SOF Week 23 – DefendTex DRONE40 Update
I first wrote about the DRONE40 during SOFIC 2019. Since then Australian manufacturer DefendTex has continued development.
Above is the latest version. Although it is designed to be launched from a side opening grenade launcher like the M320, it can also be hand launched after delpoying the four rotors which keep it aloft via an internal battery (10W). Playloads include ISR as well as kinetic options.
Below is the original model I mentioned in 2019. As you can see, the updated model is a bit longer.
It weighs around 190 grams depending on payload. Max loitering time is up to 30 minutes with a max flight distance of 20km and a max dash speed of 20m/s. It can be controlled via various apps on an EUD along with ISR downlink. However, it also offers autonomous flight characteristics (GPS-based) which also allow use of swarm tactics. Although there are explosive payload options, the DRONE40 can be reused for distraction, ISR, and EW missions. Below is the new stored form factor for safe transport.
DefendTex also developed a cassette launcher for the DRONE40 called HIVE, for up to six systems, which can be deployed as a stand-alone launcher or mounted to other platforms like the BANSHEE I wrote about during last fall’s Land Forces exhibition in Brisbane, Australia.
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