Brock announces SHARK tube-launched UAS

Brock Technologies' tube-launched SHARK unmanned aircraft system weighs 5.5 lb/2.5 kg, measures 31 inches/787 mm long and has a payload capacity of 1 lb/0.45 kg.

Brock Technologies Inc. (Tucson, Ariz., USA) has announced one of its newest unmanned system designs dubbed the SHARK. The SHARK is a small tube-launched unmanned aircraft system (UAS) capable of performing silent intelligence, surveillance and reconaissance (ISR) at low altitudes for long periods of time. The SHARK was designed to fit within a 5-inch/127-mm inner diameter launch tube. The SHARK is fabricated using composite materials and processes to produce a UAS that weighs only 5.5 lb/2.5 kg.

The strength-to-weight ratio of the composite parts has been made possible using a process Brock Technologies calls Super Compression Molding (SCM). With this method, the total number of composite plies is reduced, reportedly without impact to overall component strength. In addition to the SCM process, the SHARK employs composite castings that allow for lightweight embedded parts and in the near future, injection molded parts. This translates to low per-unit airframe costs, allowing the end user to operate with more advanced payloads and sensors. The system incorporates a lightweight gyro-stabilized pan, tilt sensor unit capable of housing an optical zoom EO color camera, a long wave infrared camera, or a short wave infrared camera. This permits the SHARK to perform both daytime and nighttime operations.

Initial SHARK flight testing began in early 2010. Flight tests were performed by means of an inflight mother ship launch. This series of air launches proved the advanced control systems and allowed Brock Technologies to tune the gains before tube launching. Video from one of the initial test flights can be seen on YouTube at

The SHARK UAS measures 31 inches/787 mm in length and spans 38 inches/965 mm with the wings deployed. It has a payload carrying capability of 1.0 lb/0.45 kg.

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