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Saab partners with Swiss UAV

22nd May 2009 - 15:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


Saab and Swiss UAV (SUAV) have signed a strategic business agreement to increase technology superiority within the Unmanned Airborne System (UAS) area.

The agreement seeks to develop a family of cost-efficient vertical take off and landing (VTOL) Unmanned Airborne System, UAS, platforms and services, to meet a variety of user needs. This agreement is of strategic importance for Saab and a milestone in UAS development.

The agreement covers collaboration regarding design and testing of the Skeldar system from Saab as well as the Neo and Koax systems from Swiss UAV, SUAV.

“We are convinced that the co-operation between Saab and SUAV combined with our joint business effort will be a success for our VTOL systems. It is a win-win situation for both ourselves and our customers”, says Pontus Kallén, Senior Vice President Saab and Managing Director Saab Aerosystems.

Saab has been involved in UAS development for more then a decade. Saab’s long history of aircraft design and its detailed understanding of certification and airworthiness requirements have fed directly into several UAS programmes.

These include: UAS demonstrators such as Sharc and Filur, UAS integration with civil airspace and air traffic control, sense & avoid demonstrators and the Neuron programme. Saab’s experience is exemplified in the design and development of the fully autonomous, highly reliable and easy to operate Skeldar VTOL UAS. The Skeldar is designed for use in both land and maritime operations.

“Our partnership establishes a long-term co-operation with Saab and SUAV to build a larger family of vehicles and integrating them with Saab’s Ground Control Station know-how. At the same time SUAV will support Saab activities in development and there are already some specific projects underway”, continues Pontus Kallén.

SUAV has been developing VTOL UAS for several years, with two different VTOL UAS products Neo and Koax already flying today. These vehicles are smaller then Skeldar but still operate with an advanced autonomy system, ideal for compact land operations.

“For SUAV the partnership with Saab is a strategic landmark in the development of the company. The coming together of both companies will produce a new generation of VTOL UASs which will assert themselves in the hard-fought UAS market”, says Lars Zander, CEO of Swiss UAV.

The first flight trials have already been conducted in Switzerland with Skeldar, Neo and Koax. The purpose of these trials has been to verify autonomous behaviour and the capabilities of the systems. The Skeldar Ground Control Station can be used for all vehicles within the Saab/SUAV VTOL UAS family.

The Shephard News Team


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