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Airbus boosts UAS portfolio with Aerovel acquisition and vertical takeoff drone

17th January 2024 - 16:58 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in London


The acquisition of Aerovel and its technology will be expected to contribute to the advancement of Airbus's own platforms including the VSR700. (Photo: Airbus)

Airbus Helicopters has acquired Aerovel and its VTOL UAS to advance the development of its own platforms including the VSR700.

Airbus Helicopters has acquired Aerovel and its product Flexrotor, a vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) small tactical UAS, as part of its strategy to expand its tactical uncrewed solutions portfolio.

The UAS has been designed for ISTAR missions for more than 12–14 hours in a typical operational configuration. It can integrate different types of payloads including an electro-optical system and advanced sensors.

Airbus Helicopter has been developing a UAS of its own and the acquisition of Aerovel, along with its uncrewed flight technology, will be expected to contribute to the advancement of Airbus’s own platforms including the VSR700.

Developed by Airbus Helicopters in partnership with Naval Group (formerly DCNS), the VSR700 is a rotary-wing UAS. It was designed to be launched from naval vessels and is compact enough to fit within anything from small corvettes to large warships.

The manufacturers and the French Navy have recently tested the Naval Aerial Drone System (SDAM) demonstrator from a multi-mission frigate. France showcased the technical capabilities of the VSR700 in January 2023 as part of risk-reduction efforts for the SDAM programme.

“This strategic acquisition aligns with our vision to expand our UAS offering and respond to a growing customer demand worldwide for additional mission capabilities such as manned-unmanned teaming,” said Bruno Even, CEO of Airbus Helicopters.

Aerovel, based in Bingen, Washington, will remain a US-owned company and continue collaboration with the US DoD under Airbus’ Special Security Agreement (SSA), the partners said.

The Shephard News Team


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