The Australian defense ministry has released a request for information as part of the Project Land 129 Phase 4B that will aim to find a successor for the Australian Army’s Wasp small-unmanned aerial system (s-UAS).
The defense ministry expects to complete the replacement of the Wasp AE by fiscal years FY24/25 and FY25/26.
Project Land 129 Phase 4B is a continuation of the LAND129 Phase 4A project under which the Australian Army first bought 14 Wasp AE s-UAS to develop doctrine, tactics and procedures in 2015. Over the period from 2017 to 2021, a further 65 Wasps were acquired.
Phase 4B is the second and final tranche of the LAND 129 Phase 4 project, and is not intended as new capability, but a replacement of the existing s-UAS.
The Australian Army seeks a simple, light and robust solution that can be procured in large numbers to ensure maximum disbursement to the regular army brigades, special operations command and army reserve.
The primary purpose of the system will be to provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) support to the combat team commander. Effectively, the SUAS will provide an ‘over the hill, down the road and around the corner’ reconnaissance capability.
According to desired specifications listed in the RFI, the new system shall be able to conduct flight operations out to at least 10 km from the ground control station and have a flight time of at least 45 minutes. Additionally, the system’s design should accommodate littoral environments and the ability to be launched from boats.