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MOD: Heavy Lift Challenge – Putting Uncrewed Aircraft Systems to the Test

The DE&S Future Capability Group (FCG) have launched the second round of the Heavy Lift Challenge

(Picture: Royal Navy)

The DE&S Future Capability Group (FCG) have launched the second round of the Heavy Lift Challenge. The challenge, which sees uncrewed aircraft systems (UAS) put through their paces, was organised in collaboration with the Royal Navy 700X Naval Air Squadron and for the Royal Navy Office for the Chief Technology Officer.

The Heavy Lift Challenge is an innovative approach to engaging with and stimulating the market, developed jointly between the Royal Navy and DES FCG. It encourages UAS manufacturers to showcase crewless technology which has the potential to deliver supplies and equipment to ships and personnel at sea. This could enable the armed forces to autonomously transport vital supplies, such as ammunition and medical equipment, to combat zones – reducing the risk to personnel.

The Royal Navy Heavy Lift Challenge (HLC) aims to increase the number of UAS available on the market, at a rapid pace. This will enable DE&S FCG and the Royal Navy to explore, understand, develop, and rapidly acquire autonomous systems to deliver heavy payloads at range in demanding Maritime and Commando Force environments.

This competitive framework will also quicken the overall procurement process, delivering the latest uncrewed technology to the frontline, faster, cheaper and better in an exponential world.

The first stage of HLC saw autonomous aircraft lift and deliver payloads more than 100kg, passing speed, endurance, and accuracy tests with flying colours. Two companies – Malloy Aeronautics and Windracers Autonomous Systems – were awarded £300,000 contracts to develop their UAS.

(Picture: Royal Navy)

Read the full article here: Heavy Lift Challenge: Putting Uncrewed Aircraft Systems to the Test (

Note to editor:

W Autonomous Systems is part of the Windracers Group. W Autonomous Systems utilises the Windracers unique platform to deliver defence logistics such as this Heavy Lift Challenge demonstration.

For more information, please get in touch: or visit Windracers website Windracers autonomous drones