Gannet Glide Drone Program Conducts Successful Flight Tests

By Skybourne Technologies | January 10, 2023

Skyborne Technologies has conducted a series of successful guided flight tests of the air-launched Gannet Glide Drone. The Gannet program aligns directly with the goals of the Australian Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance (GWEO) enterprise.

“Skyborne has developed research and development capabilities enabling future Defence partnerships which facilitate Australian innovation. The success of the first phase of the Gannet Glider program reflects a maturation of sovereign capability that Skyborne aims to further expand,” program manager Bryce Hillam said.

With further development, the Gannet Glide Drone will offer a new class of low-cost, swarming air-launched effects for a swathe of operational scenarios. The system is small enough for dismounted combat use and effective enough in swarms for large scale combined arms offensives.

In a world-first, the tests proved guidance, navigation and control systems for the unique wing-sweep-to-roll mechanism. The mechanism offers stowage advantages and mechanical simplicity over traditional aileron arrangements for small loitering munitions.

“Skyborne uses completely in-house developed operating system and autopilot software, which has many advantages over open-source autopilots such as ArduPilot and Pixhawk. For example, the traceability and certification pathways are much clearer for a wholly owned, sovereign code-base,” CEO Dr Michael Creagh said.

The flight testing concludes a 24-month program sponsored by the Trusted Autonomous Systems Defence Cooperative Research Centre and the Australian Army. The Gannet program continues with a significant upgrade path.