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JUSTAS: the project to buy armed Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) UAVs

CBH99

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Let the procurement games begin
Can we just skip the games in the interest of saving a decent amount of taxpayer dollars that could then be used elsewhere, or saved within DND & re-allocated to something else that’s lacking some funds?

(Vice burned at the alter of military project inflation rates.)

I know, I know… it doesn’t work like that. 😥


Serious question for anybody in the know…

Are we still looking for a Predator/Triton type UAV to support land/water operations?

Or is this project evolving/changing?
 

dimsum

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Are we still looking for a Predator/Triton type UAV to support land/water operations?
Predators and Tritons are two totally different classes of RPAs.

The two competitors are:
  • MQ-9B SkyGuardian (successor to the MQ-9A Reaper - itself a larger, turboprop Predator)
  • IAI Heron TP (larger, turboprop Heron that was used in Afghanistan)
Both are designed to fly around 25-35,000' for over a day.

The MQ-4C Triton is the marinized version of the RQ-4 Global Hawk, a huge jet-powered aircraft designed to hang out at 50,000' for multiple days.
 

quadrapiper

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The MQ-4C Triton is the marinized version of the RQ-4 Global Hawk, a huge jet-powered aircraft designed to hang out at 50,000' for multiple days.
Would something of that nature be worth the cost, hassle, infrastructure, etc. to complement/augment MPA and other crewed coastal surveillance?
 

MTShaw

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Can we just skip the games in the interest of saving a decent amount of taxpayer dollars that could then be used elsewhere, or saved within DND & re-allocated to something else that’s lacking some funds?

(Vice burned at the alter of military project inflation rates.)

I know, I know… it doesn’t work like that. 😥


Serious question for anybody in the know…

Are we still looking for a Predator/Triton type UAV to support land/water operations?

Or is this project evolving/changing?
There are very few RQ-9B drones in the world. So no. The probject required it be armed, so no Triton.


 

Kirkhill

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The current competitors have a ton of range/endurance as well.

The best is the enemy of good enough.

I'll take something rather than nothing.

From what I understand both competitors have got track records.
 

OldSolduer

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Predators and Tritons are two totally different classes of RPAs.

The two competitors are:
  • MQ-9B SkyGuardian (successor to the MQ-9A Reaper - itself a larger, turboprop Predator)
  • IAI Heron TP (larger, turboprop Heron that was used in Afghanistan)
Both are designed to fly around 25-35,000' for over a day.

The MQ-4C Triton is the marinized version of the RQ-4 Global Hawk, a huge jet-powered aircraft designed to hang out at 50,000' for multiple days.
So because I'm curious how do you fly these? Do you have shifts of operators?
 

kev994

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So because I'm curious how do you fly these? Do you have shifts of operators?
We flew shifts in the original Heron, IIRC we did 2 hours in the box, 2 hour break, 2 hours back in. Plus pre and post flight stuff, first guy had to drive to the hangar and do a walk around but that won’t be an option if they’re remote.
 

Eye In The Sky

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ya, there could be a separate launch/recovery control station and a mission one. Launch recovery crews fly to a hand over point, mission crews takes control, mission crews rotate pers, mission crew flies back to handover point, launch recover crew takes control and brings the asset home.
 

kev994

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ya, there could be a separate launch/recovery control station and a mission one. Launch recovery crews fly to a hand over point, mission crews takes control, mission crews rotate pers, mission crew flies back to handover point, launch recover crew takes control and brings the asset home.
That’s what the Americans were doing with the preds. If they had fuel left when they got it back they’d keep flying it locally, there was always work available.
 

dimsum

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ya, there could be a separate launch/recovery control station and a mission one. Launch recovery crews fly to a hand over point, mission crews takes control, mission crews rotate pers, mission crew flies back to handover point, launch recover crew takes control and brings the asset home.
The new generation doesn't need the launch/recovery station anymore.

So because I'm curious how do you fly these? Do you have shifts of operators?
Yes - and by "operators" it's a Pilot, Sensor Operator, and the Int crew. We're talking 5-7 people per shift.

It's ironic that an "unmanned" platform has a larger crew than most manned platforms.
 

Eye In The Sky

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The new generation doesn't need the launch/recovery station anymore.

Interesting; so just a few maint and wpns folks. Efficient!

Hmmmm. What will ‘flight feeding’ be called in the RPAS community?
Surprised Pink GIF
 

Ostrozac

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It's ironic that an "unmanned" platform has a larger crew than most manned platforms.
Unmanned aircraft, counterintuitively, are very manpower intensive.

They require people at the operating bases to maintain, fuel and arm the things. They require a legion of shift workers to run the missions. They require technicians to maintain the secure networks that link everything together. Not to mention mission planners, policy, intelligence, legal…
 

Kirkhill

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The new generation doesn't need the launch/recovery station anymore.


Yes - and by "operators" it's a Pilot, Sensor Operator, and the Int crew. We're talking 5-7 people per shift.

It's ironic that an "unmanned" platform has a larger crew than most manned platforms.

So, aside from the "bus driver" up front it is like keeping an Aurora in the air continuously?
 

Underway

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Interesting; so just a few maint and wpns folks. Efficient!

Hmmmm. What will ‘flight feeding’ be called in the RPAS community?
Surprised Pink GIF
Takeout orders and Coffee Runs.

I believe these things ground station is going to be in the Ottawa area, but the aircraft will be stationed where they need to fly from.

I'm thinking MQ-9B is going to win the competition. It has so many more users, and has many more options for loadouts (including Sonobuoy's as an example). Just that much better than a Heron. But of course, if they are both compliant it depends on the whole of bid scoring and there are likely things I don't know about like cost and maintenance where the Heron could be better.
 

dimsum

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So, aside from the "bus driver" up front it is like keeping an Aurora in the air continuously?
That's probably the best analogy for a current RCAF aircraft. Plus the air-to-ground strike bit.

Likely with more screens, because there's no weight limit on the Ground Control Station (or, apparently, thought for Human Factors).

Below is supposedly an MQ-9A station for Pilot and Sensor Operator.

1653444230123.png
 
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