DCNS and Airbus Helicopters are joining forces to design French Navy’s tactical Vertical Take Off and Landing (VTOL) drone system.
The teaming of DCNS and Airbus Helicopters will be equipped to address all technical challenges arising from the naval integration of the drones through the creation of robust system architecture that can evolve and adapt to meet every need, according to joint statement issued today.
The VTOL (Vertical Take Off and Landing) drone is an organic component of warships and augments the operational potential of naval forces.
DCNS’s role in the partnership will be to design and supply the entire warship-integrated VTOL drone system. The naval firm will design and develop the solutions for the ship-based operation and integration of the drone, including the specification and validation of the payloads and mission data links.
DCNS will also produce the drone’s mission system, which will enable real-time management of its operations and allow its payloads to be controlled through the combat management system.
The VSR700s are developed by Airbus Helicopters. They have been tested by Airbus Helicopters through a range of demonstration programs. The VSR700 is derived from a light civil helicopter, the Cabri G2.
Under the terms of the partnership, Airbus Helicopters will be responsible for designing and developing the VSR700 drone as well as the various technologies needed for drones to perform aerial missions, such as data liaison, payload and a “see and avoid” capability enabling the drone’s integration into airspace.
Thanks to the VSR700’s specifications, the system boasts superior endurance and payload performance to any comparable system used to date.
The device offers big capability with a small size and logistics footprint, resulting in less maintenance and straight forward integration to a broad range of surface vessels.