If all goes well as 2010 winds down, Saab will sign on the first customer for its Skeldar vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) unmanned air vehicle, the company says.
The medium-range UAV, with its 40kg (88lb) payload capacity and 5h-endurance is primarily aimed at surveillance, intelligence-gathering and electronic warfare. Payloads can easily be swapped out in 10-15min, Saab says.
The family of Skeldar UAVs was designed with a particular eye to counter-improvised explosive device missions, says Stefan Nygren, Saab’s business director for UAV systems. Its sensors have the ability to tether to a moving object, such as a lead car in a convoy, and then autonomously follow it at a set distance or speed. A maritime version of Skeldar is also in the works.
The V200 version is slightly longer than the original V150 design, but Saab will also have on offer a pint-sized version in 2011 – the V125. This will be about half the size and capacity of the V200.
Nygren says the Skeldar family will expand further in 2016 with the V600. Aimed at filling land and maritime requirements for a large VTOL UAV, the Skeldar V600 will have an 8h endurance, a 100kg payload capacity and a 600kg maximum take-off weight.