Tactical fire support at 6kg
The Cerberus GL is designed to be the first man-portable multiple-round UAV.
Most tactical-level aerial fire support is ‘fire and forget’ (AeroVironment’s Switchblade, guided mortars etc), expensive and single-use. To the war fighter, damage assessments are crucial in tight situations.
Cerberus GL has the ability to fire three 40mm grenades and perform ISR tasks before, during and after its fire mission, then return to the soldier for re-loading with cost-effective ammunition. All in a package under 6kg and with an endurance of 15 minutes.
Skyborne's unique tri-tilt rotor airframe has advantages over the competition:
Allows payloads to be pointed with the rotating airframe.
Superior Hover Efficiency
Cerberus has greater hover efficiency than a standard multi-rotor, with two larger lift fans and one control fan.
Note: The most efficient hovering vehicle is a helicopter, with one large rotor. The more rotors a vehicle has, the lower the hover efficiency.
Payload placement close to the Centre of Gravity results in significant recoil resistance over a low-slung gimbal. A standard armed multi-copter must hang the payload low so the gimbal can aim the armament through a large range of elevations.
Cerberus aims the entire airframe, allowing the armament to be placed very close to the centre of gravity, reducing the recoil moment arm.
A range of payloads are possible, from grenade launchers, micro-munitions, shotguns, net launchers and cameras.
Deliberate Assault Mission – Shock tactics to force giveaway of enemy positions ahead of the ground assault
Hasty Dismount Mission – Seek and destroy enemy forces whilst under fire, without any prior knowledge of enemy location
Counter-UAS – Use the shotgun payload to eliminate enemy multicopters
Counter-IED / Mine Clearing – Remote detonation with 40mm grenades or shotgun
Counter-terrorism – Fire flash grenades through a window during a combined assault
Law Enforcement – Deploy smoke grenades to allow riot police to escape an unruly crowd under cover, or fire tear gas into a crowd.
+ How does Cerberus GL compare to loitering munitions?
Loitering munitions have their place, however it’s a different platform to Cerberus GL. If your only goal of squad and platoon level fire support is weight minimisation, then utilise a loitering munition every time. However, Cerberus GL offers four advantages over such devices.
Firstly, cost. A loitering munition consumes its airframe, flight computer and optics etc when it explodes on the target. Cerberus GL fires standard 40mm grenades; a few orders of magnitude lower costs per shot. There are also three grenades to use if the armament is a 3GL, Defendtex unit.
Secondly, Cerberus GL provides persistent ISR and battle damage assessment after firing. Loitering munitions (almost by definition) cannot.
Thirdly, speed of effector. Loitering munitions are at best subsonic fixed-wing aircraft, with a top speed of perhaps 40 m/s. A standard HE 40mm grenade has a muzzle velocity of approximately double this at 76 m/s. For targets of opportunity, Cerberus can quickly aim and fire a high speed round.
Finally, operation flexibility is far superior with Cerberus. Shotguns, net-guns, micro-munitions etc could all be fitted, let alone the range of 40mm grenade types available (HE, smoke, IR, flash, CS etc). This means that the right armament is chosen for the right mission.
+ How can you achieve good accuracy with your system? The airframe has noise on it.
Time will tell what kind of accuracy we will get from our combination of airframe pointing and small-range weapon gimbal aiming. Theoretically we can achieve a Circular Error Probable of 1.5 m at a range of 180m. However, if all we do is match a soldier’s accuracy, we already have a useful fire support platform. Better to keep our soldiers out of harm’s way.
+ How can your UAS handle counter UAS devices such as drone-shield?
These counter UAS devices perform one or a number of the following: GNSS jamming, GNSS spoofing, radio communications jamming and spoofing. Cerberus has no specific defences against these systems other than encrypted communications at this stage. However, counter-weapon devices exist for every type of weapon to some extent. For example, one could argue that there’s no point in having an assault rifle on the battlefield because armoured vehicles exist. The current nature of asymmetric warfare is such that it’s highly unlikely that a modern adversary of the Australian Army and its allies would a) have access to the same EW drone jamming and hijacking devices that we do and b) always have them on standby. Consider for example, the counter-terrorism role Cerberus GL might play, firing flash grenades through windows in a hostage situation. How easy is it for terrorists to buy (for example) an IAI ELI – 4030, get trained in its operation and set it up?
If you would like to express interest in the Cerberus GL and learn more, please contact us.