British Army Tests Sentinel UAS as Potential New Unmanned Aerial System Equipment


In November 2023, the British Army tested the Sentinel, a state-of-the-art helicopter-designed unmanned aerial system (UAS), during the Army Warfare Experiment Exercise Blunting Strike held at the Copehill Down training facility. This exercise marks a significant step in military collaboration and technological advancement.
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British army tested the Sentinel helicopter-design UAS Unmanned Aerial system during the Army Warfare Experiment Exercise Blunting Strike in November 2023. (Picture source British MoD)


Exercise Blunting Strike, a key component of the Army Warfare Experiment (AWE), saw the deployment of the British Army Experimentation and Trials group to the Copehill Down facility. This exercise was not just a showcase of emerging technologies but also a testament to international military cooperation. Soldiers from the United States, France, Italy, Germany, and Spain joined their British counterparts, demonstrating a unified approach to understanding and integrating new equipment.

The exercise's focus was not only on equipment testing but also on fostering collaboration between the Army and industry partners. These partners played a crucial role, working alongside troops to refine and understand the practical applications and limitations of the equipment. This synergy is part of the British Army's broader initiative, Future Soldier, aimed at accelerating transformation through effective engagement with the industry and harnessing emerging technologies for future capability development.

Among the various equipment tested, the Sentinel UAS stood out. This small unmanned rotorcraft, designed for long-range operations in diverse conditions, including hostile terrains and maritime environments, showcases advanced technological features. With a 2.2m airframe and 2m rotors, the Sentinel is equipped with a multi-fuel 70cc engine, capable of using JP8, JP5, or Jet A1 fuel. It boasts an impressive endurance of up to 8 hours and a payload capacity of 6kg. The Sentinel's technical prowess is further highlighted by its on-board generator, triple failure redundant autopilot system, and comprehensive communication links, including ADS-B transceiver and satellite communications.

The mobile ground control system, operable from a laptop, and its compliance with STANAG 4609 for video, make the Sentinel a highly adaptable and efficient tool for modern warfare. This exercise at Salisbury Plain not only demonstrates the British Army's commitment to innovation but also sets a precedent for international military cooperation in developing future defense capabilities.


Defense News December 2023