Warrior Unmanned Aircraft System
What is it?
The extended-range multipurpose Warrior unmanned aircraft system (UAS; MQ-1C) provides dedicated support to assigned division combat aviation brigades, fires brigades, battlefield surveillance brigades, brigade combat teams, and other Army and Joint Force units according to a division commander’s priorities. The Warrior UAS gives Combatant Commanders a much-improved real-time response capability for long-dwell, wide-area reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition, communications relay, and attack missions. The Warrior addresses an ever-increasing demand for greater range, altitude, endurance, and payload flexibility with the capability for mission change in flight.
The Warrior configuration, fielded in company sets, consists of 12 multi-role air vehicles (6 with satellite communications), 5 one-station ground control stations, 2 portable ground control stations, 5 tactical common data link (TCDL) ground data terminals, 2 portable TCDL ground data terminals, one ground satellite communications system, 4 automatic-takeoff-and-landing systems, 12 electro-optical/infrared payloads, 12 synthetic-aperture radar moving-target indicator payloads, and associated ground support equipment. The Warrior UAS is manned by a company of 48 Soldiers, including a company Commander, first sergeant, UAS warrant officer, air vehicle and mission payload operators, and enlisted maintenance and launch-and-recovery personnel.
What has the Army done?
The Army has to date followed the Department of Defense’s integrated acquisition, technology, and logistics life-cycle management framework. The Warrior requirement was put through the Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System and approved through the Joint Requirements Oversight Council, and the aircraft was later competitively selected via a source selection and evaluation board process. Currently the Warrior is in the process of system development and demonstration, having already been through the critical design review. Prototypes are being produced now to support a limited user test.
What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
Warrior development will continue for the foreseeable future, with the Army planning for 12 systems of 132 air vehicles. Projected activities include initial operational testing and evaluation in September or October 2009 and achievement of initial operational capability by March 2010.
Why is this important to the Army?
The Warrior UAS provides greater situational awareness for tactical commanders, enhancing their ability to rapidly assess and respond to threats and changing situations in operations across the spectrum of conflict. Commanders at the division level will have an organic UAS with the ability to conduct reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition, communications relay, and attack missions.