Italy’s Aerea is debuting its new weapons storage and release carriage for UAVs at the Paris Air Show (Hall 1 Stand F293). The new Ultralight Release Unit (URU) is a smaller version of similar equipment that the Milan-based company has previously developed for the Eurofighter Typhoon, the Aermacchi M346 trainer/light attack jet and the NH-90 helicopter.
Over the course of three years of development work for the URU, Aerea’s engineers have achieved improvements to the release mechanism while also decreasing the system’s weight to 2.5 kg (just over 5.5 pounds). The URU, which is made from high stiffness alloy, has a main body that is just 9.4 cm high (3.7 inches), 39.2 cm long (154 inches) and 3.6 cm wide (1.4 inches wide).
The new equipment is built as a modular system to allow it to be installed to fit the UAV developer’s specifications. It does not need a separate pylon to attach to the aircraft.
According to Aerea, the URU includes fully redundant circuitry for the weapons storage sensor and release mechanism. With a 14-inch lug spacing, it can accommodate standard NATO weapons according to Mil-A-8591 specifications.
The URU’s maximum payload is 100 kg (220 pounds), which means it can carry quite a variety of weapons systems. Aerea conducted extensive in-house testing during the development phase and has produced three pre-series production units. It is now awaiting a launch customer.