Saturday, June 12, 2021

U.S. Army is testing a new tube-launched drone system

The U.S. Army is experimenting with a new type of small unmanned aircraft system that designed to launch from twin-tube launcher assembly mounted on a Polaris DAGOR ultra-light weight vehicle.

The Future Vertical Lift Cross-Functional Team shared some footage from the Experimentation Demonstration Gateway Event 2021 – hold at Dugway Proving Ground, which apparently showed the launch of an Area-I small Agile-Launch Tactically Integrated Unmanned System drone, or ALTIUS, from a Dagor vehicle.

One image provided by Army’s Future Vertical Lift Cross-Functional Team shows launched a small drone from a Dagor vehicle while driving.

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Designed to be recoverable, ALTIUS – an orange tubular object with wings that unfold once it self-stabilizes after being launched – can be set to land on any relatively level surface.

The ALTIUS has also been launched in the past from C-130, AC-130J, P-3 planes and UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters.

Its exact capabilities are classified, but Army officials early said that the new drone will reach out “hundreds of kilometers.”

According to open sources, the new ALTIUS drone system can be launched for a variety of missions, including electronic warfare, signals intelligence, counter-UAS, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and it can be outfitted to produce kinetic effects.

The ALTIUS provides the ability to locate the enemy and relay information that will ultimately be used to protect the Warfighter.

ALTIUS is launched from a UH-60 Black Hawk at Yuma Proving Ground, Photo by Amy Tolson

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About this Author

Dylan Malyasov
U.S. defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.

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