Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Falco UAV of Pakistan Air Force Crashes

A Falco Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) of the Pakistan Air Force has crashed on Tuesday when it was on routine flight at 11:45am. The wreckage of the Falco Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) was found in a garden by local villagers.

According police tis incident has caused no loss of life or property. Pakistan Air Force have ordered in investigation of the crash after removing the UAV’s wreckage. The Falco UAV was included in Pakistani air force in 2009 for optronic and electronic surveillance applications.

Falco is a tactical UAV which is designed by Selex Galileo and is co-produced by Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) at Kamra. The co-production of Falco began in August 2009. Falco is principally employed by the Pakistan Air Force for optronic and electronic surveillance applications, and homeland security operations.Pakistan has purchased five systems consisting of 25 Falcos including spare flight units and ground control stations.

Falco UAV has one hard point on each wing and will carry a load capacity of up to 25kg. The Falco UAV can fly at an altitude of 6,500m and can carry a maximum payload of 70kg. It has the capacity to fly continuously for 9 to14 hours.

Pakistan air force have employed the Falco UAV during the Pakistan Army's 2009 offensive in SWAT for locating militant targets like ammunition dumps and hide-outs.

Falco tactical air vehicle can carry active electronically scanned array PicoSAR and an electro-optical/infrared sensor for surveillance. The high-resolution of the electronically scanned array PicoSAR make it very useful for counter-IED missions, detecting disturbances in ground surface.

PicoSAR weights only 10kg and it can generate SAR imagery in both strip and spot modes from a range of up to 20km (10.8nm), and collect ground moving target indication data.

Selex Galileo is also offering a larger version called Falco Evolution (Evo) with 14m wing span almost double that of standard Falco UAV. Falco Evo will have capacity to carry 120kg of payload and will be capable of an endurance of more than 18 hours. First flight is expected this year.

Falco can laser-designate targets for other platforms but cannot deliver munitions.Pakistan considers the Falco UAVs first step toward Pakistan's eventual goal of having UAVs capable of carrying missiles. Pakistan is working on its own Predator-like unmanned aerial vehicle to undertake the same mission.This UAV is sometimes referred by different sources as Burraq UAV.It will be outfitted with a NESCom-designed laser designator and laser-guided missiles.

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