Seattle is a seaport city on the West Coast of the United States. It is the seat of Washington. With an estimated 730,000 residents as of 2018, Seattle is the largest city in both the state of Washington and the Pacific Northwest region of North America. According to U. S. Census data released in 2018, the Seattle metropolitan area’s population stands at 3.87 million, ranks as the 15th largest in the United States. In July 2013, it was the fastest-growing major city in the United States and remained in the Top 5 in May 2015 with an annual growth rate of 2.1%. In July 2016, Seattle was again the fastest-growing major U. S. city, with a 3.1% annual growth rate. Seattle is the northernmost large city in the United States; the city is situated on an isthmus between Puget Sound and Lake Washington, about 100 miles south of the Canada–United States border. A major gateway for trade with Asia, Seattle is the fourth-largest port in North America in terms of container handling as of 2015; the Seattle area was inhabited by Native Americans for at least 4,000 years before the first permanent European settlers.
Arthur A. Denny and his group of travelers, subsequently known as the Denny Party, arrived from Illinois via Portland, Oregon, on the schooner Exact at Alki Point on November 13, 1851; the settlement was moved to the eastern shore of Elliott Bay and named "Seattle" in 1852, in honor of Chief Si'ahl of the local Duwamish and Suquamish tribes. Today, Seattle has high populations of Native, Scandinavian and Asian Americans, as well as a thriving LGBT community that ranks 6th in the United States for population. Logging was Seattle's first major industry, but by the late 19th century, the city had become a commercial and shipbuilding center as a gateway to Alaska during the Klondike Gold Rush. Growth after World War II was due to the local Boeing company, which established Seattle as a center for aircraft manufacturing; the Seattle area developed into a technology center from the 1980s onwards with companies like Microsoft becoming established in the region. Internet retailer Amazon was founded in Seattle in 1994, major airline Alaska Airlines is based in SeaTac, serving Seattle's international airport, Seattle–Tacoma International Airport.
The stream of new software and Internet companies led to an economic revival, which increased the city's population by 50,000 between 1990 and 2000. Owing to its increasing population in the 21st century and the state of Washington have some of the highest minimum wages in the country, at $15 per hour for smaller businesses and $16 for the city's largest employers. Seattle has a noteworthy musical history. From 1918 to 1951, nearly two dozen jazz nightclubs existed along Jackson Street, from the current Chinatown/International District to the Central District; the jazz scene nurtured the early careers of Ray Charles, Quincy Jones, Ernestine Anderson, others. Seattle is the birthplace of rock musician Jimi Hendrix, as well as the origin of the bands Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Foo Fighters and the alternative rock movement grunge. Archaeological excavations suggest that Native Americans have inhabited the Seattle area for at least 4,000 years. By the time the first European settlers arrived, the people occupied at least seventeen villages in the areas around Elliott Bay.
The first European to visit the Seattle area was George Vancouver, in May 1792 during his 1791–95 expedition to chart the Pacific Northwest. In 1851, a large party led by Luther Collins made a location on land at the mouth of the Duwamish River. Thirteen days members of the Collins Party on the way to their claim passed three scouts of the Denny Party. Members of the Denny Party claimed land on Alki Point on September 28, 1851; the rest of the Denny Party set sail from Portland and landed on Alki point during a rainstorm on November 13, 1851. After a difficult winter, most of the Denny Party relocated across Elliott Bay and claimed land a second time at the site of present-day Pioneer Square, naming this new settlement Duwamps. Charles Terry and John Low remained at the original landing location and reestablished their old land claim and called it "New York", but renamed "New York Alki" in April 1853, from a Chinook word meaning "by and by" or "someday". For the next few years, New York Alki and Duwamps competed for dominance, but in time Alki was abandoned and its residents moved across the bay to join the rest of the settlers.
