Dubai Airshow 2013: Adcom unveils Global Yabhon UCAV

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    Dubai Airshow 2013: Adcom unveils Global Yabhon UCAV

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    United Arab Emirates (UAE) unmanned system developer Adcom used the 2013 Dubai Airshow to unveil the Global Yabhon, which at 10 tonnes is its largest unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

    Adcom has ambitions for the Global Yabhon to rival the Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk high altitude long endurance (HALE) UAV, while industry sources note it may rival or complement the Boeing P-8 Poseidon manned multimission maritime patrol aircraft.

    While the Global Yabhon was displayed as a full-size mockup at the show, Adcom Chief Designer Ali Al Dhaheri told IHS Jane's that a "fully equipped" and tested version would be ready for delivery in six months. Al Dhaheri said that development was possible because Adcom had the support of a customer.

    In July 2013 Russian reports indicated that the Russian Ministry of Defence was interested in purchasing two United-40 UAVs, a platform revealed in 2011 that was Adcom's first high-stability tandem bi-wing UAV and which formed the basis for the larger Global Yabhon.

    Both designs make extensive use of carbon fibre composites to reduce overall weight: the 26 m-wingspan Global Yabon has an empty weight of about 3.5 tons. Its maximum payload is 6.5 tons and has rear-wing and fuselage pylon attachments for up to18 weapons. Payloads include Adcom's small Namrod precision-guided and small turbojet-powered bomb, and up to four of the larger 240 km-range Yabhon Thunder cruise missile.

    The Global Yabhon has a high altitude endurance of 40 hours and can be powered by two small turbofan or reciprocating engines. Al Dhaheri mentioned that a "GE Honda" turbofan was under consideration, possibly the 400 lb HF120 small turbofan.

    Also on display for the first time at the Dubai Airshow was a maritime patrol/anti submarine UCAV version of the United 40, called "U-40, Navy-UAV." This UCAV version is equipped to carry 24 sonobuoys, and both it and the Global Yabhon were displayed with torpedo mockups.

    Al Dhaheri added that customer demand had driven Adcom's emphasis on maritime UAVs at the Dubai show. He also noted that Adcom was developing an air-launched torpedo for the U-40 and Global Yabhon.

    This was confirmed by an official from Italy's Whitehead Alenia Sistemi Subacquei, who said that Adcom is developing a detachable wing for either the Whitehead A2445 or Fleshback torpedoes, both of which weigh about 300 kg. The wings will enable high-altitude attack and give the torpedo a range of about 50 km.

    Al Dhaheri said both UCAVs can be controlled from other manned airborne platforms via a data link such as Link 16. The Whitehead official noted they could complement or even compete with the Boeing P-8 MPA, which is entering service with India and the US Navy.

    Dubai Airshow 2013: Adcom unveils Global Yabhon UCAV - IHS Jane's 360
     
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