L-3 Unmanned Systems announced it will introduce its Airborne Pursuit and Exploitation (APEX) Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International’s (AUVSI) Unmanned Systems
2014 conference (12-13 May 2014; Orange County Convention Center; Orlando, Florida).
L-3’s APEX UAS is a compact, lightweight system designed as a small tactical Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) platform, with a capacity to carry multiple payloads simultaneously. It is ideal for close-range ISR missions, first responder calls or over-the-hill reconnaissance missions, low-intensity conflicts and urban warfare operations.
“With APEX, we’re offering today’s warfighters an unprecedented level of capability from a small platform. APEX’s ability to be operated by a very small team and provide multi-mission and payload flexibility brings a new level of capability to expeditionary operators. The system is currently being used by U.S. Forces,” said J.R. Gear, Vice President of Strategic Development at L-3 Unmanned Systems.
APEX is an all-electric UAS that provides nearly seven hours of endurance with a range of 100+ km using a high-power series Lithium Polymer (LiPo) battery system and is runway-independent and expeditionary.
Operated by a team of three people, APEX reduces the need for a large operational footprint, while providing the equivalent ISR capability offered by larger UAS platforms. L-3’s APEX employs a parachute recovery system, eliminating the need for a runway or specific recovery device, and utilizes a pneumatic rail-launched system. Unique to the UAS is an electro-optical/cooled infrared gimbal payload, which provides both day and night surveillance and reconnaissance capability.