Warplanes: The Hammerhead And Evolution

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March 11, 2013: Italian defense manufacturer Finmeccanica is joining the growing number of firms creating UAVs based on existing manned aircraft. In this case the 5.2 ton P180 Avanti twin prop aircraft has been rebuilt as the Hammerhead UAV. While the P180 could carry ten people (1.8 tons) and stay aloft for four hours, the Hammerhead can still carry 1.8 tons of sensors but will stay aloft for up to 16 hours at altitudes of up to 14,500 meters (45,000 feet). The Hammerhead will be available for service next year. This UAV is intended for military and civilian markets. Because it flies so high, it is above commercial traffic and thus not subject to UAV restrictions in many countries. Hammerhead can be used for monitoring natural resources and maritime patrol. The P180 has been in use since 1990, making development of the UAV version quicker and easier.

 

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