Rotary Wing Uncrewed Air System

Leonardo and the UK MOD have been working together since 2013 to investigate the potential for a Rotary Wing Uncrewed Air System (RWUAS) to contribute to the delivery of military effect.

A four-year, £60M contract was awarded to Leonardo in July 2022 for the RWUAS Phase 3A TDP, (referred to as ‘Proteus’ by the Royal Navy (RN). Leonardo is developing a 2-3t technology demonstrator with inherent modularity and autonomy, designed, developed and manufactured in Yeovil, UK. This programme will provide evidence confirming that existing aviation capability can be augmented with uncrewed air systems. The programme, which is being managed by DE&S’s Future Capability Innovation (FCI) and Leonardo’s Future Programmes Group (FPG), aims to harness technology development under an agile framework.

Primarily driven by the Royal Navy and funded via the Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Spearhead Programme, the outcome of the latest phase of these investigations is the flight demonstration of a Technology Demonstrator. This is being developed with the attributes necessary to make a meaningful contribution to the future UK MOD rotary wing fleet, and supports both the Defence Capability Framework and the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm 2040 (FAA 2040) vision.