DSEI 2021 – BAE Systems and Malloy Aeronautics have announced plans to explore the development of an all-electric ‘heavy lift’ uncrewed air system as a potential new solution to deliver “rapid response capability” to military, security and civilian customers.

The firm say that the all-electric powered concept vehicle will be designed with a top speed of 140 kilometres per hour and the ability to carry a 300kg payload with a range of 30 kilometres.

“The cutting-edge technology could be used for a range of applications such as performing ship-to-ship and ship-to-shore movements to support military and security operations and logistics. Emitting zero carbon, the uncrewed system could help revolutionise military operations where there is a requirement to carry heavy loads, helping to keep military personnel out of harm’s way in dangerous situations or disaster zones, whilst reducing the environmental impact of our armed forces. The companies are exploring opportunities to collaborate on capability, design, manufacture and marketing of the concept vehicle.”

Image BAE.

Dave Holmes, Advanced Projects, Technology & Manufacturing Director for BAE Systems’ Air Sector, said:

“It’s fantastic to be working with Malloy Aeronautics on this ground-breaking technology. Bringing together Malloy’s proven track record of innovative technology in this field, with our understanding of the military operating environment and extensive engineering and systems integration experience, will enable us to develop a sustainable and cost-effective solution for both military and commercial customers.”

Oriol Badia, CEO Malloy Aeronautics, said:

“Beyond the military capabilities, there is also clear potential in the commercial, security and humanitarian arenas. Our goal is to work together with BAE Systems to ensure that our capabilities are not just the first and best for defence, but that they become the future workhorse to keep all our personnel safe.”

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Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 month ago

Just hope that all these wonderful ideas and developing technologies don’t get copied or pinched by someone else…

Marius
Marius
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

It may of course have been “copied or pinched” by BAE from someone else. It’s the nature of the game, there are no gentlemanly rules in acquiring defence technology.

Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago
Reply to  Marius

And the Rosenburgs paid the price whilst Russia gained

ATH
ATH
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

It’s such an obvious thing to do that lots of companies and countries will be doing something similar. The realities of engineering science will end up with them looking similar and working in similar ways.

Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Ssssh , just keep mum when ordering Far Eastern meals, if you catch my drift

Terence Patrick Hewett
Terence Patrick Hewett
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Of course they will be copied: I have worked in UK companies in depts dedicated to stripping down competitors products – seeing what is useful – and breaking the patents. It is a worldwide aspect of engineering and is par for the course. China is blatant about it – but UK and the US do it as well.

farouk
farouk
1 month ago

I’ve heard of Malloy Aeronautics and they already offer heavy duty UAVs a little more on their website .

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  farouk

They don’t appear to have heard of rapid charging…..rather essential…..they are still talking about battery swapping.

The batteries cannot be that many kWh.

Dave Wolfy
Dave Wolfy
1 month ago

How long to swap a battery?
Quickest way I suppose.

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
1 month ago

Faster to swap out with a freshly charged battery than wait 30 minutes to 2 hours for a full recharge of a heavy duty battery,

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

Indeed done a lot of reading on e-VTOL and the like the thinking is that even fast charging will be widely impractical when dealing with limited often single space city landing pads and the like for it to take off (literally) widely and certainly for the initial period battery swapping will be a vital ingredient. Many designs take this into consideration, others use fuel cells or hybrid systems to get around it but it’s certainly got nothing to do with not knowing about fast charging. Even some car designs are looking at easy battery swapping and it’s big part of… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Tesla said the same and trialed battery swapping in California and then went down the super charger route.

The battery swapping experiment was ended.

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
1 month ago

The fastest possible Tesla charging is 15 minutes to 80% then another 15 minutes for the remaining 20% capacity. The average is about 4 hours and from a normal wall socket it will take 2 days!

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

I know I own one.

But getting from 10% to 85% in 15 mins is all you need to do.

The other 15% is a waste of time.

A drone battery will be nothing like the 100kWh of a long range Tesla.

Dave G
Dave G
1 month ago

Depends what your requirement is…. I drive a car on and off for a day then go to bed leaving plenty of time for a charge. If driving long distance, i am happy to stop for a relatively short break. If I urgently need to deliver a second torpedo….

Shaun
Shaun
1 month ago

Better solution would be hydrogen powered fuel cells, a British company H2GO have a safer solid hydrogen solution already trialed on small drones, they claim 3 times longer than Li-ion.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Shaun

Fuel cells are a great way of trickle charging a battery or of providing base load power with the battery smoothing out. Fuel cells are not great a changes in energy output: the efficiencies drop like a stone if you use them like that. Give it another 10 years and fuel cells might be closer to a solution. But you do have a really limited supply of the very rare rare Pt group metals needed which a very very expensive. As with exhaust catalysts the prices will come down. So in the long run yes but not right here, right… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago

Yes PGM production is minuscule at around 200 tons a year and it’s probably never going to get above that. It’s unfortunate that for the present we don’t have a cheap More plentiful hydrogen catalyst that Platinum. Until we do fuel cells will not be the answer.

