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.

For more information about UAS, please contact uasmarketing@airbus.com

Eurodrone- The Next Generation European MALE RPAS

Eurodrone Arctic Mission

Eurodrone is the first unmanned aerial system designed for flight in non-segregated airspace. It will give Europe its own unparalleled competencies in the field of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), offering advanced strategic performance capabilities. The characteristics will include mission modularity for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions, guaranteeing European sovereignty.

As a four-nation project, Eurodrone will strengthen European sovereignty by establishing and expanding an independent technological base in the field of unmanned aviation. The programme between Germany, France, Spain and Italy and under the management of the international armaments agency, OCCAR (Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en Matière d'Armement) promotes European cooperation in the field of security and defence and confirms the initiative to increasingly rely on multinational armament projects. Development, procurement and operation will be carried out jointly, which saves costs and increases efficiency.


Eurodrone is designed to become one of the main pillars of any future combat air system, prepared for real integration into civil airspace based on minimal restrictions and easy transportability due to its modular design. The design will offer multi-mission capabilities and significant growth potential, for homeland operations, Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) and armed ISTAR, which can be conducted with full operational sovereignty. The requirements and specifications have been negotiated and aligned between the end-users (Germany, Spain, France and Italy), the contracting authority (OCCAR), and participating industry partners (Dassault Aviation, Leonardo and Airbus Spain). 


European MALE RPAS

The Eurodrone programme will generate a further 7,000 high-tech jobs within the European Union and will secure technological knowhow development and sustainment. It will be a truly European solution, ITAR free and based on nearly 100% European technologies with EU taxpayers money flowing back into the European market and securing jobs. It offers European manufacturers a wide range of opportunities in the areas of development, production and operation.


Airbus will apply a Digital Design, Manufacturing and Service (DDMS) system that will pave the way for significant improvements to development times, cost reductions and increases in quality. DDMS will be the backbone of an advanced logistics concept that will be set up so training can start during the development phase and be fully rolled out for initial in-service support.

A diagram of the contractual setup for Europe’s MALE RPAS unmanned aerial vehicle programme.

The development of Eurodrone is seen as a ‘lighthouse’ programme for Airbus and the entire European aeronautics industry. The future of Eurodrone will be the basis for future defence programmes, such as European FCAS. 

A diagram with basic statistics on the MALE RPAS unmanned aerial vehicle.

In November 2020, OCCAR submitted the final draft contract to the participating nations. The aim is to conclude the contract in 2021, conduct the first flight in 2026 and deliver the first aircraft in 2029. 


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.

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 info@airbusds-airborne.com.


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

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The Airbus Zephyr, Solar High Altitude Platform Station (HAPS) concludes a successful new test flight campaign in Arizona, USA


European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) selects Airbus and its partner IAI for Maritime Aerial Surveillance with Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS)


Manned-Unmanned Teaming and Remote Carriers: transcending individual assets’ capabilities

German Bundeswehr renews Service Contracts for Heron 1 systems in Afghanistan and Mali


SURVEY Copter, the tactical drones division of Airbus, is participating in the 3D production of protective medical equipment

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