Excalibur is under development at Aurora as a purpose-built armed, tactical UAV. Excalibur is intended to fill the gap between manned strike platforms that provide tactical air support and current weaponized UAVs. To enable the attack role, Excalibur will be compatible with Hellfire, APKWS, Viper Strike and other small munitions that have been developed by the Department of Defense.
Excalibur uses a turbine-electric hybrid propulsion system to give the aircraft VTOL capability while also allowing use of the turbine engine for horizontal flight. The aircraft’s advanced flight control system operates with a high level of autonomy. Because the aircraft does not rely on a remote pilot, operators are free to focus on mission planning and finding and engaging targets instead of flying the aircraft.
Excalibur combines VTOL launch and recovery, high-speed flight (up to 400knots), and low speed loiter (100 knots) into one aircraft. Excalibur can operate in a Short Take Off and Landing (STOL) or Short Take Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) mode for increased mission durations or payloads.
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|USA||Aurora Flight Sciences||Manassas,Virginia||http://www.aurora.aero|