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Reports have revealed that the US Navy undertook flight tests of the US Naval Research Laboratory’s NOMAD Unmanned Aerial Vehicle from the USS Coronado Littoral Combat Ship. During the flight tests several of the UAVs were launched in quick succession and demonstrated their ability to fly in formation. Originally, the decoy was designed to act as an RF (Radio Frequency) emitter to help protect a ship against radar-guided Anti-Ship Missiles (AShMs) by providing a more tempting electromagnetic target than the vessel itself. The rotary UAV can, reportedly, also be used to perform a similar mission to protect aircraft. The UAV can be launched from its storage tube, and several of the aircraft can be launched in quick succession. The Nomad UAV is being developed against a backdrop of increasing radar-guided AShM proliferation, particularly vis-à-vis non-state actors, as the ongoing civil war in Yemen has underscored

Thomas Withington

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