UV - Unmanned Vehicles

Leonardo’s AWHERO moves towards certification

1st March 2018 - 08:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


Leonardo’s AWHERO remotely piloted helicopter is progressing towards certification in 2019, the company announced on 25 February.

Leonardo is assembling two new prototypes at its Sistemi Dinamici plant in Pisa, Italy, as flight trial activities continue with the existing test aircraft.

The testing phase will see the completion of low speed flights at a range close to Pisa, followed by envelope expansion at another range in central Italy before prototypes three and four start ground and flight trials.

With a maximum gross weight of 205kg and a useful payload of 85kg, the AWHERO will have a maximum endurance of more than six hours. The aircraft will carry payload options including radar, such as the Leonardo Gabbiano ST Ultra Light, electro-optics, LiDAR and advanced communication systems.

To support maritime missions, the aircraft features a deck sensor and autopilot modes specially developed to permit landings and take-offs from ships. The AWHERO can also be fully integrated into unmanned-manned teaming.

AWHERO is being designed for missions including maritime and border surveillance, national security, critical infrastructure surveillance, pipeline and powerline monitoring, rescue and disaster relief support and damage assessment after natural disasters.

In 2019, the system will be used for maritime surveillance capability demonstrations on ships within the framework of the European Defence Agency's OCEAN2020 programme.

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