Author Topic: MUxVs (NOT Drones) on Ships  (Read 3355 times)

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Offline Underway

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MUxVs (NOT Drones) on Ships
« on: March 04, 2017, 10:51:41 »
Some of the advantages of having shipboard drones (at least the UAV type) being discussed in this article from CBC.  I would recommend that you go to the site because the images are informative.

Drones on ships

Quote
Canada's fleet of frigates will have new airborne assets in the next decade, according to a report listing the advantages of unmanned airborne drones.

An unmanned aircraft system, or UAS, could be deployed from the deck of a ship to identify targets, do reconnaissance and gather intelligence in areas where human-piloted helicopters could not.

In hostile environments, drones offer an "inherent operational advantage," the Royal Canadian Navy said in documents published online this month.

Double the flight hours of a helicopter

The details of the plans were found in a government request for information from industries, commonly sought prior to issuing tenders for goods or services.

"An embarked Maritime Helicopter on a typical six month deployment would fly approximately 500 hours," the document said.

"The UAS could fly closer to 1,000 hours in that same period."

The document does not say which drone model will be purchased, but it does list its requirements:

Minimum flight time of six hours.
Minimum range of 50 nautical miles from the ship (92.6 km).
Ability to handle crosswind gusts up to 40 knots (74 km/h).
Not require any launch or recovery apparatus.
Vertical take-off and landing or rotary wing capability.
Won't hamper helicopter operations

The military is clear that the UAS should complement existing helicopter operations, not impede them.

"The embarked UAS must ensure that its launch and recovery has minimal interference with the deck cycle of the embarked Maritime Helicopter," the document says.

While the drones may see more flight time, helicopters with on-board pilots will remain the ship's aerial workhorses.

The drones will not be weaponized, carry personnel or heavy payloads and will have a much shorter range than the helicopters.

Other navies have already deployed drones

Earlier this month, the Royal Australian Navy announced it would purchase a number of Camcopter S-100 unmanned vehicles from Austria's Schiebel Group.

The drone helicopter can carry 34 kilograms — typically cameras and sensors — for more than six hours and has a range exceeding 200 kilometres, according to the manufacturer.

The same model has also been purchased by navies in Italy, Jordan, Libya, Russia and China.

The United States defense department is working with American company Northrop Grumman to develop another type of ship-based unmanned aircraft.

The Canadian military will continue gathering input from industry officials this year.

A request for proposals is scheduled to be issued in 2020 and a contract to supply the UAS awarded sometime in 2021.

As for drones of the non-flying type here is a nice article from Vanguard Magazine on waterborne drones for Canada.

I recently read that the RCN drone projects are ideally going to be integrated (looking for the reference) in that all shipborne drones must be able to use the same control station and control mechanisms (transmitters/receivers, control computers etc...) because of space restrictions.  The idea is that a drone control team would fit into one space and use the same interface for all drones, with the obvious advantages it brings.

What that looks like?  Perhaps a computer with just different drone handling programs on it (like a windows interface) which you bring up depending on the drone.  The control panel would probably be all singing and dancing with some controls locked depending on the drone being used.

**edit for spelling**
« Last Edit: March 04, 2017, 15:00:52 by Underway »

Offline Ostrozac

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Re: Drones on ships.
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2017, 11:02:40 »
Why no mention of the Scan Eagle UAV that was first used afloat in the RCN in 2011? Or the Black Jack UAV that is replacing it?

UAV in the RCN isn't a someday, maybe thing (like UAV in the RCAF), it's a current capability.

Offline Eye In The Sky

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Re: Drones on ships.
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2017, 11:04:06 »
A UAV isn't a drone though.    :D  I know, I know some people see it as picking flyshit out of pepper.  Who cares what you call it.

Hey, look, a cool picture of a BOFORs SAM system!  The Navy sure has some cool stuff!!




Aside from how people interchange the term drone and UAV/RPA/UAS like they mean the same thing, and stating I've no sea or MH time, I think there'd be lots of the benefit of the MH/UAS team for projecting force, ISR, etc from Mother.  The cap's of the MH world as we know it now will go up once the Cyclone is operational, and having a second asset that could work independent or in co-op with the MH...well it seem like a great concept to me.

