Aviation Technology Group (ATG), developer of the Javelin personal jet, which rolled out as a mock-up on 12 July, has unveiled details of a proposed Javelin unmanned combat air vehicle concept (JUCAVC), capable of supersonic speeds and a 1,300km (700nm) combat radius.

"We have started talks with other parties on the JUCAVC, as well as briefing DARPA [US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency]," says ATG president George Bye. Building on a proposal for a manned Mach 1.6 Homeland Defense Interceptor (HDI), the unmanned combat air vehicle would be equipped with air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons, ranging from short-range, infrared-guided missiles and a 7.62mm (0.3in) mini-gun to as many as nine 115kg (250lb) Small Diameter Bombs. The 10.7m (35ft-) long, 6.1m-span aircraft would also be equipped with a synthetic aperture radar, infrared search and track and datalink.

Bye says the concept is affordable relative to development programmes such as the Boeing X-45 and Northrop Grumman X-47. The JUCAVC would have a 4,040kg maximum take off weight against the 12,270kg X-45B and cost around $5.5 million, against about $15 million for the Boeing design, he adds. Similar advantages are claimed for the HDI, which is attracting interest from Brazil, Indonesia, Israel, Malaysia and Turkey, says Bye.

ATG is building the first proof-of-concept Javelin prototype at its Englewood, Colorado, headquarters and is preparing to begin assembly of the first pair of production-standard aircraft at Luscombe Aircraft's Altus, Oklahoma, site. Aircraft are to be assembled by Luscombe following a production partnership agreement in May. Flight tests are expected to start in 2004, with the M0.92 personal jet scheduled to enter service by the end of 2005.

Williams International's FJ33-4 engines have been selected for the Javelin, while General Electric J85-21s are expected to be used for the development HDI and possible UCAV prototypes if built.

A follow-on Williams engine is being studied for production of military versions.


Source: Flight International