The British aerospace company BAE Systems, in partnership with Malloy Aeronautics, has announced plans to explore the development of an all-electric ‘heavy lift’ uncrewed air system (UAS) as a potential new solution to deliver cost-effective, sustainable rapid response capability to military, security and civilian customers.
The two UK-based companies plan to develop a T-650 Heavy-Lift Electric UAS Concept Vehicle that they claim can carry payloads of over 660 lbs (300 kg) as far as 30 km (19 miles) on one charge of its batteries. Without a payload, the drone has a range of 80 km (50 miles). The heavy-lift UAS could fly autonomously or by remote control, reaching a top speed of 140 km/h (87 mph).
The T-650 Electric UAS would have an advanced lightweight bespoke carbon structure and large propeller blades in order to maximize energy efficiency. Its extended arms would be removable, making it easier for transit and storage.
The company hasn’t revealed more details about the cargo quadrocopter‘s feature but is says the cutting-edge technology could be used for a range of applications from logistics activity such as performing ship-to-ship and ship-to-shore movements to the potential carriage of weapons and sensors to support military and security operations on land and at sea.
“Emitting zero carbon, the uncrewed system could help revolutionize military operations where there is a requirement to carry heavy loads, helping to keep military personnel out of harm’s way in dangerous situations to carry heavy loads, helping to keep military personnel out of harm’s way in dangerous situations or disaster zones, whilst reducing the environmental impact of our armed forces,” BAE System says.
Once proven, the Electric Air vehicle could expand into a wider application, such as casualty evacuation on the battlefield. A number of civilian/commercial use cases have also been identified.