UK awards contracts for UAS swarm project

by Olivia Savage

A UAS swarm comprising of Malloy Aeronautics TRV150 systems during a Royal Marines trial. (UK MOD Crown copyright 2021 - Barry Wheeler)

Malloy Aeronautics and Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) group have been awarded a contract as part of the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) Multi-Domain Integrated Swarm (MDIS) project, Brigadier Mark Totten, Deputy Director of Acquisition Commando Forces and MDIS told Janes on 27 July.

The project will involve a series of trials with SNC, integrating and teaming approximately 10–20 Malloy Aeronautics unmanned aerial systems (UAS), James Gavin, head of Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) Future Capability Group (FCG) told Janes.

As part of the project, the MDIS team are interested in understanding how the swarming systems exchange data and the bandwidth/information exchange rates that those behaviours require, Brig Totten said. He added that the project is expected to produce results within the current financial year.

Brig Totten was unable to provide further details surrounding the project, although he did note that the Malloy Aeronautics T400 UAS was used during the trials.

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Development of RASH-2H glide munition approaches completion

by Huw Williams

The RASH-2H (left) is a clean-sheet design, while the RASH-2M (middle) and RASH-1M (right) use modified mortar bombs. (EDGE Group)

Abu Dhabi-based ADASI is in the “final stages of development and qualification” of its RASH-2H guided munition.

Speaking during a media briefing, Mohamed Al Nuaimi, senior programme manager, engineering and technology at ADASI, said that the RASH-2H will soon enter production.

Al Nuaimi said that the munition is a clean-sheet design, while the earlier RASH-1M and RASH-2M add a guidance kit to mortar bombs that also feature modified fuzes to enable their air-launched profile.

According to company data, the RASH-2H is fitted with an 11.6 kg high-explosive fragmentation warhead that is made up of 10,700 fragments and has a lethal radius of up to 60 m. Like the RASH-1M and RASH-2M, the newest member of the family utilises global positioning system (GPS) and inertial navigation system (INS) guidance. However, it can also undertake a cursor-on-target engagement via an optional electro-optic/infrared payload in the nose of the munition that uses an ultra-high frequency (UHF) datalink. Al Nuaimi said that a semi-active laser (SAL) seeker is on the product road map for the RASH-2H.

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France to receive long-awaited Patroller UAVs

by Victor Barreira

The first Patroller UAVs are to be delivered to the DGA shortly. (Safran)

The Tactical Drone System (Système de Drone Tactique: SDT) for the French Army is soon to achieve a major milestone with delivery of the first Safran Electronics & Defense Patroller fixed-wing tactical unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to the French defence procurement agency (Direction générale de l'armement: DGA).

An initial five UAVs and two ground control stations will be delivered to the DGA in December, the company's press officer, Pascal Debergé, told Janes.

The company was awarded a EUR350 million (USD343 million) contract on 5 April 2016 to supply 14 Patroller UAVs, six ground control stations, and associated training and support to increase the intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR) capability of the 61st Artillery Regiment, replacing the Safran Sperwer UAV.

The Patroller is a medium-altitude, long-endurance platform based on the Stemme ECARYS ES15 utility aircraft that can operate for up to 15 hours at an altitude of 16,000 ft, with a line-of-sight range of 180 km and a maximum speed of 200 km/h.

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French Navy boosts ISTAR with Aliaca UAV

by Victor Barreira

Survey Copter, which is owned by Airbus Defence and Space, is developing an improved version of the Aliaca with increased range and autonomy. (Victor Barreira)

The French Navy is boosting its ability to conduct airborne day-and-night intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR) missions from surface ships thanks to the Survey Copter Aliaca fixed-wing tactical mini unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

The electrically powered UAV was deployed from the PHM Commandant Ducuing (F795) patrol ship during NATO's maritime unmanned systems exercise ‘Dynamic Messenger 22' that took place in Portugal in late September.

In all, 22 UAVs, ground control stations, training, and a 10-year support package were purchased in the last quarter of 2020 by the French defence procurement agency (Direction générale de l'armement: DGA) for EUR19.7 million (USD19.5 million) to meet the requirements of the Système de Mini Drones aériens embarqués de la Marine (SMDM) programme.

Each SMDM system is made of two UAVs. The initial three systems were received in June, with deliveries to be complete at the beginning of 2023.

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Malloy Aeronautics and Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) group have been awarded a contract as part of...

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