DarkStar, or "Dark Star", is an unmanned vehicle created by Lockheed Martin and Boeing. Its main purpose is to carry out reconnaissance operations in a given territory. The company began work on the project in 1994 for the US War Department. In total, 4 units of drones were built. The most successful model is the RQ-3 Dark Star, which took off in March 1996. Using GPS, the UAV successfully completed the flight and landing. At the very first departure, he reached a two-kilometer height. The unmanned vehicle flies over a distance of 925 km. The practical ceiling is 13716 m. At the same time, it is able to stay in the air for about 8 hours.

In the design of the UAV, the developers have applied technology "stealth", which helps to get behind enemy lines almost invisible to radar. All the predecessors of the RQ-3 Dark Star, conducting reconnaissance activities, mainly used film, the new UAV used digital data transmission in real time. The project has not received much popularity, and the lack of decent funding has completely undermined the future for the Dark Star. The program was closed in 1999 year. 

DarkStar. Characteristics:


Modification   RQ-3
Wingspan, m   21.03
Length m   4.57
Height, m   1.06
The width of the fuselage, m   3.66
Maximum take-off weight, kg   3855
engine's type   1 TRD Williams-Rolls FJ44-1A
Thrust, kgf   X 1 862
Cruising speed, km / h   463
Practical range, km   925
Practical ceiling, m   13716


Other UAVs