Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) and Vertex Aerospace have entered a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to propose the missionised Airlander 10 aircraft to the US Department of Defense.
Under the MoU, HAV will partner with Vertex Aerospace to submit joint proposals to the DoD for the provision of fully configured Airlander 10 aircraft.
Airlander 10 is a flexible and efficient aircraft suitable for a range of applications.
The platform has a range of 4,000nm and can operate at a maximum altitude of 20,000ft. It can carry a payload of up to 10t.
Vertex Aerospace president and CEO Ed Boyington said: “Together, Vertex Aerospace and HAV will provide our customers affordable aircraft optimised for long-endurance with a missionised configuration able to synchronise capabilities across all domains.
“This partnership allows us to support our US Armed Forces as they move toward joint, multi-domain operations to combat the ambiguity of hybrid warfare.”
The aircraft is designed to provide users with multi-domain intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, computing and communication capabilities in support of special missions and multi-domain operations.
HAV previously developed the long-endurance multi-intelligence vehicle (LEMV) long-range hybrid airship system for the US Army in partnership with Northrop Grumman and other firms.
Hybrid Air Vehicles chief executive Tom Grundy said: “This partnership will enable us to offer a fully configured, missionised and supported Airlander 10 aircraft to the US DoD as an airborne solution to many of the challenges posed by multi-domain operations.
“Vertex and HAV share a joint ethos of delivering affordable capabilities that meet the needs of modern operations. This MoU is a strong foundation for us to achieve our shared goals.”
According to a report by The Guardian, HAV developed the original £25m Airlander 10 model to meet the surveillance needs of the US Army.