The 80th UAV Squadron

 

Permission was granted for a visit of N° 80 UAV squadron on deployment to Koksijde airbase on May 22nd, 2013 to Jef Pets of our Lunak sister website. During this visit, Corps Commander Major Jean-Marc Ruaux acted as host and guide.

80 UAV SQN:
The designation 80 UAV Squa
dron finds its origins in the 80th Artillery Battalion of the Belgian Army that in its days was tasked to localise and identify enemy positions and targets. Nowadays this still is one of the primary tasks of the squadron but adapted to state of the art technology.
The UAV abbreviation stands for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
and the unit became a Squadron in line with the organisation of the Belgian Air Component of which it now forms an integral part, while being based at Florennes.

The Eagle B-Hunter 283 at Koksijde airbase on May 22nd, 2013


The aircraft operated by the 80th UAV Squadron

The EAGLE (grouping Sonaca, IAI- Malat and Thales Communications Belgium) B-Hunter is an unmanned aerial vehicle developed in Isra
el of which Belgium acquired 18 units together with 6 control stations in 1998.

Characteristics:
Span: 9 meters.
Length: 7 meters.
Autonomy: more than 10 hours.
Powerplant: Two 750 cc Moto Guzzi engines of 65 hp each.
Cruising speed: between 110 and 150 km/h.
Ceiling: in e
xcess of 4.000 meter
The B-Hunter is considered one of the safest Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in the world because of its double controls, several back-up systems and even a parachute to bring the machine back to earth in case of emergency.
The two stabilised onboard camera’s can be operated by day and night.

One of the two 50 cc Moto Guzzi engines of 65 hp each.


Operators:
The team of operators of the UAV is composed of:
The Mission Commander: who is overviewing the entire mission,
The Pilot Navigator: a warrant officer preparing and piloting the aircraft
The Real Time Observer, a warrant offcer responsible for providing the imagery and “ste
ering“ the camera’s while at the same time analysing the footage.

Inside the B-Hunter system's Ground Base Station in which the UAV is flown and its systems operated.


This crew is housed in a ground base station
that is equipped with the necessary soft- and hardware to successfully accomplish the mission. Both the B-Hunter and its ground station are very mobile and can be deployed at any given place at short notice. (as demonstrated by past operational deployments to Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Democratic Republic of Congo)


The highly mobile palletised Ground Control Station.


During the “2013 IMINT (Imagery Intelligence) Challenge” organised at the French Armée de l’Air base of Creil (F.) in which teams from France, Canada, Spain, the United States, Switzerland and Belgium participated, the 80 UAV Squadron managed to obtain the “Expert Cup” as best team of the meet.


 

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Thanks go to Major Ruaux, Commander of 80 UAV Squadron and all his personnel at Koksijde airbase.

©  Jef Pets (July 2013)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last updated 07/11/11 10:59   Daniel Brackx

brackda@gmail.com