Dstl rolls out LANCA concept
The UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) has released details of a new unmanned combat aircraft concept in development for the Royal Air Force.
The Lightweight Affordable Novel Combat Aircraft (LANCA) concept looks to offer additional protection, survivability and information for manned combat aircraft.
A technology demonstrator project known as ‘Mosquito’ has awarded contracts for Phase 1 of the work, which will produce a preliminary system design for a UAS and assessment of the key risk areas. Initial flight test of the demonstrator air vehicle are currently slated for 2022.
Phase 1 will include the exploration of novel design, development, prototyping, manufacture and support, to enable low-cost rapid development and evolution of a potential future unmanned combat air system. Dstl will deliver the technical oversight, project management and partnering for Project Mosquito.
Phase 1 contracts have been awarded to three teams led by Blue Bear Systems Research, Boeing Defence, and Callen-Lenz (Team BLACKDAWN partnered with Bombardier Belfast and Northrop Grumman).
LANCA aims to explore the utility and feasibility of unmanned capability adjuncts to existing and future fast jet aircraft, specifically those that offer substantial reductions in traditional cost and development timelines.
After the 12-month Phase 1, Project Mosquito’s Phase 2 will select up to two of the Phase 1 solutions to further mature the designs, complete manufacturing of the technology demonstrator and conclude with a limited flight-test programme.
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