- MH can be doing ASW, utility, etc and still have something that can go up and take a look at sfc tracks.
- 2 assets that can go in opposite directions to *have a look* in more than one direction.

Just 2 quick thoughts. 
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Re: Drones on ships.
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2017, 11:42:32 »
“The risk of insult is the price of clarity.” -- Roy H. Williams

The words I share here are my own, not those of anyone else or anybody I may be affiliated with.

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Offline Underway

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Re: Drones on ships.
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2017, 11:59:33 »
Why no mention of the Scan Eagle UAV that was first used afloat in the RCN in 2011? Or the Black Jack UAV that is replacing it?

UAV in the RCN isn't a someday, maybe thing (like UAV in the RCAF), it's a current capability.

Article from Frontline Magazine Canada that discusses the project in more detail.  Older article though (2016) so bare that in mind as some of the info may be out of date.

Maritime Unmanned Systems.

From the article:
Quote
... snip....
Surprisingly, however, when Charlottetown deployed this summer, it was without a UAV capability. In fact, commanders of the RN Halifax-class frigates have not had the services of an unmanned aerial platform since 2014, when HMCS Regina conducted the final trial of the ScanEagle.
...snip...

Quote
...snip...
While the navy may ultimately buy its own system, in the interim it will likely collaborate once again with the army, which recently took possession of the Raven-B, a mini UAV from AeroVironment, and is in the process of acquiring Boeing Insitu’s RQ-21A Blackjack through the U.S. government’s foreign military sales process.
...snip...

*emphasis mine*
Also from the article regarding integration of the different systems (I knew I read about it somewhere...):

Quote
Among other requirements, the navy wants a multi-domain control station integrated with the ship’s operations centre – to be able to control new fleets of UAVs, USVs and UUVs, as well as the navy’s aerial and surface training targets that are built by Meggitt Target Systems.

“I believe the RCN needs a control station that’s able to control a UAV one day and a USV the next – with the same infrastructure and antenna,” Nadeau said. “That is a constraint I am imposing on the project.”

And because ISR is the primary mission for all three platforms, the navy also will be seeking common core payloads integral to each vehicle, as well as unique mission payloads such as magnetic anomaly detection for antisubmarine warfare or synthetic aperture radar for search and rescue.


A UAV isn't a drone though.    :D  I know, I know some people see it as picking flyshit out of pepper.  Who cares what you call it.

I will attempt to change the title of the discussion to "MUxS (Drones) on Ships" so that you don't have to pick at flypaper anymore...  [:D
« Last Edit: March 04, 2017, 15:01:13 by Underway »

Online Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: MUxVs (Drones) on Ships
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2017, 12:09:16 »
I am with EITS on this one (so long as he stops insulting R2D2  :)). It's UAV's we are talking about here, not drones.

And I especially like a vertical - no special gear - take-off and landing type. They could be a lot more useful than the Cyclone/Sea Kings in some circumstances. OP CARIBE comes to mind, as does the anti-piracy patrol in the Gulf/horn of Africa area. A big helo is easy to spot at a distance so you hide the weapons or ditch the drugs, whereas a UAV is much harder to spot and is more likely to catch baddies in the act. Moreover, the UAV (or at lest one UAV) can be deployed almost continuously for intel/evidence gathering, and once evidence is obtained, keep constant surveillance until the boarding occurs, while the helo is kept ready to fly as gunship support for the boarding party.

Offline Eye In The Sky

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Re: MUxVs (Drones) on Ships
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2017, 12:17:10 »
I am with EITS on this one (so long as he stops insulting R2D2  :)). It's UAV's we are talking about here, not drones.

Done!

Its a pet peeve for me, much like people calling an M113 a *tank* irked me when I wore green DEUs.

A UAV with (even a limited) RADAR capability, an EO/IR...ability to Tx data back to Mother.  Maybe even a few G size buoys or something (IIRC they are trialing really small buoys now..south of us perhaps)?  Or is that going too far.
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But does it afford me the ability to go on lavish vacations and buy anything I want?  Also no.

