Launching Tactical UAS

Tactical UAS (TUAS) are a critical part of the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance architectures of armed forces all over the world, and zero point or short rail launch is a capability essential regardless of operational environment.

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Technical info

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Rapid technological advances now mean that new generation advanced TUAS typically support increased endurance, carry a combination of sensor types able to be used simultaneously, and are more often than not likely to support carriage of stores. Rapid reaction launch from confined operational areas remains core to the TUAS mission, and Robonic’s third generation technology remains at the forefront of this capability evolution.

Pneumatic catapult launch provides demonstrable capability gains at lower through life costs compared to other launch technologies. Our third generation hardware also helps reduce personal costs and removes the overheads associated with support of airbase facilities and infrastructure.

Since 2005 four of the world’s major tactical UAS reference programmes have turned to Robonic for their catapult launch requirements. Working closely in conjunction with system manufacturers and developers we have had successfully demonstrated the zero point launch of the Sagem Defense Systems Sperwer A and Sperwer B aircraft, the Elbit Hermes 450 and the Selex Galileo Falco TUAS. Launch design studies have also been carried out for the BAE Systems Herti and Denel Seeker II systems.

Robonic’s first operational TUAS customer was the Finnish Defence Force. That service has used our launchers in conjunction with their Ranger TUAS system since completing an extensive trials and evaluation campaign above the Arctic Circle with our hardware in 2000 and has since standardised all their catapult launcher requirements on Robonic hardware.

The French and Canadian defence forces have operationally deployed our launchers in conjunction with their Sagem Sperwer A and B series TUAS.

Robonic is keeping abreast of the current trend for small UAS (SUAS) to take on aspects of the traditional TUAS mission, with our launcher family including systems optimised to work with tactical air vehicles in lower weight ranges.

Our company welcomes opportunities for new applications of our family of pneumatic catapult systems in support of emerging unmanned air systems, and in spiral development programs or mid life upgrades for extant operational systems.