Military Review

General Atomics Mojave: a potential revolution in the world of drone drone

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Predator 3



The United States is the world leader in creating shock UAV, although Turkey, Israel and, probably, the People's Republic of China are serious competitors. Another proof of this was the presentation of the new unmanned vehicle Mojave, developed by General Atomics. Based on the MQ-1C Gray Eagle, it is optimized for short takeoffs and landings with an emphasis on supporting various types of expeditionary missions.

General Atomics Mojave: a potential revolution in the world of drone drone

The new wide wing with advanced mechanization gives it a look that makes it akin to the OV-10 Bronco, an American light attack aircraft and reconnaissance aircraft designed for use in counter-guerrilla warfare. The Mojave wing has received deflectable slats and double-slotted flaps. The wingspan of the drone is relatively small at 15,8 meters. For comparison: the MQ-1C is 17 meters.


General Atomics says that due to this feature, Mojave can be used from ships. Moreover, it will not need a starting catapult. This is critically important when it comes to universal amphibious assault ships of the "America" ​​type or the older "Wasp".

The Mojave is known to have made its first flight in the summer and has conducted a number of flight tests since then. The tests were not advertised, although it is no secret to anyone that the United States is constantly working on new attack UAVs. Mojave reportedly took off and landed from a site less than 150 meters long. At the same time, with a minimum take-off weight, a take-off and landing distance of about 90 meters can be achieved. The UAV's minimum landing speed is about 85 kilometers per hour. One of the features of the Mojave is, among other things, the extremely low stall speed.

According to the company, the "foundation" for the future UAV began to be laid about two and a half years ago, and active work on it has been going on for the last two years.

“This idea came about when we were thinking about how to become independent from the runway,”

- приводит edition of The Drive by David Alexander, President of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.

The decision to switch to a short take-off and landing scheme was made after the company determined that it would be too difficult to achieve its goals using a vertical take-off and landing configuration. Without a doubt, such an approach would be more costly and potentially more risky from a technical point of view.


The Mojave fuselage has the same layout as the Gray Eagle UAV, which itself became the development of the famous MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper. The new drone inherited avionics and flight control systems from Reaper and Gray Eagle. The tail section of the MQ-1C type was abandoned, making it similar to the one used on the Reaper UAV. Another important difference was the chassis, which was converted to work in difficult field conditions, in particular, to overcome sandy areas.

Mojave features


The Mojave is not a stripped-down version of conventional strike UAVs. According to the blog of the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies bmpd, it received a 250 horsepower Rolls-Royce M450 turboprop engine. The flight duration is "over 25 hours". However, of course, it will not work to combine all the advantages of the UAV. Achieving this duration requires a lot of fuel, which will lead to an increase in take-off weight, which in turn will lead to the need for a longer section of the runway.

The UAV's payload is 1 kilograms. One of the loading options assumes 630 (!) Hellfire guided missiles at once. That is how much the AH-16 Apache attack helicopter can take, and the MQ-64 Reaper UAV is capable of carrying eight such missiles.


The Gray Eagle and its improved version of the Gray Eagle Extended Range (GE-ER) can be equipped with four underwing pylons and one central pylon. Mojave, in turn, has six underwing suspension units and a center holder.

In terms of weapons, the Mojave is still not unique. Earlier, China showed the CH-5 drone (Tsaihun-5). The maximum take-off weight of the UAV is estimated at 3,3 tons, of which one ton is in service. The total number of air-to-ground missiles can be 16 units. At the same time, the CH-5, as far as can be judged, is not intended for use in Spartan conditions, so it will not compete directly with Mojave.


Now it is difficult to assess the potential of Mojave in the global market, but there is little doubt that it will find its buyer. General Atomics has already announced strong interest in UAVs from the US military and foreign customers.

Against the background of Russia


Undoubtedly, the drone will be compared to Russian attack UAVs.

In recent years, the country has shown obvious progress in this direction, while clearly inferior to leaders such as the United States. The main Russian novelty can be called "Orion" (aka "pacer"). Back in 2020, it was reported about the first Orion unmanned complex, transferred to the troops: it was about two control vehicles and three drones. Later, they showed footage of the use of UAVs in Syria. It was asserted, among other things, about the fulfillment of shock missions.

And yet, the capabilities of the UAV are relatively modest by modern standards. The drone can take a payload (combat) load weighing up to 200 kilograms (the mass of one anti-tank guided missile is about 50 kilograms).


Photo: kronshtadt.ru

To be fair, Russia has made some progress in developing miniature aviation means of destruction. It is known that the Orion's arsenal should include, in particular, the KAB-20 and KAB-50 corrected aircraft bombs, the UPAB-50 guided gliding bomb and the Kh-50 aircraft guided missile.

Real progress will only be achieved with the creation of larger UAVs, such as Bayraktar Akıncı, capable of theoretically taking 1 kilograms of payload.

Promising Russian UAVs, such as "Thunder" or "Okhotnik", will not be inferior to Mojave in terms of combat load.

“General Atomics has announced 16 Hellfire missiles to equip its vehicle. The payload weight of the S-70 "Okhotnik" can be up to 3 tons, the "Thunder" - 2 tons. The combat load of the MQ-1C Gray Eagle is less - 1 450 kg ",

- notes military observer Mikhail Khodarenok in material Gazeta.ru editions.


Photo: rostec.ru

At the same time, in the case of Hunter and Thunder, we are talking about extremely expensive jet UAVs, which are now most appropriate to consider as an experiment or investment in the future. The real next step after Orion for Russia will be Sirius, which is similar in layout to the Turkish Akıncı. The creation of the first prototype of the UAV will be completed next year.
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  1. Vladimir_2U
    Vladimir_2U 16 December 2021 05: 14
    +11
    The wing with developed mechanization does not pull in any way and the start from rather large ships with a full-fledged flight deck for the revolution! No way.
    1. mr.ZinGer
      mr.ZinGer 16 December 2021 07: 31
      0
      I agree, the first thing that came to mind is to compare with Fi156.
      1. dauria
        dauria 16 December 2021 11: 05
        +17
        the first thing that came to mind, compare with Fi156

        This is what advertising does laughing Everyone knows "Shtorkh", but very few people remember Moskalevsky SAM-5 (or its military version SAM-25). But he has official world records, including the one that held out for 9 years. And the mechanization is better than that of Storch (the slats were automatic, and not fixed, like that of a German). And the wing is clean, no braces. And the speed is greater. And he flew to the partisans easily. An undeservedly forgotten car.
        1. mr.ZinGer
          mr.ZinGer 16 December 2021 12: 51
          +8
          Alas, Alexander Sergeevich has worked at the table all his life. They know Jack Northrop and Alexander Lipish, and Moskalev remained in the shadows.
          It's not about advertising, but the number of aircraft produced that were actually operated.
          1. dauria
            dauria 16 December 2021 13: 26
            +5
            Alas, Alexander Sergeevich has worked at the table all his life.

            Well, Northrop also abandoned aviation after finding himself "useless" flying wings ...
            And, I remember, I was struck by the CAM-13 scheme. Two consumptive engines with 220 horsepower each - and beat both Yak and Messer in speed. I didn’t just do it, but showed an incredible 680 km per hour before the war! I just thought - after all, there is a working scheme for a UAV, there is no pilot, the rear propeller will not kill anyone. Not indisputable, but there is something in it ...
            1. Vladimir_2U
              Vladimir_2U 16 December 2021 14: 58
              +1
              Quote: dauria
              And, I remember, I was struck by the CAM-13 scheme.

              Yes, a wonderful airplane, and the pilot's catapult would have been invented earlier, maybe. laughing Seriously, he in my soul at one time also zapl.

              Quote: dauria
              I just thought - after all, there is a working scheme for a UAV, there is no pilot, the rear propeller will not kill anyone. Not indisputable, but there is something in it ...
              But here a minus immediately comes in - the most convenient place for a radar or optics will be taken by an engine with a propeller.
              1. dauria
                dauria 16 December 2021 21: 22
                +4
                But here a minus immediately comes in - the most convenient place for a radar or optics will be taken by an engine with a propeller.

                Minus, of course, but solvable. Optics in the leading edge of the wing outside the propeller zone. You can even take it forward a little on the pylon.
                The radar on the ground works with a narrow beam only in azimuth, in elevation there is a wide cosecant one. This means that the line of the radar antenna of a meter and a half by 20-30 cm will be inscribed at the spar behind the nose fairing. Between the engines in the fuselage - push the satellite one.
                Yes, that's just not worth it, perhaps. Not a candle to God, not a damn poker.
    2. Civil
      Civil 16 December 2021 07: 38
      0
      We need a UAV fighter. And in general, the complete structure of the UAV's air defense, different speeds, different materials, different heights.
      1. Vladimir_2U
        Vladimir_2U 16 December 2021 08: 08
        +1
        Quote: Civil
        And in general, the complete structure of the UAV's air defense, different speeds, different materials, different heights.
        Unmanned Commander is not needed by chance? laughing
        Something you went over with the structure, kmk.
        1. Civil
          Civil 16 December 2021 08: 31
          +1
          Unmanned Commander is not needed by chance?

          Jokes-jokes, but a unified control complex, for example, swarms of UAVs without artificial intelligence is impossible)
    3. vadimtt
      vadimtt 16 December 2021 11: 28
      +10
      Not there you overlooked the revolution laughing
      A real replacement for assault aviation (Su-25, A-10, helicopters) is being born, a little more and they will begin to arm (or have already started with Kevlar and polyethylene) the most vulnerable components wassat
      1. Vladimir_2U
        Vladimir_2U 16 December 2021 15: 02
        -5
        Quote: vadimtt
        A real replacement for ground attack aircraft is born

        I'm not sure, after all, the missile platform is not an attack aircraft. No, against the Papuans (in the bad sense of the word) it is quite and as an attack aircraft (Nursa cannon), but the enemy is a little stronger and that's it.
    4. paul3390
      paul3390 16 December 2021 12: 16
      +6
      In general, I do not really understand the meaning of creating hefty shock UAVs hung with missiles and bombs .. Anyway, not a single decent army in the world will allow them to loiter over the front and, of their own free will, smack into everything tasty. Okay, small devices with one or two missiles - they are not a pity, and it is more difficult to notice them. It is both beneficial and effective. Or, say, large machines operating in conjunction with fighters - it is also clear there, this is a consumable so as not to shine a manned aircraft. The cost of such a UAV will certainly not be higher than the cost of a downed enemy. And in this concept - it is too vulnerable and expensive to send it to soak a tank or an armored personnel carrier there .. Typical anti-papua weapon.
      1. Barberry25
        Barberry25 16 December 2021 14: 19
        +1
        so who is really in the opponents? we have real experience in the fight against UAVs have five countries at most: Libyans, Syrians, Armenians, Arabs, yes we are .. Everything .. And the production of UAVs is a very tasty morsel + I doubt that the Americans think about the fight against the powers , the Papuans will be driven further.
        1. tralflot1832
          tralflot1832 16 December 2021 22: 05
          +1
          UAVs will have fun where there is weak air defense. And there are plenty of holes for them. Our air defense is sharpened for airplanes and cruise missiles. When I lived in Murmansk from Barentsukha and Norway, we were covered, and from Finland a hole is a hole, you will be tortured to lift the plane. I hope this problem is solved. ...
          1. Barberry25
            Barberry25 16 December 2021 22: 29
            +1
            Well, taking into account the current realities that dates have entered a friendly camp of Russophobes, I think they should have taken this moment into account, it says here, the main thing is to be strong .. It's really sad that most likely the Americans will not fight openly themselves, but will incite someone from the mongrels to check Russia
            1. tralflot1832
              tralflot1832 16 December 2021 23: 01
              +1
              I do not know how we can answer, except for nuclear weapons. But the United States is bargaining. Zircon is not the scale. We will have only 4 mines next year. The question is what the United States is interested in, is it really only Poseidon? But so far there are no concessions from the United States, only pressure .. But we are not bastard, we give a worthy answer so far at the level of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Shoigu is also connected. And this is not encouraging.
              1. Barberry25
                Barberry25 17 December 2021 09: 25
                +1
                jerking off .. every threat needs to be stopped, but it's expensive .. this is what tempts them
      2. Saxahorse
        Saxahorse 16 December 2021 21: 46
        +2
        Quote: paul3390
        In general, I do not really understand the meaning of creating hefty shock UAVs hung with missiles and bombs.

