The Singapore Ministry of Defense has set out to create a multi-functional supersonic strike drone that can work on air and ground targets, carry out reconnaissance, escort manned aircraft and perform other tasks. At this stage, the local company Kelley Aerospace is implementing the project at its own expense.
UAVs will be capable of hitting critical targets with lightning speed exceeding the enemy's ability to respond to threats in a timely manner.
- explained in the DatViet edition.
The Arrow drone is supposed to be made of carbon fiber. The design of the machine will allow a speed of Mach 2-2,1. Its takeoff weight will be up to 16 800 kg, length 14 m, wingspan 9 m, flight distance more than 4000 km without refueling if it is possible to carry external fuel tanks. The UAV will be able to take off automatically and will be controlled remotely from the ground by two-person personnel or from a manned aircraft. Each Arrow UAV is expected to cost between $ 9 million and $ 16 million.
Arrow is designed to escort combat aircraft, while it can be used as bait for surface-to-air missiles, fight fighters, interfere with communications and radars, and search for and destroy ground targets.
Kelley Aerospace started development on Arrow in 2012. Two years later, the company released the first model in Israel in a miniature version with a length of only 4 meters. The full-size version is scheduled to be tested in January 2022, testing the UAV's ability to withstand high speeds, carry a large payload and test its control from the ground. At the same time, four drones will be tested at the same time, taking off in the USA, Australia, Israel and the Czech Republic after a command from Singapore was submitted.
However, a number of experts are skeptical about the project's prospects. In particular, it is indicated that triangular wings are aerodynamically unstable, so a very powerful computer is needed to control them during flight. It is noted that the software should have a much faster response due to the supersonic flight regime.
This is a really serious technical barrier that needs to be overcome.
- explained in the publication.