BAE Systems announced this week that its Mantis Male (medium-altitude, long-endurance) unmanned technology demonstrator is to fly again, starting next year. The UAV first flew on Oct. 21, 2009, and undertook a short and successful flight trials campaign from the remote Woomera base in South Australia. The vehicle returned to BAE Systems Warton and has been laid up since.
BAE Systems unveils the Mantis UAV at its outdoor exhibition site today. The Mantis, shown in full-scale model form, is armed with GBU-12 laser-guided bombs and Brimstone missiles on its six weapon pylons. The twin-prop, T-tailed vehicle is equipped with a multi-sensor turret and radar under the fuselage, and a satcom antenna in the upper nose section. It employs a triplex flight control system.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are no longer strangers at aerospace and defense exhibitions, but BAE Systems’ Herti claims a world’s first as a fully autonomous UAV system. The little airplane making its Singapore debut in the static park here doesn’t look very exciting but appearances can deceive and Herti has proven to be a remarkably capable system–not just a reliable platform carrying a variety of sensors.
BAE Systems is showing its recently-revealed Herti UAV system here for the first time, but the company’s unmanned, low-observable Raven and Corax vehicles are not on display. They have unambiguous defense applications, whereas the Herti is also aimed at the civilian market for a long-duration, low-cost observation platform.