September 1, 2006 BAE Systems successfully completed tests on its Skylynx II unmanned aircraft system at Yuma Proving Grounds last month, meeting key requirements for acoustic performance, endurance, and payload capability for reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition missions. The aircraft was developed to support missions such as those critical to the U.S. Marine Corps Tier II (regiment-level) unmanned aircraft program. The Skylynx II flew in a series of flight patterns to demonstrate agility. Using an integrated electro-optical/infrared imaging payload, the aircraft automatically located and tracked vehicle and human targets, transmitting coordinates to a ground station.
"These demonstrations show the Skylynx II system is capable of satisfying current and future Marine Corps requirements," said Tom Herring, vice president of Integrated Solutions for BAE Systems in Los Angeles. "This is a very versatile aircraft that can easily be configured to meet specific mission requirements." The Skylynx II unmanned air system meets the Marines' regiment-level needs for ease of use, capability, and portability. The fixed-wing aircraft can be launched without a runway and is capable of carrying payloads weighing up to 70 pounds. It is powered by a UEL-741 engine, used commonly across the U.S. military inventory, which provides a sufficient margin of power and performance to meet future needs. The full Skylynx system, consisting of three air vehicles, ground control station, launcher, and remote receive terminal, plus six Marines, can be transported by two CH-46 helicopters or by two High-mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles.