Textron Systems is introducing its tube-launched Battlehawk unmanned aircraft at AUVSI 2013.
The system comes in a weaponized variant, which in essence acts as miniature loitering cruise missile that can carried by infantry platoons, says Cathy Loughman, Textron's program manager. A surveillance version is under development.
Loughman says while the armed version has a surveillance capability, the new version will be better for the role. It will also have more endurance than the weaponized variant's 30m in the air-which can strike targets at a distance of 5km.
The weaponized version is equipped with a 40mm focused-fragmentation grenade as its warhead, Loughman says. That gives it very low collateral damage, she adds. Removing the grenade will extend the range of the surveillance variant.
Loughman says Textron is hoping to win a contract to supply the US Army with the Battlehawk.