Airbus has lifted the veil on a model of its LOUT (Low Observable UAV Testbed) unmaned aerial vehicle in Manching, Germany.
The company started studies on the 12 x 12 m model in 2007 and secured the first German defense ministry contract in 2010.
Featuring a design characteristic for low-observable aircraft systems, the LOUT has so far passed a number of test phases.
Developed in what Airbus termed as a “Skunk Works approach”, the diamond-shaped, low observable UAV has reduced radar, visual, IR and acoustic signatures.
Additionally, the system is envisioned as being capable of employing electronic countermeasures such as jamming, deception, and signature augmentation.
An integrated flat nozzle design offers the possibility of the investigation of various LO compatible thrust vector control options and options for the cooling of structural parts.
Findings from the program are expected to inform the further development of the Eurofighter and the Future Combat Air System.
Airbus noted that the LOUT covers all aspects from simulation and development to production and measurement.