David Swinson "Doc" Maynard, one of the founders of Duwamps, was the primary advocate to name the settlement after Chief Seattle of the Duwamish and Suquamish tribes. The name "Seattle" appears on official Washington Territory papers dated May 23, 1853, when the first plats for the village were filed. In 1855, nominal land settlements were established. On January 14, 1865, the Legislature of Territorial Washington incorporated the Town of Seattle with a board of trustees managing the city; the Town of Seattle was disincorporated on January 18, 1867, remained a mere precinct of King County until late 1869, when a new petition was filed and the city was re-incorporated December 2, 1869, with a mayor–council government. The corporate seal of the City of Seattle carries the date "1869" and a likeness of Chief Sealth in left profile. Seattle has a history of boom-and-bust cycles, like many other cities near areas of extensive natural and mineral resources. Seattle has risen several times economically gone into precipitous decline, but it has used those periods to rebuild solid infrastructure
Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton
The Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton is an American high-altitude long endurance unmanned aerial vehicle under development for the United States Navy as a surveillance aircraft. In tandem with its associated ground control station, it is considered an unmanned aircraft system. Developed under the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance program, the system is intended to provide real-time intelligence and reconnaissance missions over vast ocean and coastal regions, continuous maritime surveillance, conduct search and rescue missions, to complement the Boeing P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft. Triton builds on elements of the RQ-4 Global Hawk; these capabilities allow the aircraft to descend through cloud layers to gain a closer view of ships and other targets at sea when needed. The current sensor suites allow ships to be tracked over time by gathering information on their speed and classification; the MQ-4C System Development and Demonstration aircraft was delivered in 2012 and the MQ-4C was expected to be operational by late 2015 with a total of 68 aircraft to be procured.
Initial Operational Capability for the MQ-4C was achieved in 2018 with Full Operating Capability planned in 2023. Provides persistent maritime ISR 24 hours/7 days per week with 80% Effective Time on Station AN/ZPY-3 Multi-Function Active Sensor with active electronically scanned array Land-based air vehicle and sensor command and control 51,000-hour airframe life Due regard radar for safe separation Commercial off-the-shelf open architecture mission control system Net-ready interoperability solution Communications bandwidth management Dual redundant flight controls and surfaces Afloat Level II payload sensor data via line-of-sight The competitors for the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance contract included: Boeing, with an unmanned version of the Gulfstream G550 business jet, it was optionally manned and has "commonality with other Boeing-built naval aircraft." Northrop Grumman, with a navalized RQ-4 Global Hawk. In order to begin testing the surveillance package early, Northrop Grumman contracted with Flight Test Associates of the Mojave Spaceport to modify a Grumman Gulfstream II as a flying testbed.
Lockheed Martin, with a General Atomics MQ-9 MarinerThe BAMS UAS was acquired for the U. S. Navy as a Department of Defense Acquisition Category 1D program and on April 22, 2008, Northrop Grumman received the BAMS contract worth $1.16 billion. Lockheed Martin filed a formal protest with the U. S. Government Accountability Office two weeks later. On August 11, 2008 the GAO ruled to uphold the Navy’s selection of Northrop Grumman. In September 2010, the BAMS aircraft was designated the MQ-4C. Official unveiling took place on 14 June 2012 at California. During the event, it was announced; the first flight of the MQ-4C by aircraft Bureau Number 168457 took place on 22 May 2013, followed by subsequent test flights at Edwards AFB, California and NAS Patuxent River, Maryland. Initial Operational Capability was planned for December 2015 and has now slipped to 2017; the U. S. Navy plans a fleet of 117 P-8As to replace the aging P-3C Orion force. Around forty MQ-4Cs will be based at various sites, predominantly home stations or overseas deployment sites for Navy P-8A and P-3C aircraft.
This includes an unspecified location in Hawaii. The Air Force Times reported on 14 September 2012, that the system will be stationed at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. In August 2013, the Navy paused the development of the "sense and avoid" radar system that would enable the MQ-4C to avoid other aircraft traffic; the Triton would have been the first unmanned aircraft to be fitted with such a system, but the system was behind schedule and over budget. The radar system remains a requirement in the program, but budgetary and technology pressures have forced the Navy to defer integrating it onto the aircraft; the Navy and Northrop Grumman are working to determine when the sense-and-avoid system can be included into the production line. The Navy restarted the competition for a sense-and-avoid radar for the Triton in November 2014 with less ambitious requirements, including the ability to use data from ground radars as it approaches an airport, a modular and scalable design that can be incrementally improved to meet evolving future operational and air traffic management requirements.
