Rapier X-25 is a remotely piloted system belonging to the Light Weight UAV Class (up to 25 kg of Maximum Take Off Weight) with features of surveillance, control and data sensing (both on sea and ground), typical of tactical aircraft.
The Rapier X-25 is equipped with innovative systems able to guarantee the operativity in hostile environments and it is designed with optimization criteria in terms of aerodynamic efficiency, volumetric capability and structural weights, in order to guarantee high endurance (15-24 h) with payloads at the edge of technology (electro-optical and infra-red, Synthetic Aperture Radar, LIDAR).
Rapier X-25 System is composed of:
- 3 Aircrafts
- 2 Ground Control Stations
The GCS allows the aircraft and the payloads to be managed by the operator (selection of the flight operative modes and visualization of the data acquired by the onboard payload).
- 1 Pneumatic Launching System
- 1 Net Recovery System
The NRS allows aircraft to be recovered on boat or maritime platform. This system is alternative to the configuration based on parachute and airbag, in order to support mission in hostile environment.
Rapier has been designed in order to integrate several payloads with different features in terms of capabilities, weights and sizes. The flexibility is assured by the fuselage modularity and by the possibility to change the onboard systems configuration in order to obtain an optimized aircraft balance.
- Electro-Optical/Infra-Red Sensor. The EO/IR sensor is the basic payload which allows ISR mission to be carried out. Rapier X-25 offers to customers the possibility to choice between two types of EO/IR sensors: the basic one (low weight) and the high-performing one (laser designator and range finder addicted with maximum Detection Reconnaissance Identification values).
- Synthetic Aperture Radar. A SAR can be coupled with an EO/IR sensor in order to optimize performances and guarantee change detection capabilities in ISR missions. This radar allows objects, oil spilling and polluted areas to be identified by providing high definition maps: an accuracy of about 10 cm is provided and maps cover areas of 2 x 4 km from a ground altitude of 1000 meters. The overall system weight is minimized in order to guarantee high endurance depending on the EO/IR sensor installed onboard.
- Sense and Avoid Sensor. The same HW used for the SAR, located in a different way, with specific SW and with a different antenna, can be used for collision avoidance (lower sizes and power consumptions) and for target acquisition.
- Lidar. Low weight lidars, with power consumption similar to SARs, guarantee the accuracy of few centimetres. The ranges are lower than those of the SAR (3-4 km) but such devices allow ISR capabilities, Situation Awareness, Sense and Avoid, 3D mapping to be carried out.
- Multi/ Hyperspectral cameras. This type of camera allows specific missions (e.g. Change Detection, Anti Camouflage, Terrain Characteristics, Fire detection, Agricultural Monitoring) to be performed by means of images analysis and comparison gathered at a different wavelength.
- Transmitter. Possibility to perform a Relè Radio by using the platform as a bridge between ground units and command stations, thanks to a dedicated transmitter installed onboard.