By Staff Writer | September 15, 2015
Photos courtesy of AgustaWestland
The U.K. Royal Navy said the capabilities of unmanned and optionally piloted helicopters would "inform future options" following AgustaWestland's successful Capability Concept Demonstration to the Ministry of Defence. The company's technology demonstrator completed 27 hours of unmanned flight demonstrations with 22 automatic simulated deck landings in late May at Llanbedr Airfield in Northern Wales as part of the CCD contract the MoD had awarded AgustaWestland in 2013. AgustaWestland used its SW-4 Solo RWUAS/OPH, an optionally-piloted helicopter co-developed with AW subsidiary PZL-Swidnik based on that company's SW-4 light single-engine helicopter. Unmanned, the SW-4 is capable of roles including intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and cargo re-supply. In a piloted configuration, the SW-4 can undertake activities including personnel transport, surveillance and intervention. It can be fitted with a comprehensive mission equipment package including search and communications/intelligence systems. AgustaWestland previously in 2014 demonstrated its RUAS/OPH to the Italian Ministry of Defence. The SW-4 also successfully participated in the European Defense Agency's "Italian Blade" 2015 exercise conducted in late June.