Leonardo unveiled today the latest developments for its 200 kg class AWHero RUAS (Rotary Uncrewed Aerial System) during an official ceremony held at SEAFUTURE 2023 (La Spezia – Italy).
The ceremony was held on board Italian Navy’s Paolo Thaon di Revel PPA (Pattugliatore Polivalente d'Altura - Multipurpose Offshore Patrol Vessel).
AWHero is the first and only RUAS in its class with a military certification, obtained in Italy in late 2021.
The new developments include in particular: a heavy fuel powerplant based on a unique twin-engine solution increasing efficiency, safety and Time Between Overhauls; airframe modifications delivering significant operational and support advantages (powerplant integration, payload bay capacity, system/sensor integration and field of view, maintainability, on-deck stability); advanced sensor modularity.
the Leonardo Gabbiano TS Ultralight maritime radar for all-weather wide area coverage; enhanced survivability, and cyber resilience. However, the system builds upon the certified and proven basic configuration with which it shares the rotor system, transmissions, a core avionic system, data-link architecture, and a control station.
AWHero is optimized to support a range of assets involved in a range of naval and multi-domain operations such as ISTAR (Intelligence Surveillance Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance), ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare), Electronic Warfare, Communication Relay, Border Protection, Combat support, and Force Protection, and can be integrated with the naval combat management system.
Since 2019, AWHero has been conducting maritime surveillance capability demonstrations on ships within the framework of the OCEAN2020 initiative, the European Defence Fund strategic research programme for naval surveillance technology and maritime safety.