BAE Systems and Malloy Aeronautics are working on a new all-electric uncrewed air system (UAS) with heavy lift capabilities aimed at both military and civilian customers.
Known as the T-650, the concept vehicle will feature four large propellers, a carbon frame and a payload capacity of 300kg, allowing it to carry 3-4 people of average weight with a range of 30km and a top speed of 140km/h. According to a statement from BAE Systems, the UAS could be used for a host of applications, including ship-to-ship and ship-to-shore movements, casualty evacuation, military support and logistics, and anti-submarine warfare.
“It’s fantastic to be working with Malloy Aeronautics on this ground-breaking technology,” said Dave Holmes, Advanced Projects, Technology & Manufacturing director for BAE Systems’ Air Sector.
“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.”
A continuing need for rapid, heavy-lift capabilities has been highlighted recently by events in Afghanistan. The exit of US military forces precipitated chaotic scenes at Kabul Airport, as thousands of Afghanis, embassy personnel and international workers sought to flee from a resurgent Taliban.
While large military and civilian aircraft were primarily used for the Kabul evacuation, the situation nonetheless served as a reminder that military and humanitarian crises can unfold rapidly anywhere, and that the ability to respond quickly is essential. According to Oriol Badia, CEO of Malloy Aeronautics, the new concept vehicle will be designed with these parameters in mind.
“Beyond the military capabilities, there is also clear potential in the commercial, security and humanitarian arenas,” he said. “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.”