On 6 September 2013, the Navy awarded Northrop Grumman a $9.98 million contract for maintenance and support of the MQ-4C SDD aircraft to enable it to fly fifteen missions per month, an increase from nine per month as planned, with senior Navy commanders wanting to keep closer surveillance of activities in the ocean and coastal regions of the Middle East. The Navy began considering in September 2014 cutting the number of Tritons it plans to buy; the intention has been to have twenty operational MQ-4C aircraft operational at any one time, with the rest of the sixty-eight-plane order force being spares. Due to the improved reliability of the aircraft, budget pressures may require the Navy to trim the numbers of aircraft it will order. In September 2015, the DoD Inspector General found the seventy-aircraft force requirement justified, based on available attrition rate estimates of four per 100,000 hours; the Navy intends to begin operation of one operating location every year starting in 2018 until there are five.
Four Tritons will be operational at each base to maintain cont
AeroVironment RQ-20 Puma
The AeroVironment RQ-20 Puma is a small, battery powered, American hand-launched unmanned aircraft system produced by AeroVironment based in California. Primary mission is surveillance and intelligence gathering using an electro-optical and infrared camera. Selected for the United States Special Operations Command in 2008, in March 2012 the United States Army ordered the Puma All Environment and designated it the RQ-20A. In April, the United States Marine Corps and United States Air Force placed a similar order for the RQ-20A; each military RQ-20A system has two ground stations. The Puma AE can operate under extreme weather conditions including temperatures ranging from −20 to 120 °F, wind speeds up to 25 knots, an inch of rain per hour. On 26 July 2013, the Puma became one of the first unmanned aerial vehicles to be granted certification by the Federal Aviation Administration to fly in U. S. airspace for commercial purposes. AeroVironment expects one to be deployed to Alaska to support oil spill response crews and count wildlife.
The Puma can safely accomplish observation missions in hazardous Arctic locations, safer and more environmentally friendly than using manned aircraft. Commercial certification was the result of previous military certification and the Congressionally-mandated opening of airspace over much of Alaska to small UAVs; the FAA certified the Boeing Insitu ScanEagle planned to be deployed to Alaska. Only three individual Pumas were certified with strict requirements: only one aircraft of the type is allowed airborne at any one time, they cannot fly through clouds or icing conditions, they cannot take off or land during certain gust and wind conditions; the certifications did not mention line-of-sight control. On 8 June 2014, the Puma AE made its first flight for BP in Prudhoe Bay, making it the first authorized unmanned commercial flight over land; the UK tested ISR packages compatible with the Puma AE on board the M80 Stiletto trials ship in November 2014 under Capability Demonstration 15-1. On 20 January 2016, a number of RQ-20 were captured by the Turkish army from the PKK.
It is suspected that the Kurdish militants were able acquire these drones from their Syrian affiliates. In August 2016, AeroVironment announced the U. S. Navy had tested and deployed the RQ-20B Puma aboard a Flight I Guided Missile Destroyer, which included the company's Precision Recovery System to autonomously recover the aircraft aboard a ship; the Puma is being utilized on Navy patrol craft in the Persian Gulf. RQ-20A Puma Military designation for the Puma All Environment variant. RQ-20B Block 2 Puma AE, includes a more powerful and lighter propulsion system and stronger airframe, long endurance battery, precision inertial navigation system an improved user interface, the new, all environment Mantis i45 gimbal sensor suite. Solar Puma Puma AE powered by ultra-thin solar cells. Production version planned for early 2014. Enhanced Puma Upgrade of the RQ-20A Puma AE with more powerful propulsion system and new batteries that increase endurance by 75 percent to 3.5 hours, auxiliary payload bay to integrate payloads while keeping the video camera, precision navigation system with secondary GPS, a redesigned durable fuselage with reinforced construction and improved aerodynamics.
