The EADS Barracuda UCAV technology demonstrator performed a new flight-test campaign at Goose Bay, Canada. The company flew four missions focusing on sense-and-avoid capabilities; auto-taxi systems; flight-testing of a structurally integrated antenna; and the exercising of an image exploitation chain, including an automatic target detection system. The UCAV was carrying an EO/IR sensor provided by Zeiss.
The experience gained in network-centric and autonomous operations from these test flights would help in future UAS programs such as the Talarion, according to the company. In a pre-Farnborough briefing in July, a company executive noted that an operational UCAV might still be 20 years away, whereas surveillance systems such as Talarion should be funded for development now. Meanwhile, the company’s defense and security division has been renamed Cassidian and will help sell the division’s products and services to civil markets. Cassidian has 21,000 employees and provided 12.6 percent (€5.4 billion) of the total EADS turnover last year.