BAE Systems has unveiled Australia’s first domestically-made hybrid unmanned aerial system (UAS), dubbed the “STRIX.”
The drone was designed, manufactured, and armed in Canberra and launched during the Avalon Airshow 2023.
Measuring 2.6 meters by 4.5 meters (8.5 feet by 14.8 feet), the system will support air-to-ground strikes, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions in high-risk environments.
It can also perform vertical takeoff and landing like helicopters, eliminating the need for long runways.
BAE Systems Australia said it had partnered with a local defense technology firm to develop the STRIX.
“We’re excited that this is the first UAS of its kind to be developed in Australia and look forward to working with partners across the country to deliver this capability to customers,” company executive Ben Hudson said.
According to the developer, the tandem-wing, multi-domain drone is designed to carry up to 160 kilograms (352 pounds) of payload up to 800 kilometers (497 miles).
It can also accommodate many munitions, including those already operated by the Australian military.
BAE Systems Australia says it will develop a new low-cost precision-guided munition to complement the drone’s strike capability.
“STRIX leverages existing, proven technologies to provide an affordable and cost-effective capability that is mission configurable and upgradable in response to emerging technologies or threats,” Hudson stated.
The company is currently working on the drone prototype. The system is expected to be operational by 2026.