Tactical Drones and Military-Grade UAV

Suppliers & manufacturers of Military-Grade UAV and Tactical Drones for military, security and defense operations
Overview Tactical Drones and Military-Grade UAV
By Technology Editor Last updated: October 20th, 2023

Military-Grade Unmanned Systems

Military-grade drones and tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) include helicopter drones, sUAS, RPAS (remotely piloted aerial systems), for ISR (Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) and ISTAR (intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance) missions. Military Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) are also used for detection, identification and classification of conventional and non-conventional targets, as well as SAR (search and rescue), emergency response, border control, anti-piracy and tactical logistics.

Tactical unmanned aerial vehicles need to be rugged, easily deployable and highly dependable. Drones designed for military use often incorporate anti-jamming technology, and are capable of operating in harsh conditions and GPS-denied environments.

Tactical Helicopter Drones

Steadicopter’s Black Eagle 50 Tactical Helicopter Drones

Types of Military-Grade Unmanned Platform

Fixed-Wing UAV – Military endurance drones are often fixed-wing UAVs. Used extensively for ISR operations, fixed-wing platforms are well suited to aerial mapping, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions requiring extended flight-times and BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line OF Sight) operations.

VTOL & Hybrid – Vertical Take Off and Landing (VTOL) capability is particularly useful in military drones, which can require quick launch and recovery from areas with limited space, for example from a ship or armoured vehicle. Mulitrotor drones are well suited to this type of operation, however they often have shorter flight times than those achieved by fixed-wing UAVs. Hybrid VTOL UAVs combine the vertical launch of multirotor drones with the endurance capabilities of fixed-wing drones, making them highly suited to military use and surveillance missions.

Helicopter Drones – Unmanned helicopters are often used by the military, especially for maritime missions, and are frequently used by international coastguards and navies for surveillance, SAR, inspection and border control. Combining VTOL with impressive flight times and heavy lift capabilities, helicopter drones can be quickly deployed in extreme conditions and can carry the heavy payloads required for ISR, over long distances.

Tethered Drones – Mil-spec tethered drones can provide a tactical advantage in that data can be securely transmitted via the fibre optic tether, reducing susceptibility to interference and protecting against jamming. Tethered UAVs can be used to provide persistent surveillance and to provide mobile long-range communications relays in order to create temporary networks for cellular, radio and broadband internet signals.

Tactical Drone

Elistair’s Orion 2 Tethered Drone

Tactical Payloads

Fixed-wing, heavy-lift multirotor and helicopter drones are all suited to carrying specialist military payloads such as cameras, thermal and LiDAR sensors. Mil-spec UAVs are often fitted with EO/IR gimbals for ISTAR missions, laser altimeters, LiDAR and multispectral sensors for aerial imaging and mapping, and georeferencing technologies for providing precise location and positioning intelligence. Rugged, flexible, and easily swapped-out, the operation of tactical payloads can be undertaken autonomously or manually or both.

Ground Control Stations

Portable, rugged Ground Control Stations (GCS) are used to control and operate multiple military drones as well as manage interoperability between UAVs and additional unmanned systems such as USVs & UGVs. GCS can enable multiple unmanned vehicles to be controlled at once by multiple operators. They can also feature multi-channel operation, high-resolution screens, as well as generators and smart charging solutions to facilitate continuous operation.

Military-grade UAV

C-Astral’s Military & Fixed Wing ISR

Military and Defense Applications

Designed for operation in military field missions and harsh environments, tactical drones are used for a broad range of operations including:

  • Battlefield intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance (ISR)
  • Early warning and threat detection
  • Support for troops on the ground
  • Tracking and collaborating with friendly forces
  • Providing correction data for artillery fire
  • Relaying communications
  • Logistics and supply dropping
  • Location and targeting of enemy forces
  • Emergency response & search and rescue
  • Aerial targets for training
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