CQM-121 Boeing Robotic Air Vehicle (BRAVE) 200
In the 1980s, as the Army floundered with the Aquila, the Air Force was going through a similarly frustrating exercise with a low-end UAV, the "Boeing Robotic Air Vehicle (BRAVE) 200". The BRAVE 200 was intended to be used as an antiradar attack drone, a jamming platform, or for other expendable battlefield missions. The BRAVE 200 was a small canard airframe, with a span of 2.57 meters (8 feet 5 inches), a length of of 2.12 meters (6 feet 11 inches), and a launch weight of 120 kilograms (265 pounds). It was powered by a 21 kW (28 horsepower) two-stroke, two-cylinder engine, driving a pusher propeller. The BRAVE 200 had a unique launch scheme, with 15 of the UAVs stowed in a transport "box", with a drone shoved out of its cell in the box on an arm to be launched by a RATO booster. It was recovered by parachute if the mission allowed it be recovered.
CQM-121A Pave Tiger
The BRAVE 200 was designed and built by Boeing Military Airplane Co. in the early 1980s and received the military designation YCGM-121B. It is an unmanned aerial vehicle designed to seek out and attack the radars that control enemy anti-aircraft artillery or surface-to-air missile defenses.
The BRAVE 200 effort began in 1983, when the company received a USAF contract to develop an antiradar attack drone, under the designation "YCQM-121A Pave Tiger". 14 prototypes were flown in 1983 and 1984, but the program was cancelled in late 1984. It didn't stay cancelled.
YGCM-121B Seek Spinner
In 1987, the USAF awarded Boeing a contract to develop an improved version of the drone, designated the "YGCM-121B Seek Spinner", as a loitering antiradar attack drone. The YGCM-121B was generally similar to the YCQM but heavier, with a weight of 200 kilograms (440 pounds). (Some radar antennas rotate or spin, hence the name "Seek Spinner".) It is launched from the ground with rocket assistance. Using instructions programmed into its computer, the YCGM-121B flies to a designated target where it loiters or circles until its sensors detect the enemy radar signal. The vehicle then follows the radar beam to its source and detonates its warhead, damaging or destroying the radar site.
The Seek Spinner underwent testing for a number of years with promising results. However, it never became operational. The last test flight took place in late 1989. The program was then cancelled due to cost and the availability of alternative systems. The museum received the Seek Spinner in late 1989.
CEM-138 Pave Cricket
The Air Force evaluated another variant in the series, designated the "CEM-138 Pave Cricket", with a jamming payload by Hercules. Built in 1987 and cancelled in 1989, by one account its job was to seek out enemy radars that control anti-aircraft artillery or surface to air missiles and defuse them. Another source relates that the Pave Cricket program was a proof of concept low cost and weight full spectrum radar beacon for use on UAV's as a decoy. The "Pave Cricket" can be used for training, but it is far from being "training". The ALQ-176 (V) 2 that are the ones that the FAA wanted (and the only ones available) have 5 transmitters, and these, depending on the frequency, each one can transmit between 150 to 400 W. While impressive looking it evidently didn't do the job or else was too easy to shoot down. PAVE isn't an acronym, but a word used as a program prefix by USAF Systems Command [PAVE does not mean Precision Avionics Vectoring Equipment]. PAVE is an unclassified project nickname and not codewords. Codewords are always a single words.
Boeing continued to promote the BRAVE 200 to other customers, and also tried to sell a jet-powered drone, the "BRAVE 3000". The BRAVE 3000 resembled a small cruise missile with boxy fuselage, a straight wing that pivoted into launch configuration, cruciform tailfins, a belly fin forward of the wing, and an engine intake under the belly. The BRAVE 3000 also featured a container launch scheme, and had a launch weight of 285 kilograms (629 pounds) with RATO booster. A few prototypes were flown in the mid-1980s. Nobody bought either the BRAVE 200 or the BRAVE 3000, and both projects were abandoned.
|Name of RPV||Brave 200|
|Manufacturer||Boeing Military Airplane Company|
|Mission||Suppression/destruction of radar-guided air defense systems, reconnaissance, target acquisition, jamming, electronic counter measures, and air attack|
|Sensors||Radio frequency detection and guidance, plus infrared, and optical|
|Range||Dependent on fuel/payload combination|
|Ceiling||3,500 meters (11,500 feet)|
|Maximum speed||Unknown; cruise - 121kts, loiter - 78kts|
|Endurance||The endurance will depend on the fuel/payload combination, the maximum payload/fuel capacity is 50k9s (120 pounds).|
|Navigation system||Preprogrammed flight plan|
|Survivability||Designed to be expendable|
|Length||2.1 meters (6.9 feet);|
|wing span||2.6 meters (8.5 feet) with wings that fold along the fuselage.|
|Total weight||120k9s (264 pounds).|
|Fifteen vehicles would fit in a 8ft X 8ft X 2Oft container.|
|Launch||Launch is assisted by rocket booster|
|Recovery||Not required since its mission requires that the vehicle be expendable. However, a recovery parachute could be incorporated at the expense of fuel or payload.|
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