ASTUS UAV Showcased at IDEX 2023

Sensor platform to protect critical infrastructure

Defence Industry

Abu Dhabi.  HENSOLDT South Africa introduced the ASTUS unmanned aerial vehicle system (UAS), at AAD 2022. Designed as a sensor platform to protect critical infrastructure and high-value assets from the air, the ASTUS can be equipped with smart electro-optical payloads for advanced surveillance capabilities.

The ASTUS has an endurance of 8 hours and is certified to fly up to 16 000 ft, which makes it an ideal solution for long-distance surveillance, border patrol and protection of high-value infrastructure and critical assets.

ASTUS has an ATOL (automatic take-off and landing) capability and has a range of up to 200 km LOS (line-of-sight), providing operators on the ground with vital information to detect threats, mobilise resources and support effective reactions to threats.

The development and qualification flight tests conducted over the past 3 years, enabled the HENSOLDT team to verify the in-flight capabilities of the ASTUS, including the integration of multiple electro-optical payloads that can detect illegal activities from the sky, track the movements of vehicles and personnel and relay the information in real-time to ground forces conducting operational missions; optional laser designation can also be offered to customers should the operational need arise.

The ASTUS is entering initial series production and HENSOLDT will now focus on testing various optional mission systems that can be deployed by customers in both civilian and military roles. HENSOLDT is currently teaming up with a new partner to develop a SAR (synthetic aperture radar) system specifically designed for the ASTUS platform to further enhance its capabilities.

“During the extensive testing programme the team also successfully demonstrated the performance characteristics of the UAS, which competes in the smaller tactical UAS space where there are fewer competitors, with a sales focus on tailoring the overall system offering in conjunction with offering an extremely competitive cost of ownership”, says Chris Haines, Head of Sales for HENSOLDT SA’s Optronics business unit.

Willie Malan, Product Manager of the ASTUS system, commented on the operational capabilities of the ASTUS, and says “We have proven that the platform is very stable and can handle any operational challenges in all weather conditions day and night.”

The ASTUS is part of a comprehensive and multi-layered security solution that can operate seamlessly in the maritime patrol, border security and critical infrastructure protection environment.