|RQ-15 on display at a 2005 Naval UAV Air Demo
|Maritime reconnaissance UAV
|United States Navy
The DRS RQ-15 Neptune is a reconnaissance UAV developed in the United States in the early years of the 21st century. The design is optimized for operations over water, and is capable of water landings on its flying boat–like hull. The 11.2 kW (15 hp) pusher engine is mounted high to keep it dry during takeoffs and landings. The Neptune can also be launched off a pneumatic catapult and land on a skid. In 2007, one was unsuccessfully launched off the USS Nashville (LPD-13), crashing into the water less than two seconds after lift off.
The most remarkable design element is the double vertical stabilizer with the piston engine housed inbetween. This arrangement reduces the infrared signature from the side-to-rear view.