The Desert Hawk is a small unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) used for base perimeter protection. It was designed by Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works for the Air Force FPASS (Force Protection Airborne Surveillance System) Program on a quick-reaction contract issued late in the winter of 2002, with the first system delivered in the early summer. It was designed quickly because the program leveraged technology and design studies developed for the MicroStar MAVs. The program was run by Electronic Systems Center. In 2007, the US Air Force FPASS office switched all of their UAV systems over to the RQ-11B Raven.
It is made mostly of plastic foam, suggesting something like a Nerf toy, and uses an electric motor driving a pusher propeller as a powerplant, making it very quiet. It is launched with a bungee cord, carries three small CCD cameras, has an endurance of about an hour. It flies mostly under autonomous control, with the “pilot” keeping track of what’s going on with a laptop computer.
The Desert Hawk is also used by the 32nd Regiment Royal Artillery of the British Army as a tactical surveillance system, and has seen use in Afghanistan.
Desert Hawk has since been replaced with the more capable, rugged Desert Hawk III.
|Max. Takeoff Weight|
|Desert Hawk I||0.86||1.32||3.2||1||0|
|USA||Lockheed Martin||Bethesda, Maryland||http://www.lockheedmartin.com|