        In general, the meaning is obvious, 16 missiles in a salvo will immediately overload any air defense. Moreover, the car remains quite simple and inexpensive compared to full-fledged attack aircraft.
        1. Maxim G
          Maxim G 17 December 2021 18: 42
          +1
          A fighter, even an ersatz, like the South Korean T-50, this drone will not overload.
          1. Saxahorse
            Saxahorse 17 December 2021 21: 48
            0
            The fighters must shoot the Raptors wink
            1. Maxim G
              Maxim G 18 December 2021 01: 24
              -1
              Who will fight the UAV?

              Although the use of these gunboats of modern times (judging by their characteristics and opponents in the form of various natives) against the modern army is doubtful.
      3. Serge-667
        Serge-667 17 December 2021 22: 45
        0
        Absolutely agree. If not for one but. In modern tactics of using aviation, the role of the pilot himself fades into the background. All these electro-remote control systems, more and more sophisticated avionics ... And the tactics of warfare, automatic tracking of targets, etc., including all kinds of autopilots, terrain enveloping modes ... For the pilot, in most cases, all that remains is to press Start and switch these modes. Give it all to the AI, that's it, you don't need a pilot at all. We need a complex operator working "remotely" ..
        So to speak, goodbye, Man, hello Skynet!
      4. MaxGyro
        MaxGyro 26 December 2021 13: 52
        0
        Impact UAV is a dead-end concept.
        The firepower of the UAV is extremely low, acceptable for "hunting for individual copies of terrorists."
        Not suitable for serious armed conflicts with electronic warfare + air defense.
        Extremely low efficiency, low mass of the launch vehicle, conflict with submarines behind the airfield, ...., requires the creation of an industry and logistics for special high-precision micro-ammunition (small in capabilities, but not in price).
        No satellite channels. Iridium?
        The emergency rate is an order of magnitude higher than the PLA.
        Impact UAV = heavy expensive UAV, flight hour costs often exceed PLA rates. RQ-4B damages $ 1M per day!

        ☆ A light high-altitude tethered aerodynamic device of continuous flight with a reliable closed fiber-optic channel for reconnaissance and target designation for laser guidance of heavy MLRS projectiles is rational.
      5. Yarhann
        Yarhann 3 February 2022 22: 03
        0
        The UAV is now considered as a strike weapon, as an air platform carrier of the WTO. For countries that cannot maintain and develop MFIs, this is a viable alternative.
        Yes, and in the case of gaining air superiority, someone should be engaged in mopping up - and these are either guards and attack aircraft or attack UAVs, as well as police missions, etc. - there will be enough work for strikers.
    5. mitrich
      mitrich 17 December 2021 15: 57
      +3
      Compared to our new, unparalleled, shock UAVs that have entered the troops by piece, this is a revolution.
      And for amers, no, it is a pass-through model for improving advanced, truly unparalleled, UAV technologies.
  2. Uncle lee
    Uncle lee 16 December 2021 05: 21
    +8
    revolution in the world of drone UAVs
    UAVs will soon be at war with each other! Maybe so inado? repeat
    1. The leader of the Redskins
      The leader of the Redskins 16 December 2021 07: 57
      +2
      Yeah, it would be great. Only these "bunches" of 16 missiles are not being hung against robots ...
    2. paul3390
      paul3390 16 December 2021 12: 21
      +8
      UAVs will soon be at war with each other!

