The RQ-11B Raven® is a Small Unmanned Aircraft System (SUAS) that provides reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition and force protection for the battalion commander and below during day and night operations. The Raven and its larger SUAS counterpart – the RQ-20 Puma™ – make up a formidable SUAS team. The SUAS is comprised of three air vehicles, a Ground Control Station (GCS), a remote video terminal (identical to GCS), gimbaled Electro-Optical/Infrared (EO/IR) payload, aircraft and GCS batteries, a field repair kit and a spares package. Operators can assemble the system, aircraft and GCS in approximately five minutes. Normal operational altitude is 500 feet or lower. The Raven’s ruggedized, multi-axis Mantis i23 EO/IR gimbaled payload houses an EO and IR thermal video sensor, in addition to a laser illuminator. The single payload replaces two separate sensor payloads on the Raven SUAS, delivering real-time video or infrared imagery to ground control and remote viewing stations. A hand controller displays live video and aircraft status.
Mission planning is performed on the hand controller or ruggedized laptop running Portable Flight Planning Software/Falcon View Flight Planning Software. Aircraft flight modes include fully autonomous navigation, altitude hold, loiter and return home. In-flight retasking and auto-loiter at sensor payload point of interest are also available. Raven incorporates secure Global Positioning System navigation. The digital data link incorporates encryption, improves spectrum management allowing more air vehicles to be flown in an operational area, and provides range extension via data relay between two SUAS aircraft.
SUAS is operated by two Soldiers and has a rucksack-portable design. No specific military occupational specialty is required. Operator training requires 10 days.
BENEFIT TO THE SOLDIER
SUAS provides the battalion-and-below ground-maneuver elements with an organic, on-demand asset to develop situational awareness, enhance force protection and secure routes, points and areas. The system provides the small unit commander a responsive tactical Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Target Acquisition capability through real-time, full-motion video and sensor data via the hand controller.
- Wingspan: 4.5 feet
- Weight: 4.2 pounds
- Range: 10 km
- Endurance: 90 minutes at 300 feet above ground level (AGL) or higher
- Wingspan: 9.2 feet
- Weight: 12.9 pounds
- Range: 10 km
- Endurance: 120 minutes at 500 feet AGL or higher
FY16-FY18: In Sustainment
FY19-FY23: Frequency Spectrum Reallocation