Multiuniversal creator
13 February 2006
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From the AW Week news, 24. February 2004 by John Morris:

ST Aero’s aspirations to join the unmanned combat vehicle club have been revealed here in the stealthy shape of the MAV-1 subscale development aircraft. The Multirole Autonomous Vehicle technology demonstrator is expected to make its first flight here in Singapore soon after Asian Aerospace. Powered by a 100-pounds-thrust turbofan, the composite MAV-1 weighs in at 80 kg and has a wingspan of six feet. “ST Aero has a vision to enter the UAV business,” says Dr. Tan Jiak Kwang, chief engineer and director of advanced systems at the company’s engineering and development center. “This is our first fully inhouse design and development program of a UAV. It is purely our own funding as there is no confirmed require-ment yet from the Ministry of Defense.”

The subsonic research vehicle will test integration of flight control systems and allow experimentation with radar cross-section techniques, Tan told Show News. Its stealthylooking shape will also help capture the imagination of potential customers while demonstrating ST Aero’s capabilities. Although Tan cites “reconnaissance” as MAV-1’s main role, the low subsonic-speed vehicle is not equipped for that function. Rather, successful trials lasting up to six months will open the door to bigger aircraft. Tan envisages a high subsonic-speed multirole UAV with a wingspan of 27 feet and up to 800 kg in payload. Its range would be “comparable” to that of fighter aircraft, he added.

Aircraft reportedly flew at least once and till then there is only the silence. I contacted the ST Aerospace with the question about the future destiny of the project, but I think that it is unlikely that they will answer. They even removed the very short shots of the vehicle from the official company PR video.


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Couple more photos


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Why? When the development process stopped, the demonstrator was less sophisticated than the swedish Baby-SHARC. Nothing impressive at all for the USAF.
If you look at the details of the design (wing tips, tail to fuselage junction and aileron hinge line) you will see it is really only 'styled' after low RCS as opposed to being designed for low RCS.

On a more general note (though I suspect not OT), many of these sorts of projects founder simply because the major aerospace players have a far larger budget. Therefore if you are a small company, you will almost always be beaten on resource. Be that technical or [and possibly more fundementally] marketing. However, there are a select few who have, thankfully, bucked that trend.

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