Available in early 2014. LRTA Puma Puma AE upgraded with a long-range tracking antenna. Available Spring 2018. BelgiumBelgian Army - Leased from the US Army in 2017 EgyptEgyptian Army - RQ-20B Puma AE II UAVs, delivery to be completed by 2020. EstoniaEstonian Army - Unknown number of RQ20B Puma AE II UAVs purchased in September 2018. Delivery to be expected by March 2019. LatviaLatvian Army - 3 RQ-20A Puma systems United StatesUnited States Special Operations Command United States Army – 325 systems, one per infantry company and 18 per brigade United States Marine Corps United States Navy United States Air Force National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Data from Puma AE data sheetGeneral characteristics Length: 4 ft 7 in Wingspan: 9 ft 2 in Max takeoff weight: 13 lb Performance Maximum speed: 52 mph.
Airbreathing jet engine
An airbreathing jet engine is a jet engine propelled by a jet of hot exhaust gases formed from air, forced into the engine by several stages of centrifugal, axial or ram compression, heated and expanded through a nozzle. They are gas turbine engines; the majority of the mass flow through an airbreathing jet engine is provided by air taken from outside of the engine and heated internally, using energy stored in the form of fuel. All practical airbreathing jet engines are internal combustion engines that directly heat the air by burning fuel, with the resultant hot gases used for propulsion via a propulsive nozzle, although other techniques for heating the air have been experimented with. Most modern jet engine designs are turbofans, which have replaced turbojets; these modern engines use a gas turbine engine core with high overall pressure ratio and high turbine entry temperature, provide a great deal of their thrust with a turbine-powered fan stage, rather than with pure exhaust thrust as in a turbojet.
These features combine to give a high efficiency, relative to a turbojet. A few jet engines use simple ram pulse combustion to give compression; the original air-breathing gas turbine jet engine was the turbojet. It was a concept brought to life by two engineers, Frank Whittle in England United Kingdom and Hans von Ohain in Germany; the turbojet compresses and heats air and exhausts it as a high speed, high temperature jet to create thrust. While these engines are capable of giving high thrust levels, they are most efficient at high speeds, due to the low-mass-flow, high speed nature of the jet exhaust. Modern turbofans are a development of the turbojet. Rather than using all of its exhaust gases to provide direct thrust like a turbojet, the turbofan engine extracts some of the power from the exhaust gases inside the engine and uses it to power the fan stage; the fan stage accelerates a large volume of air through a duct, bypassing the engine core, expelling it at the rear as a jet, creating thrust.
A proportion of the air that comes through the fan stage enters the engine core rather than being ducted to the rear, is thus compressed and heated. This high-speed, hot-gas exhaust blends with the low speed, cool-air exhaust from the fan stage, both contribute to the overall thrust of the engine. Depending on what proportion of cool air is bypassed around the engine core, a turbofan can be called low-bypass, high-bypass, or very-high-bypass engines. Low bypass engines were the first turbofan engines produced, provide the majority of their thrust from the hot core exhaust gases, while the fan stage only supplements this; these engines are still seen on military fighter aircraft, since they provide more efficient thrust at supersonic speeds and have a narrower frontal area, minimizing aerodynamic drag. Their comparatively high noise levels and subsonic fuel consumption are deemed acceptable in such an application, whereas although the first generation of turbofan airliners used low-bypass engines, their high noise levels and fuel consumption mean they have fallen out of favor for large aircraft.
High bypass engines have a much larger fan stage, provide most of their thrust from the ducted air of the fan. A high-bypass turbofan functions similarly to a turboprop engine, except it uses a many-bladed fan rather than a multi-blade propeller, relies on a duct to properly vector the airflow to create thrust. Over the last several decades, there has been a move towards high bypass engines, which use fans far larger than the engine core itself, a modern, high efficiency two or three-spool design; this high efficiency and power is what allows such large fans to be viable, the increased thrust available, have allowed a move to large twin engine aircraft, such as the Airbus A350 or Boeing 777, as well as allowing twin engine aircraft to operate on long overwater routes the domain of 3-engine or 4-engine aircraft. Jet engines were designed to power aircraft, but have been used to power jet cars and jet boats for speed record attempts, for commercial uses such as by railroads for clearing snow and ice from switches in railyards, by race tracks for drying off track surfaces after rain.
