SURVEY Copter Presents a New Modular and Multi-mission UAS Concept
Camp de Souge, 28 March 2023 – At the opening of SOFINS, the Special Forces exhibition, SURVEY Copter, an Airbus subsidiary since 2011 and a pioneer in the design, production and operational support of light tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), is presenting a new light tactical UAS: CAPA-X.
According to the company, the design of this light tactical UAS, imagined and produced by the SURVEY Copter teams, is based on a simple observation: public decision-makers, armies and parapublic forces need a flexible drone system that can be easily adapted to their needs in terms of missions, configurations, airworthiness regulations and sovereignty.
CAPA-X is designed to meet these needs. CAPA-X is a modular system, offering a wide range of configurations and, therefore, to fulfil a wide range of missions: intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, target detection and target tracking, target investigation, damage assessment, communication relay, cargo transport, and search and rescue, the statement continued.
A Modular System
The concept of CAPA-X is to allow the drone’s components to be modulated in order to adapt to all types of terrain and missions. Its propulsion can be configured as VTOL or HTOL, allowing vertical or conventional take-offs and landings, optimising its logistical footprint and its performances. Two wings configurations (short and long) allow for missions requiring hovering at high cruising speeds or for increased flight autonomy. It is also equipped with a payload bay allowing it to integrate different sensors, making it possible for operators to use them simultaneously and address different types of missions.
Its design is also based on the prospect of allowing it to navigate in all types of environments answering to different levels of safety: land, coastal, maritime, as close as possible to the front lines.
Based in the Drôme, France, SURVEY Copter is a leader in light tactical drones since 1996. The company became a subsidiary of Airbus Group in 2011 and offers a wide range of products perfectly adapted to ISR, protection or surveillance missions, for military or civilian purposes.
In the past, the company has twice been selected to equip the various French armed forces with drones: DRAC contract (Drones de Reconnaissance Au Contact) at the beginning of the 2000s for the French Land Army and, since 2020, for the French Navy, with the SMDM contract (Système de mini-drones de la Marine). Qualified and certified by the French MoD (Direction Générale de l’Armement – DGA) in July 2022, the SMDM system currently equips ships of the French Navy: High-Sea Patrollers, as well as Ultra-Marine Patrollers.
Its integration on Surveillance Frigates is ongoing and it could well equip other ships in the years to come. In operation with the French Navy, the system has been deployed on numerous occasions since then, notably in the Mediterranean and in the Gulf of Guinea.
The company draws on a wide range of skills such as the development of air platform systems, ground stations, autopilots – via its subsidiary weControl, EO/IR payloads, has expertise in data transmission, encryption, RVT (Remote Video Terminal) and offers a range of services including spare parts, training and maintenance in operational condition. This know-how, demonstrated through the certification of its systems, enables SURVEY Copter to offer its customers safe and innovative UAS that meet their various needs and constraints. –sc/adj/mhi (Pix: SURVEY Copter)