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Farnborough 2022: BAE Systems ‘in a good place' to meet UK's UAS Challenge

BAE Systems' UAS Concept 2 could provide the UK with options for its UAS Challenge, to be launched later in 2022. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

BAE Systems feels it is “in a good place” to meet the United Kingdom's upcoming Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Challenge to develop quick-to-field uncrewed aircraft, unveiling its UAS Concept family of systems ahead of the Farnborough Airshow.

BAE Systems' head of the future systems, Steve Reeves, told Janes on 15 July that the company's UAS Concept family could provide the Ministry of Defence (MoD) with the options it is looking for under the UAS Challenge announced just the day before by chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston.

“For the UAS Challenge, I think we are very well placed to have conversations when that competition starts,” Reeves said at the Royal International Air Tattoo, where BAE Systems was showcasing full-sized mock-ups of its UAS Concept 1 and UAS Concept 2, with other concepts potentially in the offing also.

With UAS Concept 1 being a relatively small catapult-launched and parachute-recovered expendable aircraft, Reeves said that the much larger and more capable UAS Concept 2 is the one that would best fit the anticipated UAS Challenge, which is scheduled to be launched in the fourth quarter of 2022.

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