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Airbus Helicopters to expand unmanned aerial system portfolio with acquisition of Aerovel

Airbus Helicopters reports it has signed an agreement regarding the acquisition of Aerovel and its unmanned aerial system (UAS), Flexrotor, as part of a strategy to strengthen its portfolio of tactical unmanned solutions. The coFlexrotor is a small tactical unmanned aerial system designed for intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR) missions at sea and over land.

“The Flexrotor, a modern Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) Unmanned Aircraft with a maximum launch weight of 25 kg, has been designed for ISTAR missions for more than 12-14 hours in a typical operational configuration” according to the press release. “It can integrate different types of payloads including an electro-optical system and advanced sensors to suit customers’ unique mission needs. With the ability to autonomously launch and recover  from either land or sea requiring only a 12 by 12 ft. area for launch and recovery, the Flexrotor is ideal for expeditionary missions requiring minimal footprint.

“Through the support of the US Department of Defence (DoD), and contracted deployment in a variety of maritime security exercises, the Flexrotor is a mission-proven, force multiplier for operations in harsh, high-threat, GPS-denied environments.

“The Flexrotor can also be used for parapublic missions such as forest fire surveillance (providing firefighters with critical images day or night) and ice navigation (helping guide naval vessels through ice in the Arctic ocean).

“Aerovel, based in Bingen, Washington, will remain a US-owned company and continue collaboration with the US DoD under Airbus’ Special Security Agreement (SSA).

“The acquisition has been approved by the relevant bodies of both companies. It remains subject to regulatory approvals, as well as other customary conditions. Transaction closing is expected in 2024.”

For more information

https://www.airbus.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2024-01-airbus-helicopters-to-expand-unmanned-aerial-system-portfolio-with

(Image: Aerovel)

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