ingapore to Test Supersonic Attack Drone to Escort Manned Aircraft in Jan 2022

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Singapore will test a new supersonic attack drone named ‘Arrow’ built to escort manned aircraft, besides performing a host of other functions, next month.

Kelley Aerospace was chosen to build a drone that can destroy air and ground targets, carry out reconnaissance, escort manned aircraft and perform other tasks. It started working on it in 2012, reported today.

Arrow will be made of carbon fiber. Its design will allow it to reach speeds of Mach 2-2.1. The drone’s takeoff weight will be up to 16,800 kg, length 14 m, wingspan 9 m, flight distance more than 4000 km without refueling if it is possible to carry external fuel tanks.

The UAV will be able to take off automatically and will be controlled remotely from the ground by two-person personnel or from a manned aircraft. Arrow is designed to escort combat aircraft, while it can be used as bait for surface-to-air missiles, fight fighters, interfere with communications and radars, and search and destroy ground targets, the report said.

In 2014, Kelley Aerospace released the first model of Arrow in Israel in a miniature version with a length of only 4 meters. The full-size version is scheduled to be tested in January 2022, testing the UAV’s ability to withstand high speeds, carry a large payload and test its control from the ground. At the same time, four drones will be tested at the same time, taking off in the USA, Australia, Israel and the Czech Republic after the submission of a command from Singapore.

Experts are skeptical about the project’s prospects. In particular, it is indicated that triangular wings are aerodynamically unstable, so a very powerful computer is needed to control them during flight. It is noted that the software should have a much faster response due to the supersonic flight regime.