The UK defense ministry has awarded Elbit Systems UK a contract to deliver its Magni-X micro-Uncrewed Aerial Systems (micro-UAS) to the British Army.
Awarded by the UK Defence Equipment & Support’s Future Capability Group as part of the British Army’s Human Machine Teaming framework, the contract will see Elbit deliver the micro-UAS to specialist army units for service by mid-2023.
Magni-X is a military-grade vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) micro-UAS from a family of quadcopter platforms already in service with armed forces across the globe.
As part of the contract, the Magni-X that will be delivered will carry a variety of payloads, including electro-optical and infrared gimballed cameras, giving the users long-range reconnaissance capabilities.
The contract for the micro-UAS follows a UK defense ministry order for 250 “portable” and “packable” mini drones to the armed forces from late last year.
In December 2022, the defense ministry awarded Lockheed Martin £129 million to deliver 159 rotary-wing Indago 4 UAS and 105 fixed-wing Stalker VXE30 UAS, to replace existing mini UAS such as Desert Hawk 3.
The Magni-X is a 2kg, packable and portable micro UAS system, which is capable of autonomous flight and can be integrated with Elbit’s Legion-X System to give it swarming capabilities, acting as a force multiplier for soldiers on the ground.
According to Elbit, Magni-X features a low radar and acoustic signature, and is an in-service backpack-portable micro-UAS designed to enhance short range reconnaissance and support combat and intelligence operations for up to 60 minutes at a time.