AlexS
AlexS
1 month ago

Good one.

Fedaykin
Fedaykin
1 month ago

Not exactly a new idea

https://youtu.be/16D211010Es?t=54

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago

So is this PROTEUS?

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
1 month ago

Probably not Proteus. More likely to be intended for/targeted at the Small UAS Light for Logistics shown in the graphic in the following comment.

Proteus is likely to need much greater endurance and range for the FIND role, which is perhaps why Leonardo Yeovil are developing a 3 tonne prototype RWUAS, that would be capable of carrying Osprey 30 AESA radar and deploying sonarbouys.
https://www.flightglobal.com/helicopters/leonardo-helicopters-plans-new-unmanned-demonstrator-in-uk/143965.article

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
1 month ago

Graphic on RN maritime aviation.

Future Maritime Aviation Force - 2030.jpg
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago

Was hoping you’d reply as I remembered we’d talked of this before.

I used that chart when making my comment, and picked the wrong drone. 🙄

Thanks.

Steve M
Steve M
1 month ago

Have 2 on Frigate? 1 with sonarbouys/fuel to patrol/investigate suspicious tatrget detect by towed array & 1 to respond when threat detected could work

Deep32
Deep32
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve M

What do you imagine a disposable sonar buoy costing a few hundred £ each is going to give you that a multi million pound TA system cannot?
If you have detected a possible threat on your TA system and the command team classify it is a submarine, then you don’t need to investigate it further, you launch something that will kill it iaw your ROE, or you simply track it!

Steve M
Steve M
1 month ago
Reply to  Deep32

I would have thought would provide similar capabilities provide by wildcat/merlin? localise / classify and attack while allowing frigate to stay the hell away from big ass submarine torpedoes/missiles? you get 4 of these in same space as a merlin i would have thought allowing to prosecute 2 targets

Deep32
Deep32
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve M

Well, Wildcats don’t currently have a ASW capability other then carrying torpedoes. Merlin will be cued onto the target by other assets, if the FCS is good enough will just drop a weapon/s on the target. It may have to localise/find the target before it releases a weapon. But, it can use it’s dipper to do that. Submarines move, sonar buoys once dropped don’t, generally you need lots of sonar buoys to track a SM, that’s why aircraft have over a hundred onboard. These drones won’t have sufficient AI to prosecute a moving tgt like a manned helo can do,… Read more »

Steve M
Steve M
1 month ago
Reply to  Deep32

👍 expect Merlin drivers would like to have extra torps available while they track ? would be good force multiplier yes? maybe let Merlin carry couple of fuel tanks for extra endurance.

Deep32
Deep32
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve M

Mer!ins can carry 4 Stingray’s, but any extra weight penalises you in terms of range, so to carry 2 improves range, having a mule to carry more certainly helps, and is probably far cheaper then Wildcat doing the same, although said mule/drone would have limited endurance compared to a Wildcat.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
1 month ago
Reply to  Deep32

Use them as ponies to do MATCH attacks for the Ship or Merlin in much the same way as Wildcat/Lynx does/did.

As said it means merlin has a greater fuel load and can stay on task longer

Deep32
Deep32
1 month ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Absolutely GB, cant see them being used for much else, they are too small, lack endurance payload for much else. A cheap enabler wheen needed, well cheaper then a Wildcat anyway.

James William Fennell
James William Fennell
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve M

More like 6-8 on a Frigate – they will be low cost and can increase situational awareness and conduct a range of useful short-range missions using different payloads.

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve M

Not with a 30km range, with a speed of 140kmh that’s less than 15mins in the air.

Steve M
Steve M
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

With T26’s not having onboard torpedoes might be handy to have a close range option rather than having to get Merlin airborne? especially if crew been flying for hours and need zzzz or if its U/S

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve M

That’s true, if it was not very expensive and did not impact on the flight opps of the merlin.

ian
ian
1 month ago

is there not an ship rocket torpedo system already with similar range?

Reaper
Reaper
1 month ago
Reply to  ian

Yeah Lockheed Martin has RUM-139 VL-ASROC with almost similar range. I hope type 26 gets ASROC.

Imagine an anti submarine missile with a range of 500+ miles.. carry’s sonar buoys and drops them on route, then whilst loitering above it calculates the position of the sub and best way to destroy it.

