Drone engine boffin Orbital UAV has just delivered global military supplier Textron Systems upgrades for its unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

The company was contracted by Textron to develop upgrades to existing engines for increased takeoff power and improved real-time engine health monitoring and diagnostics capability.

Textron Systems’ Aerosonde® platform is one of the most world-renowned unmanned systems in operation, with more than 600,000 hours of field-proven flight hours across land and maritime scenarios.

The Aerosonde® UAS is equipped for both day and night full-motion video surveillance, communications relay, signals intelligence and customer-selected payloads in a single flight.

Upgrade pathway confirmed

Orbital UAV’s (ASX:OEC) Todd Alder said that having identified and agreed upon the optimal upgrade pathway for the engine program, the company was confident to supply its initial prototype engines for evaluation by Textron.

“The Aerosonde® platform is one of the most recognisable UAS in operation and we are incredibly proud that the Textron Systems team has chosen Orbital UAV to conduct this upgrade program,” said Mr Alder.

Evaluation of the prototype engines are currently being conducted by Textron Systems, and subject to customer acceptance, the program is anticipated to enter production in H1 of financial year 2024.

Perth-based OEC has more going on with Textron Systems at the moment, with the integration of the new engine design to the Aerosonde Mk4.8 Hybrid Quad UAS that requires impressive vertical take-off and landing capabilities.

In fact, the company has three additional engine models scheduled for production by the end of this year to complement defence systems for clients across the globe.




This article was developed in collaboration with Orbital Corporation, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.


This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.