Rotary Wing UAS Capability Concept Demonstration (RWUAS CCD)
Following a highly successful Rotary Wing UAS Demonstration at the Snowdonia Aerospace Centre in May 2015, QinetiQ has received glowing accolades for its project management and delivery of the programme out of the Wales UAS Environment.
This deployment was the first large rotary wing UAS programme to be hosted at Snowdonia Aerospace Centre following joint investment between QinetiQ and Snowdonia Aerospace Centre resulting in the airfield being reopened for business in October 2014 as an Initial Operating Capability for UAS aviation operations. Complementing the larger Wales UAS Environment enabling the operation of all classes and sizes of platforms, the airfield is the primary UAS operating base benefitting from a 7500ft runway, large hangars and office accommodation, Air Traffic Services and direct access to existing segregated airspace and full T&E capability and facilities.
As an MOD programme managed by Dstl, primed by Agusta Westland, the RWUAS CCD programme was a pre-concept phase research project which will assist Navy Command understanding of a Rotary Wing UAS to support Mine Countermeasures, Hydrography and Situational Awareness, as well as development of feasibility of an unarmed multi-role Tactical Maritime UAS (TMUAS) primarily operating from RN Type 26 vessels.
For the 3 week demonstration phase at Snowdonia Aerospace airfield, the multi-national AgustaWestland team operated a Solo SW-4 helicopter as an Optionally Piloted Vehicle (OPV), conducting a series of trials and flight sorties to demonstrate:
An overview of the capabilities of the Solo SW-4 OPV operating as a UAV;
A series of automated pseudo ‘ship deck landings’ onto a trailer towed by a lorry whilst being subjected to a simulated 6 degrees of movement (replicating ship movement);
Scenario utilisation of the RWUAS and payloads to provide:
- Situational Awareness
- Maritime Interdiction
- Littoral Reconnaissance
The demonstrations were witnessed by approximately 70 VIP’s from across UK and European Defence and Industry, with the programme successfully completing in August 2015 and presented at a showcase at DSEi in September 2015.
The deployment project was successfully managed and delivered by the QinetiQ Wales UAS Environment, with numerous accolades and complements received from the DSTL and MOD Customer community, Agusta Westland and the VIP’s, specifically commenting on the professionalism of the team, the quality of the facilities at the airfield and the fantastic potential for future UAS related deployment and operations.