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Raytheon's KillerBee(R) unmanned aircraft system tests heavy fuel engine

Raytheon Company (NYSE:RTN) , with its teammate XRDi, completed testing of its KillerBee unmanned aircraft system heavy fuel engine. KillerBee's purpose-built HFE is highly efficient and reliable compared with conventional gasoline engines converted to burn heavy fuels.

The KillerBee UAS features a blended-wing body design and systems for launch, recovery and ground control on land and sea. It has the ability to insert persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance into the battlespace and is ideally suited for force protection in an expeditionary environment.

"This heavy fuel engine test is a major milestone for the KillerBee UAS," said Bob Francois, Raytheon Missile Systems vice president of Advanced Missiles and Unmanned Systems. "We have delivered on our commitment to make KillerBee an adaptable, affordable, long-endurance platform UAS that is safe for the warfighter to operate."

The flight test proved that the KillerBee HFE propulsion system is ready for full qualification flight tests and will achieve technical readiness level 6 this summer. TRL 6 means a system has demonstrated it can operate in environments similar to the surroundings where it will be employed.

The KillerBee is designed to provide the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps with a UAS for their respective Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Tier II missions.

Press release issued by Raytheon Company Missile Systems on June 16, 2009


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