Airbreathing jet engines are nearly always internal combustion engines that obtain propulsion from the combustion of fuel inside the engine. Oxygen present in the atmosphere is used to oxidise a fuel source a hydrocarbon-based jet fuel; the burning mixture expands in volume, driving heated air through a propelling nozzle. Gas turbine powered engines: turbojet turbofanRam powered jet engine: ramjet scramjetPulsed combustion jet engine: pulse detonation engine pulse jet engine motorjet Two engineers, Frank Whittle in the United Kingdom and Hans von Ohain in Germany, developed the turbojet concept independently into practical engines during the late 1930s. Turbojets consist of a compressor, a combustor, a turbine and a propelling nozzle; the compressed air is heated in the combustor and passes through the turbine
Unmanned combat aerial vehicle
An unmanned combat aerial vehicle known as a combat drone or a drone, is an unmanned aerial vehicle that carries aircraft ordnance such as missiles and is used for drone strikes. These drones are under real-time human control, with varying levels of autonomy. Aircraft of this type have no onboard human pilot; as the operator runs the vehicle from a remote terminal, equipment necessary for a human pilot are not needed, resulting in a lower weight and a smaller size than a manned aircraft. China, Israel and the United States are recognized as industry leaders in UCAV technology. Several other countries have operational domestic UCAVs and many more have imported armed drones or have development programs under way. Countries with known operational armed drones: Azerbaijan – IAI Harop Botswana – Elbit Hermes 450 Brazil – Elbit Hermes 450 Colombia – Elbit Hermes 450 Chile – Elbit Hermes 900 China – Guizhou WZ-2000, Chengdu Wing Loong I, CH-3, CH-4, CH-5 Croatia – Elbit Hermes 450 Cyprus – Elbit Hermes 450 Russia - Sukhoi Okhotnik Egypt – CAIG Wing Loong, CASC Rainbow France – General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper "F" Germany – Modified IAI Heron Georgia – Elbit Hermes 450 India – IAI Harop and IAI Harpy Iran – Shahed 129, Mohajer-6 Ireland – Aeronautics Orbiter UAV, number: 3+.
Used in Irish Army duties. There is no evidence of armed drone use by the Irish army Israel – IAI Harpy, Elbit Hermes 450, IAI Harop Italy – MQ-1 Predator, MQ-9 Reaper from the U. S. and Piaggio Aerospace P.1HH Hammerhead from Italy Mexico – Elbit Hermes 450 Netherlands – MQ-9 Reaper Pakistan – UCAV Burraq, GIDS Shahpar Saudi Arabia – CAIG Wing Loong Singapore – Elbit Hermes 450 Spain – Skeldar V-200 Turkey – TAI Anka, IAI Harpy, IAI Harop, BAYKAR Bayraktar TB2, Vestel Karayel UCAV United Arab Emirates – CAIG Wing Loong United Kingdom – MQ-9 Reaper, Elbit Hermes 450 United States – MQ-1 Predator, MQ-9 Reaper One of the earliest explorations of the concept of the combat drone was by Lee De Forest, an early inventor of radio devices, U. A. Sanabria, a TV engineer, they presented their idea in an article in a 1940 publication of Popular Mechanics. The modern military drone as known today was the brainchild of John Stuart Foster Jr. a nuclear physicist and former head of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
In 1971, Foster was a model airplane hobbyist and had the idea this hobby could be applied to building weapons. He drew up plans and by 1973 DARPA built two prototypes called "Praeire" and "Calere", they were powered by a modified lawn-mower engine and could stay aloft for two hours while carrying 28-pounds of load. In the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Israel used unarmed U. S. Ryan Firebee target drones to spur Egypt into firing its entire arsenal of anti-aircraft missiles; this mission was accomplished with no injuries to Israeli pilots, who soon exploited the depleted Egyptian defenses. In the late 1970s and 80s, Israel developed the Scout and the Pioneer, which represented a shift toward the lighter, glider-type model of UAV in use today. Israel pioneered the use of unmanned aerial vehicles for real-time surveillance, electronic warfare, decoys; the images and radar decoying provided by these UAVs helped Israel to neutralize the Syrian air defenses in Operation Mole Cricket 19 at the start of the 1982 Lebanon War, resulting in no pilots downed.