Offline Chris Pook

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Re: MUxVs (Drones) on Ships
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2017, 12:22:45 »
Surprise! Surprise! - We (Canucks) already make made one and it was manufactured in Montreal by Canadair - now Bombardier.


http://www.navaldrones.com/CL327.html








Quote
CL-227 Sentinel
CL-327 Guardian

Canadair�s involvement with the US Navy started in 1988. Several demonstrations of the CL-227 were conducted to show the feasibility of launching and recovering a VTOL air vehicle from the deck of a small combatant ship. In a planned build up, land-based flight tests were conducted at the contractor�s site in Montreal Canada on a tether due to air space restrictions. Flights at Ft. Huachuca, AZ demonstrated the capability of a 20 km data link range. Flights were completed at Medicine Hat, Canada from a wooden deck to simulate the transition across the flight deck of a ship. A flight was accomplished aboard the Jan Tide (an oil rig replenishment ship) to a distance of 6 km from the ship. Although this was a manual flight and recovery, it continued the build up. The next at sea demo was conducted aboard the USS DOYLE (FFG-39) during a STANAVFORLANT cruise. Extensive flight testing both at the Canadair facility in Montreal and also at Patuxent River, MD preceded the cruise to demonstrate the safety of the system. Contractor personnel operated the system from a shelter inside the starboard hangar of the FFG. The final at sea demo was conducted aboard the USS VANDERGRIFT (FFG-48) and included automatic approaches to the deck using a UCARS system supplied by the Sierra Nevada Corp.

The CL-327 is an improved version of the CL-227 Sentinel VTOL UAV. The CL-327 is one of the most advanced vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) surveillance system designed for intelligence gathering today. The system's turboshaft-powered unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) operates either from land or ship and can carry a wide variety of sensors for different mission requirements. The CL-327 is designed to satisfy numerous emerging market requirements for a dependable and versatile vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) UAV.

The Guardian offers 6.25 hours of endurance, a 105kg payload capacity, and a 200 km range. The system includes a Williams International heavy fuel engine, a digital data-link, compatibility with the CARS automatic recovery system, and the US sponsored Tactical Control Station.

The CL-327 entered production in October 1996, following the conclusion of a successful US Navy-sponsored heavy fuel propulsion program. The Guardian will be offered to worldwide customers seeking an affordable unmanned surveillance capability that can operate from all-sized navy ships and in rugged land environments which lack airstrips and infrastructure.

The CL-327 profits from unique maritime operational experiences garnered over ten years of VTOL UAV development which included numerous operational deployments aboard US Navy and NATO ships. Bombardier's at-sea experience has provided expertise in integrating VTOL UAVs aboard naval vessels, understanding the unique challenges of operating UAVs at sea, and improving and refining concepts of operations for UAVs at sea. The result is a marinized and shipboard compatible UAV system which has the endurance and payload to satisfy a myriad of maritime roles and missions.

Bombardier is also offering the Guardian VTOL system in a land configuration as a rapid and mobile surveillance asset. The system stores two air vehicles per HMMWV and trailer, a downsized UAV control station, and enough fuel and payloads for a 72 hour operation. Similar to the maritime configuration, the land version requires only two personnel to operate. No pilot skills are required and the crew can be trained in just four weeks.
CL-327 Specifications

Country of Origin   Canada
Builder   
Missions   
Surveillance
Reconnaissance
Communications relay
Environmental inspection
Border patrol
Drug enforcement operations
Target acquisition / designation
Battle damage assessment
EW platform
Engine   1 Williams International WTS-125 turboshaft 125 shp flat rated at 100 shp
Height   6 ft 0 in 1.84 m
Rotor diameter   13 ft 1 in 4.00 m
Gross takeoff mass   770 lbs. 350 kg
Empty weight   (no payload, no fuel) 330 lbs. 150 kg
Payload carrying capacity   220 lbs. 100 kg
Maximum endurance   6.25 hours
Time on station at 100 km   4.75 hours
Maximum speed   157 km/h / 85 kts
Climb rate   7.6 m/sec / 1,500 ft/min
Ceiling   5,500 m / 18,000 ft
Sensor   
Combined EO/IR
Communications relay
Active ESM payload
Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)
Datalink   
Primary (C-Band), Directional, Omni-directional
Back-up (L-Band), Omni-directional, used for launch & recovery
Guidance and navigation   
GPS and inertial
Automatic flight patterns
Autonomous flight
Reversionary modes
Waypoint navigation
Automatic target tracking
Image Exploitation   
Geo-location
Target location error <60 m (GPS accuracy dependent)
Freeze, pan, rotate images
Automatic target tracking
Crew   
Cost   
User Countries   

