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Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) Classes

UAVs are divided by class category. During operations where more than one system is available, UAV systems can be task organized and class categories selected to achieve the required flexibility and capability. This a listing of UAV class categories as recognized by the Department of Defense (DOD) UAV Master Plan. The categories were initially by range or flight hours, or both.

o UAV-Close Range (UAV-CR). Operational range will be approximately 50 kilometers

o UAV-Short Range (UAV-SR). Flight duration of 8 to 10 hours designed to penetrate into enemy airspace out to a range of 200 kilometers with datalink

o UAV-Endurance (UAV-E). Minimum of 24 hour's coverage and be capable of performing multiple missions simultaneously

While there are differences in range and capabilities, all of these categories of UAVs are considered to be members of the family of UAVs. The family of UAVs concept is based upon commonality and interpretability. All ground receivers are capable of receiving the video of any other UAV within range, regardless of the class category.

Joint UAS Groups

UAS Category Weight Altitude Speed
Group 1 Less than 20 pounds Less than 1,200 feet AGL Less than 100 knots
Group 2 21-55 pounds Less than 3,500 feet AGL Less than 250 knots
Group 3 Less than 1320 pounds Less than 18,000 feet AGL Less than 250 knots
Group 4 Over 1320 pounds Less than 18,000 feet AGL Any speed
Group 5 Over 1320 pounds Over 18,000 feet AGL Any speed
FY20092034 Unmanned Systems Integrated Roadmap,
Department of Defense, 2009.

Civilian UAS Classes

Classification Description Weight Range Altitude Endurance
Mini-UAV Miniature Less than 25 kilograms Less than 10 kilometers Less than 500 feet Less than 2 hours
CR-UAV Close-Range 25 150 kilograms 10-30 kilometers Less than 10,000 feet 2-4 hours
SR-UAV Short-Range 50 250 kilograms 30-70 kilometers Less than 10,000 feet 3-6 hours
MR-UAV Medium-Range 150 500 kilograms 70-200 kilometers Less than 16,500 feet 6-10 hours
MALE Medium Altitude Long Endurance 1000 1500 kilograms Over 500 kilometers 16,500- 25,000 feet 24-48 hours
HALE High-Altitude Long Endurance Over 2000 kilograms Over 2000 kilometers Less than 65,000 feet 24-48 hours
STRATO-UAV Stratospheric Over 2500 kilograms Over 2000 kilometers Over 65,000 feet 24-48 hours

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Page last modified: 15-06-2021 16:09:48 ZULU