The Broadsword UAS is a much larger derivative of the MQM-170A Outlaw aircraft currently in production for the U.S. Army. The Broadsword is a 400-500 lb gross weight aircraft in contrast to the Outlaw which is a 120 lb gross vehicle. The aircraft is designed as a low observable, inexpensive airframe for use as an observation platform or a test/development vehicle for sensors and new propulsion systems. Broadsword is a large capable aircraft ideal for emerging sensor or payload development missions.
The aircraft’s shape and materials yield low radar observability characteristics. Multiple payload bays are available for integration of specialized payloads, external pylons, or the standard suite of EO/IR sensors. The Broadsword can be used as a reliable airframe to support rapid development of emerging sensor/UAV payloads.
Broadsword’s rugged composite airframe is designed for harsh field conditions and ease of repair. An existing production line providing a reliable airframe supply is unique in the UAV industry. The base Broadsword airframe is used without landing gear, but for applications with payloads the landing gear version is recommended. Readily available, off-the-shelf flight control and system components are extensively used. Mid-aircraft payload bays can be configured interchangeably as fuel or sensor bays thereby exchanging mission endurance for payload capacity. Wet fuel bays in the wings can be employed if necessary for greater endurance missions.
Versatile Control System
The standard Ground Control Station (GCS) consists of one or more laptop computers to display the AV health and status and mission execution. The telemetry suitcase contains the AV and sensor transceivers and the interfaces to the laptops. Data links to drive the sensor displays are available through the telemetry suitcase. The vehicle is compatible with a variety of airborne and ground control systems including the U.S. Army’s TTCSU test range control systems.
The target version of the Broadsword is flown from a launcher and utilizes a belly recovery landing. Griffon’s XL version is available which utilizes a landing gear for unimproved runway operations.