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Dragon Warrior / Cypher II

Dragon Warrior is a joint effort between NRL and the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory (MCWL) to develop a HMMWV-transportable, vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) unmanned air vehicle for USMC missions. With its fully autonomous flight operation and differential GPS navigation, the Dragon Warrior will perform Reconnaissance Surveillance Target Acquisition (RSTA) and Communications Relay missions.

The first full-scale prototype flight tests were scheduled beginning summer 2002 with mission demonstrations beginning in 2003. The overall body length will be 112 inches with a rotor diameter of 108 inches. With a gross weight of 250 lb and a payload capacity of 25 - 35 lb, Dragon Warrior will have an estimated endurance of 3 - 5 hours and a dash speed of 100 kt.

Dragon Warrior is a vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) UAV designed for urban reconnaissance. The system will have a link range of 50 nautical miles and an endurance of three hours. The entire airframe and ground station is transportable within a single Humvee and trailer. The Marine Corps expects to spend $22 million developing the Dragon Warrior through fiscal year 2003 and to field the system in fiscal year 2005.

In September 1999 the Marine Corps awarded the Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation a $5.46 million contract to build two prototype VTOL UAVs (vertical takeoff and landing unmanned aerial vehicles) known as Cypher II and dubbed Dragon Warrior by the Corps. The Cypher II is a high-speed, donut-shaped UAV that incorporates shrouded rotor technology that encloses the rotor system. This contract contains options, which, if exercised, will bring the cumulative value of this contract to $9,222,659. Work will be performed in Stratford, Conn. (87%) and West Palm Beach, Fla. (13%), and was expected to be completed by March 2001. This contract was competitively procured with 19 proposals solicited and five offers received. The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity.

A 50 percent scale prototype version of the Marine Corps' larger Dragon Warrior UAV performed three tethered test flights in November 2002. First flight of the UAV had been delayed by problems with one of the two engines being developed for it.



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