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Unmanned Aircraft Systems

Unmanned Aircraft Systems

UAS solutions for military and commercial applications

The future of autonomous flight – certifiable, safe and secure – begins with Airbus. The company’s heritage in manned flight is leveraged to supply robust, dependable unmanned aerial systems (UAS).

Airbus has supported military forces for nearly a decade with unmatched performance, and its systems have been deployed for missions in such combat zones as Afghanistan and Mali.


The result of a risk-reduction study undertaken to analyse and elaborate requirements for the German, Spanish and French armed forces, European UAS is a long-endurance aerial drone system designed for surveillance, reconnaissance and target acquisition.

Equipped with high-tech payloads, what makes this approach a breakthrough is the modular design of the drone (broad payload bay, ground control station), its integration in a network-centric environment and in air traffic generally with the ultimate goal of certification. The main purpose of the European UAS is to provide wide-area ground and maritime surveillance along with reconnaissance of specific areas to assist commanders in the theatre of operations.

Its main operational functions include:

  • Ground and maritime surveillance
  • Daytime or infrared target reconnaissance and identification
  • Operations support
  • Integration in C4I (Command, Control, Communication, Computer and Intelligence)
  • Integration in air traffic

Ground or on-board segment:

  • Modular, interoperable system of ground stations (EU / UN & NATO) permitting remote deployment via SATCOM

System capability:

  • Designed for operation in non-segregated airspace
  • Extended range of action and high speed coverage of the mission area
  • Heightened sensor capability and payload bay volume make it easy to integrate new capabilities 

For more information about European MALE RPAS, please email to

Additional information

European MALE RPAS unveiling ceremony

The first full scale model of the European Medium-Altitude Long-Endurance Remotely Piloted Aircraft (MALE RPAS) was unveiled on 26th April 2018 during a ceremony held at the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show.

Watch here the unveiling ceremony of European MALE RPAS:


Airbus, Dassault Aviation and Leonardo reaffirm their total commitment in the first fully European MALE programme.

Read more here:

Harfang MALE UAS

Harfang is a Medium Altitude Long Endurance UAS for joint armed forces. It can fulfil a wide range of missions, from surveillance to sensitive peacekeeping.

Harfang provides real-time information at each level of the operational chain. It can be controlled either manually from the ground control station or autonomously.

One unique strength of this unmanned aircraft lies in its capability for multi-payloads.

Operational area

Harfang is equipped with a SATCOM datalink and can operate with a 250 kg payload for more than 24 hours at a time.

Use Harfang for:

  • Reconnaissance, surveillance and target  acquisition
  • Providing image and communications intelligence
  • Maritime surveillance
  • Border surveillance
Wingspan  16.60 m 
Length:  9.30 m 
Height:  2.30 m 
Max altitude (ASL):  25.000 ft (feet) 
Max speed: 110 ktas (true airspeed in knots) 

Why choose Harfang?

  • Easy to control: can be controlled either manually from the ground control station or autonomously.
  • Convenient for multi-missions: can carry multiple payloads; two air vehicles can be operated simultaneously.
  • Flexible: enables hand-over from 1st to 2nd Ground Control Station in flight
  • Eye in the sky: Gets images and video, in daylight or at night. Practically in real time, thanks to the high-speed data link between the Harfang and the ground station.
  • Safer: uses anti-icing system to prevent ice build-up on wings for example

For more information about Harfang MALE, please email to 

Download Harfang Brochure


Tactical Unmanned Aerial System, ATLANTE ensures intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions by day and night for ground forces deployed in theatre.

System Capacity

  •  Four or more air vehicles
  •  Easily Deployable on Theatre by air, ground or sea
  •  Landing gear system designed to opérate from unprepared runways

ATLANTE offers several operational capabilities through its basic concept of employment or through the combination of different configurations.

For more information about Atlante, please email to

Download Atlante brochure

Mini UAS (Survey Copter)

SURVEY Copter, an Airbus subsidiary, fully designs fixed and rotary wings mini-UAVs. SURVEY Copter develops all of its UAV systems:  aerial platform, ground station, data link, EO/IR turrets and integrates its own flight computers, implementing the most advanced algorithms developed by its Swiss subsidiary weControl AG.

 More information on Mini UAS 


The KZO is a tactical UAS with a powerful 2-stroke gasoline engine.

It is an unmanned aircraft especially suited for high speed reconnaissance missions. The gathered information is immediately available and can quickly be distributed in the command structure.

Large operational area

KZO can operate to a distance of up to 140 km with a 35 kg payload for up to 5.5 hours at a time

Use KZO for:

  • Land surveillance
  • Search and rescue
  • Reconnaissance, surveillance and target  acquisition
  • Convoy and VIP protection
  • Providing image and communications intelligence
  • Monitoring critical infrastructure and major events

Getting the whole picture

KZO provides the real-time situational awareness needed to take charge of the mission before other systems and personnel arrive. It is operational under any weather condition, day and night.

To see without being seen

KZO can observe without being detected itself. It is small, made of composite material and designed for stealth operation. It has very low thermal, optical and acoustic signatures.

Because of its jamming-resistant data transmission system, KZO can provide secure surveillance.

Robust and flexible setup

KZO has multiple launch options. It can be launched by booster or catapult, and land automatically by parachute and airbag.

KZO can operate under stormy weather conditions. It is equipped with a de-icing system and the capability to be launched with cross-winds of 20 m/s.

Booster-assisted launch is possible in winds of up to 15 m/s and in squalls of 10 m/s, regardless of the wind direction.

Field proven

Since 2009, KZO has served as a tactical UAS for the German Armed Forces in Afghanistan. UAVs delivered by Airbus Defence and Space for the German Armed Forces have proven their value in more than 1,000 missions over the years.

KZO is extremely reliable and has been certified by the German Aviation Authorities.  For more information about KZO, please email to


Wingspan  3.42 m 
Length:  2.25 m 
Max altitude (ASL):  4.000 m 
Max speed: 220 km/h 

Why choose KZO?

  • Fast reactions: provides real-time images and video, under all weather conditions.
  • Fast response: provides target coordinates directly to the artillery.
  • Mobile operations thanks to its flexibility: requires no local or fixed infrastructure. Operations can be carried out directly in theatre.
  • Undetected: extremely difficult to detect because of its very low thermal, optical and acoustic signature
  • Robust: cross-wind resistance of 20m/s, and anti-icing system
  • Flexible: booster or catapult launch and automatic parachute landing
  • Proven capability: more than 1000 successful missions by the German Armed Forces in Afghanistan since 2009.

Download KZO brochure

Latest news on Unmanned Aircraft Systems

The European MALE RPAS programme successfully passed the System Preliminary Design Review as final milestone of the Programme Definition Study

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Germany extends the contracts for the operation of the Heron 1 drones in Afghanistan and Mali

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Airbus “goes to CLASS” in improving the safety of airborne drone traffic


Airbus celebrates opening of the world’s first Zephyr Solar High Altitude Pseudo-Satellite operating site

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Making our oceans safer

Airbus Zephyr Solar High Altitude Pseudo-Satellite flies for longer than any other aircraft during its successful maiden flight

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