Unmanned Helicopter deal with Leonardo

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During a major innovation speech at the University of Oxford tomorrow, Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon will announce the launch of the second phase of innovative research and development, exploring the future of unmanned air systems. Developed in partnership with Leonardo Helicopters in Yeovil, the Rotary Wing Unmanned Air Systems (RWUAS) Capability Concept Demonstrator will help our Armed Forces understand how unmanned air systems can support our personnel on the battlefields of the future by developing new concepts and technologies.

The programme is scheduled to take place over the next two years and will involve some £8m of investment. The plan is to utilise the specialist engineering skill base at Leonardo Helicopters to explore emerging rotary wing technologies and methods. The announcement follows on from the Royal Navy led ‘Unmanned Warrior’ in 2016: a major international demonstration of autonomous systems which could transform the way in which the Armed Forces of the future help keep Britain safe.

Yeovil MP Marcus Fysh welcomed the investment “The Government’s commitment to this project shows its determination to give Yeovil the opportunity to be at the centre of rotorcraft design and innovation into the future, and will help support around 300 local design and engineering jobs.”