Marshall Futureworx and ISS Aerospace have been awarded a £500,000 grant by the UK’s Defence Technology Exploitation Programme (DTEP) to develop a VTOL Heavy Lift Unmanned Aircraft System (HLUAS).
The project, delivered through the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) and InnovateUK, is sponsored by the Ministry of Defence’s Directorate of Industrial Strategy and Exports (DISE).
The HLUAS will be powered by an innovative hybrid-electric gas turbine powerplant providing extended range, improved endurance and a payload significantly greater than current rechargeable Lithium Polymer batteries, without the need for complex electrical infrastructure for recharging batteries in the field or at sea.
The aircraft will be capable of carrying a payload of up to 250kg and have a potential range approaching 100km. It will meet the demanding requirements of both defence and security clients by transporting large payloads to and from small naval platforms and ground pads without the need for a runway.
The HLUAS will be designed to be certified to both civil and military aviation airworthiness requirements using Marshall’s UK CAA and MAA Design, Manufacturing and Flight Test Organisation approvals.
Ryan Kempley, CEO of ISS Aerospace, said: “We are excited to have been selected for funding in DTEP Cycle 1. Our Heavy Lift UAS will be capable of carrying a diverse range of payloads and will therefore be able to fulfil numerous potential roles for both military, commercial and off-shore support operators.”
Kieren Paterson, Managing Director of Marshall Futureworx, added: “We are delighted to support ISS Aerospace in the development of the Heavy Lift UAS, this builds on our established relationship building highly autonomous drones for the offshore sector and other industries.”