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DSEI 2023: Autonomous UAV launch-and-recover system unveiled

The Black Recon VRS, displayed at DSEI 2023, autonomously launches and recovers UAVs and is suited for military vehicles as well as critical infrastructure. (Janes/Olivia Savage)

An autonomous unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) launch-and-recover system designed by Teledyne FLIR Defense and integrated with a new micro UAV has been debuted at DSEI 2023, held from 12 to 15 September in London.

Known as the Black Recon Vehicle Reconnaissance System (VRS), the prototype is intended to provide autonomous persistent reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition (RSTA) for crews in military vehicles or for critical infrastructure to enhance situational awareness, Ketil Vanebo, senior business director for the company, told Janes.

This is enabled with a new low-signature micro UAV designed by the company that is equipped with electro-optical (EO) and infrared payloads. Using a cradle arm, the UAV is autonomously launched, retrieved, and recharged to enable continuous operation, he said.

Each 30 kg Black Recon VRS consists of three micro UAVs that each weigh 350 g, have an operational flight time of 45 minutes, a maximum range of 5–6 km, and are able to withstand wind conditions of 12 m/s as well as moderate rain conditions, he added.

The Black Recon VRS can function in Global Positioning System (GPS)-denied environments and integrate into third-party battle management systems, he said.

Militaries can use the Black Recon VRS for a wide range of missions, including positive identification (PID) of targets, area search, track, monitor, follow ahead, route surveillance, and sweeping of mines and explosives. These missions are supported by auto-generated path planning and edge processing for automatic detection, the company detailed.

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