July 15, 2012. David Pugliese - Defence Watch
At the 2012 Farnborough International Airshow, MBDA unveiled a concept weapon system for 2030 – the CVS301 VIGILUS. VIGILUS is a suite of future strike weapons for UAVs that provides a close air support capability to battlefield UAVs.
More from the MBDA press release:
Allowing the UAV to remain at a safe stand-off distance, VIGILUS offers a flexible targeting and strike capability against multiple time critical targets that can be directly controlled by ground troops.
VIGILUS delivers persistent, proportional, precise and rapid effects that are beyond today’s capability and deployed technology, exploiting new technologies and novel designs.
The VIGILUS weapon system comprises an integrated launcher and communications unit, a scout missile, a family of effectors and an integrated weapon command system that together deliver greater situational awareness as well as proportional and rapid engagement of time critical targets.
VIGILUS gives the operator permanent real time visual contact with the target, an operational advantage provided by the scout missile, known as Caelus. Caelus can operate at low altitudes below the cloud base, providing accurate and precise targeting data when adverse weather conditions would limit target engagement directly by UAVs.
The VIGILUS weapon system has a flexible and adaptable command system. It can be co-ordinated directly by ground troops, giving them the ability to engage multiple, beyond line of sight targets in both urban and open areas. It can also be controlled by a weapon system operator located in the UAV ground control station.
Steve Wadey, Executive Group Director Technical and Managing Director UK, MBDA,
“Continuing the success of 2010 and 2011, Concept Visions 2012 shows MBDA’s continued commitment and desire to explore weapon system concepts beyond 2030. Through Concept Visions, MBDA harnesses the imagination and innovation of the European workforce through the creation of inspirational and ambitious concepts for future weapon systems. As in previous years, MBDA will use the concepts generated to stimulate our customers, suppliers, shape our markets and challenge our own assumptions about the possibilities for the future.”
CVS301 VIGILUS is the latest output from MBDA’s high profile Concept Visions project that has established the company’s leadership for envisaging how innovation in missile systems could dominate the future battlefield. Now in its third year, Concept Visions is a company-wide initiative aimed at identifying the key technologies and their integration into a weapon system to shape the future defence market in key domains beyond 2030.
MBDA’s European workforce was challenged to provide concepts and technologies for weapon systems that could be integrated into future Unmanned Air Systems. Following assessment by an international panel, the winning concepts and technologies became the subject of intense workshops, utilising not only the technical expertise within MBDA, but also reaching out to UAV platform providers as well as current UAV users.
Through a rapid and iterative process, the international Concept Visions team has created the CVS301 VIGILUS weapon system.