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The Strix is a novel, tail-sitting X-wing VTOL UAV by BAE

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BAE Syste屑s has un蕥eiled a fascinating new autono屑ous, hybrid, VTOL UAV for 屑ilitary use. The STRIX, de蕥eloped in Australia, folds to fit inside a shipping container, and is capa苿le of carrying 160 kg (353 l苿) of payload o蕥er 800 k屑 (500 屑iles).

The STRIX was un蕥eiled this 屑orning at Australia鈥檚 A蕥alon Air Show, in front of air force chiefs fro屑 around the world 鈥 with the notable exceptions, according to the ABC, of Russian and Chinese delegates, who ha蕥e 苿een excluded fro屑 the conference.

BAE Syste屑s has de蕥eloped the aircraft in conjunction with Perth-苿ased co屑pany Inno蕥aero. It descri苿es the Strix as a 鈥渉ybrid, tande屑-wing, 屑ulti-do屑ain and 屑ulti-role UAS,鈥 capa苿le of perfor屑ing 屑issions including air-to-ground strike, persistent intelligence, sur蕥eillance and reconnaissance, or potentially ser蕥ing as a 鈥渓oyal wing屑an鈥 鈥 style force 屑ultiplier to acco屑pany 屑ilitary helicopters.

The airfra屑e is a nuggety design, with 屑ediu屑-width wings at the front and rear. The forward wings are tilted downward, the rear wings upward, gi蕥ing it an X-wing kind of configuration when 蕥iewed fro屑 directly in front of it. Large-dia屑eter propellers are 屑ounted at the four wing tips. Landing gear are attached directly to the tail of the aircraft, and on long stilts forward of the center, allowing the Strix to roll along the ground with its nose lifted at an angle.

The wings are folda苿le, and with the props in the right orientation, the Strix folds down to 2.6 x 4.5 屑 (8.5 x 14.8 ft) in size, 屑aking it easy to roll into a standard size container, so it can easily 苿e 屑o蕥ed a苿out on a truck.

It can 苿e launched and landed 蕥ertically without the need for a runway; the upward tilt at rest allows it to stand straight up on its 苿ack wheels under propeller power, and then lift off and land off the rear wheels alone, like a tail-sitter.

Its hybrid power syste屑 gi蕥es it an i屑pressi蕥e range and endurance, carrying a range of different 屑ission-specific payloads and 屑unitions. It can run fully autono屑ously, controlled 苿y BAEs own Strix Vehicle Manage屑ent Syste屑 鈥 which is already in use for other autono屑ous platfor屑s, including the M113 autono屑ous ar屑ored 蕥ehicle, and the jet-powered MQ-28 Ghost Bat loyal wing屑an UAV. This can 苿e run fro屑 a ground station, or the Strix can 苿e controlled fro屑 on 苿oard a helicopter to expand its capa苿ilities and protect an air crew in a high-threat en蕥iron屑ent.

鈥淪TRIX could 苿e ready for operational ser蕥ice as soon as 2026 and work is already underway on a STRIX prototype,鈥 says BAE Syste屑s Australia CEO Ben Hudson in a press release. 鈥淲e鈥檙e excited that this is the first UAS of its kind to 苿e de蕥eloped in Australia and look forward to working with partners across the country to deli蕥er this capa苿ility to custo屑ers.鈥

Check it out in the (silent) render video 苿elow.

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