Airbus Helicopters has revealed that is has reached an agreement for the acquisition of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) specialist Aerovel in a bid to boost its portfolio of unmanned tactical solutions.
Aerovel produces the Flexrotor which is an unmanned vertical take-off and landing vehicle which has a max take-off weight of 25kg which is designed for ISTAR (Intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance)missions of up to 14 hours.
It can carry a range of payloads including an electro-optical system and advanced sensors to suit customers’ unique mission needs.
It has the ability to autonomously launch and recover from either land or sea requiring only a 12 by 12 ft. area for launch and recovery,
“We are looking forward to welcoming Aerovel into the Airbus family. This strategic acquisition aligns with our vision to expand our UAS offering and respond to a growing customer demand worldwide for additional mission capabilities such as manned-unmanned teaming. Aerovel’s expertise in autonomous flight technology will undoubtedly complement our UAS development with the VSR700, as well as the work that we have been doing to develop interoperability,” said Bruno Even, CEO of Airbus Helicopters.
Ali Dian, CEO of Aerovel added “Joining forces with Airbus will allow us to scale innovation, accelerate our mission to advance unmanned aviation, and maintain our unwavering support for the US military and its allies. We are proud to become part of an organisation with a rich legacy of aerospace excellence and we look forward to leveraging our combined strengths to define the future of autonomous systems. It will also be a great tribute to our Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Tad McGeer, who has spent the last 30 years committed to delivering innovative unmanned products,”
Aerovel will remain a US based company after the acquisition and will continue to work with the US Department of Defense under Airbus special security agreement.