Multinational collaboration was the key to Tekever’s pitch at the Dubai air show, with the Portuguese company’s new UK unit inviting discussion with Gulf-based industry.
“We’re looking for a local partner for production and support,” says business development director Robert Whitehouse, who showcased the firm’s AR4 Light Ray unmanned air system on the UK Trade & Investment stand.
Now used by the Portuguese police, the hand-launched design has a 2h flight endurance and an operating range of 10.8nm (20km). “It’s a very intuitive system, and can be controlled from an iPad, PC laptop or Android phone,” says Whitehouse. Applications range from traffic and infrastructure monitoring to supporting disaster relief activities, with its 5kg (11lb) maximum take-off weight including a payload of 2kg.
"Attendance at the Dubai air show is central to Tekever's strategy in developing its presence and partnerships in the United Arab Emirates and Middle East," the company says. "The engagement opportunity will allow new relationships to be formed between Tekever and local partners."
Whitehouse says this ambition has been met, with strong local interest having been shown in the Evolution-version AR4 Light Ray UAS positioned on the stand. “People have asked us to come back and fly,” he says, identifying one potential customer as being in the UAE.
Should it reach a local agreement, Whitehouse says Tekever would seek to maintain responsibility for the system's datalink and flight control software, with an in-country partner to produce the air vehicles and deliver in-service support.