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BAE Systems Achieves First Flight of Its Next-Generation Vertical Takeoff Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

29 Aug 2005

LOS ANGELES -- BAE Systems recently achieved a successful first flight of its third-generation vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) unmanned aerial vehicle at its Southern California flight test facility.

The newly designed IAV2 air vehicle forms the basis of BAE Systems latest reconnaissance and surveillance configuration air vehicle. BAE Systems is pursuing customers such as the U.S. Marine Corps, Special Forces, Department of Homeland Security, and the U.S. Forestry Service to integrate sensor packages onto the air vehicle.

The first flight of the IAV2 marked the start of BAE Systems flight test program of the aerial vehicle. The flight test took place in 103-degree heat, equivalent to more than 6,000 feet of density altitude, and 5- to 10-knot winds. The flight was conducted with a simulated payload of approximately 20 pounds.

"We are extremely satisfied with the IAV2s flight capability, as evidenced by its recent first flight," said Tom Herring, vice president and general manager of Integrated Solutions for BAE Systems. "Our team is highly energized to work on this challenging opportunity. We look forward to providing our customers with a significant system capability. "The Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) will undergo further flight testing and payload integration prior to demonstrating a fully integrated system.

Using a 22-inch-diameter fan with a nominal outside diameter of 37 inches, the UAV is about 5 feet tall. BAE Systems developed the air vehicle as part of a company-funded research and development effort to design and demonstrate a family of ducted-fan UAVs. The ducted-fan design shrouds the fan, making it suitable for company- and platoon-level operations in which takeoffs and landings occur in close proximity to the war fighter.

The success of the flight test program follows BAE Systems VTOL design experience accumulated over the past several years. The IAV2 is currently undergoing payload integration for the future demonstration of a fully integrated system.


BAE Systems is an international company engaged in the development, delivery, and support of advanced defence and aerospace systems in the air, on land, at sea, and in space. The company designs, manufactures, and supports military aircraft, combat vehicles, surface ships, submarines, radar, avionics, communications, electronics, and guided weapon systems. It is a pioneer in technology with a heritage stretching back hundreds of years and is at the forefront of innovation, working to develop the next generation of intelligent defence systems. BAE Systems has major operations across five continents and customers in some 130 countries. The company employs over 90,000 people and generates annual sales of approximately 14.8 billion through its wholly owned and joint-venture operations.

For further information, please contact

Terry Kanakri, BAE Systems
Tel: +1-323-298-6946 Mobile: +1-323-893-6393

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