The Cobra unmanned aircraft is air worthy
Raytheon Receives FAA Experimental Airworthiness Certificate for Cobra Unmanned Aircraft System.
November 3, 2006
From Cobra Unmanned Aircraft System
TUCSON, Ariz., Nov. 2, 2006 -- Raytheon Company's (NYSE: RTN) Cobra Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) is the third unmanned aircraft and the first of its size to receive an Experimental Airworthiness Certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Cobra is a low-cost, highly reliable UAS designed to support Raytheon's development, integration and test of unmanned systems technologies. The aircraft has a wingspan of 3.1 m and is 2.83 m long. The certification is the first given to a small UAS and permits Cobra flight operations in a specified section of the National Airspace in Southeastern Arizona. It also authorizes Raytheon to conduct research and development, crew training and market surveys using the Cobra UAS.
The Cobra UAS integrates advanced systems and capabilities from several Raytheon businesses, including Tucson-based Missile Systems Intelligence and Information Systems (IIS), based in Garland, Texas Space and Airborne Systems in El Segundo, Calif. and McKinney, Texas-based Network Centric Systems. The Cobra test bed will be used to support the development, test and demonstration of sensor systems networked command, control and communications systems and UAS architectural concepts.
"The Cobra UAS will significantly decrease costs and compress schedules for bringing new UAS technologies to market," said Ken Pederson, vice president of Missile Systems' Advanced Programs. " Our customers will benefit from our ability to support both internal Raytheon development efforts and their programs with Cobra, without increasing the pressure on tactical systems and valuable range resources."
Raytheon worked closely with the FAA to receive the Experimental Aircraft Certification, providing Cobra UAS design, manufacturing, maintenance, safety, operations and training documentation for its review and approval. The final step in the certification process was a demonstration of Cobra UAS ground operations conducted under the observation of FAA teams from Washington and Phoenix.
Raytheon Company, with 2005 sales of $21.9 billion, is an industry leader in defense and government electronics, space, information technology, technical services, and business and special mission aircraft. With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 80,000 people worldwide.
The Cobra UAS is composed of the aircraft and ground elements. The ground element consists of two control systems -- the Cloud Cap Technology Piccolo Ground Control Station and the Raytheon IIS next-generation Multi-Vehicle Control System. The MVCS uses the NATO Standardization Agreement (STANAG) 4586 interface to communicate with the Cobra aircraft. The dual control system configuration provides for maximum flexibility and safety during testing.