American technology firm Teledyne FLIR has unveiled a new drone payload capable of providing laser target designation for laser-guided weapons.
Called the StormCaster-DX, the advanced payload is built specifically for the FLIR R80D SkyRaider drone.
It is designed to manage target areas using a NATO standard laser spot tracker and provide terminal guidance to laser-guided munitions.
According to the company, it is the first time a laser target designator has been available for small drones.
The technology supports manned and unmanned airstrikes, precision-guided mortars, and naval artillery.
“We believe customers will embrace what StormCaster-DX can mean for troops in harm’s way: When seconds weigh heavily on an operation’s outcome, DX saves minutes,” Teledyne executive vice president JihFen Lei said.
‘An Absolute Game-Changer’
Teledyne FLIR explained that the StormCaster-DX can capture accurate coordinates and the speed of moving objects, enabling the effective monitoring of adversaries.
It has two longwave infrared thermal cameras to conduct missions day or night.
Additionally, the payload is small and lightweight to enable smooth vertical landing and takeoff.
“StormCaster-DX is an absolute game-changer for small unit operations and represents a significant force multiplier,” Lei said. “For the first time, warfighters will be able to survey and manage the battlefield while performing laser designation with standoff from a rucksack-portable drone, allowing faster decision-making and targeting that help ensure mission success.”