the LIGHT class UAS equipped with SAR and EO/IR sensors

Rapier X-SkySAR

Rapier X-SkySAR is the smallest LIGHT class UAS equipped with an airborne mini Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) payload, for all-weather surveillance and mapping even in degraded visibility conditions, in addition to the high-performance EO/IR payload.

The aircraft is equipped with innovative systems, able to guarantee the operation in hostile environment, and it is designed with optimization criteria in terms of aerodynamic efficiency, volumetric capability and structural weights. Consequently, the Rapier X-25 can assure long endurance (+16 h) with cutting-edge technological payloads.

The Rapier X-SkySAR System is composed of:

  • Aircraft The aircraft is equipped with a state of the art EO/IR sensor payload, with the best Detection, Recognition and Identification (DRI) performance of the category, and an airborne mini SAR, for all-weather surveillance, control and data sensing.
  • Ground Control Stations The Ground Control Station (GCS) consists of two stations: Pilot in Command and Sensor Operator. The GCS can be used for mission planning activities, mission execution, including manual, semiautomatic and automatic flight, flight and sensor data analysis activities and training.
  • Pneumatic Launching System The pneumatic launcher is designed to guarantee the maximum accuracy and repeatability of the launch of the aircraft, regardless of the climatic conditions (temperature, pressure, humidity). Launch activation is controlled directly by the GCS, to ensure the safety of the operators involved in the launch operations. Allows easy orientation of the launch ramp, depending on the wind direction.
  • Precision Recovery System (optional) The recovery system has been designed to allow for a precision, safe, automatic landing. Compared to similar systems, based on Textile Barriers, or on Recovery Cable, the Rapier system is able to dissipate the kinetic energy of the aircraft, minimizing the risk of damage from hard impact with the recovery network.
Aircraft Maximum Take Off Weight (MTOW) 30.0 kg
Endurance Range +16 h (depending on carried payload)
Datalink Range 80 km
Rate of Climb (ROC) 750 ft/min (3.8 m/s)
Cruise Speed 46 kts (23.7 m/s)
Max Operational Altitude ASL (Above Sea Level) 16400 ft (5000 m)
Navigation Mode Fully Automatic, or Semi-Automatic by waypoints
Crew 2 operators
Deployment and packaging <15 min


    • Proprietary FCS * Proprietary Flight Control System and Autopilot DO178C DAL-B software safety critical, modular and flexible (therefore adaptable to the entire Rapier family and customizable according to the User’s needs). Control laws can handle and compensate for actuators and sensors failures and complete the mission safely. Robust software and algorithms resilient to cyber attacks (e.g. jamming, spoofing)
    • Operational flexibility Suitable for several operational scenarios, including the most challenging ones. The Rapier X-SkySAR parachute and airbag allows for landing in all the critical conditions that do not allow a runway to be used and minimize the logistic footprint. The Rapier X-SkySAR can be configured with an alternative precision landing system, based on capture net, for usage in critical operations, like on FOB (Forward Operating Base) or on-board Maritime Environment.
    • Performances Long endurance (+16 h) to obtain a wide flight persistence for surveillance missions, the latest technology of the electro-optical sensors to guarantee high performances in terms of Detection, Recognition and Identification (DRI) and the smallest airborne mini SAR in the market.
    • GCS Flexibility Proprietary GCS developed consistently with Rapier Program philosophy, with flexible and modular architecture, high level of customization, useful for both functional aspects (possibility to implement additional tools) and for certification issues. This type of architecture guarantees high-performing and distinctive capabilities, such as: to set and change mission parameters depending on the aircraft configuration, to manage several types of onboard payload, to use a touch-screen human machine interface (New Fifth Generation Architecture).


    * The FCC could be suitable for simplex, triplex and quadruplex architectures, typical of Tactical UAV category (MTOW 750 kg). Moreover, the FCC has a growth capability to be integrated on VCMS of several remotely piloted systems (multirotors, surface drones, etc.).

The Rapier X-SkySAR has been designed in order to integrate several payloads with different features in terms of capabilities, weights and sizes. The flexibility is assured by the fuselage modularity and by the possibility to change the onboard systems configuration in order to obtain an optimized aircraft balance.

  • Electro-Optical/Infra-Red Sensor The EO/IR sensor is the basic payload which allows ISR mission to be carried out. Rapier X-SkySAR offers the possibility to choose between two types of EO/IR sensors: the basic one (two sensors day/night) and the high-performing one (four sensors day/night, with additional laser designator and range finder) with the best Detection, Reconnaissance, Identification performance of the category.
  • Synthetic Aperture Radar A SAR sensor can improve the mission effectiveness, allowing for all-weather surveillance, control and data sensing, including Change Detection capabilities in ISR missions, or detect Oil Spill and Pollution detection in civil applications. The Sky Eye Systems proprietary mini SAR can provide accuracy of about 25 cm, slant range about 5-6 km and ground swath about 4 km. The overall radar system weight is minimized in order to guarantee high endurance.
  • LiDAR Low weight LiDAR, with power consumption similar to SARs, guarantees an accuracy of few centimetres. The ranges are lower than SAR ones (3-4 km), but such device allows ISR capabilities, Situation Awareness, Sense and Avoid, 3D mapping to be carried out.
  • Multi/Hyperspectral cameras This type of camera allows for specific missions (e.g. Change Detection, Anti Camouflage, Terrain Characteristics, Fire Detection, Agricultural Monitoring) to be performed by means of images analysis and comparison gathered at different wavelength.
  • Transmitter Possibility to perform a Relè Radio by using the platform as bridge between ground units and command stations, thanks to a dedicated transmitter installed onboard.

The Rapier X-SkySAR is suitable both for military and civil/governmental operational use.

Thanks to its features, Rapier X-SkySAR is the perfect solution for Intelligence Surveillance e Reconnaissance military mission: the awareness situation requires real-time smart information, relative to a specific field of operations affecting terrestrial and maritime threats, in order to guarantee a prompt answer to potential attacks.

Military missions:

  • Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance (ISR): information acquisition for intelligence operations on specific targets (Example: Pattern of Life)
  • Route Clearance: for safe communication routes in order to guarantee the armed forces transfer
  • Force Protection: continuously monitoring and control of military installations to provide support at the forces deployed in the field
  • Targeting: Teaming operation, the unmanned laser designator locks onto the target and the helicopter hits it


Rapier X-SkySAR can also support other relevant civil missions, thanks to the possibility to install several on board payloads such as Hyperspectral or LIDAR, respectively needed for: ground mapping (farming, burned areas, mineral areas, and areas with potential environmental impact); geology, seismology, disaster monitoring.

Civil missions:

  • Land surveillance: environmental information acquisition, maps production and illegal building detection, precision agriculture
  • Law Enforcement: surveillance and protection activities, anti-looting, anti-piracy, illegal trades, territory and boundary control against immigration and terrorism
  • Anti-pollution: oil-spilling control, illegal landfill, illegal waste disposal, ground and atmospheric pollution, forest fires
  • Safety, public order and civil protection: environmental monitoring actions to reduce damages on community due to high magnitude accidental events (natural calamities, earthquakes, floods, etc)


    Other products

    Rapier X-25


    Rapier X-SkySAR is the smallest LIGHT class UAS equipped with an airborne mini Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) payload, for all-weather surveillance and mapping even in degraded visibility conditions, in addition to the high-performance EO/IR payload.