Leonardo DRS has launched a next-generation stabilized payload gimbal with enhanced surveillance and nighttime imaging capability for small drones.
The Small Unmanned Aircraft System Tactical Agile Gimbal 5 (STAG-5 LLD) is a five-inch (12.7-centimeter) component equipped with an electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensor and Leonardo’s proprietary Tenum 12800 10-micron uncooled camera core.
This combination enables military users to utilize a commercial off-the-shelf sensing technology with ultra-high resolution surveillance, even at night.
Weighing less than five pounds (2.26 kilograms), the gimbal can interoperate with various Class 1 types, including small tactical multirotors, common launch tubes, helicopters, and fixed-wing systems.
STAG-5 LLD was released as part of Leonardo’s STAG-5 family of gimbals exclusively developed for Class 1 aerial drones in service with US defense.
The latest addition leverages high-definition electro-optical long waves as well as long and short infrared waves for laser target finder and designator applications
Furthermore, the stabilized gimbal aligns with the US military’s Modular Systems Architecture, a standard enabling convenient upgrades and integration for future warfighter requirements.
Leonardo DRS EO/IR Systems General Manager Jerry Hathaway explained the STAG-5 LLD‘s importance in sustaining the airspace advantage of military customers.
“Adding this high-performance gimbal for day and night use to our STAG-5 family of systems provides the warfighter a market leading capability to improve airborne operations, including JTAC (Joint Terminal Attack Controller) missions, from small, highly portable UAV platforms,” Hathaway said.
“We are proud of our innovative team that developed this breakthrough capability, it offers [unmanned aerial systems] primes, operators, and end-users a new choice to improve their intelligence surveillance reconnaissance-targeting mission execution and effectiveness.”
Leonardo’s Latest Sensor Projects
Leonardo, along with BAE Systems, signed a $1.1-billion agreement with the UK defense ministry earlier this year to upgrade radars of the Royal Air Force’s Eurofighter Typhoon combat jet fleet.
In December 2022, the US Army awarded Leonardo a $39.5-million contract to deliver forward-looking or FLIR sensors for the service’s tactical sighting systems.