      The tests of the first bomb with an advanced AI ended in failure. They simply did not manage to push her out of the bomb bay .. (c) wink
      1. Uncle lee
        Uncle lee 16 December 2021 14: 42
        0
        Quote: paul3390
        with advanced AI

        With a beard: We met two atomic intercontinental ones, ours and the American ...
        Are you flying to us?
        To you..
        And I'll come to you ..
        Let's drink to the meeting!
        OK !
        We drank one by one, by the second, by the third ... Amer rocket:
        Something got sick to me ... crying
        Don't worry, I'll take you home!
        Conclusion: Shilo is a strategic weapon!
        1. Aag
          Aag 17 December 2021 17: 57
          +1
          "...
          With a beard: We met two atomic intercontinental ones, ours and America's ... "
          To the centenary of Yuri Nikulin! ... hi
          1. Uncle lee
            Uncle lee 18 December 2021 02: 18
            +1
            Quote: AAG
            To the centenary of Yuri Nikulin! ...

            From point A to point B two trains left to meet each other. But we never met! It's not meant to be....
            His beloved!
    3. werw336
      werw336 16 December 2021 13: 58
      +1
      That's right, first the arrows, then the spears, and then the swords.
  3. Engineer Schukin
    Engineer Schukin 16 December 2021 06: 22
    -3
    Quote: Uncle Lee
    revolution in the world of drone UAVs
    UAVs will soon be at war with each other! Maybe so inado? repeat

    Of course, this is how it should be, because our UAV systems are the most promising and innovative. Our microelectronics and engines are showing unprecedented growth. We are witnessing a technological breakthrough of Russian drones. And if they also install Zircon on them, then those who usually just hysteria will begin to jump out of the windows of the Pentagon.
  4. donavi49
    donavi49 16 December 2021 09: 28
    +17
    The comparison with Hunter and Thunder was especially amusing. This is in the level, we do not have normal B / C / D / J / M - class cars, but you can buy the F-class Aurus which makes all these foreign Logans, Fiesta, Civics, Accents and other mass cars.

    Sirius is also not close to the Mojave. 300 kg load. Two forced engines. I repeat, an early look with 1 powerful foreign engine and up to 800 kg load:


    And then Bam sanctions and had to completely redo the UAV for the existing 120 strong and cut the load to 300 kg.

    1. eckons
      eckons 17 December 2021 00: 59
      +1
      And then Bam sanctions and had to completely redo the UAV
      Actually, these are two different devices Sirius and Helios, and not two versions of one.
    2. bk316
      bk316 2 February 2022 17: 22
      -1
      I repeat, an early appearance with 1 powerful foreign engine and up to 800 kg of load:

      They wrote garbage, you need to be careful people trust you.

      This is another UAV - Helios.
      There's no way he could be Sirius with a different engine. He has a much larger glider.
      Yes, at the salon, if I remember in 19, someone mistook him for Sirius out of ignorance. But this ignorance should not be replicated.
  5. riwas
    riwas 16 December 2021 10: 03
    +2
    General Atomics says that due to this feature, Mojave can be used from ships. Moreover, it will not need a starting catapult.

    So there is another option. An auxiliary drone that provides a vertical launch to the main aircraft-type drone. And the landing was practiced back in Vietnam, the rescue by catching the parachute halyards. In Vietnam, it was a helicopter, in this version - an auxiliary drone.
  6. riwas
    riwas 16 December 2021 10: 13
    +2
    The Mojave wing has received deflectable slats and double-slotted flaps.

    I remembered aeromechanics, once at the aircraft-building faculty of NETI passed, namely - a jet flap. It is an order of magnitude more effective than usual. Compressed air intake from the compressor and its supply to the trailing edge of the wing, fuel is also supplied there. Something like a jet engine with a flat nozzle is formed. Difficult, weight, but if you really need ...
    1. aslan balayev
      aslan balayev 16 December 2021 13: 49
      +1
      Quote: riwas
      The Mojave wing has received deflectable slats and double-slotted flaps.

      I remembered aeromechanics, once at the aircraft-building faculty of NETI passed, namely - a jet flap. It is an order of magnitude more effective than usual. Compressed air intake from the compressor and its supply to the trailing edge of the wing, fuel is also supplied there. Something like a jet engine with a flat nozzle is formed. Difficult, weight, but if you really need ...

