Work on the Barracuda UAV project, which was carried out by the Military Air Systems division of EADS, started in the summer of 2005. The development of UAVs was carried out in conditions of increased secrecy. Initially, the basis for the creation of the UAV was the samples of the American Predator drone. But then the design was slightly changed, which made it possible to use the Barracuda unmanned vehicle as an attack weapon. At the same time, the designers took into account the experience of the Americans and equipped the complex with Hellfire guided missiles, which were used by the US CIA to attack terrorist positions.

The first flight of the prototype unit in late Barracuda 2005 city, and its presentation in February 2006 at the ceremony, which was held in Mangihne (Bavaria, Germany), made only a narrow circle of politicians and the military.

The appearance of the Barracuda UAVs is reminiscent of a jet fighter that has a retractable landing gear. However, the hallmark is a large air intake. The wingspan is 7 m, the length of the fuselage is 8 m. Depending on the nature of the tasks, the UAV can be equipped with one of five variants of a removable wing. UAV Barracuda is equipped with a wing of a large scale, can "soar" like a glider at a high altitude, and small wings allow the device to maneuver and with the necessary speed to move at low altitudes. Bombs and missiles are installed not on external UAV pods, but in the fuselage compartments to minimize aerodynamic drag. The control of the drone Barracuda is carried out from a mobile ground control station.

According to military experts, the company through EADS Barracuda UAV model can conquer a niche in the market of combat and reconnaissance drones, which are currently dominated by the Israeli and American aircraft equipment manufacture. EADS can safely count on a market share of unmanned combat aircraft in 10-15%.

27.06.2006, was completed the program of flight tests of the UAV "Barracuda", conducted by the manufacturer. These tests consisted of four flights in standalone program mode, which device is made without comment. It is interesting that the first recording was an accident with the loss of UAVs, but it did not affect the further development of the project.

Barracuda Originally developed as reconnaissance drones, though the use of modular design allows operation of unmanned aircraft as a shock.

About the project, there is little information. However, very clear that its further development stalled accident, which happened during a demonstration flight.

In the year after the 2006 20-minute flight over the Spanish military base of San Javier EADS chief designer Rolf Wirtz said flight performance "Barracuda." Based on his words, this device 8 m in length and a wingspan of about 7 m, with a maximum take-off weight in tons of 3 became Europe's largest UAV. Wirtz also noted that the unit carried out the flight completely autonomously, and on the ground control station operators only watched the safety tests conducted.

The demo device was equipped with an autopilot Flight Control Computer development of the German company MTU Aeroengines specifically for UAV Barracuda. This was reported in the aerospace exhibition ILA 2006.

More detailed characteristics of the first flight of the drone revealed a specialized portal army-technology.com. Based on the information published on it, the Barracuda UAV was equipped with a payload weighing up to 300 kg, had a range of up to 200 km and was able to reach speeds of 0,6 M with a practical ceiling of more than 6000 m. 

EADS BARRACUDA combat UAV. Characteristics:

Modification   Barracuda
Wingspan, m   7.22
Length m   8.25
Height, m  
Wing area, m2  
Weight, kg  
  empty   2300
  maximum take-off   3250
engine's type   1 turbojet engine Pratt and Whitney Canada JT15D
Thrust, kN   1 x 14
The maximum speed M   0.85
Cruising speed, km / h  
Radius of action, km   200
Flight duration, h  


Other UAVs