The Air Combat Element (ACE) Branch identifies, analyzes and introduces new technology into the Marine Corps aviation community enhancing the warfighting capability for the air/ground team.

A current Air Combat Element project is Tier II Unmanned Aircraft System Concept Demonstrator. This platform technology effort is not intended to satisfy a material solution for the Marine Corps’ Tier II UAS requirement, but rather is intended to:

  • Serve as a test platform for emerging UAS technologies
  • Facilitate the development of Tier II UAS tactics, techniques, and procedures
  • Investigate future Tier II UAS concepts of employment
  • Inform Tier II UAS program of record requirements 

The Tier II UAS Concept Demonstrator will be employed during an extended user evaluation in support of current operations. All data collected will be used to inform Marine Corps Tier II UAS program of record requirements. Among others, the Warfighting Laboratory intends to employ the Concept Demonstrator to investigate the following technologies:

  • Advanced electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensors
  • Laser designators
  • Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) sensors
  • Multi and Hyper-spectral imaging sensors
  • Communications and data relay payloads
  • Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) payloads
  • Heavy Fuel Engines (HFEs)
  • Electric Engines
Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory