Army’s new tactical uncrewed aerial system (TUAS) has reached a significant milestone, with personnel from 20 Regt, RAA, Army Aviation Command, and the School of Artillery flying the new Integrator TUAS for the first time.
CAPTION: Insitu Pacific’s Integrator tactical uncrewed aerial system. Story and photos by Captain Cody Tsaousis.
The Integrator will replace the in-service Shadow 200 TUAS that currently provides the primary intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR) support for land force operations.
The new platform represents a significantly enhanced ISTAR capability and will enable 20 Regt, RAA to meet the demands of modern operations.
Capable of long endurance surveillance, reconnaissance and information gathering beyond visual line of sight, the Integrator can be deployed in land and maritime environments.
In comparison to the Shadow 200, the Integrator has a lower noise signature and requires fewer personnel to launch, fly and recover.
It can also be fitted with different payloads.
The designer of the Integrator TUAS, Insitu Pacific, is partnering with Defence to deliver multiple operator training courses over the next two years as well as maintenance training.
This will all be achieved while maintaining a ready-now capability with the Shadow 200.
Mission commander and one of the first Army personnel to qualify as an operator on the Integrator, Bombardier Daniel Epps, said he and other people involved with the project had really appreciated the inaugural operator training course held at the end of July.
“My experience with the project so far has been very productive,” Bombardier Epps said.
“It has been a chance to work with people from different industry backgrounds to develop a capability from the ground up.
“It has been a positive experience to see the Australian Army include operators at all rank levels in shaping the direction of the project.”
Insitu Pacific project manager John Hatley said it was exciting to begin live flying, and training Army personnel in launchand-recovery activities.
“The partnership between industry and Defence is a strong one and the training standard was already high, despite this being the first course,” Mr Hatley said.
“The feedback I’ve had is that it’s been a very successful course, and the relationship between the Army members and our instructors has been excellent.
“We set a very high bar for our training so that Army is ready to operate the system from day one. The trainees have really committed to the course and provided a lot of very useful feedback for us.”