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 with senior defence personnel 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, which boasts a flight duration of more than five hours. This is thanks to enhancements in the unmatched heavy fuel two-stroke engine, and considerable airframe weight reduction.

Partnered with Australian companies like Adelaide-based Orbital Corporation, Melbourne-based Sentient Vision Systems and Saab Australia, 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). These are 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 for 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.”

Axel Cavalli-Björkman, CEO of UMS SKELDAR, concludes: “the Pacific rim is unquestionably a top priority for our business. Our strategy of developing core market opportunities with military and civilian blue light customers is supported by our key differentiators. Already unmatched in heavy fuel engine and maintenance regimes, now we are able to increase our advantage in terms of endurance and improved engine management systems, with increased range of sensors including ViDAR (Visual Detection and Ranging), the only proven airborne persistent wide area maritime search system.”

UMS SKELDAR will be exhibiting at Land Forces Australia, in Adelaide, Australia 4-6 September 2018 together with Saab Australia, to showcase the SKELDAR V-200.

Note: *

The biennial RIMPAC is the world’s largest international maritime exercise and includes rehearsal scenarios that cover disaster relief, amphibious operations, anti-piracy work, missile shots, mine clearance, maritime security, anti-submarine warfare and air defense operations – many of these demonstrating the suitability of interoperable tactical aerial platforms such as rotary UAVs. 

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