To weaponize a micro UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) and to enhance survivability and lethality of US and Allied troops on the battlefield. The AMUAV (Armed Micro Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) will be comprised of two distinct platforms; Rotary Winged Armed Micro Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (RWAMUAV) and the Fixed Wing Armed Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (FWAMUAV), each with different capabilities and uses on the battlefield.
The RWAMUAV will be deployed where hovering above a target or rapid unmanned vertical take-off or decent is required. The FWAMUAV would be capable of longer duration of flight and ideal in certain scenarios like the “personal protection” platform.
Solution 1- JMS
Conversion Technologies has developed a weapon that is a remotely fired 12 gauge shotgun that can be deployed as a single gun, clustered in a pod or configured as a semi automatic weapon used for multiple shot applications depending on the payload of the craft. Platforms with higher payload capability would be able to field two or more of either configuration. The 12-gauge cartridge currently is loaded in 23 different configurations to include non-lethal rounds. The JMS is a unique ultra-light weapon that weighs 8.5 oz in its basic configuration.
Rocky Mountain Scientific Laboratories has a long history of working with light-weight energetics. Based on previous tested and certified technology, they have developed a lightweight, high energy explosive that can be placed on a Micro UAV for specific missions. A steel pellet claymore like explosive creating a 45 to 90 degree area of lethality is the initial concept in development. This weapon will be configured in a quick change with the single or pod gun or developed independently as a disposable version of the platform, thus increasing the systems overall capability. Tactical abilities include defensive fixed position and offensive seek and destroy capabilities.
Networked Communication Integration
To maximize the systems effectiveness and situational awareness, it should be incorporated into a networked battlefield system, IE Land Warrior/JTRS system). When launched, the systems could be operated either at the soldier level or be “passed on” to a designated UAV controller station where there are UAV pilots ready to take the controls.
The AMUAV system will be equipped with surveillance equipment, networked communication systems and lethal/non-lethal capabilities. The AMUAV platform will be more effective than its larger counterparts due to its maneuverability, stealth and a newly designed weapon that is light enough for a Micro UAV payload. SWARM technology will give the advantage of “hunting in packs”. This technology allows each AMUAV to know the location and mission of each of the other AMUAVs within the pack. They can be programmed prior to flight or can be given new algorithms or commands while in flight as the situation changes.
The electronics in the system will include SWARM technology software, target identification software, target acquisition/ballistics software, IFF information on individuals and remote operation software, which must be handled by outside companies with this expertise. Other software/hardware may be needed.
We feel that the VAMUAV has more potential applications and will have more positive effect on the battlefield than a HAMUAV. However, both platforms have their purpose and we feel strongly that our weapons can be mounted to many of the common micro platforms on the market.
The weapons can also be mounted to a micro ground vehicles. Conversion Technologies has recoil mitigation technology that will enable high-powered weapons on a small lightweight platform.
How It’s Used
Threat Objective 1: Convoy Protection Synopsis
The number 1 threat among US and Allied troops are convoy ambushes; whether it be with IED’s, RPG’s, small arms or a combination of the three. Recent briefs have indicated that drones would be of high value if they were launched from the convoy platform, whether it be MRAPs, HMWWVs, Tanks, etc, in an advance reconnaissance fashion as to detect the threat before it is encountered.
Armed Micro Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (AMUAV) systems will be mounted to the vehicle platform and controlled from the navigator seat of the vehicle. Once launched, the team on the ground would have full capability of flight and operation in which the AMUAV would be programmed to work seamlessly with the vehicle platforms electronic system; this telling the pack where friendlies are, terrain features and other important information to help the AMUAV identify its targets and allies. Once the target has been identified, the AMUAVs would have the option to loiter, continue surveillance, gather intelligence or attack, all while the convoy and its troops are safely out of harms way. This AMUAV solution can be used while the convoy is in motion or stopped.
