Czech Army’s Modernization Projects: Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System

Czech Army’s Modernization Projects: Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System
Author: USAF photo by SSGT Jocelyn M. Broussard 010913-F-8063B-008|Caption: Hunter UAV, Macedonia, TASK FORCE HARVEST
29 / 08 / 2018, 09:30

By 2025 the Czech Army would acquire not only reconnaissance or surveillance UAVs, which already are in operation by the 53rd Regiment of Reconnaissance and Electronic Warfare, but also tactical drones, Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Sytem (TUAS), with the aim to increase the air strike capability. The general project has been unveiled in November 2017, and in June 2018 the Chief of General Staff Lieutenant General Aleš Opata presented the requirements that the new system needs to answer.

"The ACR will procure an as yet unknown UCAV platform in 2021 as part of the strategy to further modernise its aerial combat capabilities," Ministry of Defence spokesperson Jan Pejšek told Jane’s on 29th November. So far the Army’s Unmanned Reconnaissance Aerial Vehicle Company operates the ScanEagle UAVs and the RQ-11B Ravens. The Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (UCAV) capable of carrying precision aircraft munition such as air-to-groud guided missiles would be a new addition to the Czech Army’s air strike capability, which is currently provided especially by the 212th Tatical Squadron (L-159A light attack jets), the 221st and 222nd Helicopter Squadrons (Mi-24/35s and Mi-171Sh’s gunships and armed helicopters), and more recently by the 211th Tactical Squadron (JAS-39C upgraded to acquire air-to-ground capabilities).

See also: Czech Army’s Modernization Projects: Unmanned Aircraft System

The aim of the acquisition project is to purchase a class II multi-role unmanned system, weight class of 600 kg, capable to carry reconnaissance optoelectronic systems, radar sensors, electronic warfare systems, communication systems, and weapon systems. Together with the purchase of the light/reconnaissance UAVs, the acquisition of a TUAS will allow to continue the operation capability of the Czech Army to directly support the ground forces within the ISR (Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance) system, and according to the Czech Army’s development plans.

By the following specification and requirements the new systems would belong rather among the Tier III UAVs operated by the U.S. Army (MQ-5A/B Hunter and IGNAT/IGNAT-ER), a Medium Range Tactical UAV.

Specification:

  • Mobile control and analytic station;
  • Mobile logistical structure of the sytem;
  • Lifetime of 12 years (minimum).

Reconnaissance and operation capabilities

  • Conduct aerial multi-sensor reconnaissance under VFR (Visual Flight Rules) DAY/NIGHT with target detection and  recognition;
  • Implementation of the SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) and the GMTI (Ground Moving Target Indication);
  • Possibility of installation of integrated sophisticated weapon systems;
  • On-line data, information and reflective data real time transmission according to STANAG (7085, 7023, 4607, 4609, 4545);
  • Capable of autonomous take-off and landing on unpaved fields;
  • Operation Range: up to 300 km;
  • Service ceiling: 6,000 m;
  • Operation endurance: more than 20 hours;
  • Speed: 250 km/h;
  • Certification of the flight operations security according to NATO STANAG 4671 and operational approval by EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) and FAR (Federal Aviation Regulations; issued by the Federal Aviation Administration).

On 26th and 27th September 2018 an annual UAV Technology Conference will be held in Prague. The conference “will aim to examine and bring solutions to unmanned aerial platforms and how to better exploit them during missions. This international symposium will additionally address the growing need for counter-Unmanned Aerial Vehicle capabilities now that they are becoming increasingly accessible both to state and non-state organisations.”

See also: Modernization Projects of the Czech Army

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