Spain's Atlante tactical unmanned air vehicle completed a successful first flight on 28 February, following a development activity involving EADS defence unit Cassidian Spain and numerous local companies and equipment suppliers.
Flown from Rozas airport near Lugo in northern Spain, the Atlante has been designed to perform a variety of military and civilian surveillance tasks, and can be operated from a paved runway, rough landing strip or a rail launcher.
Describing the project as "the most important industrial and technological initiative in Spain in the unmanned air system sector", Cassidian says the Atlante has been "designed according to the standards used for manned aircraft"; a factor that it believes will make it easier to integrate the type into civil airspace.
Other participants in the Atlante programme include Aries, GMV and Indra, plus "more than 140 Spanish subcontractors and suppliers, Cassidian says. The development activity has been funded by Spain's Centre for Industrial Technological Development.
Each Atlante system would comprise four or more air vehicles and a ground control station, transportation and launch equipment, according to Indra.
Source: Flight International