Autogyro

Defence / Air

The Autogyro is well suited for Air Force tasking. Its long endurance and ability to fly low and slow, its safety profile and easy handling characteristics combined with the low investment and operating costs and its low CO2 and noise footprint make it a perfect aircraft for various Air operations.

Aircraft and specifically Rotorcraft are often used in Defence Air Operations. Helicopters are often used in the Recce, Gunship and/or transport role. Because of the cost involved they are often a scarce asset.
  
In the James Bond film "You only live twice” from 1967 the Autogyro "Little Nelly” had external weaponry. The fact that the machine was actually tested by the UK Royal Army at that time and not just build for the film is know only to a few.  The helicopter won this test match because of its hover capability. 

Now that cuts in the Defence budget force decision makers to look for alternatives, the Autogyro comes into focus again. The Autogyro can be a good and cheaper  alternative for some of the tasks of the Air Force as long as it does not require armour. Its range, endurance and agility makes it suitable for tasks like Recce and Radio/Imagery Relay and good training equipment for other tasks. For example, there is no reason to use a  helicopter for training of Airborne Forward Air Controllers or for route recce in advance of a convoy. An Autogyro with the proper equipment can do the tasks just as good, and much cheaper.

Also for those who cannot or will not spend large parts of the defence budget on armed helicopters the armed Autogyro can be a good alternative in areas where the opponent only has the possibility to use small arms. Afghanistan has opened the discussion again about using Commercial of the Shelf (COTS) equipment against opponents who do not use sophisticated equipment but rely more on evasive tactics. Why use one or two expensive helicopters or even Fighters if you can have10+ Autogyro's instead?

Air Recce: the right sensor

Calidus with Sensor

gives the right image

Calidus Air Recce