Wednesday, July 23, 2008

BAE Systems and Lindstrand Technologies update the GA-22 Airship

At the Farnborough Airshow that ended last sunday BAE Systems announced they are planning to integrate their existing Unmanned Autonomous Systems in the Lindstrand GA-22 Airhship. The GA-22 Airship was first supplied to the Ministry of Defense in Spain in 2004 and carried a 42kg load. Read the full press release below:
BAE SYSTEMS FLOATS AUTONOMOUS SYTEM AT FARNBOROUGH INTERNATIONAL
14 Jul 2008 | Ref. FI020/2008

A 22 meter long airship, originally developed by balloonist and adventurer Per Lindstrand, could become the latest addition to BAE Systems growing portfolio of autonomous systems.

The GA22 airship, perfect for deployment into roles such as communications relay stations, will be updated and adapted to carry payloads, such as high tech surveillance equipment at up to 150 kilograms in weight, to heights of more than 6,500 feet

BAE Systems plan to integrate their existing Unmanned Autonomous Systems into the GA22 making the technology more accessible to potential users.

“Strategically, GA22 fits perfectly into the autonomous fleet that we are developing“said Richard Williams, Director of Civil Autonomous Systems at BAE Systems “The new vehicle has the possibility of opening up a range of markets for BAE Systems. It has a range of unique capabilities and we have identified a number of roles at major events, from sporting occasions to floods and forest fires, for which GA22 is ideal”.

BAE Systems designers and engineers have worked with Lindstrand Technologies to update the original design. GA22 will be able to carry high-tech surveillance equipment, including a payload of up to 150 kilograms, to heights of more than 6,500ft. In addition, it is being made from a newer and lighter material, which improves the airship’s performance. At the moment GA22 is radio controlled, but the plan is to make it fully autonomous.

Richard continued: “Even more exciting are the long-term prospects for success. I have no doubt that GA22 can make a significant contribution to our civil autonomous systems business,” Richard concludes.

About BAE Systems

BAE Systems is the premier global defence and aerospace company delivering a full range of products and services for air, land and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, information technology solutions and customer support services. With 97,500 employees worldwide, BAE Systems' sales exceeded £15.7 billion (US $31.4 billion) in 2007.
The UK based Company of Per Lindstrand has specialized on Inflatable Structures, Tehtered balloons, and Lighter-Than-Air Vehicles. You can read a bit more about the GA-22 Airship on their website. Per Lindstrand also owns the GA-42 Airship the worlds first fly-by-wire that was introduced in 1980. If you want to have a look at the Type Certificate jump over to the FAA Website

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