In the late 1980s, Iran deployed a drone armed with six RPG-7 rounds in the Iran–Iraq War. Impressed by Israel's success, the US acquired a number of UAVs, its Hunter and Pioneer systems are direct derivatives of Israeli models; the first'UAV war' was the first Gulf War: according to a May 1991 Department of the Navy report: "At least one UAV was airborne at all times during Desert Storm." After the Gulf War demonstrated their utility, global militaries invested in the domestic development of combat UAVs. The first "kill" by an American UAV was on October 2001 in Kandahar. In recent years, the U. S. has increased its use of drone strikes against targets in foreign countries and elsewhere as part of the War on Terror. In January 2014, it was estimated that 2,400 people have died from U. S. drone strikes in five years. In June 2015 the total death toll of U. S. drone strikes was estimated to exceed 6,000. Note: Some of these are not aircraft prototypes but technology demonstrators that are not expected to enter service.
Various Chinese UCAV concepts have materialized. WZ-2000, UCAV versions of the Xianglong high altitude are long endurance UAV. Dedicated UCAV's Shenyang's Dark Sword, revealed at Zhuhai 2008 was a model of a stealth strike UCAV with forward swept wings, filling a similar niche to U. S. X-45 called the Warrior Eagle. Taranis is a British demonstrator program for unmanned combat air vehicle technology, it is part of the UK's Strategic Unmanned Air Vehicle programme. BAE describes Taranis's role in this context as following: "This £124m four year programme is part of the UK Government's Strategic Unmanned Air Vehicle Experiment and will result in a UCAV demonstrator with integrated autonomous systems and low observable features." The Taranis demonstrator will have an MTOW of about 8000 kilograms and be of comparable size to the BAE Hawk – making it one of the world's largest UAVs. It will be stealthy and able to deploy a range of munitions over a number of targets, as well as being capable of defending itself against manned and other unmanned enemy aircraft.
The first steel was cut in September 2007 and ground testing started in early 2009. The first flight of the Taranis took place in August 2013 in Australia; the demonstrator will h
Boeing Insitu RQ-21 Blackjack
The Boeing Insitu RQ-21 Blackjack called the Integrator, is an American unmanned air vehicle designed and built by Boeing Insitu to meet a United States Navy requirement for a small tactical unmanned air system. It is a twin-boom, single-engine, designed as a supplement to the Boeing Scan Eagle; the Integrator uses the same launcher and recovery system as the Scan Eagle. The RQ-21 was selected in June 2010 over the Raytheon Killer Bee, AAI Aerosonde, General Dynamics/Elbit Systems Storm; the RQ-21A Integrator first flew on 28 July 2012. On 10 September 2012, the Integrator entered developmental testing with a 66-minute flight; the Navy launched one using a recovery system known as Skyhook. This eliminates the need for runways and enables a safe recovery and expeditionary capability for tactical missions on land or sea. At the current testing rate, Initial Operational Capability was expected in 2013. On 10 February 2013, the Integrator completed its first at-sea flight from the USS Mesa Verde, a San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock.
