PICTURE: EADS advances Barracuda flight-test programme

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EADS has completed a new series of flight tests using its Barracuda unmanned air vehicle technology demonstrator, which it says validated "advanced technologies and new procedures under realistic conditions".

Conducted from Goose Bay air base in Canada, the four-sortie campaign totalled 2h 42min, and involved the Barracuda flying "completely autonomously along pre-programmed flight profiles", says EADS Defence & Security.

 
© EADS

Test highlights included proving the UAV's automatic taxiing mode, automatic target detection equipment and sense and avoid technologies, the company says. The latter included work to support the BWB procurement agency's Agile UAV in a network-centric environment study.

Flight operations were monitored from a ground control station for flight-safety purposes only, EADS says, with the Barracuda's Zeiss electro-optical/infrared payload steered by a ground operator.

Total use of the Barracuda has now reached 4h 15min, says EADS. "The experiences and results of this flight-test campaign will be used for future UAS programmes such as the Talarion," it says. The company is continuing to self-fund development work on the proposed multinational surveillance design, which has a 28m (91.8ft) wingspan.