|Sikorsky MARINER/"Cypher II"|
Sikorsky’s MARINER (MARIne-Navy Extended-range Reconnaissance) UAV was developed in conjunction with General Dynamics Information Systems. No technical specifications of the MARINER have been released, however the proposal was reportedly based on a growth version of the "Cypher II" (shown). Also known as the "Dragon Warrior", the "Cypher II" was recently selected by the US Marines for testing UAV operating concepts and payloads.
The "Cypher" family of UAVs employs a ducted fan consisting of two four-blade coaxial rotors to generate lift for hover mode. A conventional wing is attached to the annular fuselage for the Cypher II and MARINER variants to provide lift in forward flight, reducing the load on the lift fan. The wing, in conjunction with a second, smaller ducted fan at the tail of the aircraft used for forward propulsion, will greatly increase range and endurance for these variants. The Cypher II/Dragon Warrior is capable of carrying a 45 lb payload to a station 100 nm away and loitering for 2 hours. The all-composite aircraft has a maximum gross weight of 100kg and a top speed of 230km/h. The wings may be removed for applications such as military operations in urban terrain (MOUT), like its predecessor, the "Cypher I". Sikorsky is currently under a $5.46 million contract to deliver 2 prototypes and 4 ground stations, with a $3.76 million option to deliver 10 additional aircraft to production standard.