EADS Defence & Security has completed four flight tests for the largest European unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) at an air force base in Canada.

The jet-propelled demonstrator known as the Barracuda flew autonomously along pre-programmed flight profiles monitored from the ground station for flight safety.

The aircraft is intended purely as a test bed for next-generation UAV platforms and is not destined for series production.

EADS Executive Committee member responsible for defence and security Dr Stefan Zoller said that this powerful demonstrator widens the technological UAV product portfolio from EADS Defence & Security within the scope of its high-performance systems.

“It enables us to offer a full range of UAV products from tactical systems to complex reconnaissance and surveillance systems,” Zoller said.

The Barracuda has been developed from an initial test bed that took its maiden flight in April 2006. Since then software, systems and solutions have been modified for the present integrated system.

EADS will also learn about the interoperability of the systems within network-centric operations in sync with Nato criteria.