Leonardo’s Latest Rotary Drone Gets Military Certification
Leonardo’s leading-edge AWHero RUAS (Rotary Uncrewed Aerial System), currently in the bid for Royal Australian Navy’s SEA129 Phase 5 programme, has received basic military certification from Italy’s Directorate for Air Armaments and Airworthiness (DAAA).
“This achievement marks the world’s first military certification for a RUAS in the 200kg class,” a company statement said.
AWHero’s design, development, production and support meet military airworthiness authority requirements delivering the highest levels of mission safety, reliability and availability to Armed Forces.
The military certification includes embarked operations and highlights the robustness of the platform’s design criteria and approach, paving the way for further development, integration and validation of expanded capabilities designed and planned for the system. This military certification is also based on elements of the internationally recognised STANAG4702 standard.
AWHero design leverages on Leonardo’s strength and extensive experience in rotorcraft development, system integration and embarked helicopter operations. Since 2019, the platform has been conducting maritime surveillance capability demonstrations on ships within the framework of the OCEAN2020 initiative – the European Defence Fund strategic research programme for naval surveillance technology and maritime safety, comprising 43 organisations across Europe and led by Leonardo.
AWHero is also being evaluated in international tenders. Northrop Grumman Australia and Leonardo Australia’s team has been shortlisted to proceed to the next phase of the SEA129 Phase 5 programme for the acquisition of a maritime uncrewed aerial system designed to deliver a deployable intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting capability to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). The Northrop Grumman and Leonardo proposal will enhance capability effects and tactical decision-making during RAN maritime operations.
Leonardo is the only company in Europe, which is able to provide complete solutions by designing and developing all the elements of unmanned systems: platforms, sensors, mission systems, control stations and offer customers a certified low risk, high effective, fully integrated capability.
Leonardo is a key partner and contributor to significant European drone programmes. The company’s expertise and capabilities in the sector have been extensively demonstrated during international exercises. The Italian conglomerate has developed uncrewed systems and technologies, including anti-drone capabilities and unmanned traffic management (UTM) systems.
The continuous development and integration of cutting-edge solutions across all domains of remotely-piloted and autonomous/semi-autonomous systems and technologies is a key element of Leonardo’s BeTomorrow2030 Strategic Plan. — adj/aaa/mgm (Photo: Leonardo)