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Unmanned Vehicles

Martin UAV announces launch of V-Bat 128

31st March 2021 - 14:45 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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The V-Bat 128 rotary-wing VTOL UAV. (Photo: Martin UAV)

Latest addition to the V-Bat portfolio features higher operational ceiling and heavier payload capacity.

Martin UAV on 30 March unveiled the latest member of its V-Bat VTOL rotary-wing UAV family.

Compared to earlier UAVs the V-Bat 128 features a heavier interchangeable payload capacity of 25lb (11.3kg) and longer mission endurance of 11h, the company claimed, adding that potential applications include SAR, firefighting and logistic resupply.

The 2.96m-wingspan V-Bat 128 can reach a speed of 90kt at a higher operational ceiling (20,000ft) than its predecessors (15,000ft according to Shephard Defence Insight). This is enabled by a more Suter TOA 288 powerful engine.

The new UAV is designed for rapid tactical deployment from a small area with assembly by two people within 30min. Martin UAV chief development officer Heath Niemi said that it ‘can be transported in the bed of a pick-up truck, or, inside a Black Hawk’.

V-Bat 128 already participated in ‘numerous missions’ during the Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiment in February-March 2021, Martin UAV noted.

The company added that ‘one of the impressive features noted from those involved in the exercise is the aircraft's ability to transition from take-off to a vertical hover and persistent stare capability while maintaining a sensor line of sight, in spite of difficult terrain’. 

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