EADS Barracuda flies again
In a series comprising four flights, EADS Defence & Security (DS) has successfully tested the unmanned flight system ‘Barracuda’ at Goose Bay air force base in Canada.
During the test campaign in the Goose Bay area of the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador, the jet-propelled demonstrator flew completely autonomously along pre-programmed flight profiles. It was monitored from the ground station with respect to flight safety only. First take-off was on 10 July.
The new unmanned aerial system is a further development of the first Barracuda technology test bed which performed its maiden flight in April 2006 but crashed soon thereafter. Since that time the software, systems and solutions for the methods and processes carried out under the Agile UAV programme have been continuously developed to form an integrated system, says EADS. The results of these modifications, which had so far only existed as computer models, have now been successfully tried and tested in flight on the Barracuda. The flexibility of the software and the modular capabilities have also been enhanced. This makes the system even easier to adapt to a wide range of UAV missions which will then be verified and validated using the Barracuda built by EADS Defence & Security.
Even if this new version of the UAV demonstrator is not destined for series production, EADS will be able to gather fundamental insights for operationally mature next-generation UAV products – either alone or in cooperation with European partners. With this demonstrator, EADS Defence & Security will gain practical experience in the interoperability of unmanned systems within Network-Centric Operations conducted in line with the latest NATO criteria and in autonomous operation involving interaction with other systems.