"Fresh from a Royal Air Force deployment to Afghanistan, one of the world's first fully developed autonomous unmanned air vehicles -- UAV -- will makes its Far East debut at LIMA 2007. Developed by BAE Systems, the unmanned air system, known as HERTI, is one of a new generation of UAVs suitable for both military and civil operations," the company said in a statement.
"The RAF deployed a HERTI system in Afghanistan this summer as part of the unique project Morrigan collaboration between the Royal Air Force and BAE Systems. Project Morrigan is a joint initiative between the RAF Air Warfare Center and BAE Systems. Launched in September 2006, it aims to integrate HERTI UAV systems into (British) forces for a short period in order to develop potential Tactics, Techniques & Procedures for the integration of HERTI's capabilities into existing joint manned/unmanned force structures," BAE Systems said.
Wing Commander Mike Humphreys, officer commanding of the RAF's UAV Battlelab, said: "Whilst the objectives and outputs from the exercise (in Afghanistan) remain classified, the HERTI system has been successful in demonstrating its capability in an operational environment."
"With its ability to take off, complete a full mission and land -- all at the click of a computer mouse -- HERTI has been designed to meet a wide variety of operational needs both cost effectively and with extremely high levels of reliability whilst removing the need for an operator or pilot to control the aircraft from the ground," the company said.
"The HERTI UAV is one of a family of unmanned air vehicles being developed by BAE Systems," it said.
Andy Wilson, sales and marketing director of autonomous systems and future capability at BAE Systems said: "What we have done in developing HERTI is to produce a platform that is affordable, built to meet operational needs, and which will offer levels of reliability that up until now will have only been available in a manned aircraft."