The UK Royal Navy’s 700X NAS developed a new uncrewed quadcopter | Daily News Byte


The UK Royal Navy (RN) 700X Naval Air Squadron (NAS) has successfully developed the first remotely-piloted quadcopter system on its own.

This is a new milestone for the RN’s Drone Squadron personnel based at Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose, near Helston, UK.

The 700X NAS is a test and specialist unit that works on experimentation, research, training and deployment of Remotely Piloted Air Systems (RPAS) for the Navy.

RN Lt Christian Lilley said: “This is the first time the Navy has built its own air system using basic components. It is an important step in our recognition of an endorsed manufacturer status with the Military Aviation Authority.

The Culdrose-based team has named the new four-legged system ‘Walrus’. The name is derived from the flying boats that were developed by the 700 NAS for use during World War II.

Weighing around 20kgs, the RPAS is currently placed in an empty aircraft hangar to undergo a series of ground tests and evaluations.

Once all tests are completed, the quadcopter will be used by the RN as a testbed for various sensors and payloads.

Lilly added: “Built to high, aviation standards, the Walrus will be used specifically as a testbed for sensors and other sensitive payloads. It will be our independent testing and evaluation platform.

“We are now testing it here in a controlled environment using a strict regime. When we are confident that it is functioning properly and safely, we will conduct our first flight tests, probably in the new year.”

The UK’s Ministry of Defense is investing in the development of drone technology, and the latest announcement supports the same objective.

Recently, the MoD awarded a £129m contract to Lockheed Martin to provide 250 high-tech drones for the British forces.


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