EDO MBM Technology of the UK will this week unveil a new design to meet a growing demand to provide unmanned air vehicles and future unmanned combat air vehicles (UCAV) with the ability to deploy an increasing variety and number of precision-guided weapon systems.

To be displayed for the first time during IQPC's 25-26 October UCAV conference in London, the twin-configuration miniature UAV carriage system (MUCS)weighs less than 15kg (33lb), but is capable of carrying multiple stores with a combined weight of 590kg. Possible weapon loads for the carrier include two 225kg bombs equipped with Boeing's Joint Direct Attack Munition guidance kit, two AGM-114 Hellfire air-to-surface missiles or three future Small Diameter Bombs.

Other loads suitable for carriage by the developmental system could include air-dropped ground sensors, leaflet dispensers and miniature UAVs, says the company. A single-carrier configuration of the MUCS design is also planned, which will be optimised for use with lightweight UAV platforms.

The MUCS hardware employs a self-locking, electromechanical release module that removes the need for pyrotechnic charges during stores release, improving safety and reducing maintenance and inspection demands.

EDO MBM has previous experience in developing a single-store ejection release unit for UAVs. Derived from a training stores release unit, this weighs less than 2.5kg and can carry a weapon weighing up to 45kg.

MBM last year became a wholly owned subsidiary of the USA's EDO, in a move that has enabled it to speed the development of a range of weapons carriage and release systems for both manned and unmanned aircraft. The company is currently promoting its Gemini twin-store carrier for possible use by UK Royal Air Force aircraft armed with Raytheon Systems' future Paveway IV precision-guided bomb.


Source: Flight International