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A drone has been used in an anti-tank test under PESCO’s LynkEUs sub-project. This was carried out at the Canjuers firing range in southern France with support from the French Army and the DGA using the Missile Moyenne Portée (MMP) from MBDA and the NX70 mini-drone from Novadem.

First, the NX70 was launched for reconnaissance. The drone has day vision and thermal imaging cameras and can fly up to a height of 3,000m. The flight time can be extended almost indefinitely via wire, beyond the standard 45 minute endurance.

Once a target is detected, the operator can retrieve the geo-referenced data and transfer it to the MMP launcher. As soon as the gunner detects the target via the video stream of the MMP seeker, which is continuously transmitted to the launcher station via fibre optic cables, he can switch the missile onto the target. The final phase of the engagement then takes place automatically. The mission can be aborted at any time.

This demonstration resulted in a direct hit on the target and confirms the possibilities offered by this project. These are measured in terms of quality and control of the information chain from the drone to the launcher.  The operational concept, with the collaborative capability to shoot “Beyond the Line of Sight”, is now being brought into the PESCO BLOS project.

Gerhard Heiming