:::

中英快譯

Global Hawk Tests U-2 High Rez Camera; Flight Costs Drop─「全球鷹」試掛U-2高解析相機  飛行成本大減

諾斯洛普公司成功將U-2偵察機上的高解析光學相機裝置在「全球鷹」無人機,未來情蒐成本可望大幅降低。(法新社資料照片)
諾斯洛普公司成功將U-2偵察機上的高解析光學相機裝置在「全球鷹」無人機,未來情蒐成本可望大幅降低。(法新社資料照片)

◎王柏文

 The battle for ISR primacy continues between the venerable U-2 and the unmanned Global Hawk, but the Northrop Grumman drone took another step forward Oct. 6 in its quest to do what its manned competition does, and more.

 情蒐偵監霸主地位之爭,持續在「年高德劭」的U-2高空偵察機與「全球鷹」無人機之間上演,然而諾斯洛普格魯曼公司的無人機於10月6日,在與對手競爭的道路上踏出重要一步。

 The aircraft flew with an Optical Bar Camera broad-area synoptic sensor, a tool that has been a key reason for Lockheed Martin‘s U-2's use by combatant commanders.

 在這次飛行之中,「全球鷹」搭載了讓洛馬公司生產的U-2維持競爭力的重要武器─具備廣域感應元件的高解析度光學相機。

 "The successful flight of the Optical Bar Camera is another significant step in the evolution of Global Hawk. It's the result of our focus on increasing capability, reducing sustainment costs and fielding the Open Mission Systems architecture that enables faster integration of cutting edge sensors at lower costs," Mick Jaggers, vice president for Global Hawk, said in a statement.

 「全球鷹」計畫副總賈格斯在聲明中表示,「高解析度光學相機的成功試飛,標誌著全球鷹進化的一大步,是我們持續追求性能提升、降低後勤成本,以及美國空軍的『開放任務系統』,讓先進感測器能夠在低成本的情況下快速與系統整合的成果」。

 Northrop plans to fly the camera four more times to focus it and test the result, since it's a fixed-focus camera. By the middle of November, Jaggers says they will fly the camera with film. They want to see if they fly with it at 40,000 feet and 60,000 feet to see if they get higher resolution products without refocusing the camera.

 由於偵照機器屬於定焦相機,因此諾斯洛普公司計畫要再執行4次試飛任務,讓鏡頭對焦;並測試實照成果。賈格斯表示,到了11月中旬,「全球鷹」將會裝上膠捲,並且飛上12000到18000公尺的高空,測試是否能在不重新對焦的情況下,拍出解析度更高的圖像。

 The camera's physical use by the Global Hawk was made possible by Northrop's Universal Payload Adapter built for the aircraft. But the flexible use of the system was made possible by the use of the Air Force's Open Mission Systems standard.

 雖然這款相機能夠成功裝置在「全球鷹」上,有賴諾斯洛普公司所設計「萬能裝載轉接器」,但系統得以順利運行則是美空軍「開放任務系統」標準化的功勞。

 The successful flight is the second of three planned demonstrations of sensors previously unavailable on the Global Hawk. Northrop Grumman successfully flew a SYERS-2 intelligence gathering sensor in February of this year and plans to fly the MS-177 multi-spectral sensor later in 2016.

 這次成功的試航,也讓之前在「全球鷹」無法裝置的3種感測器,只剩下1種尚未成功試驗。諾斯洛普在今年2月就已經讓「全球鷹」成功搭載SYER-2型情蒐感測器,而最後一種MS-177多光譜儀也計畫在今年稍晚進行測試。

 Jaggers said,"There will be other sensors tested on Global Hawk, including probably some from the space and intelligence communities, now we need to reach out to community and what do you need to carry."

 賈格斯表示,「未來全球鷹將持續測試其他的感測儀器,其中可能包括太空以及其他情蒐的裝置,現在要做的就是與各界聯絡,並了解他們的需求」。

 "I do tell my space brethren that I am a near space configured asset and I can carry those sensors."

 「而我也向太空領域的同業們發出訊息,表示我們手中已握有這項高空偵測工具,同時也能夠搭載任務所需的感測器。」

 All this takes place in the shadow of U-2. The Global Hawk Block 30 got retired. But it had congressional friends. Then the U-2 was retired in the 2015 budget. Now the U-2’s "retirement" was put on hold 'til 2019 in the 2017 defense budget. In addition to the sensor battles between the two platforms, cost was a huge challenge for Global Hawk.

 這一切的發展都是在U-2的挑戰之下推動,第30批次的「全球鷹」已經退役,但仍受到美國國會的支持;U-2雖然在2015年的預算中除役,但如今至少要延役到2019年。此外,在這兩種感測器載具之間的較量之中,成本問題是「全球鷹」最大的挑戰。

 Flying costs are down 50 percent since 2013 from $33,000 per hour to less than $15,000 per hour, Jaggers said.

 對此,賈格斯表示自從2013年以來,「全球鷹」每小時的飛行成本已從3.3萬美元(約新臺幣104.6萬元)降至目前的1.5萬美元(約新臺幣47.6萬元),降幅大約為50%。(摘譯自Breaking Defense網站)

友善列印

相關新聞

熱門新聞