BAE's hi-tech UAV to debut at Aero India

UAV Mantis (Photo:

February 7, 2009, Bangalore -- BAE Systems will have its biggest-ever presence at Aero India 2009 with the British aero major launching its newly developed autonomous air vehicle, Mantis.

for the first time at an international air show. This is significant as ADA India is heavily into UAVs with the launch of its indigenous Nishanth.

BAE Systems' theme for the event is `Autonomy - specifically autonomous air vehicles'. Apart from Mantis, the new autonomous Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) being developed by BAE Systems, Herti, another UAV, will hold pride of place outside the BAE Systems pavilion.

Defence experts point out: "India has already gone in for the Hawk from BAE. An UAV like Mantis would be very useful in terms of technologies that we can learn. While Nishanth is good, we hear Mantis is highly sophisticated. There is a good chance that we can collaborate with BAE on UAVs."

With an entire pavilion for itself, BAE Systems will be displaying products from across our aerospace capabilities, including the Typhoon and Hawk. There will be products not displayed in India before, such as special seating for helicopters that protect aircrew from spinal injuries in crashes and hard landing -- the leading cause of injury to heli pilots.

The Mantis itself is a technology demonstrator programme and brings together technologies, capabilities and systems that will demonstrate the potential of a large unmanned autonomous aircraft.

Phase one of the programme will see BAE Systems working alongside the UK MoD and industrial parties, including Rolls-Royce, QinetiQ, GE Aviation, SELEX Galileo and Meggitt.

Mark Kane, managing director of autonomous systems and future capability at BAE Systems, said: "Mantis is another important step forward in the development of UAS capabilities. The aim is to prove that the integrated technologies on Mantis, that build on several years of autonomous UAS experience within BAE Systems and the wider UK industry, can provide the tangible military capability and levels of performance required for the future." (

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