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ILA 2022: Diehl launches Light Attack Remote Carrier for FCAS/SCAF and legacy aircraft

Diehl displayed a model of its Light Attack Remote Carrier concept at ILA 2022. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

Diehl Defence showcased a weaponised Remote Carrier (RC) ‘loyal wingman' at the ILA Air Show in Berlin, telling Janes that the project is geared at the Future Combat Air System (FCAS)/Système de Combat Aérien Futur (SCAF) programme, as well as for current fighter aircraft.

Speaking to Janes on 23 June, Sven Katzenstein, Future Technologies Project Manager Targeting Systems, said that, although not officially part of the Next Generation Weapon System (NGWS) of FCAS/SCAF that includes the RC element (this work is led by Airbus, with MBDA, GMV, Technobit, and Sener Aeroespacial as partners), the Light Attack Remote Carrier (LAC) is being developed by Diehl to show the art of the possible.

“The LAC is now a concept that is separate from the RC pillar [of FCAS/SCAF],” Katzenstein said. “We thought we could give the RC a secondary role [besides a loyal wingman force multiplier], with a warhead in addition to its surveillance sensors. The size of the warhead has not yet been decided, he added.

Katzenstein explained that the LAC is a 250–350 kg vehicle that could be launched from either the New Generation Fighter (NGF) element of the NGWS, from an Airbus A400M Atlas transport aircraft ‘mother ship', or from a legacy combat aircraft such as the Eurofighter.

Discussions are being held with political and industrial stakeholders in the FCAS/SCAF programme, and it will eventually be a political decision whether to take the programme forward, Katzenstein said.

Further to LAC, Diehl is also developing a Heavy Attack Remote Carrier (HAC) that will have an all-up weight of approximately a tonne.

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