Indonesia has become the first customer of UMS Skeldar to receive and complete acceptance tests of the company's Skeldar V-200 rotary-wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), the Switzerland-based developer of unmanned aircraft systems said in a 16 February press release.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) in Indonesia deployed the Skeldar V-200 as part of performance and acceptance tests during the fourth quarter of 2016, paving the way for the procurement and pilot training in the country, the company stated. The move, which was the first delivery of the only heavy fuel UAV platform in its class, also marked the beginning of a training programme contract with the Indonesian MoD.
It is unclear, however, how many of the rotary-wing UAVs have been delivered to Indonesia as part of the deal. "With the world's second-longest coastlines, the tests and patrol evaluations [in Indonesia] confirmed the multi-payload and low footprint of the Skeldar V-200 across land and navy applications," said UMS Skeldar, which is a joint venture between UMS AERO Group and Saab. The contract in Indonesia confirms not only the importance of Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) and Search And Rescue (SAR) strategies within complex territories, but also "how UAVs can be used as a stand-alone or integrated platform deployed from land bases or seaborne", said UMS Skeldar training director Ewen Stockbridge-Sime.
According to the company, the V-200 is a multirole helicopter UAV suited for a wide range of applications, such as reconnaissance, identification, target acquisition, and electronic warfare. UMS Skeldar says on its website that the 1.3 m-high Skeldar V-200 has a maximum airspeed of 140 km/h (75 kt), a service ceiling of 3,000 m (9,842 ft), a maximum take-off weight of 235 kg (518 lb), and an endurance of more than five hours depending on the size of the fuel tank module and the payload configuration.