This is an experimental feature. Give us your feedback. Thank you for your feedback.

Lithuanian-owned KUKA has become one of the first two successful system partners to claim the platinum status of Europe’s largest defence procurement standard in the UK.

Following 18 months of work on the KUKA Euoptra Unmanned Aircraft Systems, or UAS, system, it will now work on other projects including the Royal Navy’s Victoria programme to deliver a next-generation unmanned maritime patrol aircraft, and the US Marine Corps’ Northrop Grumman MPV programme.

Following the recent release of the final design contract for the UK’s Lightning UAS programme, which is expected to involve a ground control station, design, test and analysis capabilities, KUKA’s UAS systems are to be considered in the qualification of the Lightning UAS subsystem.

“Being first and to achieve the highest standard is very satisfying,” says Vygiaz Deryvelnik, KUKA’s UK business development director, “but what’s even more important is that we are seeing a very rapid uptake of these robots in the UK’s defence machine.”

On a much smaller scale, KUKA’s “Pilot-in-Pilot Seat” PICU is a cockpit-less cockpit with a display unit incorporated into the vertical position of the wing.

Both systems demonstrate capabilities that can increase mission efficiency and ultimately the effectiveness of the UAS. The Pilot-in-Pilot Seat system is designed for low cost operations, such as those provided by unmanned aerial platforms with short missions with operators moving away from long-haul to more limited missions.

KUKA declined to give the value of the systems it will provide. KUKA’s systems are also to be considered in the design of a range of manned UAS systems, from combat-proven EH101 helicopters used by the German army, to small aircraft used by the US Department of Homeland Security.