Rate Gyro Unit

Technical Information

Catalogue No: C0612
Category: Gyro
Object Type: Sensor/Transducer
Object Name: Rate Gyro Unit
Part No: 10-054-04
Serial No: 00143
Manufacturer: BAE Systems
Division: Unknown
Platform(s): Phoenix UAV 
Year of Manufacture: Unknown
Width (mm):
Height (mm):
Depth (mm):
Weight (g):
Location: Archive Object Store

NSN 6615-99-616-7861
Item: Rate Gyro Unit
Ser 00143


The BAE Systems Phoenix was an all-weather, day or night, real-time surveillance Unmanned Air Vehicle. It had a twin-boom UAV with a surveillance pod, from which the imagery was data linked to a ground control station (GCS) that also controlled the aircraft in flight. GEC Avionics was awarded the £85million fixed-price Phoenix development and production contract in February 1985. Flight Refuelling Ltd is responsible for the air vehicle, launcher, recovery vehicle conversion kit and all four types of system container.

First flight was in 1986, but introduction of the Phoenix was delayed and the program attracted a good deal of criticism. The Phoenix saw limited operational use as part of the British contribution to Kosovo Force (KFOR) and in Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The final operational flight of the Phoenix was conducted by in May 2006.

The digital flight control computer is the heart of the Phoenix air vehicle. The vehicle is designed to fly autonomously with the minimum of operator intervention. On-board sensors, including air data, and attitude and heading reference, provide autonomous navigation backed up by periodic position updates from the ground. The flight control computer provides a range of autopilot modes to reduce operator workload, stabilises the pod, and initiates and controls air vehicle recovery.

BAE Systems in Basildon provided the payload pod to the prime contractor BAE Systems in Rochester. A two-axis stabilized sensor turret below the mission pod is mounted to Phoenix’s belly via stabilizing roll arms. The turret houses a thermal imaging common module (TICM II), providing a 60-by-40 degree field of view. The optical element is a Pilkington telescope with 2.5-to-10X magnification.

The UAV has a Pitch and Yaw Rate Gyro made by BAE Systems and a Vertical Gyro made by Ferranti. A rate gyro is a type of gyroscope, which rather than indicating direction, indicates the rate of change of angle with time.

This is a Pitch or Yaw Rate Gyro made by BAE Systems.

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