UMS SKELDAR, the world-class provider of rotary Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) solutions and avionics software, is accelerating its plans for Australia to become its Pacific Rim base, following a classified tour including meetings in Canberra and partners with bases in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney.
The confirmation of UMS SKELDAR’s commitment, described as a “logical extension of the company’s intention to secure a demo base in Australia” was announced during Farnborough International Airshow 2018 (16-22 July 2018), and timed to coincide with *Rim of the Pacific exercise RIMPAC 2018, where 25,000 naval personnel and 52 ships and submarines from 26 countries are currently participating.
Australia has been designated as the launchpad for the newly configured next generation NATO-compliant V-200, boasting more than five hours flight duration, enhancements to the unmatched heavy fuel two-stroke engine in tandem with considerable airframe weight reduction.
Partnered with Australian companies including Adelaide-based Orbital Corporation and Melbourne-based Sentient Vision Systems, the company stresses its interoperability across any number of naval platforms and systems.
The new SKELDAR V-200 is proposed for tactical maritime roles with world navies, including the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) for deployment of potentially 24 UAVs on board the 12 new Sea 1180 offshore patrol vessels (OPV) to be built by Lürssen as designer and prime contractor of the $3.6bn contract in South and Western Australia.
“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,” according to David Willems, Head of Business Development at UMS SKELDAR, the UAV joint venture between Sweden’s Saab and UMS AERO of Switzerland, “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.”