13 September 2023
by Richard Scott
An artist’s impression of the Leonardo Proteus RWUAS technology demonstrator, released at DSEI 2023. (Leonardo)
Leonardo’s UK Helicopters business released at DSEI 2023 in London first details of the Rotary Wing Unmanned Aircraft System (RWUAS)design being developed by the company in conjunction with the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD), revealing a modular single engine/single main rotor multirole concept.
The 2–3 tonne RWUAS technology demonstrator, known as Project Proteus, is intended to provide evidence to inform the development of a future medium vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) UAS for the Royal Navy (RN). As part of the MoD’s overarching Rotary Wing Strategy, Leonardo is delivering Proteus under a GBP60 million (USD74.93 million) four-year RWUAS Capability Concept Demonstrator (CCD) Phase 3a contract awarded in July 2022 by the Defence Equipment & Support’s (DE&S’) Future Capability Group.
Working with DE&S, Leonardo is investigating innovative systems, techniques, and processes that could form part of the technology demonstrator’s final architecture. These include the development of a full digital twin and additive manufacturing techniques to optimise trade-offs between capability, performance, cost, sustainability, and serviceability.
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