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MILITARY TECHNOLOGY (MILTECH) is the world's leading international tri-service defence monthly magazine in the English language. MILITARY TECHNOLOGY is "Required Reading for Defence Professionals". Follow us on Twitter: MILTECH1

08 June 2016

Eurosatory 2016: BlueBird Presents Tactical UAS Capable of Operating in GPS-Denied and COMJAM Environments

At Eurosatory 2016 in Paris, France, 13-17 June (Hall 6, Stand #D680BlueBird Aero Systems will present ThunderB, a small tactical UAS with endurance exceeding 24 hours and extended control range of 150 kilometres. The ThunderB high-performance payloads and advanced communications and navigation capabilities provide multiple features for mission continuity in GPS-denied and COMJAM environments, according to the company.

With extended control range, high-performance payloads, advanced communications and navigation capabilities, and low acoustic & visual signatures, Bluebird's ThunderB addresses the challenges of the modern battlefield. (Photos via company)

According to Ronen Nadir, Bluebird’s CEO, “we have developed the ThunderB in response to the need for a field-launched, long-range, long-endurance UAS, capable of complex missions that, until now, required the use of significantly larger platforms, logistical footprint and higher life-cycle-cost. The ThunderB, with its automatic field launch by a small pneumatic launcher and automatic field recovery utilizing a parachute and an airbag, can be deployed and operated from a small vehicle and/or trailer, eliminating the need for costly infrastructure such as runways, hangars, etc. The ThunderB's extended mission range (150km) and endurance (24h) enable a round-the-clock Forward Observer, providing routine monitoring, pre-mission Intelligence collection, persistent surveillance and BDA (Battle Damage Assessment) to maneuvering forces.”

ThunderB is a tactical-sized UAS, weighing 28kg, with a wingspan of 4m, undetectable to the naked eye even when cruising at altitudes as low as 3,000 feet. The system’s reliability and endurance are based on an advanced computerised electronic fuel-injected (EFI) engine, coupled with multiple system redundancies throughout the UAS. The ThunderB includes an intuitive, user-friendly, mission-oriented control station that can be integrated with external Command & Control systems for data and video dissemination, common to BlueBird's other UAS.

We have expanded UAS capabilities outside the traditional tactical ISR world and have added a number of unique features – such as ultra-high resolution photogrammetric (mapping and 3D) payload, locator units for Blue Force Tracking, HD video transmission, MESH technology, advanced Remote Video Terminal (RVT), and more. Since its recent upgrade, ThunderB UAS has attracted significant international attention, has already been sold to customers in Europe and Asia, and is undergoing evaluation by a number of additional customers,” Nadir added

ThunderB is an ideal solution for long-range, long-endurance, covert ISTAR missions, especially in today’s EW-saturated environment.
MILITARY TECHNOLOGY will find out more about this tactical UAS' capability to operate in
GPS-denied and COMJAM environments, and will report from the show to update this post, as well as put up more. Watch this space!

For more information please see MILITARY TECHNOLOGY #06/2016, available at the show in hall 6, stand #B197; and frequently check back for more NEWS FROM THE FLOOR.