Intelligence: March 4, 2001

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The US Army and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency have begun development of the Organic Air Vehicle, designed to be a very small vertical take-off unmanned aerial vehicle. The OAV is to be working by 2003 and provide units down to the company level with their own "over the next hill" recon drone. The OAV could also be used to find routes by which vehicles could move through restricted terrain, place remote sensors, and even provide targeting for non-line-of-sight weapons. The unit cost is to be under $10,000. The OAV is to use interchangeable modules to change missions. This will include identification friend-or-foe, Jigsaw laser radar, collision avoidance, panospheric camera with 360-degree view, and the infrared feathercamera. The OAV must be able to operate for an hour and return to its base. The OAV is to be able to hover and to fly at 50 knots. The vehicle may ultimately be built in three different sizes.--Stephen V Cole

 


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