Ten British universities have been working with BAE Systems on a new unmanned experimental drone system called Demon. Demon, which uses small air jets to manuever rather than conventual mechanical flaps, has been developed under the £6.2m FLAVIIR programme. Demon, had its first flight in mid September from Walney Island Airport, a small airport owned by BAE Systems on an island off the Cumbrian coast. Demon has been built by BAE Systems in association with the following universities: Cranfield, Imperial College, Warwick, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham, Southampton, Swansea, and York. Demon will now undergo a two-years test and development programme.
Meanwhile BAE Systems has been awarded a $4m contract from the USAF for ‘engineering, training, and other services’ for the company’s Silver Fox UAV. Silver Fox is a small drone used for intnellegence and surveillance purposes. This contract is vital to supporting the warfighter,” said Gordon Eldridge, acting vice president and general manager of aerospace solutions at BAE Systems.
In March 2009, BAE bought Advanced Ceramic Systems, the company that US company that developed the Silver Fox and Coyote drones, for $15m.