BAE Systems unveils latest unmanned aircraft


New York : BAE Systems has unveiled the latest member of its UAS (unmanned autonomous system) family, the Fury, that enables the remote firing of missiles over the battlefield.

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Fury is an armed reconnaissance and close air support UAS featuring the latest generation mission systems avionics, a newly developed stores management system and a proven weapon guidance system, a BAE Systems statement said here Thursday.

Unveiled to coincide with the start of a major autonomous systems exhibition in San Diego, Fury has been developed and tested in partnership with Thales Britain’s missile business in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

This latest member of 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, the statement said.

LMM is small in size and builds on the heritage of combat proven munitions such as Starstreak and Starburst.

“Fury is an affordable and reliable platform which has the ability to perform a number of military roles,” BAE Systems’ project director Chris Clarkson said.

“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,” he added.

Trials have seen the successful target engagement with a live round fired from a static Fury and the successful capture and tracking of ground targets from an airborne Fury.

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, the statement said.

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 an operator at a ground station authorises the launch of the weapon via a high-integrity data link.

Other members of BAE Systems’ unmanned autonomous systems family include the Herti reconnaissance and surveillance UAS that the Royal Air Force successfully deployed in Afghanistan, and a 124 million pounds unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) demonstrator programme that will help inform the British defence ministry on the balance and capability of its “future force mix”, the statement said.

BAE Systems is a 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 $31.4 billion in 2007.