Piaggio Aero Industries has rolled out its newly developed P.1HH HammerHead unmanned aerial system (UAS) at the ongoing 2013 International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6-66B turboprop engines, the HammerHead is a multipurpose UAS designed to address the requirement for a robust and advanced solution for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions worldwide.
Equipped with an unmanned aircraft platform, specific mission equipment and systems and a remote ground control station (GCS), the UAS has already completed its first engine start and runway taxi testing at an Italian Air Force base, on 14 February.
Piaggio Aero Industries chief executive officer Alberto Galassi said the unmanned systems are highly regarded by military personnel for their versatility in different roles and applications.
"Being ideally designed to perform at the highest, [most] sensitive mission level in patrol, detection and reconnaissance environments, the P.1HH UAS will provide sophisticated stand-off capabilities for any surveillance and security need," Galassi added.
The remotely-controlled UAS features automatic take-off and landing capabilities, enhanced airframe, increased aerodynamic configuration with a reinforced wing, offering an increased surface and higher aspect ratio, and a removable external section wing to guarantee easy ground transportation.
Capable of flying up to 45,000ft, with an endurance of 16 hours, the design and performance of the modified aerodynamic configuration has already been evaluated during comprehensive low speed / high speed wind tunnel testing.
Additional features will include the Selex ES-built advanced vehicle control and management system (VCMS) and air data terminal (ADT), as well as a customised mission management system (MMS) for the control of all mission specific equipment.
The STANAG USAR 4671-compliant UAS is scheduled to undergo its first test flight this year, after completing the VCMS integration and the ground test programme.
Image: P.1HH HammerHead UAS, designed for ISR operations. Photo courtesy of PIAGGIO AERO INDUSTRIES S.p.A.