In a test series comprising four flights, EADS Defence & Security (DS) has successfully tested its Barracuda unmanned aerial vehicle at Goose Bay air force base in Canada.
The Barracuda is a further development of a technology test bed that performed its maiden flight in April 2006.
Since that time the software, systems and solutions for the methods and processes carried out under the Agile UAV programme have been continuously developed to form an integrated system.
“The results of these modifications, which had so far only existed as computer models, have now been successfully tried and tested in flight on the Barracuda,” EADS says in a statement.
“The flexibility of the software and the modular capabilities have also been enhanced. This makes the system even easier to adapt to a wide range of UAV missions which will then be verified and validated using the Barracuda built by EADS DS.
“These successful flights in Goose Bay have given EADS DS practical confirmation of the results of technology programmes it had already conducted on its own initiative.
“Moreover, the Barracuda is used for test flights in the ‘Agile UAV in Network Centric Environment’ technology programme commissioned by the Federal Office of Defence Technology and Procurement (BWB – Bundesamt fur Wehrtechnik und Beschaffung),” the statement adds.
EADS DS Executive Committee member Dr Stephan Zoller says the flights “underscore our competence in developing and offering market-driven solutions to meet the multifaceted requirements of our customers in one of the world’s most promising future markets in our sector.”
“This powerful demonstrator widens the technological UAV product portfolio from EADS Defence & Security within the scope of our own high-performance systems,” Zoller stated. “It enables us to offer a full range of UAV products from tactical systems to complex reconnaissance and surveillance systems.”
Bernhard Gerwert, Head of the DS Business Unit Military Air Systems (MAS), emphasises that EADS now has a demonstrator for the autonomous and network-centric UAV mission systems of the future.
“The unmanned aerial system designed by EADS DS and manufactured in Germany and Spain can be used for a wide range of tasks in the development and risk minimisation of reconnaissance UAVS.” Gerwert says the technology demonstrator has been built largely with company funds and with resources contributed by the German Army, the BWB and the supplier companies involved in the programme.
“Even if this new version of the UAV demonstrator is not destined for series production, EADS will be able to gather fundamental insights for operationally mature next-generation UAV products – either alone or in cooperation with European partners.
“This also makes it possible to reduce any risks involved in developing the planned new Talarion UAV”.
Pic: EADS Barracuda