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British Army to get new reconnaissance UASs

Elbit Systems' Magni-X VTOL UAS is pictured above. Weighing 2 kg, the system is suited for short-range reconnaissance. (Elbit Systems UK)

Elbit Systems is to equip the British Army with new short-range reconnaissance unmanned aerial systems (UASs).

The company was awarded a contract from the UK Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) Future Capability Group for the provision of its Magni-X micro-UAS, the company announced on 12 January.

An undisclosed number of the vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) UAS will be delivered by mid-2023 to specialist British Army units, the company said. An option for additional units is included in the contract.

DE&S had not responded to Janes at the time of publication.

The contract is part of the broader British Army Human Machine Teaming (HMT) programme that seeks to enable rapid iterations of novel technology such as autonomous systems. The framework has a financial headroom of GBP300 million (USD365.2 million) over a three-year period – expiring in 2025.

Magni-X is a 2 kg backpack-portable UAS with up to 60 minutes of endurance that is suited for short-range reconnaissance as well as combat and intelligence operations, the company said. The system is capable of autonomous flight and can be integrated with the company's Legion-X system to enable swarming capabilities.

Legion-X is an artificial intelligence (AI)-driven platform that facilitates the swarming of unmanned systems.

As part of the agreement, the UAS will be fitted with electro-optical and infrared gimballed cameras offering the user long-range reconnaissance capabilities, the company added.

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