BAE Systems has partnered with Pipistrel Aircraft to explore the development of lightweight sustainable aircraft.

The partnership will witness the combining of BAE Systems’ expertise in advanced military aircraft with Pipistrel’s knowledge in electrically powered aircraft.

Together, they will focus on building solutions for the defence and security sector, including the application of electric aircraft to minimise carbon emissions.

Pipistrel Aircraft founder and CEO Ivo Boscarol said: “To address climate change, an unprecedented application of zero-emission technologies is necessary, especially in aviation. We welcome BAE Systems’ initiative to embrace cutting edge and type-certified electric propulsion technologies that are already deployed in our Velis Electro. As we look into the future, we are excited about this collaboration, bringing enhanced potential for an even greater product.”

Electric-powered aircraft are more environmentally friendly as compared to traditionally powered equivalent aircraft and deliver low running costs.

Through this alliance, BAE Systems aims to support its strategy to promote sustainable technology development via additional research and development investment, as well as reaching partnerships with industry, small and medium-sized enterprises, and academia.

BAE Systems Air chief operating officer Ian Muldowney said: “This is an opportunity to help evolve the range of products and services we can offer to our customers who are responding to rapidly changing defence and security priorities. 

“While operational capability will always be the priority in defence, we know that solutions that are sympathetic to the environment are becoming increasingly important and our collaboration with Pipistrel presents a fantastic opportunity to leverage our joint expertise.”

Last week, BAE Systems performed a flight test of advanced Manned Unmanned Teaming (MUM-T) technology at a test range belonging to the US Department of Defense (DoD).