- Title: Unmanned drone-helicopter to boost naval capability revealed in Paris Air Show
- Date: 22nd June 2017
- Summary: LE BOURGET, FRANCE (JUNE 22, 2017) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF STATIC DISPLAY AT THE PARIS AIRSHOW AIRBUS A400M AIRCRAFT CARRIER AND AIRBUS VSR700 DRONE ON DISPLAY VARIOUS OF AIRBUS OPERATIONAL MARKETING MANAGER FOR THE VSR700 DRONE, TIM WILLIAMS WALKING AROUND VSR700 WITH COLLEAGUE VSR700 LOGO VARIOUS OF VSR700 WITH SENSORS, RADAR AND OPTICAL SYSTEMS ATTACHED VARIOUS OF FRENCH NAVY OFFICERS NEXT TO VSR700
- Embargoed: 6th July 2017 16:28
- Keywords: drone helicopter Airbus marine military
- Location: LE BOURGET, FRANCE / IN AIR
- City: LE BOURGET, FRANCE / IN AIR
- Country: France
- Topics: Economic Events
- Reuters ID: LVA0016MD2P1J
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:The trend of unmanned vehicles is invading the skies.
At the Paris Air Show on Thursday (June 22) European aircraft manufacturer Airbus displayed what could be described as an unmanned helicopter.
Next to the mammoth warplane carrier the A400M, the small helicopter-drone seems tiny but it might be the future of tactical projection for the big NATO navy forces.
It was the French Navy who gave Airbus the idea. Based on an existing helicopter, the VSR700 - a Vertical takeoff/land Unmanned Air Vehicle - can carry out operations already performed by traditional helicopter, meaning that the VSR700 allows navy forces to send their eyes further than what the radars on board navy ships allow today.
Airbus says the drone offers the best endurance of any unmanned vehicle and can operate anything from small corvettes to major warships. But it's not the end of helicopter pilots just yet.
"It's a complement to the helicopter, it will allow it to do its job better but more importantly it will also allow the ship it comes from to be safer and do its job far better without the risk to expensive helicopters and other assets or the people there," said Tim Williams, who heads the drone marketing of the VSR700 for Airbus Helicopters.
The idea is for a war ship to be able to send the VSR700 scout to a distance and anticipate any issue there can be. It can fly a whole 10 hours while using its sensors to identify what is around it.
"You'll pre-programme its routes and it's got the sensors there with the really capable radar, the same as on a naval helicopter, and also the electro-optic system - infrared and optical as well - and with that you can look for people in the water, for boats and things. In fact you would probably search an area, identify something with a radar, you'll have an AIS, an automatic identification system - all merchant ships transmit and many yachts - so you'll identify the contacts you know, if it hasn't got that contact it's something of interest so you'll look at it and you may look at it then with your electro-optic to identify it, so you would cover the whole area with these two, three sensors," Williams said.
The VSR700 can be used not only for surveillance but also for search and rescue operations.
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