PAS 2011: Saab remains hopeful for Skeldar UAV sales
Saab has stated its intention to secure a first contract for its Skeldar V-200 VTOL UAV in the next year, according to Stefan Nygren, business director for UAV systems.
Speaking to reporters at the Paris Air Show, Nygren could only confirm that Saab was aware of requirements in the UK and US amongst other international programmes. These include the US Navy ISR programme; a US Special Operations Command requirement; and the UK's Tactical Maritime UAS programme.
In addition, Nygren said Saab was in talks with Swedish armed forces although he conceded that no official requirement had yet been published. However, he said the Swedish Navy had already expressed a higher degree of interest in a VTOL capability in comparison to the army.
Referring to French Navy aspirations to equip its future Gowind class of offshore patrol vessel (OPV) with a VTOL UAV, Nygren warned that a maritime version of the Skeldar V-200 could compete against Schiebel's Camcopter S-100. The navy is set to receive its first OPV by the end of the year when it will begin considering VTOL capabilities. Earlier in the week, Schiebel said it was preparing to conduct a test programme on board the OPV in collaboration with the ship's manufacturer DCNS.
Saab also revealed plans to integrate a heavy fuel engine onto the UAV with a test flight due to take place in the next few months. Details were also released about cold weather trials in Sweden in which the aircraft operated at temperatures as low as -23C. However, he said Saab was not currently considering arming the UAV, although he admitted that such a step would happen in time.
More from Uncrewed Vehicles
US Army moves forward on future tactical UAS without AeroVironment
AeroVironment has been dropped from the hunt to provide the US Army with a Future Tactical UAS (FTUAS), leaving Griffon Aerospace, Northrop Grumman, Sierra Nevada and Textron Systems in the running.
Navantia, SAES and Perseo to jointly develop line of uncrewed underwater vehicles
At FEINDEF in Madrid, Navantia, SAES and Perseo announced an intention to develop a line of uncrewed underwater vehicles (UUVs).
British Army eyes new small armed UAS capability
The UK MoD has released a request for information on small armed UAS which could be used by the British Army.
General Atomics delivers first new build extended range MQ-9A to US Marine Corps
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) has delivered the first new build MQ-9 Extended Range (ER) to the US Marine Corps (USMC).
Highway landing opens door to future MQ-9 Reaper capabilities
The US has landed an MQ-9 Reaper UAV on a highway for the first time as part of Exercise Agile Chariot.