wings, and flew in a stable manner. The team reported that all test objectives were achieved, including low-altitude launch, wing and flight surface deployment, and stable air-vehicle flight control.

The company said that the test was the first in a planned series of increasingly complex, near-term flight tests that will advance the ALE air vehicle’s design and additionally demonstrate its performance and maturity.

According to information from the U.S. Army, ALE are a Family of Systems (FoS) consisting of an air vehicle, payload(s), mission system applications, and associated support equipment designed to autonomously or semi-autonomously deliver effects as a single agent or as a member of a team; it is intended to function as a key piece of the Future Armed Reconnaissance Aircraft Ecosystem advanced team concept synergistically enhancing survivability, threat identification, targeting, and lethality of Army aviation brigades and ground force commanders’ assets.

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