https://fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ac/row/cl-327.htm

I don't think it would take much to update and improve the design.
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Offline Old Sweat

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Re: MUxVs (Drones) on Ships
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2017, 13:06:27 »
Speaking as an individual and one with no knowledge of what is being contemplated now, back in the 70s we were quite interested and even a bit excited about the CL289. Canadair had marketed real drones successfully in the 60s and 70s in the CL89 and CL289 models to Canada, the UK and the Germans and perhaps some others. For whatever reason, the company lost interest in the military market and concentrated on the commercial aircraft market.

By the late 80s the artillery was still interested in UAVs, but had no obvious contenders in sight as far as I know. The Mulroney era defence cuts of 1989 took care of that, but we remained interested and are operating small UAVs in the field regiments and in 4 Artillery Regiment, General Support.

Bombardier may have missed the boat, and not in recovery operations, if you get my drift. Again, an opinion and not all factual.

Offline Kat Stevens

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Re: MUxVs (Drones) on Ships
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2017, 14:42:40 »
Surprise! Surprise! - We (Canucks) already make made one and it was manufactured in Montreal by Canadair - now Bombardier.


http://www.navaldrones.com/CL327.html








https://fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ac/row/cl-327.htm

I don't think it would take much to update and improve the design.

I think I saw one of these on Star Trek.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2017, 18:00:40 by Kat Stevens »
Apparently, a "USUAL SUSPECT"

“In peace there's nothing so becomes a man as modest stillness and humility; but when the blast of war blows in our ears, then imitate the action of the tiger; stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood, disguise fair nature with hard-favor'd rage.”

 Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and start slitting throats

Offline Colin P

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Re: MUxVs (Drones) on Ships
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2017, 12:22:37 »
Speaking as an individual and one with no knowledge of what is being contemplated now, back in the 70s we were quite interested and even a bit excited about the CL289. Canadair had marketed real drones successfully in the 60s and 70s in the CL89 and CL289 models to Canada, the UK and the Germans and perhaps some others. For whatever reason, the company lost interest in the military market and concentrated on the commercial aircraft market.

By the late 80s the artillery was still interested in UAVs, but had no obvious contenders in sight as far as I know. The Mulroney era defence cuts of 1989 took care of that, but we remained interested and are operating small UAVs in the field regiments and in 4 Artillery Regiment, General Support.

Bombardier may have missed the boat, and not in recovery operations, if you get my drift. Again, an opinion and not all factual.

I was attached to the RPV program out of DRES in I think around 1982-84 (there was a divisional artillery exercise there roughly the same time.) Interesting stuff. One of my RSS Warrants had also worked on the 1960 tests with the drones rocket launched from a truck.

Offline Underway

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Re: MUxVs (NOT Drones) on Ships
« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2017, 16:51:51 »
http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?nid=1044129

Apparently, we've been testing UAV's for ice spotting with the CCG since last year.  The type is the Schiebel Camcopter S-100 which has been bought by a number of world navies.

If this works out then it's certainly a good option to have with the AOPS.  It's been stated on this site more than a few times the CCG believe that an embarked ice spotting helo is critical for operations in the arctic, so having a lower cost option (or two if you bring a spare) is certainly something that needs to be looked at.  And it would help the AOPS in their OP capacity as well, allowing the Cyclones to be used for their true warfighting purpose.

Offline Eye In The Sky

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Re: MUxVs (NOT Drones) on Ships
« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2017, 16:59:44 »
The Cyclones might just be useful for their primary purpose up north.   ;D
Do I love my job?  No.

But does it afford me the ability to go on lavish vacations and buy anything I want?  Also no.