Last edited 1 month ago by Reaper
Steve M
Steve M
1 month ago
Reply to  Reaper

not quite that range but it was looked at https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/UUM-125_Sea_Lance

Phylyp
Phylyp
1 month ago
Reply to  ian

VL-ASROC, but the rocket is not reusable, so that’s a point in this offering’s favour. Also, VLS cannot be reloaded at sea, so I can see the benefit of a drone deploying a torpedo.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
1 month ago
Reply to  ian

ASROC has the MK50 torpedo which is less capable than a Sting Ray. MK50 has a modern front end sonar and processing system married to a 1960s MK46 propulsion system and warhead. Good analogy…Its a Buggati Verron with a 4 cylinder Mk2 cortina engine and suspension fitted…And the RAF has to use this on the P8 because Sting Ray is not integrated with it yet. The RAF and Navy started the Sting Ray project because the then in service Mk 46 and Mk 44 torpedoes performance (Speed , max attack depth and warhead ) where deemed as not capable of… Read more »

Reaper
Reaper
1 month ago

Looks a bit vulnerable!. And Is this to in effect replace some of a choppers tasks?. I would have thought a new anti submarine missiles would be better than this to deliver a future torpedo, something like a new ASROC. I hope the type 26 frigates will get a missile launched torpedo as it has no torpedo tubes and only a chopper, and what if that breaks down! Your billion pound ASW is vulnerable!. Also why is Oz and Canada both putting torpedo tubes and we aren’t.. Reminds me of how horizons were fitted out better than type 45 with… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Reaper
Watcherzero
Watcherzero
1 month ago
Reply to  Reaper

I imagine the idea is it can linger in place making it much easier to flush enemy submarines into an ambush.

Reaper
Reaper
1 month ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

Yeah, imagine say a dozen of them spread out communicating with each other autonomously , some are the killers and carry torpedos/ depth charges and some sonar buoy dispensers to locate Subs accurately, I can just picture them all taking off from the carriers…surely the carriers will get some.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

Indeed I’m surprised some are comparing this craft with a rocket alternative when they don’t compare a helicopter anti sub role with a rocket system. Equally an anti submarine rocket can’t re supply the mother vessel do surveillance, loiter or do all the other potential roles of a rotor craft not to mention it will do so a lot cheaper than expendable. vehicles. First generation will no doubt be underwhelming in many ways but without that first gen you don’t get to the later generations that will take over much of and probably well beyond eventually what a present day… Read more »

Reaper
Reaper
1 month ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

I Suppose having two options to deliver a Torpedo is better than one. We probably won’t get ASROC for type 26 anyways.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  Reaper

Why is it more vulnerable than a helicopter? Meanwhile experience has shown them to be rather less vulnerable than the targets they operate against even supposedly lethal Russian anti air defences, even if technology between Hunter and hunted can change over time,

Reaper
Reaper
1 month ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Helicopters have defensive aids though.

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
1 month ago
Reply to  Reaper

ASW with helicopters is far superior to ASROC. The RN has much more ASW experience than Oz and Canada. I’m not sure what helicopters they use but I bet they are no Merlin Mk2.

Mark
Mark
1 month ago

This excellent news we are delevoping small solar powered loitering semi submersible platform drones that can be dropped off by a mothership frigate sayType32 comes to mind. Position them 200 mile’s out beyond CSG group in a defensive pattern and he presto theres an anti ship/submarine picket line of defence. Also could have an area air defence drone as well just boning around in a predetermined location. The possibilities are looking good just wish thou theyd actually go beyond development design stage and actually make something.

geoff
geoff
1 month ago

A subject about which, I know nothing but may I ask-is not a range of only 30 kms a big limit on overall performance especially if conditions in any scenario change? This allows only for very locallised utility and virtually no reserve for loitering or coping with an emergency situation?

Cam Rider
Cam Rider
1 month ago

If Spearfish has a top speed of 80 knots and a 54km range then why not just fit some torpedo tubes?

Reaper
Reaper
1 month ago
Reply to  Cam Rider

Exactly, I can’t understand why not, the ozzies and lumberjacks are…

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago
Reply to  Cam Rider

You have to wonder why not.

Ryan Brewis
Ryan Brewis
1 month ago
Reply to  Cam Rider

Best I can find only the Indians seem to use HWT on their surface ships. Could be weight issues, size impracticality, or just not the need seen for the adaptation when helos are there and do it better.

Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago

Bang goes flying pay if it can be pulled off

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
1 month ago

mean while the RN is looking for at a drone for T23 from next year…
That will be Lancaster then…

DSEI 2021: FTUAS competition set to start – Naval News

Andy P
Andy P
1 month ago

If this can be integrated into part of the ‘warfare’ side of things great but I expect they’ll be more useful for RAS’s, at least in the short term. Down the line when the capabilities of these drones is beefed up (endurance & payload) then I can see them being great force multipliers, we’ll get there I’m sure.

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
1 month ago

Can I just note, the drone will be called the T-650 and it will be controlled via Skynet!

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

Yes, whoever came up with the name skynet is probably still laughing their arse off that they good that one through.

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

The Skynet satellites predate the film by about 20 years.

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

So it does, thanks for that. I hope we did Hollywood for IP infringement, clearly it was our idea first.

Rob Gale
Rob Gale
1 month ago

Could also be used very effectively for Mountain Rescue Missions. With a payload of 300 KG it could easily carry a Female Medic 50KG, a carbon fiber stretcher and an EM kit 50KG. With ample capacity remaining for a large Male patient !.

Last edited 1 month ago by Rob Gale
Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago

is it me or is a range of 30km at a speed of 140kph, giving it no more than a few handfuls of minutes in the air a bit pointless.