The P.1HH Hammerhead prototype UAV designed by Piaggio Aero has crashed into the Mediterranean during a test flight, the firm reported.
The prototype crashed off the coast of Sicily on May 31. It was the only version of the UAV currently flying.
“A Task Force is flying towards the area to start recovery of the aircraft,” the firm said in a statement.
Italy-based Piaggio Aero is controlled by Mubadala, an Abu Dhabi-based strategic investment firm.
In March, the United Arab Emirates signed a US$352 million contract to purchase eight of the UAVs, which are based on Piaggio’s manned P180 twin prop business aircraft.
Piaggio Aero previously said the Italian Air Force, which has been closely involved in the development and flight testing of the UAV, would be the launch customer this year.
The company is struggling to sell its EVO aircraft while there are concerns and doubts over the company’s future, with some speculating that it is due to be sold.