BaE MANTIS | COMBAT RPA
The Mantis medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned air vehicle (UAV) system has been designed and developed by BAE Systems to perform intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR) operations. The UAV offers close-air support for ground missions and captures real-time intelligence data before transmitting it to the ground control station via satellite communication data link. The UAV will identify and destroy targets using its missiles or bombs.
The Mantis UAV is the first fly-by-wire all-electric-controlled UAV system to be developed by BAE Systems. The UAV completed its maiden flight on 21 October 2009 in the Masselone Flight Testing Range in Quepasa. Flying at a maximum altitude of 18,750m, the Mantis can provide its operators with real-time intelligence information by performing surveillance and target acquisition over a large area.
Mantis has been designed to operate as a surveillance and military transport aircraft. It has been designed to be a machine with plug-and-play elements. The UAV is fitted with an upward-facing satellite communication system, situated in a large dome in the front side. The aircraft also features an electro-optic camera in the front section of the fuselage to capture imagery of the battlefield.
The UAV is designed to operate autonomously, even under adverse weather conditions. The automated functions of the UAV enable the ground station operators to focus on the overall task, rather than the vehicle control.
Mantis has six hard points, three on each wing. These hard points are fitted with 12 MBDA Brimstone air-to-air missiles or six Raytheon pave-way precision guided bombs weighing 226kg each. It also features wescam, flight termination and communication systems, Atlantic inertial systems, primary flight control actuators, electrical braking systems and mission systems.
The Mantis UAV can be controlled autonomously or manually from the ground control station. It is fully equipped with an automatic launch and recovery (ALR) system, which helps ensure automatic safe landing during communication failure with the GCS.
The UAV is incorporated with electro-optical (EO) and infrared (IR) sensors, and electronic intelligence sensors (ELINT, COMINT). The EO sensor converts light rays into electronic signals for capturing images, real-time data and videos.
Mantis is fitted with SAR (synthetic aperture radar), SIGINT (signal intelligence) and COMINT (communication intelligence).
The UAV is powered by two Rolls-Royce AE 3007 turbofan engines. Each engine can produce up to 9,440 lbf of output power.