Airbus and DCNS team up for VTOL Drone

Airbus and DCNS team up for VTOL Drone 20 October, 2016

Airbus Helicopters and maritime systems company DCNS have joined forces to offer the former’s VSR700 unmanned rotorcraft – derived from the Hélicoptères Guimbal Cabri G2 – for a French navy tactical requirement.

DCNS's role in the partnership will be to design and supply the entire warship-integrated VTOL drone system. DCNS will design and develop the solutions for the ship-based operation and integration of the drone, including the specification and validation of the payloads and mission data links. DCNS will also produce the drone's mission system, which will enable real-time management of its operations and allow its payloads to be controlled through the combat management system. 

Airbus Helicopters will be responsible for designing and developing the VSR700 drone as well as the various technologies needed for drones to perform aerial missions, such as data liaison, payload and a "see and avoid" capability enabling the drone's integration into airspace. 

A versatile and affordable platform, the VSR700 has been developed by Airbus Helicopters with a view to providing military customers with a solution that leverages a tried and tested civil aircraft and strikes the best possible balance between performance, operational flexibility, reliability and operating costs. 


The teaming agreement was signed in mid-October, and the two companies will now offer the VSR700 for the navy’s Système de Drones Aériens de la Marine (SDAM) programme.


The first autonomous flight of a Cabri G2 demonstrator aircraft is expected to take place in early 2017 followed by a VSR700 prototype later that year.


Issue 86