BAE Unveils UAV for Armed Recce, Close Air Support
SAN DIEGO, California --- BAE Systems has unveiled the latest member of its UAS (Unmanned Autonomous System) family. Sharing a similar airframe and some vehicle system components with the HERTI reconnaissance and surveillance UAS, Fury is an armed reconnaissance and close air support UAS which features latest generation mission systems avionics, a newly developed stores management system and a proven weapon guidance system.
Unveiled to coincide with the start of a major autonomous systems exhibition in San Diego, Fury is the product of a distinct military development programme. It has been developed and trialled in partnership with Thales UK’s missile business in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
This latest member of the BAE Systems’ UAS family is armed with the new Thales Lightweight Multi-role Missile (LMM) system, selected for Fury due to its suitability for lightweight manoeuvrable platforms, and for its ability to fire on the move while delivering significant precision effects. LMM is small in size and builds on the heritage of combat proven munitions such as Starstreak and Starburst.
Speaking at the start of a major autonomous systems exhibition in San Diego, California, BAE Systems’ project director Chris Clarkson said: “Fury is an affordable and reliable platform which has the ability to perform a number of military roles. With a high degree of autonomy, it combines many of the already proven elements of our other unmanned platforms, including a small logistic footprint and low operator workload with a reliable and highly accurate weapon system.”
Trials have seen the successful completion of missile blast effects analysis trials on the fuselage, successful target engagement with a live round fired from a static Fury UAS and the successful capture and tracking of ground targets from an airborne Fury UAS. Airborne trials have also simulated remote firing of the missile towards a fixed target.
Future trials will demonstrate the guided launch of a live weapon from an airborne Fury vehicle. These will demonstrate the safe separation of the weapon from the aircraft and that the avionics and weapon systems can successfully guide a live weapon to the target. Target acquisition, designation, tracking, and guidance are performed by the avionics and mission system, while target confirmation and authority to launch the weapon are given by the weapons operator from the ground station, via a high-integrity data link.
Other members of BAE Systems’ unmanned autonomous systems family include the HERTI reconnaissance and surveillance UAS which was successfully deployed in Afghanistan by the Royal Air Force in 2007 and Taranis, a £124m Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV) demonstrator programme that will help inform the UK MoD on the balance and capability of its ‘future force mix’.
BAE Systems is the premier global defence and aerospace company delivering a full range of products and services for air, land and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, information technology solutions and customer support services. With 97,500 employees worldwide, BAE Systems' sales exceeded £15.7 billion (US $31.4 billion) in 2007.