Threat Objective 2: Mission Effectiveness
Often times, forces that commonly conduct direct action missions are faced with limited knowledge of what is happening on target in real time. Current UAV solutions are limited in the fact that the platforms are large and required to loiter at high altitudes. Plus, if a threat is identified, there is no option to take lethal/non-lethal force from the current drone platform without collateral damage due to the size of the munitions that are being carried now. The AMUAV is a quick, surgical and precise solution to this problem.
Similar to Threat Objective 1, operators on direct action missions will have the ability to stop short of their intended target and launch the AMUAVs. Equipped with surveillance equipment and weapons, they have the ability hover at low elevations without being detected, gather intelligence and if the need arises, relay information back to the TOC and troops on the ground in real-time and pursue a threat with lethal or non-lethal force. Many scenarios on target can be planned with this as an added asset. Coordinated attacks between the ground force and the AMUAV would also be a valuable option.
Threat Objective 3: Personal Protection Synopsis
Whether in a firefight, on E&E or in an offensive mode, it would be to the individual soldiers advantage to have the ability to deploy a weapon that can see more, communicate more, and kill more…and to be able to do all those things NOW.
A soldier trapped in defilade is being shot at from multiple targets of unknown position. A sound solution would be to pull your Personal Armed Micro UAV or PAMUAV, out of your rucksack and deploy a unit that will increase your chance of survival by increasing your view of the fight, increases the amount of people you can talk to, and bring firepower upon the enemy in a shorten period of time. This ability to quickly gain the tactical advantage (high ground), to maneuver, to flank and to disrupt the enemies plan would have a great psychological impact similar to a sniper threat. It would also give the ground troops the time and ability to maneuver while the enemy is engaged by the armed UAV.
Threat Objective 4: Close Air Support (CAS) Synopsis
Convoys and patrols are commonly known as the most vulnerable group on the battlefield. Threats of ambushes and attacks come from every direction. When contacted, calling in conventional CAS could take more time than may be available and may not have the precision needed to take out designated targets.
The AMUAV could be carried within a patrol (individuals could be designated within the patrol), or integrated into the vehicle platform of a convoy, in the same fashion as in the “Convoy Protection” threat. Once contacted, deploy the AMUAVs to designated threat area for a more immediate response to an attack. Control the pack within the group on the ground or “pass on” the controls to a designated UAV controller out of harms way.
Threat Objective 5: Vessel Borne Search & Seizure (VBSS) Support Synopsis
Ships are being utilized more often by Pirates as a platform to conduct terror. Their threats to the commercial shipping industry is becoming increasing more dangerous. They commonly board and take over entire ships, stealing the merchandise, killing crewmen and even taking hostages for ransom. Millions of dollars have been stolen and many lives have been lost.
As military operators attempt to board a hostile ship, they require aerial assets to assist with eyes on target and lethal/non lethal precision strike capabilities. A standard VBSS mission requires deployable assets to support the troops once on the ship. One of these assets is an aerial overwatch with precision strike capabilities. Snipers in helicopters are a common use but they have limitations. Flying helicopters near a moving ship is dangerous. Also, shooting moving target on a moving ship from a moving aircraft is not an easy task. The RWAMUAV will have the capability to provide precision strike capability on directed targets. It also has offensive capability to pursue and disable surface craft and “repel borders”.
Threat Objective 6:
Infrastructure Protection, Security and Surveillance (Pipelines, Oil Rigs, Military Installations, Nuclear Plants, Government Labs, Ships Underway or Docked, Etc)
All areas listed above are likely targets of opportunity for terrorist organizations to launch an attack. RWAMUAVs can be cached in designated locations and camouflaged within their surroundings. They could be deployable manually by a security officer in a control room or electronically by a sensor. The RWAMUAVs could be armed with weapons, surveillance equipment, night vision and/or thermal. Ammunition could consist of lethal and non-lethal rounds. RWAMUAVs could be equipped with SWARM technology to work as a unit to track and identify the threat and go into a hovering mode above the target until it is given the next command; IE Continue to loiter, take pictures/video, look for additional threats, use lethal/nonlethal force, rendezvous at pre-designated location, etc.
The above threats and solutions are just a few profiles that would benefit from this aerial weapon system. It is imperative that this system be integrated within current networking software and communication programs.