03/03/2021

Australia conducts first Loyal Wingman ATS flight and orders three more aircraft

Australia makes another order for Boeing’s Loyal Wingman drones after a successful first flight – link

Source: Defense News

Article Headlines
  • The Royal Australian Air Force signed a $115 million contract to buy three more autonomous “Loyal Wingman” drones from Boeing, raising its total order to six aircraft just days after the first system made its inaugural flight.
  • The first Loyal Wingman — which Boeing also calls the Airpower Teaming System — took flight from Woomera Range Complex in South Australia on Feb. 27.
  • During the flight, the aircraft followed a preplanned route where the vehicle flew at different speeds and altitudes.
  • The Loyal Wingman air vehicle is 38 feet long and has a 24 foot wingspan, with a removable nose that can be packed with mission-specific sensors and other payloads. It can fly at a range in excess of 2,000 nautical miles.
  • The ATS is the “first military combat aircraft to be designed, engineered and manufactured in Australia in more than 50 years,” according to Boeing. More than 35 Australian companies, including BAE Systems Australia, RUAG Australia, AME Systems and Ferra Engineering, are involved in the production of the aircraft.
  • Boeing has multiple payloads in development for different customers, said Arnott, who declined to give further details.
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