AeroVironment RQ-14 Dragon Eye
The Dragon Eye Unmanned Aerial Vehicle is a small reconnaissance UAV developed by the Naval Research Laboratory and the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory for use by the U.S. Marine Corps.
It is a tailless design with a rectangular wing and twin props. It is designed to fit into a backpack, with a weight of 2.25 kilograms (5 pounds) and a span of 1.14 meters (3 feet 9 inches). It can be launched by hand or using a store-bought bungee cord. It also uses a break-apart system to increase durability — parts of the plane break apart instead of shattering and can be reattached later or replaced with new parts. It has a GPS-INS-based waypoint navigation system.
One of the interesting features is that the operator monitors Dragon Eye operation through "video goggles" connected to a laptop computer. The control system weighs about 5.4 kilograms (12 pounds).
The Dragon Eye aircraft is used primarily for scouting urban areas, and is especially useful in urban assaults. Its camera, when used with a trained Marine, can be used to spot enemies without alerting them to the UAV's presence.
The production contract for Dragon Eye was awarded to AeroVironment in 2003, and over 1000 aircraft were built before the Marines switched over to another UCAV of AeroVironment (RQ-11 Raven B) for the remainder of the Dragon Eye production contract
The Dragon Eye has been used in post-invasion Iraq, 2003–present.
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