Airbus Helicopters to buy tactical drone manufacturer AerovelNews
January 16, 2024
MARIGNANE, France. Airbus Helicopters plans to acquire Aerovel and its uncrewed aerial system (UAS), Flexrotor, as part of a bid to enhance its tactical UAS offerings, the company announced in a statement.
The company expects the acquisition, subject to regulatory approvals and customary conditions, to close sometime this year. Flexrotor is a small tactical UAS designed primarily for intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR) missions, both at sea and over land, with a focus on expeditionary missions that require minimal operational footprint, the statement reads.
Flexrotor has Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) features, and can be autonomously launched and recovered in confined spaces, such as a 12 by 12 ft. area, the company says. It is equipped to carry various payloads, including electro-optical systems and advanced sensors, and has a maximum launch weight of 25 kg with the ability to operate for 12-14 hours in typical ISTAR configurations.
The system has been used in maritime security exercises and parapublic missions like forest fire surveillance and ice navigation, under the support of the US Department of Defense, the statement adds.