Elbit Systems UK has been awarded a contract to supply the British Army with its Magni-X drones. The micro-unmanned aerial system (UAS) will be provided to the Defense Ministry under a deal with the subordinate Defense Equipment and Support agency’s Future Capability Group. The contract is part of British efforts to more widely incorporate drones within the Army’s Human Machine Teaming project. The U.K. branch of the Israeli company is to deliver the drones by mid-2023.
The Magni-X quadcopter is a vertical-takeoff-and-landing system and is described by the manufacturer as “a proven and in-service backpack-portable micro-UAS designed to enhance Short Range Reconnaissance and support combat and intelligence operations for up to 60 minutes at a time.” The Magni-X will carry a variety of payloads, including Electro-Optical and Infrared gimballed cameras, giving users extensive long-range reconnaissance capabilities.
The Future Capability Group previously selected Elbit Systems UK to deliver autonomous UAS swarming capabilities as part of the Army’s Robotics and Autonomous Systems project. This selection involved five swarms of six systems, each using Elbit’s Torch-X robotics and autonomous system, an open-architecture technology.
The Magni-X drone is a significant upgrade from the original Magni drone, which was first launched in 2019 as a fully autonomous drone designed to enhance situational awareness. The new version has an improved range and endurance, among other features, and has “swarming capabilities” when used as part of Elbit’s Legion-X system, making it a “force multiplier for soldiers on the ground.”