Falco Xplorer UAS takes off
Leonardo’s Falco Xplorer UAS has undertaken its maiden flight from Trapani Air Force base, the company announced on 17 January.
The aircraft flew for around 60 minutes over the Gulf of Trapani in a dedicated fly zone before returning to base and landing safely.
The UAS has an endurance of over 24h with a max payload of 350kg. With a maximum take-off weight of 1.3 tons and an operating ceiling above 24,000ft, the system is designed to offer persistent, multi-sensor strategic surveillance to military and civil customers either an integrated system or as a fully-managed information-superiority service, flown and operated by Leonardo.
The Falco Xplorer design expands on earlier Falco variants. It features a powerful sensor suite, which includes the Gabbiano T-80 multi-mode surveillance radar, the SAGE electronic intelligence system, an automatic identification system for maritime missions and an EO turret. A native satellite link capability allows for beyond-line-of-sight operations, and its open system architecture means that third-party sensors can be easily integrated.
The test flight campaign will now continue with assessment of the aircraft’s full range of capabilities including its integrated sensor system. These campaigns will also certify the Falco Xplorer against NATO’s airworthiness STANAG 4671, expanding the territory over which it can operate.
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