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WDS 2024: BAE Systems unveils autonomous collaborative platform concept UAV

BAE Systems autonomous collaborative platform (ACP) concept vehicle will operate alongside Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft. (Janes/Akshara Parakala)

BAE Systems unveiled a new autonomous collaborative platform (ACP) concept at the World Defense Show (WDS) 2024 held in Riyadh from 4 to 8 February.

The conceptual unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is characterised as an attritable platform with low-observable features and will feature electrical actuation systems. The concept vehicle will be able to operate from either land or maritime environments featuring independent or synchronised action capability, in air combat.

According to BAE Systems, the concept vehicle will feature modular construction and will increase affordable combat mass for enhanced operational effect. The vehicle will have two internal bays, will allow easy storage in commercial containers, and will be capable of supporting rapid operational readiness. The potential mission applications envisaged for the concept vehicle include electronic attack; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR); and attack.

The mock-up of the concept vehicle featured a diamond mid-wing configuration with a raised cranked structure at the trailing edge of the wing and a wide V-tail configuration. The front section of the fuselage features a chin-mounted air intake and the aft section of the fuselage suggests that it may accommodate a single powerplant. The vehicle will be equipped with electro-optical/infrared sensor payloads for ISR missions. In attack configuration the vehicle can be integrated with precision air-to-surface munitions, and air-to-air or air-to-surface stores.

Speaking to Janes , the BAE official revealed that the size of the ACP will be comparable to that of the BAE Systems Hawk advanced jet trainer aircraft. Further details about the programme are yet to be revealed.

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