Regional
6:29 pm
Thu November 5, 2009

U.K. Soldiers At White Sands

Las Cruces – Some British Soldiers are learning how to fly on White Sands Missile Range this month.

The soldiers from Great Britain are learning how to pilot unmanned aerial vehicles.

British Royal Engineers are operating the Tarantula Hawk Micro Air Vehicle.

The T-Hawk is a compact remotely piloted air vehicle used by the U.S. Navy and similar to an Unmanned Aerial System currently being developed at White Sands.

The T-Hawk is small enough to be carried in a large backpack and deployed in the field. It also includes a modular camera system, allowing it to mount a video camera and an infrared camera for nighttime missions.

While the T-Hawk has the appearance of a flying water cooler, it's like helicopter .allowing it to better observe a target.

The British soldiers plan to use the T-Hawk when they deploy to Afghanistan.

Similar to combat engineers in the U.S. Army, the British Royal Engineers will use the T-Hawk to scout ahead searching for enemy forces or ambushes. The Royal Engineers came to White Sands to conduct their training taking advantage of controlled airspace. Unlike most areas the range controls its own airspace, making it much easier to operate unmanned aircraft like the T-hawk.