Defense contractor Airbus Defence and Space has begun ground tests on the Tanan Block 2 vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) unmanned aircraft vehicle (UAV), and flight trials will begin within a couple of months. According to IHS Jane’s, news of the tests broke as the UAS was unveiled at the Singapore Airshow last week.
The Block 2 Tanan is expected to be an improvement over the Block 1, the design of which was based on the CybAero APID 60. “[The] Block 2 is a big leap over the Block 1, wherein a large amount of changes in the aircraft structure and control systems has been incorporated. The complete design is now being undertaken in-house by the Airbus Group,” Sascha Hapke, Head of Sales, Mission Air Systems at Airbus DS told IHS Jane’s.
As IHS Jane’s notes, the Tanan Block 2 has a maximum take-off weight of 350 kg (771.6 lbs), and it can carry 80 kg (176 lbs) of mission payload. In addition, the Tanan Block 2 has a maximum endurance of 12 hours, a top speed of 80 kt, a radius of operation of 100 nautical miles, and a 13,000 ft service ceiling.
While Airbus hasn’t nabbed any contracts for the Tanan Block 2, navies from various countries have shown interest, company officials said.