European manufacturer Thales has successfully completed the first flight of a new multi-use UAS with range capabilities of over 100 km which could meet civil, government and military requirements.

Thales announced the half-scale prototype of the UAS 100 long-range unmanned air system today. The UAS was developed in partnership with Issoire Aviation and Hionos, and with the support of the French Ministry of the Armed Forces with an aim to meet demand for more cost-effective drone missions with a lower environmental impact.

Featuring a hybrid propulsion system, Thales said the system will be used for civil, government and military use and be able to operate at ranges of more than 100 km.

UAS compliant with European regulations over populated areas

Thales added that the UAS 100 combined world-class flight safety performance with the compact design required for unmanned air systems and complied with future European regulations for drone flights over populated areas.

The system will meet the requirements of a broad range of missions, including infrastructure inspection, coastal surveillance, border surveillance, event security, search-and-rescue and military operations.

The UAS 100 has a jam-resistant navigation system and can ensure safe operation even in dense or cluttered electromagnetic environments. It is powered by two electric motors as well as an internal combustion engine, guaranteeing the discretion needed to accomplish its missions and operate over populated areas, while ensuring the necessary endurance and resilience to failure.

Yannick Assouad, Thales executive vice-president, avionics, said: “With this new long-range UAS, Thales is providing the trusted solution needed for civil, government and military inspection and security applications. As well as meeting today’s operational requirements, the new system paves the way for the air mobility solutions of tomorrow.”

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