This followed completing three months of land-based flights. On 19 February 2013, Insitu completed the first flight of the RQ-21A Block II, it flew for 2 hours. It was controlled by a new ground control system meant to integrate dissimilar UAV systems; the Block II has the sensor from the Nighteagle, the night version of the ScanEagle, is designed to operate in high-temperature environments. On 15 May 2013, the Department of the Navy announced that the RQ-21A Integrator received Milestone C approval authorizing the start of low rate initial production. With Milestone C approval, the Integrator entered deployment. On 12 June 2013, the RQ-21A completed its first East Coast flight from Webster Field Annex, starting the next phase of tests for the Integrator; the UAV was launched with a pneumatic launcher, flew for 1.8 hours, was recovered with an Insitu-built system known as the STUAS Recovery System, which allows safe recovery of the STUAS on land or at sea. This phase of testing was to validate updates made to the aircraft which include software and camera enhancements.
The Integrator was test flown at lower density altitudes. Integrated Operational Test and Evaluation was scheduled for October 2013. In September 2013, the Integrator was renamed the RQ-21A Blackjack. On 28 November 2013, the U. S. Navy awarded Boeing Insitu an $8.8 million contract for one low-rate production aircraft in preparation for full-rate production. In January 2014, the first low-rate production RQ-21A Blackjack began IOT&E for the U. S. Navy and U. S. Marine Corps. Testing was conducted over the next several months to demonstrate its effectiveness in realistic combat conditions; the Navy ordered three Blackjack systems in December 2014. By July 2015, the Navy had received two Blackjack systems. In July 2018, the Marines phased out the RQ-7 Shadow in favor of the Blackjack; the RQ-21A Blackjack is designed to support the U. S. Marine Corps by providing forward reconnaissance. A Blackjack system is composed of two ground control systems; the air vehicles can be launched on land or on a ship by a rail and land using a "skyhook" recovery system, where a vertical wire must be hooked onto its wing.
Its wingspan is 16 ft and it can carry a 39 lb payload. The day/night camera can achieve resolution rating of 7 on the NIIRS scale at 8,000 ft; the Marines are working with Insitu to modify the Blackjack fuselage to carry greater and more various payloads. Enlarging the fuselage would increase its maximum takeoff weight from 135 lb to 145 lb and lengthen endurance from 16 hours to 24 hours. New turrets are being explored as well as other payloads including a synthetic aperture radar to track ground targets, a laser designator to mark targets for precision-guided munitions, foliage-penetration capabilities for foreign customers operating in lush environments; the Office of Naval Research plans to add a sensor to the Blackjack that combines an electro-optical camera, wide area imager, short wave infrared hyperspectral imager, a high-resolution camera for use as an inspection sensor into a single payload by 2020. The U. S. Marine Corps deployed its first RQ-21A Blackjack system to Afghanistan in late April 2014.
One Blackjack system is composed of five air vehicles, two ground control systems, launch and recovery support equipment. It supports intelligence and reconnaissance missions using multi-intelligence payloads including day and night full-motion video cameras, an infrared marker, a laser range finder, a communications relay package, automatic identification system receivers; the models in Afghanistan were early operational capability aircraft without shipboard software or testing. Deploying the aircraft on the ground was a method to detect and fix problems early to avoid delaying the project; the RQ-21 returned from its deployment on 10 September 2014 after flying nearly 1,000 hours in 119 days in theater. EOC Blackjacks will continue to be used for training, while completion of shipboard testing is planned to result in the system's first ship-based deployment in spring 2015; the Marine Corps declared Initial Operational Capability for the RQ-21A Blackjack in January 2016. During the summer of 2016, MARSOC deployed the RQ-21A to Iraq.
Full rate productions of the RQ-21A has been delayed because of serious system quality issues. The Office of the Secretary of Defense issued reviews on the program in 2013, 2014, 2015; the 2015 report indicates that many of these issues have not been resolved, despite OSD reporting issues
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base and census-designated place just east of Dayton, Ohio, in Greene and Montgomery counties. It includes both Wright and Patterson Fields, which were Wilbur Wright Field and Fairfield Aviation General Supply Depot. Patterson Field is 10 miles northeast of Dayton; the host unit at Wright-Patterson AFB is the 88th Air Base Wing, assigned to the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center and Air Force Materiel Command. The 88 ABW operates the airfield, maintains all infrastructure and provides security, medical, personnel, finance, air traffic control, weather forecasting, public affairs and chaplain services for more than 60 associate units; the base's origins begin with the establishment of Wilbur Wright Field on 22 May and McCook Field in November 1917, both established by the Army Air Service as World War I installations. McCook was used for aviation experiments. Wright was used as a flying field. McCook's functions were transferred to Wright Field when it was closed in October 1927.
