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VSR700 tested at sea in full operational configuration

VSR700 tested at sea in full operational configuration

The VSR700 unmanned aerial system (UAS) was tested from a ship at sea for the first time in an operational form by Airbus Helicopters and the French Armament General Directorate (DGA). Beginning in the month of May, the VSR700 completed 80 totally autonomous takeoffs and landings from a civil ship with a helicopter deck while it was cruising off the Brittany coast in the west of France.

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A crucial feature of the VSR700 is its autonomous takeoff and landing capabilities, which are made possible by the Airbus DeckFinder system. This makes it possible for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to autonomously launch and recover with an accuracy of 10–20 cm during difficult operations under adverse climatic circumstances, independent of GNSS/GPS and regardless of degraded visual conditions. 

This new test campaign comes after two sets of trials with the DGA that were carried out in late 2022 and early 2023 at the Levant Island test facility in the south of France. The SDAM prototype proved its use in a maritime setting during these experiments. A marine surveillance radar, an electro-optical sensor, and an AIS receiver together with the mission system created by Naval Group were evaluated along with the aircraft’s handling characteristics.

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Prior to flight testing on board a French Navy FREMM during the second semester of this year, the second VSR700 prototype will make its first flight as part of the following development steps.

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