QinetiQ has introduced Jackdaw, an economical yet high-performance “single-use” uncrewed aerial system (UAS).

Jackdaw is engineered for swarming and collaborative autonomous missions, encompassing crewed-uncrewed teaming. It will serve various purposes, such as surveillance, electronic warfare, acting as an airborne decoy, and representing threats.

The introduction of Jackdaw will empower our armed forces to diminish operational risks and bolster combat capabilities by swiftly deploying a substantial fleet of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) in situations currently reliant on a limited number of costly crewed aircraft. By integrating a substantial Jackdaw fleet with other UAS and crewed platforms, mission effectiveness will be elevated, human life risks will be minimized, and operational costs will be significantly reduced.

Mick Andrae, Global Campaign Director, Robotics & Autonomous Systems, QinetiQ commented: “The Jackdaw concept leverages QinetiQ’s expertise in very low-cost high-performance aerial targets—such as the Banshee family—and is enhanced with autonomous mission management and human-machine teaming capabilities. Critically, Jackdaw’s autonomous goal-based mission management system is intended to integrate with NATO and allied open architectures, ensuring interoperability with existing and future crewed and uncrewed systems. This, combined with the very low-cost aerial target design philosophy, makes Jackdaw highly suitable for use as a disposable UAS in air, maritime and land domain applications.”

While Jackdaw is originally designed to be reusable, its cost-effectiveness and disposable features offer operational flexibility, allowing commanders the choice to deploy and, if necessary, sacrifice assets strategically.

In partnership with other organizations, including BAE Systems and Inzpire, Jackdaw is integrated into a larger family of UAS that will function harmoniously, facilitating agile deployments and streamlined management from a central operations center. (Press Release)

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Post Image- QinetiQ Jackdaw (Image Credit: QinetiQ)