Aircraft Wiki

The Lockheed Martin Desert Hawk is a Miniature Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. The Desert Hawk is part of the US

800px-USAF Desert Hawk launch2

Air Force´s Force Protection Airborne Surveillance System ( FPASS ). Currently 20 Desert Hawks are used by the US Air Force in Afghanistan to augment the protection of airbase perimeters. They protect them while searching for enemy vehicles and soldiers with shoulder launched missiles, to attack aircraft.

The Desert Hawk can track enemies in a radius of 10 km at an altitude of 330 m. It uses color CCD or Infrared cameras. It is able to fly very quiet, without alerting enemies, due to it´s quiet electric motor.

For take-off it is hand-launched by a soldier using a bungee cord. It reaches flight speeds of 40 to 80 km/h. The Desert Hawk absolves it´s mission completely autonomous, while following GPS waypoints, but it is also possible for the operator to alter the Deser Hawk´s flight path while being in the air. The GPS antenna and the communication links are monted on the wings. It has a selectable payload of an infrared camera for night missions or conventional color camers for daylight.

A Desert Hawk system consists of six aircraft, a ground station and spere parts. Each system has a price of $300,000.