UMS SKELDAR has launched a development of its V-200 unmanned aerial system (UAS) at the Farnborough Airshow in the UK.
Dubbed V-200B, the new UAS continues the primary maritime focus of the system, but adds additional endurance, and new engine management and payload capabilities.
“It is no secret that more players are attempting to enter the maritime market for rotary UAVs,” Head of Business Development at UMS SKELDAR David Willems said in a statement. “Recent navy contracts have stipulated the role and specification, and this has confirmed our strategy of development is absolutely the right move at the right time.
“We are able to fly longer, over five hours, at maximum payload capacity through weight savings from design modifications and our 2-stroke engine configuration provides significantly unmatched time between overhauls (TBO), all of which are vital to maritime operations by military and civilian customers.”
The V-200B completed its flight trials earlier this year. Other initiatives have included the alignment of production and supply chain management at Linköping in Sweden, the acquisition of German engine supplier Hirth, a partnership program with QinetiQ for a Canadian requirement, and a declared intent to bid for the Royal Australian Navy’s SEA 129 Phase 5/6 UAS requirement.
“The major difference between the V-200 engine and those of our competitors is that our engine is more tolerant of the JP-5 quality and that is a big advantage,” Willems said. “Our maintenance schedules and ease of access to engine compartments mean that we outperform and stay longer in the air before any need for overhaul. These are non-negotiable advantages for operational commanders.”
UMS SKELDAR’s commitment to Australia and the wider region was also confirmed at the show.
Describing Australia and Pacific Rim “as a key strategic building block for expansion of the V-200 in land and sea domains”, the company said it had conducted a tour of ADF facilities in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney and conducted meeting with senior ADF personnel in Canberra in recent months.
Skeldar says Australia has been designated as the launchpad for the “newly-configured next-generation NATO-compliant” V-200B, and that it will partner with Adelaide-based Orbital Corporation, Melbourne-based Sentient Vision Systems, and Saab Australia for SEA 129 Phase 5/6.
“As part of the requirements of the RAN Maritime Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (MTUAS) tender, the SKELDAR V-200 is unmatched in its ability to provide the OPVs with an embedded, eye in the sky ISR capability to enhance their ability to perform primary and secondary missions,” Willems said.
With a track record worldwide, including the Indian and Pacific Oceans, specifically Horn of Africa and Singapore, the APAC and Pacific Rim region provides a major opportunity for us to offer both land and maritime variants of the newly modified SKELDAR V-200.”
“The Pacific Rim is unquestionably a top priority for our business. Our strategy of developing core market opportunities with military and civilian blue light customers is supported by our key differentiators,” added UMS SKELDAR CEO, Axel Cavalli-Björkman. “
Already unmatched in heavy fuel engine and maintenance regimes, now we are able to increase our advantage in terms of endurance and improved engine management system, with increased range of sensors including ViDAR (Visual Detection and Ranging), the only proven airborne persistent wide area maritime search system.”
UMS SKELDAR will be exhibiting at the Land Forces 2018 exposition in Adelaide from 4-6 September.