Arcturus Small UAS with 2 Laser-Guided Missiles

Arcturus T-20 - Photo: Spencer Ackerman

Arcturus is displaying its new T-20 at the Special Operations Forces Industry Conference in Tampa, Florida. The T-20 has a 17-foot wingspan, putting it in the so-called Tier II class of unmanned aircraft.

The company claims the device can carry up to 65 pounds of payload, ‘in excess of 16 hours’. Most of the fuel is stored in the wings, leaving more room for cargo and camera equipment, which can beam back live video to the operators. The company’s website states: ‘A retracting sensor gives a full 360 degree unobstructed field of view’.  It is powered by a 10-horsepower, four-stroke engine and boasts a system of removable pallets ‘for ease of payload swapping’. It is slightly smaller than the Shadow already in use by the U.S. Army and Marine Corps.

The example shown in Tampa carries a Saber, a 10-pound laser-guided missile manufactured by MBDA.  ‘In tests, Arcturus discovered that the wings of its aircraft can carry 22 pounds’ worth of cargo, making it a candidate to wield MBDA’s missiles. No one else can do that in our size category’. Arcturus engineer Eric Folkestad told Wired Magazine

12 aircraft  have been shipped to Marines, Navy and Air Force in the past 18 months for testing.

The T-20 has a modular design so it can be easily disassembled and packed up for portage by commandos in the field. Like the Shadow, it is launched from a pneumatic catapult. It has a maximum height of 15,000 feet.


    * Wingspan: 207” (configurable)
    * Length: 113”
    * Power: 10 horsepower
    * Max Payload: 65+ lbs
    * Empty weight: 80 lbs
    * Gross weight: 150+ lbs
    * Max Duration: 16+ hours
    * Max Height: 15,000 feet 

Sources: The Daily Mail, Wired, Company Website

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