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.
visit, Corps Commander Major Jean-Marc Ruaux acted as host and guide.
80 UAV SQN:
The designation 80 UAV Squadron
finds its origins
the 80th Artillery
of the Belgian Army
in its days was tasked to localise and identify enemy positions and
targets. Nowadays this still is one of the
tasks of the squadron but adapted to state of the art technology.
UAV abbreviation stands for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
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
The Eagle B-Hunter 283 at Koksijde airbase on May
The aircraft operated by the 80th UAV Squadron
(grouping Sonaca, IAI- Malat and Thales Communications Belgium) B-Hunter
is an unmanned aerial vehicle developed in Israel
of which Belgium acquired 18 units together with 6 control stations in
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 excess
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.
The team of operators of the UAV is composed of:
The Mission Commander: who is overviewing the entire mission,
Pilot Navigator: a warrant officer preparing and piloting the aircraft
The Real Time Observer, a warrant offcer responsible for providing
the imagery and “steering“
the camera’s while at the same time analysing the footage.
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
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
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.
Thanks go to Major Ruaux, Commander of 80 UAV Squadron and all his
personnel at Koksijde airbase.
© Jef Pets