EADS’ Advanced MALE concept UAV is based on the Barracuda UAV platform, originally developed for the German Agile UCAV demonstration program. Barracuda crashed on a test flight off the Spanish coast last year. The Advanced MALE will consist of a common core, a 10.3m (34ft) long fuselage which will be configured with modular mission packages adapting the platform for different roles. The common core will accommodate two turbofan engines.

The MALE configuration will employ a large 25.25m span wing, enabling the aircraft to operate at an altitude of 46,000 ft, well above commercial air traffic. Mission endurance could reach 17 hours, at a range of 925 km (500 nm). The aircraft will be equipped with a Ku-band satellite terminal mounted on the upper nose. Alternatively, the UAV could be configured for deep penetration, flying at altitude as low as 1,000 ft at high speed recce missions, by fitting a nine meter span swept wing. The modular payload bay located forward and aft of the aircraft centre of gravity will be able to carry various radars (SAR, maritime search), and EO payloads.

Recommended Posts