Italy: AgustaWestland has completed a demonstration of its Rotorcraft Unmanned Aerial System / Optionally Piloted Helicopter (RUAS/OPH) to the Italian Ministry of Defence. The trials were conducted to evaluate modern remote controlled rotorcraft technology and its potential to provide enhanced capabilities for the Italian armed forces in the future. Under the Research and Development contract, that is included in in the National Military Research Plan, signed with the Italian Ministry of Defence (MoD) Directorate for Air Armaments the company successfully demonstrated ground station-based remote controlled capabilities for the modified SW-4 Solo RUAS/OPH single-engine helicopter. The basic aircraft has been developed as a result of close cooperation between AgustaWestland and PZL-Swidnik in Poland.
The aircraft successfully completed the planned missions in OPH configuration with a safety pilot on board. The SW-4 Solo RUAS/OPH is one of the most technologically advanced achievements of aviation technology in recent years, according to the company. The SW-4 Solo RUAS/OPH, based on the proven SW-4 light single-engine helicopter, has been designed for both unmanned and piloted operations, providing users with maximum operational flexibility. The RUAS version of the SW-4 is capable of performing a number of roles, including intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, as well as cargo re-supply. In piloted configuration, the SW-4 can undertake a number of activities, including transportation of personnel, surveillance and intervention. It can be fitted with a comprehensive mission equipment package including search and communications/intelligence systems.
Source: Augusta Westland