BAE Systems Australia has unveiled what it says is Australia’s first domestically designed, manufactured and armed VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) uncrewed air system (UAS).
A hybrid, tandem wing, multi-domain and multi-role UAS capability, STRIX was developed in collaboration with Perth-based Innovaero and was launched at the 2023 Avalon Airshow taking place in Geelong, Australia.
The UAS van be used for a variety of missions including air to ground strike against hostile targets and persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR). It could also act as a ‘loyal wingman’ for military helicopters.
Designed to carry up to a 160kg payload over 800km, STRIX will be capable of operating in high-risk environments. With a collapsed footprint of 2.6m x 4.5m, it could be transported in a standard shipping container. Its VTOL capability means it could be used without relying on an airfield. It could also be operated from a helicopter to expand the mission set and protect aircrew in high-threat environments.
According to BAE Systems, STRIX will have the capacity to accommodate a range of munition types, including those currently in service with the Australian Defence Force. We will also deliver a new low-cost precision guided munition, known as RAZER, which could be integrated onto the platform to complement STRIX‘s strike capability.
“STRIX leverages existing, proven technologies to provide an affordable and cost effective capability that is mission configurable and upgradable in response to emerging technologies or threats,” BAE Systems Australia CEO, Ben Hudson, said.
“STRIX could be ready for operational service as soon as 2026 and work is already underway on a STRIX prototype. We’re excited that this is the first UAS of its kind to be developed in Australia and look forward to working with partners across the country to deliver this capability to customers.”