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UAV- Close Range (UAV-CR)

The CR-UAV system was composed of a baseline system (US Marine Corps) and an augmented system (US Army, using the baseline system as a launch and recovery unit). CR-UAV had extremely small transportation requirements compared to other UAV systems, and could be operated from small clearings, parking lots, or compounds. The UAV's small visual and radar signatures enhanced its survivability. CR-UAV was intended to be relatively simple to operate, require few dedicated personnel, and allow resident military specialties, such as forward observer or intelligence analyst, to be integrated easily. This feature increased the operational flexibility of the CR-UAV system. The ground control unit design allowed for automatic or mechanical interface with other DOD systems such as the all-source analysis system (ASAS) and the ground station module (GSM).

However, the reduced size and limited endurance of the CR-UAV required repetitive launches to maintain surveillance for extended periods. The operating range of the UAV was approximately 50 kilometers; therefore, operational site selection options may be limited. The UAV's small size (200 pounds or less) meant that miniaturization was required before multiple payloads that perform several missions can be carried on one flight. The small size of the GCS necessitated support from other sources for complete analysis of payload products.

The UAV- Close Range (UAV-CR) was designed to provide direct support to maneuver brigades. Originally, it was planned that the UAV-CR would start fielding in FY98, and be assigned to military intelligence direct support companies in all divisions and the military intelligence companies of all ACRs and separate brigades. Additionally, two UAV-CR systems would be placed in each of the military intelligence battalion general support companies in lieu of the UAV-SR. The UAV-CR would provide coverage of up to 50 kilometers from the GCS for three hours.

The UAV-CR would eventually carry several different payloads. Initially it would carry a dual-mounted day camera/FLIR, and a basic data meteorological sensor to provide temperature, humidity and barometric pressure to address Field Artillery requirements.

The UAV-CR would be launched and recovered in the brigade area, and maintenance normally would be provided by the parent intelligence unit. It would be fielded with two downsized ground control stations (DGCS) and up to four air vehicles (AVs). Operationally, the UAV-CR DGCS is deployed at the brigade main TOC. However, depending on the tactical situation, a DGCS could also support a forward battalion, battalion task force or the direct support artillery battalion.

The Close Range UAV development effort is no longer being pursued. On January 31, 1996, the Department decided to make no further purchases of Hunter UAV systems after the acceptance of the sixth and seventh low rate initial production systems. The Department also approved a Tactical UAV ACTD to address the Joint Services' tactical range UAV requirements which consolidated the Close Range and Short Range UAV requirements into a single vehicle solution, Tactical UAV, to complement Predator.

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Page last modified: 28-07-2011 00:48:35 ZULU