On Thursday, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems unveiled its latest drone system, named Mojave after the harsh American Mojave Desert.
The new drone can handle much larger payloads than competing models, as well as the advantage of taking off and landing using short surfaces and in difficult terrain, according to Defense News.
General Atomics, which also manufactures “Reaper” and “Grey Eagle” drones, stated that the Mohave’s drone is based on the “Grey Eagle” chassis, with larger wings with high lift devices and a 450-horsepower Rolls-Royce engine.
In turn, company representatives said that the drone systems are based on the avionics and flight control systems of the MQ-9 Reaper and MQ-1C Gray Eagle-Extended Range.
adapting theories of nature
For his part, David Alexander, the company’s president, said, “The first steps started when we were thinking about how to take off the runway,” as the US military, in particular, was looking into the possibility of using a drone that did not need to take off or land in the traditional way through a runway.
The US military has already begun replacing the smaller Shadow UAS with a new tactical drone that can take off and land vertically without the need for a runway.
“It would have seemed impossible with the demands of theories of physics, in terms of a vertical take-off and landing capability along with a lift capability that would allow carrying a useful set of sensors or a useful set of weapons, whatever,” Alexander noted.
He added that the Mojave’s drone benefits from the advantage of being equipped with a high lift wing supported by slats at the front, double-slot flanges, and the additional ability of a powerful engine to do the job, giving it a very effective ability to obtain somewhat runway independence, as well as tire and equipment specifications that provide vertical landing. Featured”.
The new drone has a payload of 635 kg and can carry, for example, up to 16 Hellfire missiles, while the list of other payload options includes electro-optical/infrared equipment, synthetic aperture radar/ground moving target indicator and smart signals.
The distinct capabilities also qualify its use in armed attack and reconnaissance missions, which Alexander said specifically addresses the way the US military envisions using the air class in future combat.
The drone can focus on the combat mission, a feature already available in recent classes of the Gray Eagle, but the Mohave’s drone excels at being able to lift heavier payloads.
Also, the Mohave’s drone can fly for eight hours on an expeditionary reconnaissance mission and three hours on attack or reconnaissance missions armed with 12 Hellfire missiles.