AeroVironment introduced a new version of its Shrike vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) Shrike unmanned aerial vehicle during the Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC) in Tampa, Florida.
According to AeroVironment’s vice president for tactical unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), Dave Sharpin, the ‘Shrike 2’ is an evolution of the Shrike VTOL airframe. First unveiled to the market in 2011, the Shrike is a quadcopter design capable of supporting ‘over the hill’ reconnaissance requirements for dismounted personnel.
Sharpin told Jane’s that AeroVironment had re-configured the Shrike into a modular ‘Hybrid VTOL’ capability featuring a pair of detachable fixed wings and a tri-rotor solution. Shrike 2 weighs less than 2 kg and can carry up to 400 g payload.
According to Sharpin, Shrike 2’s fixed wings can be detached so it can operate as a pure VTOL system. Alternatively, wings can be re-attached in ‘seconds’ to provide a combined fixed-wing/VTOL capability for more enduring missions.
The Shrike 2 also features a modular payload capable of carrying a single electro-optical/infrared camera or LiDAR sensor. Sharpin told Jane’s the Shrike 2 could provide small unit teams with an organic reconnaissance capability that could be both runway and launcher independent.
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