Jackdaw Uncrewed Aerial System (UAS)

A low-cost, high-performance ‘disposable’ uncrewed aerial system (UAS).

Jackdaw UAS

Designed for swarming and collaborative autonomous operations including crewed-uncrewed teaming, Jackdaw will fulfil multiple mission profiles including reconnaissance, electronic warfare, airborne decoy and threat representation.  

It will enable our armed forces to reduce operational risk and increase combat mass by rapidly deploying large numbers of UAS in scenarios currently dependent upon small numbers of expensive crewed aerial platforms. By teaming large numbers of Jackdaw with other UAS and crewed platforms, mission effectiveness is enhanced, the threat to human lives is mitigated and the cost of conducting operations is significantly reduced.

Jackdaw infographic
The Jackdaw platform will be modular by design and as such is designed to support 30kg of internal payload while achieving over three hours of endurance in theatre, reaching speeds of 400kts and altitudes of 30,000ft. It has been designed in the UK and will also be manufactured and tested in the UK, supporting sovereign resilience and prosperity as well as allowing easy adoption for allied countries. 

Indicative performance

  • 3 hours+ endurance
  • 30,000ft altitude
  • 30kg internal payload
  • 400kts speed

Additional features

  • Modular by design
  • Goal-based autonomy
  • ITAR free
  • Flexible launching options
  • Interoperable with existing crewed systems
  • Disposable & attritable configurations

Potential applications

  • Land & Maritime variants
  • ISR
  • External stores carriage
  • Active & Passive decoy
  • Red Air threat representation

Developed in collaboration with other organisations, including BAE Systems and Inzpire, Jackdaw forms part of a family of UAS which will operate together seamlessly and coherently, aiding a more agile deployment and easier management from a central operations centre. 

Watch examples of Jackdaw missions:

The Jackdaw disposable UAS capability will be available from the mid-2020s and will have an iterative development roadmap with innovative functionality and design updates over time.