ACG out-of-autoclave prepreg picked for Watchkeeper UAV

Elbit Systems qualifies ACG's MTM46 epoxy prepreg system for the Thales Watchkeeper 450 unmanned aerial vehicle.

Related Topics:

Related Suppliers

Advanced Composites Group Ltd. (ACG, Heanor, U.K.), a member of the Composites Division of Umeco plc, announced on March 15 that it has been qualified by global defense electronics company Elbit Systems to supply materials for the construction of the Thales Watchkeeper 450 (WK450) unmanned air vehicle (UAV).

Thales UK selected WK450 as the aerial platform central to its Watchkeeper surveillance system, procured by the U.K. Ministry of Defence (MoD). The use of ACG’s materials on the WK450, a development of the well-established Elbit Hermes 450 — constructed from ACG’s LTM26EL prepregs — strengthens ties that exist between ACG and Elbit Systems. The WK450 UAV build was done by Lola Composites Ltd. (Huntingdon, U.K.) and integrated at U-Tacs (Leicester, U.K.).

ACG’s MTM46 epoxy prepreg system, one of a series of out-of-autoclave (OOA) processing aerospace systems, meets the requirements of the U.K. MoD. MTM46 can develop an initial glass transition temperature (Tg) of 180°C/356°F) and reportedly offers good retention of mechanical properties under hot/wet conditions. Following a low-temperature/low-pressure initial cure at 80°C/176°F, which can make use of low-cost tooling, performance is further developed using a free-standing post-cure to achieve required material performance. 

WK450 UAVs provide persistent surveillance with an advanced surveillance sensor suite; the Watchkeeper surveillance system provides 24/7 all-weather, day and night exploitation in times of war, tension or during peacekeeping operations.

Editor Pick

Web Industries launches new center focused on thermoplastics

The company’s new Thermoplastic Composite Development and Qualification Center is designed for the purpose of creating processes that format thermoplastic carbon fiber prepreg materials, including PEEK, PEKK and PPS, for use in various fabrication technologies.