According to an organization press release, defense contractor BAE Systems showcased designs for two new drone systems during the Royal International Air Tattoo (RAIT), the Royal Air Force’s annual air exhibition.
With the advent of warfare, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones have become crucial offensive and defensive components of a nation’s military. Drones can now perform surveillance or reconnaissance missions in high-risk environments and launch attacks against opponents.
Militaries across the globe are searching for drones that are compatible with cutting-edge technologies and provide a variety of capabilities, allowing for a deployment tailored to the mission’s objectives. BAE’s latest drone designs are intended to meet such demands.
Even after their introduction to the public, BAE Systems has refrained from naming these drones and continues to refer to them as Concepts. So, here are the benefits that these Concepts provide.
Concept 1 Drone is the smallest of the two prototypes presented to date; it has been labeled a “expendable drone” and is designed to be readily recovered. This twin-tailed drone appears to be powered by a jet engine based on its bullet-shaped fuselage and air intake located on the top rear part.
According to the company’s brochure, the drone can fly at speeds of up to 0.5 Mach and at an altitude of 30,000 feet (9,144 m). The drone is deployed using a rail-type catapult and is recovered using a parachute before being stored in its containerized storage system. The drone can carry a maximum payload of 88 pounds (40 kilograms) and remain aloft for up to four hours when in flight.
BAE Systems suggests that the drone might be offered in both land-based and sea-based configurations and outfitted with intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) sensors.
Concept 2 Drone BAE’s second design offers the benefits of containerized storage and a more conventional launch and recovery method by utilizing a runway. The drone has a maximum service altitude of 40,000 feet (12,192 m) and a cruise speed of 0.75 Mach. It was constructed in a modular approach. With its internal payload capacity of 1,100 pounds (500 kg), the Concept 2 can fly for up to five hours.
Concept 2 is also available in land and maritime configurations and can be utilized for ISR missions. The drone’s capacity to carry Spear-class air-to-ground munitions and Meteor-class air-to-air missiles enables it to serve as a combat alternative when necessary.
Concept 2’s fuselage is identical to the first drone powered by a jet engine, but the tail is in the shape of a V.
Both drones are capable of participating in electronic warfare by carrying payloads that can jam radio signals and by being equipped with technology that allows them to operate independently or as a swarm.
BAE’s claim of “goal-based autonomy” for these systems indicates that drones may perform specified tasks necessary to accomplish mission objectives without additional human intervention. BAE Systems is also involved in the development of sixth-generation air combat systems for the United Kingdom, therefore this skill becomes significant.