ROME — Italian business aircraft maker Piaggio Aero Industries has teamed with Finmeccanica unit Selex ES to launch a new UAV.
The P.1HH Hammerhead, which was unveiled at the IDEX show in Abu Dhabi on Feb. 18, features twin propellers and is designed for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions, the companies said in a statement.
After two years of development, the UAV completed its first engine start and runway taxi Feb. 14 at an Italian Air Force base, with the first flight planned this year.
Based on Piaggio’s manned P180 Avanti, the UAV features automatic takeoff and landing facilities and a 15.5 meter wingspan, and will fly to 45,000 feet for up to 16 hours, using two Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6-66B turboprop engines. The unmanned aircraft will also be compliant with STANAG USAR 4671 standards that enable it to fly both in restricted and unrestricted flight areas.
It is designed for aerial, land, coastal, maritime and offshore security, communications- and electronic-intelligence missions, and electronic warfare, the firms said.
The aircraft features a removable external section wing to facilitate ground transportation. Selex ES is providing mission systems.