A UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) or also known as the Uncrewed Aerial vehicle or better yet known by the nickname Drone is the aircraft that is operated without having a pilot on board. These Unmanned Aerial Vehicles are a part of the Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) which is composed of following.
- A UAV
- A ground-based controller
- A communication system between the two
As for the flight of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, it is operated by the following three manners.
- Remote controlled by a human operator
- By the onboard computer systems
The original purpose behind the development of the UAVs was to perform the military duties but due to their rapid expansion in the modern world, they are being used in for following applications as well.
However, for our particular article today we like to present to our readers the top 10 military combat UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehciles).
(1) General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper
First up on our list is the General Atomics MQ-9 that has the ability to be operated by not only remotely but can also perform autonomous flight due to its onboard computers.
The General Atomics MQ-9 happens to be the first of the hunter-killer UAV that had been designed to carry out a high endurance surveillance mission at high altitudes.
(2) CH-5 Rainbow
CASC Rainbow is the Chinese UAVs series that is currently developed only in China. The latest model from this Rainbow series is the CH-5 which features a drone with a wingspan foe nearly 21 meters with an average payload capacity of 1000 kg. As for the maximum takeoff weight limit of this UAV, it is nearly 3 tones while flying at a service altitude of 9 kilometers.
As for the long endurance, the aircraft is able to fly for 60- hours straight while covering a maximum distance of 10000 kilometers. As for the firepower, the aircraft is able to fly around with almost 16 missiles.
(3) General Atomics Avenger (Predator C)
The General Atomics Avenger is the next generation UAV that has been built to be extremely advanced. This aircraft has been fitted with a single Pratt & Whitney PW545B turbofan engine that generates a thrust of 4800 pounds.
The design of this UAV also has a stealth feature that includes having weapons storage internally. As for low detection by the radar, this aircraft has the S-shaped exhaust that allows lesser infrared detection as well as reduced radar signature.
(4) Elbit Hermes 900
The Elbit Systems Hermes 900 Kochav is the UAV of the Israeli military that is medium-sized and a medium-ranged UAV that has exceptionally high endurance. The aircraft is the improvement of its predecessor UAV named Hermes 450.
The maximum endurance time for the Elbit Systems Hermes 900 Kochav is about 30 hours while flying at the maximum altitude of nearly 30000 feet. As for the wingspan of this aircraft, it is nearly 15 meter and has a payload capacity of 300 kilograms.
(5) TAI ANKA
The TAI Anka is the MALE (Medium Altitude Long Endurance) UAV of the Turkish military. The UAV was envisioned by the Turkish army back in 2000 to be an aircraft that could be used for the tactical reconnaissance as well as surveillance. In order to fulfill these roles, the Anka Corporation equipped the UAV with Synthetic Aperture radar as well as a combat system.
As for the naming of TAI Anka, it has been named after a mythological Phoenix-like creature in Turkish folklore named Zümrüd-ü Anka
(6) IAI Eitan
The IAI Eitan or also known by the name Heron TP is another UAV of the Israeli military that was developed to perform unmanned reconnaissance missions. The aircraft is the advanced version of the previously renowned IAI Heron. The IAI Eitan is built to be a MALE UAV which is able to perform its mission while flying above the altitude of the commercial airliners and also has the ability to be working in all weather conditions.
It is a monoplane with wings that have a high aspect ratio. Booms of the aircraft extend towards the back of the aircraft that then carry the twin tails which are joined by the common stabilizer.
(7) BAE Systems Taranis
The BAE Systems Taranis is the proud combat UAV of the British and was named after the mythological Celtic God of Thunder named Taranis.
The aircraft equipped with a wide array of weapons is able to fly for intercontinental mission and engage for attacks against both aerial and ground threats.
The BAE Systems Taranis also makes use of the unclassified stealth technology that gives this aircraft low radar detection while also being able to be operated from anywhere across the earth via satellite link.
(8) Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk
The Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk which was also known to be the Tier II+ during its developmental stages is the UAV serving the US military and performs the role which is similar to that of US military’s Lockheed U-2.
The aircraft is able to provide its ground operators a board and systemic overview of its surveillance with help of the onboard SAR (high-resolution aperture radar) along with with the EQ/IR (electro-optical/infrared) sensors.
The aircraft has exceptionally high endurance as well as service radius. The aircraft can perform the surveillance of as much as 400000 square miles of area in a single day.
(9) General Atomics MQ-1C Gray Eagle
The General Atomics MQ-1C Gray Eagle is another MALE UAV that has been developed by the General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) to serve the US Army. This UAV is the improvement on its predecessor UAV named General Atomics MQ-1 Predator.
(10) Dassault nEUROn
The Dassault nEUROn is the experimental UAV that is being developed by the internal cooperation, particular being led by France and its renowned aircraft manufacturer Dassault Aviation.
Other countries that are involved in the manufacturing of this internal combat UAV project are as follows.