Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles|
Appendix 4: Undesignated Vehicles
|Copyright © 2004 Andreas Parsch|
In 1973, Lockheed Missiles and Space Company (LMSC) received a DARPA/USAF contract for an air-launched mini-RPV system. LMSC designed the Aequare (Latin for "to equalize") vehicle, which first flew in mid-1975.
Aequare was carried aloft inside a modified SUU-42/A flare dispenser pod under the starboard wing of an F-4 Phantom aircraft. At about 7620 m (25000 ft) altitude, the pod was dropped and descended to about 4270 m (14000 ft) under a drogue chute. Then the main parachute was released, pulling the SUU-42/A pod free from the Aequare, which then pivoted its wings to flying position and started its McCulloch MC-101 piston engine. The engine drove a three-blade shrouded pusher propeller. The launching F-4, which loitered at a safe altitude after dropping the UAV, also carried a datalink pod, which served as a relay between the RPV and the GCS (Ground Control Station). The two-way real-time datalink was used to receive imagery and sensor data, and to control the drone and its systems. The Aequare was equipped with a laser designator to illuminate detected targets, which could then be attacked by aircraft with laser-guided weapons. The RPV had an endurance of two hours, after which the payload package could optionally be recovered by parachute. The Aequare airframe itself was expendable.
|Photo: via Jane's|
|Aequare (wings folded)|
About 15 to 20 Aequare RPVs were built for the test and demonstration program. The latter ended in March 1976, but no information on the level of success is available. After the tests the Aequare system was not further developed.
Note: Data given by several sources show slight variations. Figures given below may therefore be inaccurate!
Data for Aequare:
|Length||2.26 m (7 ft 5 in)|
|Wingspan||2.29 m (7 ft 6 in)|
|Weight||63.5 kg (140 lb)|
|Speed||185 km/h (115 mph)|
|Range||320 km (200 miles)|
|Propulsion||McCulloch MC-101 piston engine; 9.3 kW (12.5 hp)|
 Kenneth Munson: "World Unmanned Aircraft", Jane's, 1988
Back to Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles, Appendix 4