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Avalon 2023: BAE Systems unveils Strix UAS

BAE Systems Australia unveiled its strike-capable Strix UAS at Avalon 2023. The system is predominantly aimed at the land and maritime markets. (Julian Kerr)

A new multimission unmanned aircraft system (UAS) – combining the advantages of vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) and fixed-wing flight – was launched by BAE Systems Australia at the Avalon 2023 international airshow on 28 February.

Named the Strix, the tiltable body and X-wing-configured UAS – which has four hybrid engines – combines the convenience of VTOL with the range and speed of a conventional aircraft, producing what BAE Systems said is a unique system.

Using electric propulsion and software to tilt the entire aircraft saves significant weight, complexity, and cost, while substantially improving payload, range, and hover endurance, the company said.

Designed for various tactical battlefield roles, the Strix is predominantly aimed at the land and maritime markets. It can be operated independently, or is suitable for embedding into helicopter flights and missions, BAE Systems said.

Kisa Christensen, Strix team leader at BAE Systems Australia, told Janes that work on the project began in July 2022, and first flight test of the first Strix prototype is anticipated in the fourth quarter of 2023.

The project was developed entirely in Australia, and internal funding had enabled much faster progress than traditional procurement models, she said.

She added that the Strix system would enter the Australian and export markets as a multidomain and multirole capability to undertake a variety of missions, including deep strike for forces on land and at sea; anti-submarine warfare; and intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance,and electronic warfare.

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