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AEL

Aero Electronics Ltd
AEL (RPV) Ltd


History

Aero Electronics Ltd, of Horley, Surrey, were initially solely an aviation electronics company.

Recognising the need for a realistic aerial target for air defence weapon systems when, in these days of ever escalating costs, the use of a full size manned aircraft or highly sophisticated drone became increasingly less attractive, AEL developed a series of RPVs culminating in the Snipe target. In or about 1977, the earlier target designs preceeding the Snipe were transferred to RCS Guided Weapons Systems of Hounslow while AEL concentrated on the Snipe, producing the Mk's 1, 2 and 3. The company changed its name to AEL(RPV) Ltd on 18 March 1983 and later to Snipe International Ltd on 17 January 1989.

AEL was taken over by the Meggitt Corporation on 18 May 1995, becoming Flight Refuelling Targets Ltd, under whom production continued with the Mks 4, 5 and 15.

Company References
  1. Jane’s Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Targets, 2009
  2. Sitting Ducks and Peeping Toms, Michael I. Draper (Air Britain Publications, 2011)




Project Data top

Project No
Type No
Name
Alternative Name(s)
Year
Spec (Requirement)
Status
Qty
Description
References
   AEL4012  Falcon        Prdn  ??  Unmanned aerial target  
   AEL4015  Falcon    1973    Prdn  ??  Unmanned aerial target  
   AEL4017  Falcon        Prdn  ??  Unmanned aerial target  
   AEL4018  Merlin        Prdn  ??  Unmanned aerial target  
   AEL4019  Merlin        Prdn  ??  Unmanned aerial target  
   AEL4020  Merlin        Prdn  ??  Unmanned aerial target  
   AEL4024  Heron    1974    Prdn  ??  Unmanned aerial target  
     Mossette        Prdn  ??  Unmanned aerial target  
     SATS        Prdn  ??  Unmanned aerial target  
   AEL4030  Training Drone        Prdn  ??  Unmanned aerial target  
   AEL4111  Snipe Mk.1    197?    Prdn  ??  Unmanned aerial target  1,5
   AEL4111  Snipe Mk.2    1979    Prdn  ??  Unmanned aerial target  2,5,6
   AEL4560  Smidge    197?    Prdn?  ??  Unmanned aerial target  1
   AEL4600  Streak    197?    Prdn  ??  Unmanned aerial target  3
   AEL4700  Snipe Mk.3    1981    Prdn  ??  Unmanned aerial target  3,5
     Snipe Mk.4    198?    Prdn  ??  Unmanned aerial target  
     Snipe Mk.5    198?    Prdn  ??  Unmanned aerial target  
     Snipe Mk.15    1989    Prdn  ??  Unmanned aerial target  
   AEL4800  Sparrowhawk    198?    Prdn  ??  Unmanned aerial target  4

Project References
  1. Jane's All the World's Aircraft, 1977-1978, ed. John W R Taylor
  2. Jane's All the World's Aircraft, 1979-1980, ed. John W R Taylor
  3. Jane's All the World's Aircraft, 1982-1983, ed. John W R Taylor
  4. Jane's All the World's Aircraft, 1985-1986, ed. John W R Taylor
  5. Sitting Ducks and Peeping Toms, Michael I. Draper (Air Britain Publications, 2011)
  6. Aircraft Engineering, Oct 1979



Production Data

   Total AEL Production     ??   

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Page Revision History Page Top

Revised at Version 1.4.0
  • Added reference to RCS Guided Weapons Systems
  • Added additional Type numbers to Falcon, Merlin and Heron

V1.4.2 Created by Roger Moss. Last updated December 2019