Navy X programme to power a heavy lift drone deployed from a warship is on track
Tethered Drone Systems has completed the initial R&D contract for the MOD through Future Capabilities Group (FCG) at Defence Equipment, and Support (DE&S) on behalf of the Royal Navy. The Navy X programme to power a heavy lift Malloy Aeronautics T80 drone in continuous flight deployed from a warship is now coming to fruition.
The final trials and demonstration saw the TDS trailer with the high-capacity power supply plus the dynamic, automatic winch system controlling 300m of tether, being pulled across a grass airfield apron with the Malloy drone keeping station above the trailer in ‘follow me’ mode. These 120m tests are only the start of a far more ambitious programme to reach flight ceilings of 300m+, which would create a positive innovation breakthrough in tethered drone technology.
The programme now moves into a new phase and will utilise the larger Malloy T150 drone with a larger payload capacity operating at much higher flight ceilings in continuous, autonomous flights. Payload data and drone telemetry will be transmitted by secure fibre optic cable, all part of the tethering technology.