LAWRENCE LIVERMORE NATIONAL LABORATORY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY LAWRENCE LIVERMORE NATIONAL LABORATORY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Raptor flight test. View of the Raptor unmanned air vehicle (UAV) during a flight test over the USA in late 1993. The test vehicle has a wingspan of 20 metres, and is powered by an 80-hp rotary engine. Raptor was designed to provide airborne defence against short-range ballistic missiles (such as the 'Scud' used by Iraq during the 1991 Gulf War). The aircraft would cruise at an altitude of 20km over a potential battlefield, and will patrol the area for two days. The production Raptor will carry sensors to detect and track an enemy missile after launch, and two TALON missiles with which to intercept the target.
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