Cranfield Aerospace (CAe) in-house built vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) unmanned air system (UAS), named ‘Valkyrie’ has been featured in today’s Daily Telegraph Careers in Defence supplement.
Designed to provide ISTAR support for ground troops, special forces operations and counter-terrorism, the VTOL capability minimises the need for ancillary ground based equipment and offers the potential for a true ‘perch and stare’ capability. The air vehicle is of a modular design and is configurable as all-electric operation, giving a clean, low noise system that requires minimal preparation, or with an internal combustion (IC) engine for long-endurance tasks. Its modular design and scalability, both up and down from its current 1.4m wingspan, gives great flexibility in range of operational requirements.
The systems design allows the user to give high-level commands via radio or satellite and the vehicle then manoeuvres autonomously to fulfil the request. The airframes cross-wing design allows a roll-independence that means attitude is dependent upon target acquisition rather than the other way round.
The on-going development programme is addressing the issues of UAS integration into UK airspace, vertical recovery, a variety of payloads and all-weather operation. With this highly innovative system, CAe aims to meet the challenge of delivering higher capability for lower through-life cost, reflecting the growing strains on the UK defence budget.
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