Israel’s Elbit Systems has forged a partnership with American engineering firm KBR to conduct test flights of an electric aircraft for the UK Ministry of Defence.
The trials seek to assess the feasibility and capabilities of “environmentally friendly alternatives” to diesel-powered military aircraft.
The Royal Air Force will evaluate electric technologies for airfield operations and logistics support in addition to the aircraft tests.
According to KBR, the concept of testing zero-emissions aircraft is part of the Affinity Capital Works Limited Joint Venture to offer innovative solutions to modernize the British military.
The venture is expected to address “the needs of the future” with the defense ministry’s green transformation initiative.
The test flights will use a fully certified two-seater pilot training aircraft called the Velis Electro. At least 20 military pilots will fly the “sustainable, eco-friendly” aircraft.
Commitment to Ultra-Modern Warfare
The British Army recently released its new Battlefield Electrification Approach seeking to prepare the country for future warfare.
The approach details plans for electrifying the battlefield as adversaries continue to threaten the nation’s national interests by investing in various technologies.
The Battlefield Electrification Approach is expected to set out how the army will focus on increased use of batteries, hybrid electric drives, and other technologies across its vehicle fleet over the next 15 years.
Apart from focusing on artificial intelligence and autonomous systems, the UK plans to electrify its vehicles to increase human-machine teaming and reduce its carbon footprint.
“Electric vehicles will enable significant advances in stealth mode capabilities, with reduced thermal and noise signatures, as well as enhanced mobility over challenging terrain,” the army explained.