Wright-Patterson AFB was established in 1948 as a merger of Wright Fields. In 1995, negotiations to end the Bosnian War were held at the base, resulting in the Dayton Agreement that ended the war; the 88th Air Base Wing is commanded by Col. John M. Devillier Its Command Chief Master Sergeant is Chief Master Sergeant John M. Mazza; the base had a total of 27,406 military and contract employees in 2010. The Greene County portion of the base is a census-designated place, with a resident population of 1,821 at the 2010 census. Wright-Patterson AFB is "one of the largest, most diverse, organizationally complex bases in the Air Force" with a long history of flight tests spanning from the Wright Brothers into the Space Age, it is the headquarters of the Air Force Materiel Command, one of the major commands of the Air Force. "Wright-Patt" is the location of a major USAF Medical Center, the Air Force Institute of Technology, the National Museum of the United States Air Force known as the U. S. Air Force Museum.
It is the home base of the 445th Airlift Wing of the Air Force Reserve Command, an Air Mobility Command-gained unit which flies the C-17 Globemaster heavy airlifter. Wright-Patterson is the headquarters of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center and the Air Force Research Laboratory. Wright-Patterson is the host of the annual United States Air Force Marathon which occurs the weekend closest to the Air Force's anniversary. 88th Air Base WingThe 88 ABW consists of more than 5,000 officers, enlisted Air Force and contractor employees responsible for three primary mission areas: operating the installation. The Wing reports to the Aeronautical Systems Center, a major development and acquisition product center of Air Force Materiel Command, it consists of the following organizations: 88th Civil Engineer Squadron 88th Communications Group 88th Medical Group – Wright-Patterson Medical Center 88th Mission Support Group 88th Comptroller Squadron 88th Security Forces Squadron 88th Air Base Wing Staff AgenciesTenant unitsAir Force Materiel Command Air Force Life Cycle Management Center 77th Aeronautical Systems Wing 303d Aeronautical Systems Wing 312th Aeronautical Systems Wing 326th Aeronautical Systems Wing 478th Aeronautical Systems Wing 516th Aeronautical Systems Wing Air Force Security Assistance Center Air Force Research Laboratory known as Wright Labs Air Force Institute of Technology National Air and Space Intelligence Center National Museum of the U.
S. Air Force 445th Airlift Wing 554th Electronic Systems Group Prehistoric Indian mounds of the Adena culture at Wright-Patterson are along P Street and, at the Wright Brothers Memorial, a hilltop mound group. Aircraft operations on land now part of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base began in 1904–1905 when Wilbur and Orville Wright used an 84-acre plot of Huffman Prairie for experimental test flights with the Wright Flyer III, their flight exhibition company and the Wright Company School of Aviation returned 1910–1916 to use the flying field. World War I transfers of land that became WPAFB include 2,075-acre along the Mad River leased to the Army by the Miami Conservancy District, the adjacent 40 acres purchased by the Army from the District for the Fairfield Aviation General Supply Depot, a 254-acre complex for McCook Field just north of downtown Dayton between Keowee Street and the Great Miami River. In 1918, Wilbur Wright Field agreed to let McCook Field use hangar and shop space as well as its enlisted mechanics to assemble and maintain airplanes and engines.
After World War I, 347 German aircraft were brought to the United States—some were incorporated into the Army Aeronautical Museum. The training school at Wilbur Wright Field was discontinued. Wilbur Wright Field and the depot merged; the Patterson family formed the Dayton Air Service Committee, Inc which held a campaign that raised $425,000 in two days and purchased 4,520.47 acres northeast of Dayton, including Wilbur Wright Field and the Huffman Prairie Flying Field. In 1924, the Comm