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UAV Types - Mariner Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
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Mariner shares several systems with the Reaper, including major fuselage elements, avionics, flight controls and powerplant (both are using the Honeywell TPE-331-10GD turbo prop engine with 49 kVA power generator).
Mariner has a wing span of 88 ft and length of 36 ft. It is designed for an operational ceiling of 50,000 ft and maximum airspeed of 230 knots. is designed to carry up to 4,000 lbs on six underwing hardpoints, in addition to the internal payload capacity of 1,350 lbs. Its maximum gross takeoff weight is 13,000 lbs, loaded with 6,000 lbs of fuel 6,000 and equipped with internal mission payload. The maximum endurance is 48 hours. Typical Mariner’s sensors suite includes FLIR System’s Star Safire HD Electro-Optical/Infrared (EO/IR) payload, the EDO/Elta 2022 SeaWatch multi-mode 360° maritime radar with integrated IFF Interrogator, ESM with Specific Emitter Identification (SEI) capability, SAAB R4A Automatic Identification System (AIS) and Link-16 Communications relay. The platform will also be able to carry various weapons and external stores (Sonobuoys) as external stores.
Mariner is designed to cruise at lower altitudes between 45,000 to 500 ft. Variable cruising altitude enables the Mariner’s operators to select the optimal altitude for best aerial coverage, reducing the effect of cloud cover and sea clutter that is seen at higher grazing angles.
Mariner will be equipped with sense and avoid systems designed for visual flight rule (VFR) and low visibility conditions, flying instrument flight rule (IFR).
General Atomics is building a derivative of the Predator B Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) designed for maritime applications
The Mariner uses the Predator B's fuselage, avionics, flight controls and 1,000shp (745kW) Honeywell TPE331-10 turboprop. Wing span is increased from 20.1m (66ft) to 26.8m and take-off gross weight from 4,080kg (9,000lb) to 5,900kg to carry an additional 907kg of fuel, giving a ferry range of 13,000km. Internal payload is 612kg, with 363kg growth, and external payload is 1,810kg.
Mission equipment includes a FLIR Systems electro-optical/infrared sensor in a retractable turret, and an EDO 360°-scan multi-mode maritime radar. The Mariner also carries electronic support measures, a ship identification system, and narrowband and wideband line-of-sight and satellite communications links. An onboard maritime mission processor will manage bandwidth use, says Martello.
Martello says the 230kt (425km/h) Mariner, with an endurance of 48h, provides 94% ETOS at 3,700km with three vehicles aloft: one on station, one en route and one returning. Even if the UAV has to descend below weather to identify ships, ETOS is still 90%, he says.
Martello believes a round-the-clock orbit can be maintained with as few as five vehicles, including two on the ground, and does not believe competitor Northrop Grumman will be able to meet the requirement with substantially fewer of its more expensive RQ-4 Global Hawk UAVs.
Lockheed Martin says modified General Atomics Predator B will exceed US Navy's operating requirements
Martello says the UAV will have enhanced icing and lightning protection, as well as automatic take-off and landing capability.
The US Navy’s requirement for the BAMS system is to maintain a continuous orbit 3,700km (2,000nm) from the operating base, with five orbits required to support fleets deployed around the world.
Each orbit has to be maintained with three or fewer air vehicles aloft at the same time: one on station, one en route to take over and one returning to base. Martello expects this to require about five Mariners per system.
Lockheed Martin has unveiled its proposal for the US Navy’s Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) unmanned air system requirement. The Mariner is a growth version of the General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Predator B UAV, with a larger wing providing increased endurance.
Lockheed is competing against Boeing, with a derivative of the Gulfstream G550 business jet, and Northrop Grumman, with the Global Hawk, for the BAMS development contract to be awarded by the end of September.
The Mariner has the same fuselage, avionics, flight controls and 1,000shp (745kW) Honeywell TPE331-10T turboprop engine as the Predator B, but a bigger wing and tail to support an increased take-off weight including additional fuel.
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