BAE Systems unveils Australian-first technology at Avalon
28 February 2023
BAE Systems Australia has unveiled Australia’s first domestically designed, manufactured and armed VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) Uncrewed Air System (UAS) on the first day of the 2023 Avalon Airshow.
STRIX™ is a hybrid, tandem wing, multi-domain and multi-role UAS capability that could be used for a variety of missions including air to ground strike, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance or as a ‘loyal wingman’ for military helicopters.
Designed to carry up to a 160 kg payload over 800 km, STRIX will be capable of operating in high-risk environments and be able to be transported via standard shipping, removing reliance on an airfield.
With capacity to accommodate a range of munition types, STRIX will look to leverage domestic expertise to increase sovereign capability. Perth-based Innovaero has been involved in the development of STRIX, with opportunities for wider Australian SMEs and academia to be involved in the development, delivery and flight test of the prototype.
BAE Systems Australia Chief Executive Officer Ben Hudson, said work was already underway on the STRIX prototype which could be operational by 2026.
“STRIX leverages existing, proven technologies to provide an affordable and cost-effective capability that is mission configurable and upgradable in response to emerging technologies or threats,” he said.
“We’re excited that this is the first UAS of its kind to be developed in Australia and look forward to working with partners across the country to deliver this capability to customers.”
Complementing STRIX’s strike capability, BAE Systems Australia has also announced the design and development of new low-cost precision guided munition, known as RAZER™.
RAZER is an air-launched precision guided munition that is designed to transform a 40-50 kg standard non guided munition into a precision air-launched weapon at low cost. The system is aimed at operations from Uncrewed Combat Air Vehicles (UCAV) and Rotary Wing aircraft.
“RAZER can meet urgent local and overseas demand for low cost sovereign munition solutions that could be deployed from the air,” Mr Hudson said. “It could deliver a powerful and affordable battlefield strike capability for users globally.”
Over the coming months, the project will move through a development process will see the munition become a sovereign capability delivered by its local manufacturing operations.