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Drone for the German Navy - successful sea trial of the Sea Falcon

The VorMUAS project is about to undergo operational testing.

In autumn, ESG, together with its industrial partners and the team of the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) responsible for the project "Priority Naval Unmanned Aircraft System" (VorMUAS), entered the home stretch in the realisation of one of the central future issues for the German Navy. 
The aim of the project is to provide the German Navy with a robust and reliable UAS geared to specific ship-based operations in order to realise the capability for imaging reconnaissance using an unmanned aircraft system for the K130 corvette.
Essential core requirements:

  • Delivery of an unmanned aircraft system consisting of a ground control station and two aircraft as well as an integrated EO/IR sensor and corresponding data transmission
  • Military certification by ensuring that the aircraft does not leave its intended area of use (automatic flight termination capability)
  • automatic take-offs/landings (ATOL) at up to 20 knots wind speed and "Sea State 3”
  • F44 "Heavy Fuel" capability
  • Integration of the ground control station in the operations centre and the flight segments in the planned hangar of the K130
  • Ability for fast transfer between pre-equipped K130

In this highly complex project, for which ESG, as general contractor and system support company, has assumed overall responsibility on the industry side, real pioneering work has been carried out in many areas of technological uncharted territory. In the VorMUAS project, it was also necessary to overcome individual hurdles that existed due to the special technological and time challenges together with all project participants. 
In the course of this year, the Sea Falcon, based on the V-200 Skeldar of the manufacturer UMS, was initially successfully integrated into the corvette K130 BRAUNSCHWEIG, including all necessary conversion measures on board the ship. 
Subsequently, it was proven that the flight termination system, newly developed for this purpose in cooperation with the company CUONICS, according to "DAL B" to ensure that the aircraft does not leave its intended operational area, meets all customer requirements, so that a Cat 1 approval can be granted by the Aviation Authority of the German Armed Forces. 
In parallel, extensive test and verification flights including automatic take-offs and landings up to Sea State 3 conditions were carried out by the corvette BRAUNSCHWEIG.
After the overall successful realisation of these highly demanding milestones, the operational testing of the entire system can now begin and the final steps towards the realisation of the operational readiness and the successful delivery of the Sea Falcon can be implemented.

With the VorMUAS project, the BAAINBw as the client, the German Navy as the future user and ESG with its industrial partners have provided groundbreaking proof in Europe that it is possible to operate and deploy UAVs safely on board ships even in rough seas and windy conditions. This could only be achieved through a partnership, goal-oriented and highly motivated cooperation of all parties involved at all times. 
Against this background, ESG, as the national drone house and efficient technology and innovation partner, also stands for future challenges in the future-oriented development of the capability profile alongside the BAAINBw, the German Navy and the Bundeswehr as a whole.

[Source of picture: Press Information Centre German Navy]

ESG has been one of the leading German providers of design, integration and operation of complex, security-related electronic and IT systems for five decades, with a current turnover of 330 million EUR. With more than 2000 employees, the ESG Group encompasses the brands ESG DEFENCE + PUBLIC SECURITY, CYOSS and ESG MOBILITY. In Germany and internationally, these people provide products and services for customers from government authorities, the fields of defence and public security and industry. 
ESG is a certified aviation company for aircraft and aviation equipment for the Bundeswehr (German Federal Armed Forces) and an aviation engineering company in line with EASA Parts 21J/G and EASA Part 145. 
As a special systems company for mission avionics, simulation and training, as well as special deployment systems, ESG offers customized solutions. Independent process and technology consulting is one of ESG's key competencies. Technology transfer between markets is what makes a significant contribution to our customers' added value.