BAE Systems and Malloy Aeronautics have successfully demonstrated the launch of a Sting Ray anti-submarine torpedo from a T-600 heavy-lift drone.
Conducted during a NATO exercise in Portugal, the test sought to find new and novel ways to combine emerging technologies to better address future threats.
In a video shared by BAE Systems, operators can be seen preparing the electric-powered, torpedo-equipped unmanned aerial system (UAS) for vertical takeoff.
The drone then traveled above the water at low altitude before finally deploying the lightweight acoustic homing torpedo.
“The demonstration showcased the capability of our T-600 technology demonstrator, carrying an inert Sting Ray torpedo in front of the world’s premier naval forces,” BAE Systems official Neil Appleton said.
“It’s a fantastic achievement in our collaboration with Malloy and a sign of our joint ambitions to bring new capabilities to our customers.”
You've seen drones before, but not like this.
In partnership with Malloy Aeronautics, we recently demonstrated the T-600 heavy lift, all-electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) demonstrator aircraft, at a recent NATO event in Portugal. 👇https://t.co/f1gCRbbKwc pic.twitter.com/nXe6rwhkoa
— BAE Systems Air (@BAESystemsAir) September 27, 2023
About the T-600 Drone
The T-600 is an all-electric, heavy-lift UAS capable of supporting military, commercial, and humanitarian uses.
It can perform vertical takeoff and landing, and travel up to 140 kilometers (87 miles) per hour.
It can carry a payload of 200 kilograms (441 pounds) to locations up to 80 kilometers (50 miles) away.
The T-600 is a demonstrator and a proof of concept for the planned T-650 UAS that has increased payload capacity and maneuverability.
The drone will carry out automated logistics and resupply, casualty evacuation, and anti-submarine warfare missions, while also reducing the military’s carbon emissions.
‘Quick to Launch, Easy to Carry’
Launching anti-submarine weapons from drones is seen as a “cost-effective” approach to bolstering naval defense capabilities.
Unmanned systems are quick to launch and easy to carry, making them ideal for a wide variety of missions.
The combination of the T-600 and the Sting Ray torpedo also represents another opportunity to “keep higher cost assets and their crew out of harm’s way,” according to BAE systems underwater weapons head Dave Quick.
“UAS-launched Sting Ray would enable torpedo capability to be carried by a variety of naval platforms, providing increased operational flexibility for the use of Sting Ray,” he added.