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Skyborne’s weaponized Cerberus UAV completes airborne firing trials

Cerberus UAV live-fire trial
Photo: Screengrab

Australia-based Skyborne Technologies says it has completed a “first of type” aerial firing demonstration with its Cerberus weaponized 5-shot 40mm unmanned aerial vehicle.

The demonstration was performed in Australia under Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) approvals. The approval/testing site is on a Queensland rural property, on which Skyborne has partially leased, to support ongoing testing and development.

Skyborne first demonstrated the Cerberus GL UAV (single shot 40mm grenade) prototype in Georgia, USA near Fort Benning for a US Army Demonstration Program called Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiment in December 2019. The demonstration was the first to fly and fire the tri-tilt rotor man-packable weaponized UAV with an aerial firing activity for a US Army audience.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic stalled all company plans to return to the US in 2020 to continue testing and customer demonstrations. This forced the company to tackle regulation hurdles to perform aerial firing testing in Australia. The company first contacted the civilian aviation authority (CASA) in June 2020 to propose the aerial firing activity on private land for research and development purposes. Seventeen months later, in October 2021, Skyborne performed the “first of type” aerial firing demonstration.

The Cerberus is a tactical-level aerial fire support UAS, designed to be the first man-packable multiple-shot UAV on the market. It provides operators with up to 30 minutes of flight endurance, 5 shots of 40mm rounds (selectable) and VTOL launch capabilities. The Cerberus GLH also has day/night optics, AI processing and an onboard target laser range finder for accurate targeting.

“This is the first time that the 40mm HAVOC launcher has been fired from the air. Skyborne staff present at the demonstration were absolutely ecstatic with the result. The recoil response from the Cerberus GLH was an order of magnitude improvement over the old single-shot variant demonstrated in the US in 2019,” Dr. Michael Creagh, Skyborne CEO, said.