Skyborne Technologies has unveiled its new payload delivery drone this week, which is capable of being deployed on board larger unmanned aerial systems and gliding over longer distances to their targets.
Dubbed the Gannet Glide Drone (GGD), the system seeks to extend the range of conventional UASs by launching on board larger drones such as the Cerberus and gliding to their target, thus creating a larger distance between the objective and the operator.
The GGD is able to onboard electronic warfare capabilities, as well as parachutes, kinetic weapons and additional communications technology.
Due to the GGD’s ability to integrate into numerous unmanned aerial systems, the GGD is capable of swarming their targets.
According to a company, the GGD’s 10:1 glide ratio extends the range between the drone and the launching platform.
Interestingly, the drone is also equipped with an Inertial Navigation System, which will allow the drone to continue operating in theatres with GPS jamming.
Skyborne has also confirmed that the GGD is capable of stealth operations in which the RF is silent.
Dr Michael Creagh, chief executive of Skyborne, outlined that the GGD expanded the Cerberus’ operational capabilities.
“The initial phase of the GGD program is almost complete and will culminate in a series of flight trials in Q3 and Q4 2021. We’re excited to expand the Cerberus system’s utility and expand our product lineup. The adaptable nature of the GGD system being modular in payload and launch vehicle agnostic lends itself to a multitude of mission profiles and capabilities,” Dr Creagh said.
Adrian Dudok, chief business officer of Skyborne, outlined how the system created operational benefits to in the warfighting domain.
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“The GGD extends tactical and operational reach remaining outside of range of enemy sensors and weapon systems. Defence require a relatively low cost and scalable Air Launch Effects system that can deliver non-kinetic and kinetic mission effects against multiple threats,” Dudok said.
The release of the GGD comes following Skyborne’s latest release of the Cerberus GLH in March.
The Cerberus GLH is Skyborne’s most recent variation of the Cerberus UAS, and is a portable UAS which supports the warfighter a 30-minute flight time, five 40mm rounds and vertical take-off and landing capabilities.
““The new Cerberus GHL is a natural extension of the single shot. Most of our customers pointed out the shortcomings of the fire proven single shot Cerberus prototype, so we listened. The Cerberus GLH comes with our bespoke electronically-fired HAVOC [grenade] launcher. You get five 40mm standard rounds to put on target with only a minimal weight penalty,” Dr Creagh noted.