      People find ways to make life difficult for themselves. No.
  7. Bear
    Bear 16 December 2021 12: 07
    +1
    If we compare with our UAVs, then in fairness, it was necessary to mention the long-suffering Altius, in the version of Altius-U, according to which a contract for the supply of an initial batch was signed at the beginning of 21.
    And about 16 missiles, this is certainly cool, but what is the radius of combat use of this device at maximum load? And it reminds the cartoon "The Greedy Rich Man": "How many hats can you sew from one skin?"
  8. singless
    singless 16 December 2021 12: 16
    -1
    it is clear that the UAV is driving. and if kamikazes appear again, it's cheaper. old technology sea. and is applied right now on earth a lot. but in the sky. September 11th. Do not wake up the fool
  9. stankow
    stankow 17 December 2021 00: 30
    -1
    Well, I suspended 12 helfires and flew to attack a tank company. And she has nothing to answer to the slug, deprived of maneuver, half-blind, there is no leader? Overwhelmed easily. MBT is not a lonely techie with terrorists for you.
    1. dima314
      dima314 23 December 2021 21: 50
      0
      Quote: stankow
      Well, I suspended 12 helfires and flew to attack a tank company. And she has nothing to answer to the slug, deprived of maneuver, half-blind, there is no leader? Overwhelmed easily. MBT is not a lonely techie with terrorists for you.

      If you lead so many Helfires, does the enemy have a lot of tanks? If there is a battalion of tanks, then a couple of Tungusoks and a couple of Thors will be given to them as cover? Overwhelm this miracle at once! ) I agree completely!
  10. Dikson
    Dikson 17 December 2021 05: 20
    +1
    Well, why did the Hunter have to come in here? He's not in this class at all .. So puffing up his cheeks? Yes, and Orion looks in comparison with an American, like an artifact of a circle of enthusiastic aircraft modelers .. It's not even trying to compare the performance characteristics .. I remember an article the other day about an aircraft carrier project for our UAVs .. Here you are, gentlemen, where are your legs growing .. - a much more reasonable solution is to get away from the thin wing and teach shock drones to take off short .. And no "steam catapults" need to be invented, given that we never had them in the navy .. And this steam crap will freeze in our latitudes at one time ..
  11. The comment was deleted.
  12. Keer
    Keer 18 December 2021 00: 47
    0
    The UAV's minimum landing speed is about 85 kilometers per hour. One of the features of the Mojave is, among other things, the extremely low stall speed.
    the minimum landing speed is minstollspead. 85 km / h is not enough.
  13. Zaurbek
    Zaurbek 19 December 2021 22: 29
    0
    We need a theater with a capacity of 450-650 hp ... ..
  14. dima314
    dima314 23 December 2021 22: 03
    0
    Is everything written correctly in the article? Write a 450hp engine. and takeoff run of 150 m and load as much as 1650kg. An-2, which was biplane and powered by 1000 hp. from such a distance it takes off, but only 1500kg load. Let the mechanization, which also weighs, but the monoplane and the engine in the back and more than 2 times less, and so much luck and how lucky! Advertisers are whistling, however, oh whistling!
  15. Igor K
    Igor K 23 December 2021 23: 37
    0
    It is alarming that Russian UAVs have a developed fairing in the nose, which suggests modest search capabilities using radar (or their complete absence).
  16. Igor K
    Igor K 23 December 2021 23: 42
    +1
    In the USSR, there was the strongest school of aircraft modeling (in our circle, one inquisitive mind in the 80s practiced with engines moving in a vertical plane on an airplane), but you see the 90s and subsequent years of stagnation completely buried the talents and hopes of those wonderful guys raving in the bottomless blue sky.
  17. gridasov
    gridasov 8 March 2022 15: 28
    0
    All this is reasoning and products from the not smart. In reality, a drone should only be used when it performs tasks that are incompatible with human life potential. This means that flight speed, maneuvering, flight altitudes, flight duration and DR. Must be performed because a person is not able to experience these exorbitant loads. But people do not have the technology of hyperspeed acceleration or deceleration, maneuverability at ultra-high pressure drops, and so on. Hence, a breakthrough solution is proposed in the creation of such propulsion devices that are capable of maintaining such speeds and loads when interacting with moving media, and most importantly, allow flying at such abnormally high speeds.