Register here

Author Topic: Zephyr HALE UAV  (Read 6104 times)

Offline Flyaway

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 1761
Zephyr HALE UAV
« on: November 23, 2015, 09:19:36 am »
As part of the U.K. Government's SDSR announcement today QinetiQ are to develop & deploy on behalf of the MOD the Zephyr solar powered HALE UAV.


http://www.airforce-technology.com/projects/zephyr/

Quote
• New equipment and weapons will be made available for the special forces, the Special Air Service (SAS) and the Special Boat Service (SBS). This will include a weaponised Zephyr drone that is capable of remaining in the air for months.

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/nov/23/trident-nuclear-renewal-costs-rise-by-6bn-defence-review-reveals



« Last Edit: November 23, 2015, 09:22:50 am by Flyaway »

Offline AeroFranz

  • Aerospace Engineer
  • Top Contributor
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 2125
Re: Zephyr HALE UAV
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2015, 09:50:44 am »
errr....weaponising Zephyr?
The thing flies at some ungodly altitude and has a comms payload of 2 lbs. What weapons could it possibly carry and deploy? :o
All modern aircraft have four dimensions: span, length, height and politics.   TSR.2 got the first three right - Sir Sydney Camm

Offline red admiral

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 546
Re: Zephyr HALE UAV
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2015, 11:57:30 am »
Zephyr and the team hae been owned by Airbus for a few years now.

Offline mz

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 683
Re: Zephyr HALE UAV
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2015, 12:21:07 pm »
errr....weaponising Zephyr?
The thing flies at some ungodly altitude and has a comms payload of 2 lbs. What weapons could it possibly carry and deploy? :o

A laser pointe... I mean directed energy weapon?
  B)

Offline Flyaway

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 1761
Re: Zephyr HALE UAV
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2015, 01:50:05 pm »
errr....weaponising Zephyr?
The thing flies at some ungodly altitude and has a comms payload of 2 lbs. What weapons could it possibly carry and deploy? :o

Maybe they intend to scale it up in size.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2015, 01:52:22 pm by Flyaway »

Offline Grey Havoc

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 8168
  • The path not taken.
Re: Zephyr HALE UAV
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2015, 04:21:19 pm »
errr....weaponising Zephyr?
The thing flies at some ungodly altitude and has a comms payload of 2 lbs. What weapons could it possibly carry and deploy? :o

Maybe they intend to scale it up in size.

Alternatively, they may be thinking along the lines of an offensive EW suite.
The sole imperative of a government, once instituted, is to survive.

Offline AeroFranz

  • Aerospace Engineer
  • Top Contributor
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 2125
Re: Zephyr HALE UAV
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2015, 08:02:43 am »
The reason i'm skeptical is that solar powered airplanes are extremely sensitive to payload. they are huge and flimsy to start with, and even a small percent increase in weight sends wing area and weight spiraling up. Typical wingloadings are in the order of 1 lb/ft2...
Also, because they're built light (flimsy), they have to fly where winds and turbulence are at a minimum - 65,000'.

All the commercial ventures announced in the recent months from internet companies, if realized, will result in very large aircraft, like wingspans in the order of 50-75 meters. And this just to carry modest payloads. This is why i'm doubtful there will ever be a weaponized (as in kinetic effects) solar UAV.
All modern aircraft have four dimensions: span, length, height and politics.   TSR.2 got the first three right - Sir Sydney Camm

Offline TomS

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 2962
Re: Zephyr HALE UAV
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2015, 08:56:19 am »
I think this has to be a misunderstanding of what was actually said. This Jane's article I think makes more sense:

http://www.janes.com/article/56204/sdsr-2015-uk-prime-minister-confirms-plans-to-field-near-space-uav-likely-zephyr


Quote
Announcing a series of enhancements to the UK's intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities during the reading of the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) in the House of Commons, David Cameron said that the country is to field a "British-designed unmanned aircraft [that] will fly at the very edge of the earth's atmosphere and allow us to observe our adversaries for weeks on end, providing critical intelligence for our forces."

While he gave no further details, the solar-powered Zephyr UAV that Airbus DS is developing with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) under the High Altitude Pseudo Satellite (HAPS) project is the only platform that fits the bill.

No reference to weaponization.  The SDSR synopsis that was published talks about increased spending in IRS and Communications for Special Forces, which fits Zephyr much better.

Offline Flyaway

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 1761
Re: Zephyr HALE UAV
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2016, 10:13:14 am »
United Kingdom confirms planned Zephyr UAV buy

Quote
The United Kingdom is to procure a pair of Airbus Defence and Space (DS) Zephyr high-altitude unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for operational trials to determine how best to fulfil its wider persistent surveillance requirements, it was confirmed on 2 February.

Speaking at an event hosted by ADS Group, a non-governmental organisation that represents the UK defence sector, Secretary of State for Defence Michael Fallon said that a GBP10.6 million (USD15.2 million) contract for two Zephyr 8 'pseudo-satellites' for an Operational Concept Demonstrator (OCD) programme was "imminent".

http://www.janes.com/article/57681/united-kingdom-confirms-planned-zephyr-uav-buy

Offline shedofdread

  • CLEARANCE: Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 393
Re: Zephyr HALE UAV
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2016, 03:02:08 pm »
What a shame they couldn't have gone ahead with this while it was all still under the Qinetiq banner..... I'd better say no more at this juncture :(

Offline Grey Havoc

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 8168
  • The path not taken.
The sole imperative of a government, once instituted, is to survive.

Offline Flyaway

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 1761
Re: Zephyr HALE UAV
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2016, 08:47:46 am »
UK discloses Zephyr-suited payload investment

The UK government’s Centre for Defence Excellence (CDE) is supporting the development of payload projects, which will seemingly be adapted for use on its new Airbus Defence & Space Zephyr high-altitude pseudo satellite (HAPS).

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/uk-discloses-zephyr-suited-payload-investment-424466/

Offline Flyaway

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 1761
Re: Zephyr HALE UAV
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2016, 10:53:54 am »

Offline Flyaway

  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • ***
  • Posts: 1761
Re: Zephyr HALE UAV
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2016, 01:29:25 pm »

Offline CiTrus90

  • CLEARANCE: Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 349
  • Credibility is down! Kill ratio is up!
Re: Zephyr HALE UAV
« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2016, 11:58:56 pm »
UK opts to acquire third Zephyr pseudo-satellite

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/uk-opts-to-acquire-third-zephyr-pseudo-satellite-428582/

Quote
Zephyr is being purchased under an Operational Concept Demonstrator (OCD) effort, and will result in an MoD assessment of the surveillance system next year. Opting to acquire the extra airframe will allow the UK government to test two Zephyrs simultaneously, the MoD says.

...Freudian much...

*snickers*
Regards.

L. Landino