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Leonardo and UK MoD unveil rotary-wing UAS at DSEI 2023

14th September 2023 - 15:00 GMT | by Norbert Neumann in London


The single-engine RWUAS, in the 2-3t class, will be able to adapt to a wide range of roles. (Photo: Leonardo)

The design selected for the Rotary Wing Uncrewed Autonomous System is best suited for maritime operations.

Leonardo and the UK MoD have unveiled what they call a ‘mature concept of technology demonstrator' of the project Proteus Rotary Wing UAS (RWUAS) at DSEI 2023.

The Technology Demonstrator Programme (TDP) has just finalised a design which highlights conceptual maturity for uncrewed VTOL and modularity under Phase 3a.

The partners said that the technology demonstrator’s systems and mission modules will aim to ensure rapid role changes for commands across land and naval forces.

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Leonardo will also explore potential technologies which will contribute to the demonstrator’s final architecture that will form part of the UK MoD’s four-year Rotary Wing Strategy.

James Gavin, head of the Future Capability Group at Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S), said: ‘Key to this project’s success is the close collaboration between the Royal Navy, DE&S’s Future Capability Group and Leonardo’s team.’

Leonardo Helicopters UK managing director Adam Clarke added that: ‘Leonardo is exploring the art of the possible at a capability level, which will also invoke an extensive adoption of autonomy and automation into our future technologies.’

The design selected is ideal for maritime operations. The single-engine RWUAS, in the 2-3t class, will be able to adapt to deliver a wide range of roles including maritime surveillance, maritime organic air missions and logistics supply.

The Proteus TDP will inform the Royal Navy’s Future Maritime Aviation Force (FMAF) vision for anti-submarine warfare and AEW support. The technology demonstrator is anticipated to fly by the middle of this decade.

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Norbert Neumann


Norbert Neumann

Norbert is the Aviation, Military Training & Simulation reporter at Shephard Media. Before joining Shephard in …

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