Barracuda UAV (Europe)

Barracuda UAV (Europe)


The Barracuda UAV is an experimental combat unmanned aerial vehicle of a joint German-Spanish development, created by the EADS concern’s military aviation systems division. Intended for target reconnaissance, television reconnaissance of areal targets and individual routes, fire adjustment. Takeoff and landing is carried out by aircraft. It was first presented to the public at the ILA 2006 exhibition.


His first 20-minute flight took place just six weeks before the start of the Berlin exhibition, 2 on April 2006, at the Spanish San Javier airbase. Until that time, the development of the Barracuda UAV was kept secret, and the display of a full-scale instance of this BBPLA in Berlin became a kind of sensation. During a series of test flights, the Barracuda UAV showed good results and, in general, the tests were considered successful. The tests included four flights, which the device performed autonomously according to the programmed scenario. The tests ended on July 27 2009. However, the disaster at the initial stage of testing in September 2006 of the year, for a long time slowed down the implementation of the project. After the crash, the implementation of the program with the participation of Germany and Spain was suspended. An advanced UAV for testing was built in November 2008 g, they became Barracuda-2.

Barracuda-2, judging by the official statements of EADS, has retained its modular properties and universal software, which allow it to be used not only for reconnaissance tasks, but also for attacking the enemy. However, the new modification also used and tested new technical solutions and programs developed as part of another project of a European concern - Agile UAV.



While known only a few basic data of the device. The Barracuda UAV has a length of about 8 m, a wingspan of slightly more than 7 m and a take-off weight of more than 3000 kg. In this case, the wing is removable, and depending on the mission of the flight, the UAV can be equipped with one of five different types of wing. The Barracuda BLA with a large span can “float” at a high altitude like a glider, and a small wing provides the machine with the necessary speed and maneuverability at low altitudes. The Barracuda UAV chassis are folded and removed after takeoff, and released before landing.

The power plant is a turbojet engine of the Canadian company "Pratt & Whitney Canada", most likely JT15D-5C, 1400 kgf. It provides "Barracuda" flight speed corresponding to the number M = 0,8. Its first flight "Barracuda" performed in a fully autonomous mode, without control from the ground. The BBPLA construction is made entirely of composite materials. Its construction was carried out in cooperation with several EADS plants: the fuselage was made at the German plant in Augsburg, and the wing in the Spanish Getafe near Madrid.



The Barracuda interchangeable target equipment may include optoelectronic and television systems, a laser designator, a radar station and an electronic reconnaissance station - all of them are located in the internal compartment of the device. In addition, Barracuda can take on weapons weapons. Barracuda’s missiles and bombs are not carried on external hangers, but inside the fuselage to minimize drag. The device is designed for radio command control from a special mobile control center.

It is difficult to say how the program for creating a European UAV will go on. However, it is obvious that the need for such a technique is experienced not only by Spain and Germany, but also by neighboring countries that are still using American and Israeli samples. Including - in combat conditions in Iraq and Afghanistan, where unmanned aerial vehicles in recent times began to be used much more intensively. However, it will not be easy for Europeans to catch up with the market leaders.

Flight performance of the Barracuda UAV:

Length: 8,25 m
wing span 7,22 m
2300 kg weight
0,85 speed M
Maximum take-off weight: 3250 kg
Service ceiling: 6000 m

Payload - 300 kg
range up to 200 kilometers
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