ECA, Naval Group partner to navalise T180 UAV
ECA Group has partnered with Naval Group to prepare its IT180 vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for integration on ships, it was announced on 28 June.
The IT180 UAV is a compact VTOL aircraft. An initial implementation of the navalisation concept took place at Naval Group’s (then DCNS) Naval Innovation Day in Ollioules and the IT180 took part in an interception scenario in the Toulon harbour.
The IT180 has a range of up to three hours or 30 nautical miles. It can carry payloads, including IR, video, PIR, of up to 5kg.
The UAV can be used to detect floating drifting mines in front of an expeditionary naval force in transit. Connected by umbilical to the mother ship, it can be used as trans-horizon radio relay with the other aerial UAVs and the naval surface UAVs implemented by the same ship.
ECA Group has also developed other concepts for the use of the IT180 in naval defence applications, such as mine detection, radio relaying and magnetic risk management. The latter, STERNA, is a solution for measuring the magnetic signature of ships from airborne UAVs and has been selected by an undisclosed Asian navy.
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