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‘REPMUS' T-600 UAS test demonstrates development pathway for heavier-lift T-650 variant

A BAE Systems and Malloy Aeronautics' T-600 UAS conducts a carriage-and-release test of an anti-submarine training variant torpedo at the ‘REPMUS' maritime unmanned systems exercise in Portugal in September. The T-600 is being used as a technology demonstrator for the heavier-lift T-650. (BAE Systems)

BAE Systems and Malloy Aeronautics demonstrated their T-600 heavy-lift unmanned aircraft system (UAS) capability, including dropping an anti-submarine training variant torpedo (TVT) for the first time, at the Portuguese Navy-hosted, multinational annual Exercise ‘REPMUS' (Robotic Experimentation and Prototyping using Maritime Unmanned Systems) in Troia, Portugal, in September.

The test was also the first in a trials series planned to prove technologies and capabilities being considered for the companies' larger T-650 UAS, for which T-600 acts as a technology demonstrator.

In a statement released at ‘REPMUS', BAE Systems said, “The [T-600] demonstrator successfully released an inert Sting Ray TVT during a flight mission at sea for the first time.” The demonstration was designed to identify new ways of combining emerging technologies, it added.

BAE Systems and Malloy have been developing the T-600 together since 2021. In what was the vehicle's first overseas demonstration, the UK Royal Navy (RN) sponsored its participation in ‘REPMUS'. The exercise focuses on developing technologies and tactics underpinning advanced maritime unmanned systems (MUSs) use, emphasising testing in ‘real-world' operational scenarios.

Development of the T-600 and T-650 is intended to feed into the RN's ‘Heavy Lift Challenge' UAS programme, under which industry is invited to demonstrate systems or capabilities that might meet the navy's needs.

The RN has been testing the T-600 within the programme since April 2022. In November 2022 flight trials were conducted at BAE Systems' Warton facility to establish baseline T-600 performance capabilities, including speed, range, and payload.

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