Nexter is highlighting updates to its Project 'FINDEAGLE' vehicle-integrated unmanned aircraft system (UAS) concept at the IDEX 2019 exhibition being held in Abu Dhabi from 17--21 February.
FINDEAGLE was first displayed at the Eurosatory exhibition in Paris in June 2018.
The system comprises a tethered and an untethered UAS, carried on a vehicle from which they can be launched and recovered autonomously. The UASs are made by Nexter Robotics and are controlled using FINDEAGLE software, a variant of the company's FINDERS battle management software. Other variants of FINDERS are in use with the French Army and other customers.
The larger, tethered UAS is the multi-rotor IXOS XX, which has a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 8 kg and is expected to be fully developed by mid-2019. The air vehicle is powered via a tether cable that supports control and communication and enables it to reach a maximum height of 50 m.
Nexter claims that the IXOS XX is inaudible to human hearing out to a range of 100 m and is resistant to jamming due to its tethered operation. It can be launched and operated from a vehicle moving at speeds of up to 10 km/h and in day/night and in dust-obscured conditions.
The system features an open interface for payloads with three types developed thus far, although Sylvain Fesland, head of sales and marketing for Nexter, told Jane's that more payloads are envisaged given that the external power from the tether can support heavier payloads.
A 3-axis gimbal payload includes a gyro-stabilised electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensor with a mobile object tracking capability plus a laser range finder (LRF) with a range of up to 5 km. The payload has an EO/IR fusion capability and supports surveillance, reconnaissance, and forward observation missions.
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