Elbit System's spider-like drone to join the ranks of the UK Army soon

The British Ministry of Defense has officially awarded Elbit Systems UK a contract to deliver its Magni-X drones to the British Army.
Christopher McFadden
Elbit Systems' Magni-X
Elbit Systems' Magni-X

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has contracted Elbit Systems UK to supply Magni-X micro-Uncrewed Aerial Systems (micro-UAS). The MoD's Defence Equipment & Support's Future Capability Group awarded the contract as part of the British Army's Human Machine Teaming framework.

If all goes according to plan, specialized army units will have the tested micro-UAS by mid-2023.

Human Machine Teaming (HMT) is a way for the British Army to improve its capabilities by combining human soldiers with autonomous systems like drones and robots. The goal of HMT is to help soldiers work with autonomous systems in a way that complements their skills. This will allow them better use technology and be more effective on the battlefield.

The British Army should be able to do more with this framework, especially in reconnaissance, logistics, and combat. The HMT framework is still in development, and more details are unavailable.

A family of quadcopter platforms called Magni-X is a tested military-grade Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) micro-UAS already used by armed forces worldwide. Elbit Systems UK will provide the service-ready Magni-X systems to the British Army as part of the agreement, with an option to deliver numerous additional systems.

The Magni-X given to customers will have many payloads, such as gimbaled cameras for electro-optical and infrared imaging, giving them powerful long-range reconnaissance capabilities.

The Magni-X is lightweight and autonomous

The Magni-X is a small, lightweight, and packable mUAS system that weighs 4.5 pounds (2 kg) and can fly independently. It can also be combined with Elbit's Legion-X System to allow swarming, which helps ground troops by making them stronger.

Magni-X is a well-known, in-service micro-UAS that can fit in a backpack, make little noise, or appear on the radar. It is meant to improve short-range reconnaissance and help with combat and intelligence operations for up to 60 minutes.

"This contract represents another milestone in Elbit Systems UK’s delivery of advanced UAS systems to the UK Armed Forces. The unique capabilities of these systems demonstrates our commitment to being at the forefront of technological advances to support the integration of Robotics and Autonomous Systems to enhance the British Army’s capabilities," said Elbit Systems UK CEO Martin Fausset.

Elbit System's spider-like drone to join the ranks of the UK Army soon
Image of the Magni-X.

Elbit Systems UK Ltd. has two joint ventures and three wholly-owned subsidiaries. More than 600 people work in high-tech jobs in the rail, aerospace, and defense industries for Elbit Systems UK businesses in the UK. The two joint ventures were set up to provide and support three aircraft fleets for the UK MOD Military Flying Training System (UKMFTS) program and to give the British Army the Watchkeeper program. Elbit Systems UK, an established supplier to the UK Armed Forces, provided the Dismounted Joint Fires Integrator and Joint Fires Synthetic Trainer.