In a deliberate move to create a wider competitive advantage for its flagship unmanned helicopter, UMS SKELDAR announces the launch of the SKELDAR V-200B, a comprehensive modification of the industry’s pioneering mid-sized heavy fuel engine VTOL, in tandem with a production drive in Sweden to support its worldwide marketing programme targeting maritime customers.
UMS SKELDAR, the world-class provider of rotary Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) solutions and avionics software, has confirmed its global focus on maritime applications is to be spearheaded by the SKELDAR V-200B – the new version of the industry-pioneering heavy-fuel engine rotary UAV, boasting enhanced features including extended endurance, engine management system and payload capabilities. The commitment to comprehensive modifications to what is widely regarded as the template for the mid-range Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) rotary UAV was announced at the biennial Farnborough International Airshow 2018 (16-22 July 2018), in the UK, the world’s second largest aerospace industry event.
The SKELDAR V-200B completed its trials earlier in 2018, following an intensive modification audit, based on in-theatre performance feedback and the strategic imperative to further widen competitive advantage.
said David Willems, Head of Business Development at UMS SKELDAR, the UAV joint venture between Sweden’s Saab and UMS AERO of Switzerland.
The past 12 months have witnessed substantial corporate strategic initiatives for UMS SKELDAR, thanks to a new senior management team, headed by ex-Saab industrial business head Axel Cavalli-Bjorkman.
- The alignment of production and supply chain at Linköping in Sweden;
- The acquisition of German world-leading engine manufacturer Hirth;
- Heavyweight partnership programmes aimed at navy contracts including the recent collaboration with QinetiQ to provide the platforms and solutions for a joint Canadian maritime program, including the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) UAV contract, ESG in Germany, a number of undisclosed navy tenders and the declared mission to win the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) next stage tender: Sea 129 Phase 5 Stage 1 Maritime Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (MTUAS).
According to Willems, the SKELDAR V-200B has an unassailable lead on its competitors, from endurance and robustness to maintenance regimes and proven payload sensors. The Hirth developed engine, with heavy fuel licensed technology from Australia’s Orbital Corporation, was the first medium maritime UAV to be heavy fuel capable, able to operate on Jet A-1, JP-5 and JP-8 fuels.
He also cites the partnership with Sentient Vision Systems ViDAR (Visual Detection and Ranging), the only proven airborne persistent wide area maritime search system that autonomously detects objects on the ocean surface.
Programmes and deployment including the Spanish Navy European Union Naval Force (Op Atalanta) and Indonesian military (TNI) have all informed the advancement of the SKELDAR V-200B.