Joining the ranks of unmanned Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) air systems of the world is the Airbus Defence & Space Tanan 300. Similar in its design shape to the Saab Skeldar (detailed elsewhere on this site), the Tanan 300 is intended for deployment from surface vessels in the maritime surveillance role. In addition to this, Airbus is developing this aircraft for at-sea Search and Rescue (SAR), general reconnaissance, target acquisition, general intelligence gathering and humanitarian operations support. Airbus is also offering the Tanan 300 with customer-specific sensor equipment ranging from night imaging and electronic intelligence to over-water radar functionality and High Definition Electro-Optical / InfraRed (HDEO/IR) equipment to suit various missile roles.
As designed, the Tanan 300 features a span of 5 meters with a running length of 4.3 meters and height to main rotor mast of 1.2 meters. Its configuration mimics that of a conventional manned helicopter system in that it exhibits a multi-bladed main rotor atop a fuselage housing the required avionics, fuel stores and engine systems. A shaft hidden in the tail stem drives a multi-bladed tail rotor which is seated along the starboard side. The undercarriage is of the skid variety which makes operation simpler in-the-field and less expensive to produce the UAV unit. Optics are carried in a ventral blister with good views of the surrounding area and horizon. The Tanan 300 features an operational range out to 180 kilometers and can carry a payload up to 50 kilograms over an eight our endurance window (MTOW of 300 kilograms). Maximum speeds reach 150 kilometers per hour with a service ceiling currently noted at 4,000 meters. Cruising speeds are expected around 100 kmh. Operations of the Tanan 300 are expected to take place around 3,000 meters and below.
As of June 2014, the Tanan 300 remains in development under the Cassidian brand label, Cassidian, Astrium and Airbus Military having joined to become Airbus Defence and Space ("Airbus DS").
This article will be updated as new information allows.