The Banshee Jet 80 is part of QinetiQ’s Banshee series of aerial targets. The aerial targets are used to represent the threat of different human and unmanned systems such as fighter planes, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and cruise missiles. Jet Banshee 80 aerial target drone characteristics.
The Banshee target family is primarily utilized for operational testing of weapons systems. The Banshee Jet 40, Banshee Jet 80, Banshee Whirlwind, Banshee NG, and Banshee Jet 80+ are all part of it. The Banshee Jet 80+ aerial target is an enhanced version of the Banshee Jet 80 aerial target, which was debuted in 2014.
Trideum, a US-based technology business, is supplying aerial target drones to US Department of Defense (DoD) ranges under a contract issued in July 2019. Engineering, technical, training, and flying services for the Banshee Jet 80+ are provided by Trideum and QinetiQ. They are also in charge of integrating the target drone into the US Army’s Ground Aerial Target Control System (AGATCS), which is designed to offer remotely operating unmanned aerial vehicles.
Jet Banshee 80 aerial target drone characteristics
In September 2021, the Royal Navy’s Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales launched the Banshee Jet 80+ from its flight deck.
The trials were part of Project Vampire, which is looking at lightweight, fixed-wing, carrier-borne, crewless, and autonomous systems for the Royal Navy.
Design and characteristics of the Banshee Jet 80
The Banshee Jet 80+ measures 2.85m to 2.95m in length, 0.78m in height, and has a wingspan of 2.49m.
It may be used as a target for surface-to-air and air-to-air weapon systems, as well as cannons and cannon systems, and is useful for testing land and sea-based armament. It can operate autonomously and be retrieved using a parachute. Various plug-in modules may be used to modify the performance of the aerial target drone.
The Banshee Jet 80+ can carry up to eight smoke tracking flares, up to sixteen infrared (IR) tracking flares, IR and chaff decoy dispensing pods, Luneberg lenses, and an identification, friend or foe (IFF) transponder system that can operate in modes A and C.
It may also be equipped with a radar altimeter, active radar augmentations, a sea-skimming module, an active radar homing emulator (ARHE), and an acoustic and doppler radar with a miss distance indication (MDI).
For a forward and side-looking IR source, the target drone can also be outfitted with the Hot Nose black-body IR intensification system. The company’s unique Hot Nose technology has demonstrated capabilities against a variety of missiles, including Mistral, Stinger, and Igla.
Communication and avionics systems
The Banshee drone has QinetiQ’s combination autopilot and surveillance payload avionics (CASPA), which aids in stabilization. A three-axis inertial measurement unit (IMU) and digital autopilot are part of the avionics equipment.
Tracking and telemetry capabilities are provided via the on-board integrated global positioning system (GPS), digital telemetry systems, and autonomous waypoint navigation.
Propulsion and performance of the Banshee Jet 80
The airborne target drone is propelled by dual gas-turbine engines, each of which produces 45kg of force. The drone’s total thrust of 90kg allows it to fly at speeds of up to 200m/s (720km/h).
The aerial target’s launch speed is roughly 45m/s (162km/h) and varies depending on the payload. The drone has a range of more than 100 kilometers and a maximum altitude of 9,144 meters. At a minimum height of 5m, it may give a controlled sea-skimming flying.
The endurance at mixed throttle settings is more than 45 minutes, which is the same as in the single-engine version, which is achieved by employing an additional fuel tank.