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The German Navy wants to expand its capabilities by using helicopter drones on board its corvettes and, in the long term, on the new MKS 180 ships.

However, extensive tests on sea-going units are still required before extensive procurement can take place. For the fall of this year, the Navy has scheduled the first flight tests with these Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) on a K130 class Corvette.

For the Navy, there are a number of reasons for using UAS - both as rotary and possibly as fixed-wing aircraft. According to frigate captain Arne Kapitza, specialist officer for flying weapon systems in the field of naval drones, seaborne units can quickly and continuously increase their sensor range with the help of flying sensors, be it with optical sensors or in the future with radar devices.

Kapitza explains that further considerations primarily go in the direction of more direct operational support. The skills of unmanned and manned flying systems are to be united under the keyword Manned-Unmanned-Teaming or MUM-T. This could go so far that several UAS can be controlled from a helicopter or aircraft for direct support in the field.

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