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US Army successfully launches Altius 700 drone from Black Hawk helicopter

The Uncrewed Aircraft Systems Project Management Office, in collaboration with the U.S. Special Operations Command, executed a successful flight demonstration involving the first launch of the Air-Launched, Tube-Integrated Unmanned System, or Altius 700 air vehicle, on December 3, at Fort Campbell. The event marks a significant milestone in the Army’s Launched Effects program.

 

The demonstration, which used a Black Hawk as the launch platform, served as a significant risk reduction event for upcoming Altius 700 test flights. The system was developed as an air vehicle solution to address the size, weight, and power requirements in the approved May 2020 Launched Effects Abbreviated Capabilities Development Document.

 

 

Launched effects will bring a critical capability to the Army with advanced teaming between crewed and uncrewed systems to detect, identify, locate and report pacing threats in contested environments. The transformational capabilities launched effects brings to large scale combat operations provide corps, division and joint commanders with effective and timely targeting, enabling fires and effects at the time and place of need.

The two-flight demonstration yielded positive data that validates the Altius 700’s performance capabilities across all phases of operation, encompassing launch, flight, landing and recovery. The insights gained from the demonstration are instrumental to refining the system’s design and operating procedures ahead of the program’s upcoming test flights.

 

 

The first test flight of the fully integrated launched effects prototype is scheduled to take place early 2024. The test will demonstrate the prototype’s performance with the payloads and mission system controlled by the prototype scalable control interface software. Additional testing will follow, leading up to a final operational demonstration by the end of the fiscal year 2024 and a rapid fielding decision of the launched effects prototype scheduled in 2025.

 

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