BAE Systems Unveils Nano ‘Bug’ Drone

By Caroline Rees / 29 Dec 2020

Nano “Bug” drone

BAE Systems, in collaboration with UAVTEK, has developed a nano “Bug” drone weighing just 196g and boasting a 2km range.

The Bug is a low visual profile nano-Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) with a 40-minute battery life, designed to deliver vital tactical intelligence.

30 units have been delivered to the British Army, which tested the drone during a recent Army Warfighting Experiment (AWE) event hosted by the Ministry of Defence’s Future Capability Group. Able to fly even in strong winds of more than 50mph, the Bug was the only nano-UAV able to cope with the uncompromising weather conditions

James Gerard, Principal Technologist at BAE Systems’ Applied Intelligence business said: “We delivered the Bug in partnership with UAVTEK, an SME that designs and builds UAVs from its workshop in the Cotswolds. Our experience in developing large volumes of secure hardware means we were able to help the team turn the excellent design into a real product which our Armed Forces can use. This kind of collaboration is happening right across BAE Systems and is a great way to quickly get the best thinking from small companies into the hands of military users.

In even the toughest weather, the Bug can deliver vital tactical intelligence on what’s around the corner or over the next hill, working autonomously to give troops a visual update. Combined with our other information advantage products, this video feed could be shared multi-domain, enabling commanders on land, sea and air to increase their situational awareness and inform their decisions.”

Innovations at the annual AWE event are designed to explore emerging technologies and identify specific capabilities, this year focusing on Agile Command, Control and Communication (C3) space suitable for rapid exploitation. Emphasis is placed on innovations which push the boundaries of technology and military capability, testing a range of prototype systems by putting them in the hands of the user whilst giving invaluable military feedback to suppliers.

Jenna Copley, Director at UAVTEK, commented: “BAE Systems has been extremely supportive of us as an SME and the team has shared procedural knowledge to improve our engineering processes and practices. BAE Systems has effectively offered us a mentoring partnership and supported us in a variety of activities, whilst still enabling us to remain an agile SME and keep our core offerings and DNA.”

The teams are now working on the next developments on the nano-UAV, exploring sensing equipment and capabilities which could be added, as well as how the Bug could be integrated with other military equipment.

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Posted by Caroline Rees Caroline co-founded Unmanned Systems Technology and has been at the forefront of the business ever since. With a Masters Degree in marketing Caroline has her finger on the pulse of all things unmanned and is committed to showcasing the very latest in unmanned technical innovation. Connect & Contact