CFHQN-35A Kite Naval Rotodyne UAV2 aspect image
Engines: 1x CFPW A5362 Turbine rated at 500kw (670hp)
Cruise Speed: 240mph/390kph
Max takeoff: 2,300kg
Max Fuel weight: 860kg
Length Fuselage: 10.6m
Rotor span: 16.4m
Wing span: 15.6m
Fuselage width: 5.9m
Length folded: 13m
Width folded: 15.8m
Crew: none (2 at base station)
Load: up to 300kg of internal equipment or 500kg of external payload
Weapons: 2 under wing pylons (1 on each wing) each rated at 250kg
CFES MK543 EO/IR imaging turret
CFES MK2027LE multi mode maritime radar
CFES MK9037S ESM package
A Rotodyne UAV was something that had always been intended for service with the Crookfur Royal Navy and indeed many Crookfur warships had been fitted with all the equipment necessary for their operation. Sadly previous attempts at such an aircraft had encountered a variety of technical and funding issues with the early CFHQN-19 Chuff coming closest to full scale service despite a number of short comings. As the aircraft themselves had failed to materialise most equipped warships had their control terminals removed (although the wiring and antennas were retained) with the space left behind (still officially set aside for UAV ops) being quickly commandeered by inventive Warrant Officers. After the removal of the equipment interest in a rotodyne UAV waned until recently when the Jenkins engineering team, responsible for the CFH-29 buzzard attack rotodyne, presented their new design named the Kite.
The Buzzard heritage is plain when one looks at the Kite with both designs sharing the same single fan and twin boom layout although as it is much smaller the Kite has a single turbine engine and the APU is not capable of driving the main rotor. The CFHQN-35A is largely built from carbon fibre and composite materials although the centre body and landing gear is reinforced with titanium to allow it to survive particularly hard deck landings without major issues; this also explains why the gear is significantly more robust than most similar sized UAVs. The design layout of the Kite does give it sparkling performance for its size particularly in the take off regime: under the correct wind conditions the Kite can take off vertically without igniting the tip jets and relying purely on the rotorís auto gyration (although such conditions are quiet rare and could only really be achieved on an aircraft carrier or other flat decked vessel).
Aside from the airframe itself it is sensors that make the Kite so useful. The primary sensor system is a MK543 imaging turret with both IR and EO imaging sensors capable of providing high definition imagery in most conditions. Next is the MK2027LE multi mode radar. This maritime radar is capable of detecting vessels at ranges of up to 200NM as well as detecting exceptionally small targets such as submarine periscopes. SAR and ISAR imaging modes are also supported. Finally there is the MK9037S Electronic Support Measures system which uses a number of antennas to detect and localise electronic emissions giving the Kite a limited ELINT capability.
Originally the Kite was supposed to be unarmed with the wing hard points being intended for future systems growth; however the timely introduction into service of the M17 Multi Service Missile (MSM), a light weight extended range missile designed to engage a range of targets including smaller naval vessels, presented a unique opportunity and the CFHQN-35A was one of the first platforms to qualify with the new missile. On Export examples the hard points can be retained or removed and if retained can be used for a wide range of stores including missiles such as Sea Skau and some versions of the AGM-65 Maverick.
In regards to exports Crookfur Arms did carry out some early marketing of the design during its development phase and received a favourable response from the Spizanian navy who had an outstanding requirement for a vertical takeoff UAV of their own. After some negotiations the CFHQN-35A Kite was accepted into Spizanian service as the DH.3 Pearl Kite. The Spizanianís also sponsored the development of a significantly modified Airborne Early Warning (AEW) variant which deletes the weapons capability and replaces both the imaging turret and radar set with the MK1219S Multi role radar. The MK1219S has similar surface search capabilities to the MK2027LE but features an air surveillance capability out to similar ranges. Within Crookfur the AEW variant is designated as the CFHQN-35B Kite and has entered Spizanian service as the DH.4 Plumbeous Kite.
For export customers Crookfur Arms can also supply 2 forms of local control stations. The first is a series of equipment racks and 2 operator workstations that can be easily wired into most standardised shipboard electrical and data systems. The Second option is a fully self contained control system built into a standard shipping container. The containerised package includes 2 operator workstations, full air conditioning, generator and its own transmitters and antennas. This package can be easily fitted to most logistical supply vessels and some modular warships.
Customised control station: approx $3million
Containerised Control station: $7million