Project Cost: $5.900M
Project Duration: 24 months
Description: Given the remote and difficult terrain U.S. interagency Special Operations Forces (SOF) are working both domestically and overseas, it is increasingly important to have intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance systems that are packable and operable by one operator at the small unit level. Furthermore, these systems must work both day and night, survive harsh environmental conditions, and operate continuously for several hours to support mission requirements. The Enhanced Modular-Wing Micro Tactical Unmanned Aerial System, known by the system name “Arrow Light”, provides SOF with an aerial ISR capability that can be hand-assembled and launched within 60 seconds by a single tactical operator, comes with both day and night mechanically-stabilized payloads, has a Suite-B encrypted mobile ad hoc network data-link, which allows the Arrow Light to also serve as a tactical communications relay, can fly at dash speeds over 50 knots, and weighs less than seven pounds.
Operational Impact: The small unmanned aerial systems (SUAS) currently employed by interagency special operations forces lack the endurance and visual acuity to support dismounted tactical operations. Additionally, the payloads of most SUAS currently used by SOF lack two-axis mechanical gimbaled stabilization and do not have data links with form secure (NSA Suite B) Mobile Ad Hoc (MANET) mesh network, so that the SUAS can function as both an intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance platform and as an air/ground communication relay.
Performer: Stark Aerospace/Analytic Methods, Inc.
End Users: Air Force Special Operations Command, Federal Bureau of Investigation-Hostage Rescue Team, WARCOM, ARSOAC, 10th Special Forces Group, and Border Patrol Tactical Unit
Transition: SOCOM PM-UAS, FBI VSU