Dubai Air Show

Cassidian Fields a Pair of UAVs for ISR Roles

 - November 14, 2011, 2:07 AM
Cassidian designed the Atlante UAV for a Spanish requirement for 24-hour coverage.

Cassidian, the global security solutions and systems giant and subsidiary of EADS, is focusing on its unmanned air systems capability, as well as highlighting its security and communications activities in the Gulf region.

For ISR missions Cassidian is showing the DRAC and Atlante UAVs. The DRAC was developed from the Tracker, itself co-developed by Cassidian and SurveyCopter, which have worked together since 2003. Last month Cassidian acquired SurveyCopter to consolidate its place in the European small UAV marketplace.

DRAC/Tracker is a small man-portable mini-UAV system that can be carried in two rucksacks. Each system comprises two air vehicles, a compact ground station and an automatic tracking antenna. An initial batch of 25 DRAC systems was delivered to the French armed forces from 2007, and 255 air vehicles have now been delivered, plus others for export. Last summer DRAC began operations in Afghanistan.

Atlante is a larger UAV that has been developed by Cassidian in Spain to answer Spanish defense ministry requirements. An Atlante system is based on four or more air vehicles to allow 24-hour coverage, plus control, data terminal and launch/recovery ground elements. The principal missions are battlefield ISR, including target identification, fire correction and battle damage assessment. It is also aimed at homeland security and emergency protection duties.

As well as the ISR air vehicles, Cassidian is showing off the Do-DT 45 full-size target drone, part of a larger family of targets that are designed to be engaged directly, rather than acting as tugs. The Do-DT 45 is the fastest of the family, capable of 410 knots (760 kph). The addition of a low-level radar altimeter allows it to be used to mimic a sea-skimming missile, and it can carry a variety of payloads to alter its signature and defensive capabilities.

Among Cassidian’s large portfolio are many security and surveillance systems, many of which form part of the company’s activities in the Middle East. They include a surface-to-air missile operations center in Saudi Arabia, secure communications in many countries in the region, and coastal/border protection systems in Qatar and Saudi Arabia. The company is highlighting its Spexer 1000 critical infrastructure security radar here at the show.

In the United Arab Emirates Cassidian is supplying three counter battery radars (in partnership with Thales), an integrated police security system in Abu Dhabi, and is implementing the major Emirates Command and Control System across the UAE forces through Emiraje Systems, a joint venture with C4 Advanced Solutions.