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Airbus Defence reveals LOUT, Low Observable UAV Testbed

After more than a decade as a secret project, Airbus Defence reveals LOUT (Low Observable UAV Testbed), a holistic platform approach to stealth, covering Signature Reduction, Electromagnetic Emission Control, Electronic Countermeasures.

Airbus Defence reveals LOUT Low Observable UAV Testbed 01 LOUT (Picture source: Airbus)

Showing its LO UAV testbed – or LOUT – platform at Manching on 4 November, Airbus future combat air system (FCAS) programme manager Mario Hertzog said the company began initial concept work in 2007. According to Airbus, the German LOUT demonstrator was developed with a holistic approach to stealth so that it could address the three domains of capabilities LO platforms must feature: reduced Radar, Visual, IR and Acoustic signatures; ability to employ Electronic Countermeasures; and ability to perform Emission Management, so that it can reduce detectability of the onboard sensors.

Lessons learned from the LOUT programme will be available for potential adaptation during a long-term evolution activity on the Eurofighter Typhoon, and on a proposed French-German-Spanish FCAS development, Hertzog says.

"Stealth is and will remain an enabler for survivability," he notes.

Airbus Defence reveals LOUT Low Observable UAV Testbed 02 The testbed, is 4-ton diamond-shaped Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (Picture source: Airbus)