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PAS 2011: Saab remains hopeful for Skeldar UAV sales

23rd June 2011 - 12:21 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


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.

The Shephard News Team


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